I know that we have all heard the phrase “God’s plans do not always go according to our own plans”, but how many of us have suffered great loss? I am betting that you have, just as I have.
HOW DO WE FIND JOY WHEN WE ARE GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT JOURNEY OR SUFFERING FROM A GREAT LOSS?
December 21, 2007, will forever be a day that I will always remember. On this day nearly 10 years ago, I experienced great loss. The kind of loss that takes more than a few months to get over. The kind of loss that stops you dead in your tracks and makes you question if God is even real. A loss that saddens your heart so deeply that you lose sight of “Joy through the journey”.
We found out that we were pregnant close to the end of October of that year. Oh, the Joy that we felt when we finally read the pregnancy test and saw those two pink beautiful lines. We sat in the bathroom together with our two-year-old daughter with tears streaming down my face in awe of God and all of his goodness. We were so very thankful that our prayers had finally been answered and we were going to have another baby. We too were scared and nervous because my first pregnancy was a nightmare. But we trusted that God had a plan and we had faith that he would take care of us. We felt Joy, unspeakable Joy all huddled up together in the bathroom that night.
It was not the easiest task for me to get pregnant and I was later diagnosed with PCOS (POLY-CYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME) and severe endometriosis. So seeing that I was pregnant was a miracle in itself.
A few weeks later I went to see my OB/GYN and we were told we were about 9 weeks pregnant. The joy of seeing that amazing blob on the ultrasound with tiny little-webbed hands made my heart skip a beat. Then when we were able to hear the heartbeat, I was smitten; so in love. The babies heartbeat was so strong at 164 bpm. We all three giggled at the ultrasound picture and we decided to nickname you “webber” that day. Everything looked absolutely perfect and because I had a very high-risk pregnancy with my daughter, I was to come back for another appointment in about 5-7 weeks. I made my appointment for December 21, 2007 at 10 am.
December 21, 2007, started out like any normal morning for a stay at home mom. My little girl and I watched Dora the Explorer while eating blueberry pancakes for breakfast. My daughter would talk to her brother or sister each day and we would sing “you are my sunshine” together while I would brush her beautiful strawberry blond hair. I started having terrible morning sickness, but that never kept me down. I was overjoyed that today was finally my appointment day because the anticipation to see my baby on that ultrasound grew so strong every day. I was already wearing maternity clothes and looking forward to the next ultrasound to see Webber’s gender. I dropped my daughter off with my parents and headed to my appointment. My husband could not get off work that day to go with me, so I ventured there alone. I had to change doctors until my new insurance kicked in, so I was a little nervous, but all in all, I felt good, like really good.
I walked into that Doctor’s office, filled out paperwork and soon after they called me to the back. I saw the doctor for a few minutes and then he began listening with a fetal doppler to hear the babies heartbeat. At that moment the doctor wasn’t saying very much but he did not exactly make me feel in this moment that anything was wrong. He sent me to the ultrasound room straight down a long hallway and told me he would see me after.
The hallway to the small ultrasound room was nicely decorated and quiet, not one person other than me in sight. I was very anxious to see my little peanut and full of butterflies. I followed the ultrasound techs request and laid back on the bed. She squirted warm jelly on my belly and began moving it around. We had small talk for a moment and then she turned the screen away from me. I knew in that moment that something had to be wrong, but the ultrasound tech would not give me any clues to what it may be. I assumed that she could not find a heartbeat. But that just could not be true. My heart completely sank. Right there in that moment, terror struck me like lighting strikes the midnight sky. I could barely hear anything that she was saying to me. My mind was blank….She told me to clean myself up and to meet the doctor back in the same room I was first put in and she had to repeat that to me at least 2 or 3 times. I had almost forgotten even how to walk. I couldn’t breathe or speak…
I suddenly felt lost. The hallway that I had walked down just 15 minutes before seemed narrow as if it was closing in on me. I had to stop and sit in a chair before making it all the way to that room. All I could think is if I go in that room, it makes it all true. It makes it true that there is something wrong with my baby. It just could not be…. I mean I am already wearing maternity clothes and I have had every single symptom of morning sickness. Oh, little Webber how I love you! Tears began to stroll down my cheeks and I felt all alone.
But I wasn’t alone..
To the right of me, a middle-aged man was sitting and I had not even noticed that he was there until he stretched out his hands toward me. He grabbed my hands and asked me if he could pray for me. I shook my head “yes” without mumbling a word. He never even asked what I was going through, he just began to pray. After he prayed he explained that he was a pastor and he was there with his wife. I could not speak anything other than “thank you”. He told me that no matter what I may be facing that God has a plan and he will never leave me during my hardships. He quoted PSALM 30:5 “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
How was I to find “Joy” right now? How was I to understand God’s plan during all of this heartache?
God showed up in that moment through a complete stranger and gave me the strength to walk into that room and hear what the doctor had to say. I was told that my little Webber no longer had a heartbeat and they could not determine when my baby had died nor what had caused it.
I was distraught, sad, confused and down right angry! The doctor started giving me options and proceeded to make me feel unimportant. He did not show any remorse for how I was feeling and kept calling it “spontaneous abortion”. That is not what this was! Medical terms were not what I wanted to hear in this moment.
