Beautiful life: A eulogy to our unborn child

WARNING:  Graphic content related to miscarriage

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Tonight we buried our little baby.  No longer than the finger nail of my pinky, opaque and beautiful.  Nothing could have prepared me for the emotion I would feel when I saw that little formed body just beneath the translucent sac that had once developed to nurture it and protect it.  It was obvious when I passed the gestational sac earlier this evening.  There it lay, surrounded in the soft cushion of my uterine lining.  I had been waiting for it all day.  Early this morning, I had taken the misoprostol.  I was hopeful that everything would pass with a single dose but didn’t know when or how it would go.  Mostly I have been emotionally numb since learning this past Wednesday that there was no longer a heartbeat and that our baby had died.  But my emotions ripped to the surface as I held this little life between my fingers.  I went and grabbed my husband and he too was shaken out of his own numbness.  This was it.  This was the little life we have been praying for, hoping for, and loving for so long.  This is the little life that had already been through so much.  Created via IVF almost two years and then frozen for most of that tme.  After a short thaw in April, it had quickly found a snug little home deep inside me where it grew as best it could.  Within weeks of it making its home within me, it endured uncontrollable retching, it’s mother with acute appendicitis and subsequent surgery.  Somehow it endured.  It would seem that so many would give up on this precious being two weeks later when an initial ultrasound revealed no heartbeat.  We were told to stop our medications, that it was pointless, that the pregnancy wasn’t viable.  Instead, we held out for a miracle and waited.  This little embryo defied all odds and continued to grow over the following week.  5 days later, at our ultrasound that was meant to confirm death, instead showed a beautiful little life with a steady heartbeat.  We celebrated the miraculous and praised God for this tiny person.  In the end, it wasn’t meant to be.  At least not on this side of heaven.  We trust and believe with all our hearts that this little life is dancing with Jesus.  We find comfort in the knowledge that he already knows LOVE truer and deeper than any found here on earth.  This little life waits to be reunited with his earthly family, for the only family he has known.  But he waits with strength and courage, for he has found peace with Jesus.

Tonight we buried our baby.  We found the perfect spot.  We dug a hole and we placed him in the ground.   Many tears were shed and fervent prayers were offered up.  It was a precious moment shared between my husband and I under the darkened sky.

For us, he will always be in our hearts.  We are forever grateful to God for allowing us these few treasured weeks together.

 

so little control…waiting for retrieval

So little control.  So much faith.  I will not give up hope that this IVF cycle will be a success.

In my CoNTroL:

  • Taking the right medications at the right time
  • What I eat
  • Getting to my appointments

OUT of my CoNTroL:

  • How many follicles grow (today there were 24, an ever changing number)
  • How many eggs I produce
  • How many mature eggs there will be
  • How many will fertilize
  • How many will grow for 5 days
  • If there will be any left to transfer
  • If there will be any to freeze
  • If the transferred embryos will implant
  • If an embryo will be carried to term

So much is out of my hands.  No amount of stress, worry, or determination will change ANY of these factors.  I have never felt more out of control.  This journey is not a product of my own preparation or study or pursuit or persistence like so many other things in the past.  I have never had to depend more on my Maker, to trust more entirely in His plan for my life.  I can’t do anything but my own small part.  The rest is up to Him.  Though this is my body, it’s ultimately putty in the hands of my GREAT GOD…who is moving and willfully knitting together my life, my story, and the journey through which He will use me.  I remain grateful that I don’t have to muster up another ounce of strength to make my way through it…for He is my HOPE and my STRENGTH.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

I LOVE my story, I would not trade it for any others.  Though it has been full of hurt and heartache these have been but moments in a far greater current of love, adventure, and blessing.

Thank you.  I wait on you, Jesus.

Finding FAitH.

Finding faith.

Faith has not come so easily to me over the last few weeks.  I have felt abandoned by my God.  Where is he?  Does he have my best in mind?  How can bringing forth a child of our own NOT be a part of his plan for us?  Why does it have to be so hard?

