I had never looked forward to an appointment like I did this one. I was so humbled, overwhelmed, and excited. There were times I tried to be more controlled and rational. But those days were over. It was 11 weeks and 3 days. I couldn't wait to see and hear glimpses of this life for the first time.
After what seemed like endless questions, our midwife reappeared with an ultrasound machine. We were about to visualize this little life; and listen to the beat of her heart. It was an expectant emotion without words.
But within minutes, the anticipation and emotion fell flat.
'This isn't what I was hoping to see...' she said.
'I'm going to send you to radiology to get a more accurate look at what's going on...'
Of course, I recognized the words and tones she used- medical kindness and sensitivity which was polite and hopeless at the same time.
I felt nothing but numb.
I stared at the screen. My name was there, at the top.
It was empty.
Was she doing something wrong?
Almost as soon as she started, it seemed she was done.
'I'm so sorry.' she said.
Her kindness was genuine; making one feel cared for. And yet, it didn't fully register in my state of shock.
I looked at Gordon and asked if he was ok. He just stared ahead blankly.
Tears seemed far away. It wasn't real.
The next ultrasound confirmed what we already knew: we had lost our baby.
The one we had been celebrating as she met each weeks' milestones- a heartbeat, fingers, toes, and all her functioning organs.
But now her heart wasn't beating. We couldn't see her. My body had hidden her away; and given me no warning signs or symptoms. I had no idea.
How was this even possible? I had felt so medically informed and aware-
But this? I was completely blindsided.
It's rare, but sometimes it happens, she said. Your body hasn't recognized the loss yet. Sometimes it takes many weeks.
We opted for surgery because of various risks and circumstances. I knew it was right. But I hated the idea.
I'm supposed to be helping other people through surgery.
How could I be the patient?
I was humbled so quickly.
These past days I have cried many tears. Had too many conversations that made me break down. Felt helpless and confused. Discouraged and overwhelmed.
I was so afraid of being vulnerable. Afraid to subject myself to the care of others. Afraid to trust. Afraid of the risks of surgery. And yet the Lord's nearness in my anxious state was more tangible to me than anything I had experienced in a long time.
I survived the surgery and left the hospital feeling relieved and encouraged. Thankful for the kindness of the nurses, and overwhelmed with humility and gratitude for those who cared for me in this small town hospital. I felt the Lord as near to me as my next breath.
And a few days later I still feel lost, empty, and disappointed.
I don't know how to be with people. I feel like I can't. I've avoided those around me successfully for a week now. Literally I haven't seen anyone I know for a week. Who am I?
My body, hormones, and spirit feel beat from the inside out.
I know it's a process, and I'm trying to be patient with myself.
And still, my awareness, sensitivity, and need for Jesus is deeper, stronger, and more apparent than it's ever been.
I trust this season of loss will not go to waste.
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous...
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.'