This past year, the Lord has been kind to our family.
As I sit here today, in the middle of a trial that has left me flat on my back, watching the world pass by only in glimpses through the back window, I can say it again:
The Lord has been kind; the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.
But this year has not been easy for most people, I imagine.
In the past year, amidst Covid lockdown, we have experienced two miscarriages - bringing our total losses over the years to seven. While we truly love having a large family and have always loved the possibility of more children, during these past two losses we have grown weary of the biological path and had long talks about “taking control” of our family’s future.
In the end, neither of us were truly ready or sure, so we had left it alone and committed it to prayer.
It was the first time I felt scared about a pregnancy, because the losses have had a cumulative affect on me emotionally over the years. We tried to be cautiously optimistic during the first weeks, but as the months went on, tiny kicks from the baby made our guarded hope more tangible, and we decided to tell the children.
We began to celebrate this incredible gift - new life springing up after loss.
An emergency ultrasound revealed an ugly clot, wrapping around the amniotic sac like a snake and pressing into the baby’s space.
But we have been here before, as this was now our third pregnancy with this condition, so we knew what to do.
I began mothering from the couch and staying off my feet in what would become complete bed rest. My big girls became BIG helpers (I love you, Lilly!)
I started seeing a cardiologist for my heart - which has not been cooperative throughout this pregnancy - and going on and off different medications. And mostly, praying for endurance.
And every day, His mercies were new, and the gentle kicks and rolls of our baby became my morning alarm clock.
At the 20 week ultrasound, we expected better news, but the clot had grown.
Additionally, I had an infection called CMV in my bloodwork, which puts the baby at risk for birth defects. There was also blood in the amniotic fluid and the baby had been swallowing it, creating abnormality markers in some of the baby's organs.
My placenta was now abrupting, and the bleeding would recur.
A feeling of sickness rushed over me as I pictured this, because the baby’s safe place was becoming increasingly unsafe.
Risks began mounting - risks to me, risks to the baby, risks to my heart.
And none of this was in my control.
I attended these appointments alone due to Covid restrictions, and found myself listening in unbelief as all of the years I have spent serving as a crisis pregnancy counselor became a personal reality.
Tests could be done, to see if the baby was affected by the infection in my bloodwork. Tests could be rushed, because I was approaching “the deadline” (the state of North Carolina offers abortion freely until 22 weeks).
It became clear that there was nothing the doctors could offer me except for “therapeutic abortion” or increased monitoring, and at a certain point, I walked out of that office mid-appointment so I could pray in peace.
I know that Jesus is the only one with any power over this situation. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and He holds all things together - by his will they exist. (Col. 1:17)
Every last molecule of my baby’s body is held together by God (Ps. 139:13), and nothing befalls any of us that does not pass through His hands first. (Lam. 3:37-39)
I have laid aside all the research and articles on high risk pregnancy, and I have nothing to do but trust. I wish I could say this was the first thing I did - but in the end - it was the gracious and gentle place I landed after the Holy Spirit used my own frantic, sinful worry to break me of self-dependence.
I do not know on what day or in what condition this baby will come, but I do know that my Savior lives and is worthy of all praise and honor, and I can trust in Him.
This lesson of trust is one I will be learning and relearning for the rest of my life, because I am stubborn.
The trials and sufferings of this life are what produces the weight of Glory that will make me more like Christ...
and will someday carry me home. (2 Cor. 4:17)
As we enter our 6th month of pregnancy, please pray with us.
Pray for our baby, that we might hold this living child, and see the glory of God’s healing hand on my body - and the baby's as well.
And if not, we will praise Him all the same.
He is always good, always worthy.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord our God.
"The good husbandman may pluck His roses and gather His lilies at midsummer, and, for ought I dare say, in the beginning of the first summer month, and he may transplant young trees out of the lower ground to the higher, where they may have more of the sun and a more free air, and any season of the year. The goods are His own. The Creator of time and winds did a merciful injury to nature in landing the passenger so early." -Samuel Rutherford, Letters