I loved my baby, my baby was wanted! It made me feel as if I had chosen this or did something to cause it. My baby was dead inside of me and that was a hard pill to swallow. I told the doctor I wanted a D&C and he refused to perform one until I either “let nature take its course ” which could take several weeks or I could take medication to induce labor which would cause me to miscarry. I told him I did not want to wait, but I really wanted to go ahead and get a D&C, but that was not an option right now in his opinion. He handed me a prescription and told me to take two of these pills and if I had any problems to call his office, but that he was going out of town for Christmas after the 23rd, so I would have to see one of his associates. I felt he was heartless in the very moment I needed someone to understand my heartache and pain. My hopes, my dreams, and my heart were all shattered in that room that day.
The drive to my parent’s house was one of the hardest drives I have had to make. Jesus was in that car stirring that wheel for sure to get me there safely. I cried out to God almost screaming in sadness, anger, and pure confusion. I parked my car and barely made it up to my parent’s stairs to their front door to knock. Crying gigantic ugly tears I knocked but it was more of a bang than a knock on their door. I just needed to get inside to hug my Mom and Dad and have them to tell me everything was going to be ok. Thoughts were going through my head about what I could have done differently and how difficult it was going to be to tell my daughter that her brother or sister was in heaven now.
My mind was being tortured by the thoughts that this somehow had to have been my fault.
Both of my parents were so supportive during this time. They sat me down and listened as I tried to explain everything that had just taken place at the doctor’s office. Through tears and uncontrollable sobbing, I managed to explain the hard truth of the situation.
My baby no longer had a heartbeat.
I then had to call my husband at work to explain the horrific news, I could hear devastation in his quivering voice. He was holding back tears I could tell. He left immediately driving about 90 miles an hour to reach me lying lifeless, on my parent’s couch. He did not know what to say or I think maybe he too thought that it just had to be untrue. He scooped me up in his arms and held me so tightly. Not one person can convince me that being held by the person you love does not make things better. I felt his warm embrace and I knew I was home, I knew that together we would make it through this. No matter how hard this journey may be ahead, we would find our joy again. Together we explained to our little girl that baby “Webber” had gone to live with Jesus in heaven. Her deep brown eyes always lit up when we spoke about Jesus to her. God reminded us in that moment of the joy that we shared not only with each other but with her as well.
December 23, 2007, I had to go into surgery for a D&C due from having complications after passing my baby. It was two days before Christmas. The time of year when you celebrate “Joy”. But the great feeling of pleasure and happiness was not on my radar. In this moment I could not yet see the Joy that cometh in the morning. I was trying my best to stay strong, especially for our little girl, but I was having a very tough time. I came into the hospital looking as if I was pregnant but my womb was empty and so was my heart. I was now the mom of a toddler and an angel baby…
After my surgery, my husband and daughter went to the pharmacy to pick up my medication and a few snacks. As they were walking to the counter an older lady approached them. The lady did not look familiar to my husband at all, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a $20 dollar bill. She then proceeded to tell my husband that God told her to give him this money to buy his wife flowers. The lady had no idea why God was asking this of her, but she was being obedient to his voice. My husband tried refusing the money, but the lady was persistent. So he finally agreed to take it and thanked her a million times. He even told her about our great loss and the surgery that I had just had. The lady had tears in her eyes, for she knew that what God had placed on her heart to do had true meaning.
Once again God showed up through a complete stranger to remind me that I was not alone. Though I had suffered a great loss, I needed these constant reminders that God was still on the thrown and that he was there for me. I needed to look deeper into my situation and find the joy through this long hard journey.
DECEMBER 06, 2008, God blessed us with the most precious bundle of joy, PARKER RAY! God gave us our “rainbow baby” after months and months of trying to conceive and endless prayers. The joy we had hoped and prayed for had now come!
HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD????
Rainbows are a constant reminder to me that “Joy” cometh in the morning! A rainbow baby is a baby born after miscarriage or infant loss. Rainbows are promises that after any storm things will always get better. Rainbows give us hope for things to come.
During my very tough miscarriage, I did not see God’s plan and I could only focus on my broken heart and emptiness. But after seeing my precious baby boy, I found my joy again. I saw then and there that Parker had been God’s plan for our family all along. I thought I knew what I needed, but in all truth, God knew exactly what I needed more. Going through something out of our control can be devastatingly heartbreaking, but we are to never stop fighting to find the Joy throughout the journey.
None of us have any idea why we have to go through what we do. But I know that every single hardship has only made me stronger and closer to God. Without God on my side through it all, I know I would not be here to write this blog today. I would have given up a long time ago. I have the promise from God to one day see my angel baby in heaven and until then they live in my heart. I know that my baby watches over his/her brother and sister here on earth. I believe that with my whole heart!
God has never given up on me and he won’t give up on you! God sees those tears that you have cried and he is whispering to you…Hold on dear child…your JOY cometh in the morning….
HAVE A BLESSED DAY~
<HUGS> K.D. Russell