Honestly, sometimes I am so thankful…maybe even ALWAYS thankful that we live in a time and age where our Science is so advanced that we infertile women can sometimes overcome our barrenness and have children of our own.  Of course, who gets credit for the brilliance of our Scientists?  God.  But nonetheless, why does it have to be like this?  I feel so sad for the countless women throughout history and in our present age who have had to live without the blessing of children.  I think about the repercussions in different cultures and at different points in time where barrenness was the curse of all curses.  Often, a life destined for loneliness.  So many women have walked through painful stories of their own, full of endless suffering and regret as you were despised and, for many, left by your husband whilst shunned by family and community.

Though the shame and emptiness is just as real today, we can put our faith in the hands of Science and hope for a different outcome.  Hope that our bodies will cooperate and respond to the treatment, bringing new life where only hollow grief was once found.

I want to believe God.  I want it to come easily.  I want to have FAITH to believe that the impossible is possible for us.  I want to put my hope in him and believe in his beautiful plan for our lives.  …but really, God, Science?  Is it really YOUR will for us to use Science to make our dream a reality?  Why?

…and what about the women who can’t afford to reach out to the miracles of Science and give their own barrenness a chance at deliverance?   This BREAKS my heart!   How can it be, God?  Won’t you come through for them?  If I was a millionaire, I would start a charity for just this purpose.  To bring life and hope into the lives of barren women.  I SO wish I could.  I can’t imagine a greater heartache, a deeper desire then that for a child.  It’s certainly biblical, as I have pointed out before.  (One of my all time favorite posts and an explanation for the deep sorrow we infertile people experience.)

Today, I am yet without answers.  I push onward, knowing that Jesus alone is the source of my faith.  Try as I may to dig it up within myself – I will fail.  But, if I can somehow just keep surrendering my plight and loneliness to him, he will reveal himself, for he is already working in the midst of my story.  Open my eyes that I may see.  Help me that I can help others find their own faith in you too.  For you are rich in mercy.  In you can be found perfect peace.  I want those things.  I want others to find those things.

Help us find faith.

Easter = True HoPE.

This weekend we celebrate Easter!  

What does Easter mean to you?  Did you celebrate Easter as a child?  Does it mean baskets full of sweet chocolate and Cadbury Eggs?  Do you think of white, soft bunnies with delicate ribbons tied beneath their ears? Did you often color eggs as children?  I loved writing messages in crayon before dipping my smooth white egg into the dye. I often made one in each color and even tried my hand at multiple dips in different shades.  How ’bout community Easter events and egg hunts in the wet, green grass – fresh with dew in early spring? Were you ever fortunate enough to find the “golden egg”?  Not me –  though I tried so hard, year after year.  Do your memories entail soft shades of pink, purple, and yellow?  Did it mean new dresses and sit down dinners or brunch with loved ones?  Did it mean watching “The Ten Commandments” on ABC with some popcorn?  Traditions you could count on year after year.  What does Easter mean to you?

Easter represents so many things for so many different people.  For my family, it ultimately symbolizes the day my Jesus rose from the grave.  On that day, the stone that covered His tomb was rolled away by His beloved disciples.  He was nowhere to be found.  Linens lied limp where His body once lain.  He is RISEN.  This is not a past tense thing.  On that day, the death of Christ was redeemed. On that day, the disciples’ lost hope and deep discouragement was replaced with jubilation.  On that day, the life they had built by and on His example proved worthy.  On that day, the sickening defeat they felt as He was beaten and flogged, mocked and nailed to a cross was replaced with a VICTORIOUS hope.  He IS risen.

The resurrection of my Lord.  Without the resurrection there would be no point, no reason for hope, no reason for joy, no reason for faith…no reason to follow Jesus.  Because of the resurrection, my chains are gone, my sin washed clean. Because of the resurrection, I am free.

I am free….

…to hope

…to love

…to give

…to forgive

…to wait in expectation of His return

…to claim his promises

…to experience His peace

…to sing

…to shout with JOY

…to BELIEVE.

I am so thankful for Easter, so thankful for the Resurrection of my Lord, so thankful to be FREE.

(Picture of a gorgeous Tuscan church we found while exploring the small mountaintop village of Montacino.)