Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Psalm 34:18

It was mid July when we found out that we were expecting...again. And it was a surprise to us....again. And as I wrestled with the direction that God was taking our family, I really honestly did have faith that He knew what was going on. Because I have been through a number of things in my life that have been a roller coaster of events and God has never, EVER let me down in the midst of pain and confusion and a slew of other emotions and experiences. So I was ready...well, mostly ready. Okay, kinda ready.

By August, after I had survived crazy weekends, crazy hormones and Vacation Bible School, I really WAS ready. My tummy was popping out a little bit. I was puking all the time. This was the real deal baby! Ohhhh, baby. A Zab baby. Yes. I love those Zab babies. I love my Zab Mister. This is good.

At least, that's how I felt most of the time. Other times, I wished I wasn't pregnant. The pregnancy was bringing some insane complications into my life and making it VERY difficult to function. I wrestled with depression, anger, and a little bit of bitterness. However, I never felt alone. God was there. My amazing friends were SO there. And my husband...oh he is the best. So onward we went.

Saturday, September 25, I awoke with some spotting. Nothing that was a big deal. But enough to puzzlingly tilt my head at. At a split moment of panic, collecting all the struggles I'd had with this pregnancy and adding them up to equal a whole lot of "Mom Guilt" I said to David, "I really really need everything to be okay right now." David and I decided a trip to the ER might be a good idea. Kids were easily squared away (thank you God!) and we were off. David even brought the camera for when we were done thinking it would be fun to wander around downtown and take pictures of stuff.

The ER wasn't crowded (thank you God!-keep track of these) and we were shown to our bed right away. And moments later, we were whisked away to Ultrasound. "Maybe we will get to see if it's a boy or a girl today!" When the tech pulled up our images, I saw the baby. Our baby! This was David's first time getting to see our little Peanut. But the baby was really really still. And I didn't see anything in the baby's middle that looked like a heartbeat. I dismissed it. But that gut feeling spread all over when the tech quickly jumped to take pictures of ovaries and then got up to consult with the radiologist.

The radiologist came in and asked me some questions regarding baby movement, other complications during pregnancy and the like. She then told us that from what she could see, the baby was no longer alive.

I think I blinked at her a whole lot and wondered whose life I had wandered into because THIS was not happening to ME. Remember, I had called for everything to be okay just that morning. Remember? The next 30 minutes contained a lot of crying and holding each other and staring and more crying. I was shocked how quickly my tummy could go from feeling full with life to empty and void.

The rest of the day at the hospital had us seeing more doctors, being told of all the decisions we would have to make and many many heartbreaking texts and phone calls to our friends and family. I prayed Jesus would come back. I prayed that somehow I would never have to leave the hospital room I was in. I prayed that these doctors were wrong and by the POWER of CHRIST may my baby be ALIVE.

None of those things happened. Instead I found myself surrounded by caring doctors and nurses offering their condolences. Treating me kindly as a human being (thank you God!) and treating our baby as a human being as well. (Thank you God!) We checked out of the hospital feeling "crushed in spirit" and unsure what life looked like on this side of a great loss. The headache I had been nursing all day long was pounding all kinds of thoughts in and out of my head and finally beat me so badly that David had to pull the car over so I could be sick on the side of the road.

We drove to my mom's house where she and her husband Tim, my sister Kristy and her husband Kris had been wrangling kids all day. There were a lot of hugs and tears and some bits and pieces of normal conversation. And the time came to talk to Nathan and Lucy about what had happened. Ella was napping so we all gathered around in the living room. As we told the kids, Nathan began crying. At 7 years old, he understands death and loss on a greater level than Lucy. We told the kids that our baby was in heaven with Jesus. Joked that the baby was possibly riding around on Grandma Great's walker like Nathan used to do when he was little and how our baby was now living with no pain or sadness. Nathan, who was sitting on my lap, looked at me and said, "You mean like the pain and sadness we are feeling right now?" I told him he was exactly right. My family then prayed over us. We were lifted up to the Father to be cared for. We sat there empty and shocked and grieving. David broke down in a way I have never seen in 15 years together. That prompted Lucy to also start crying. I held my daughter in one arm and my strong husband in another. This whole situation feeling so foreign and ill-fitting to me as Kris poured beautiful words of healing over our wounds, lifting us up in prayer.

When we were done, Lucy looked up at me and looked deep into my eyes. "Does this mean we won't get to go swimming at Grandma Sisi's?" And when she was told we wouldn't be swimming, a whole new batch of tears began. My mom, recognizing the need David and I had to be with our kids but also needing a bit of a break (and also her own need to have a freckled five year old to squeeze) offered to keep Lucy overnight. (Thank you God!) We bundled everyone else up, went home and tucked them into bed.

Our Saturday was over. We survived the worst day of our lives.
We fell asleep holding one another, crying and praying for strength.

But this was not the end of our story.....


  1. Bethany, I have lost a few pregnancies myself. However, when Lee and Danielle lost their baby, I had a hard time coming to terms with their loss, because the baby was so far along. You stated that the doctors treated your little peanut like a human being. Danielle wasn't that fortunate. I didn't know what to say to Lee and Danielle after she told me her story... I was speechless and couldn't wrap my head around it.

    To a certain extent that's how I have been feeling about you and your peanut. I stayed away cause I didn't know what to say, or what exactly happened. The difference is, you have God in your heart. God was there with you through all of it and he will continue to be there for you every time a memory returns.

    It's hard to be there for someone when you haven't been in their shoes. Sometimes we have to experience that pain for ourselves before we can be there for others. Perhaps God has a plan for you, David, or even your children in regards to this.

    It seems in your story that you almost knew from day one. As though your heart already felt the anger and depression this would bring. God never puts us through things we can't survive. One day this experience, although very hurtful, will be a beacon of joy and hope to someone in need.

    Keep strong my very dear friend. Your children, husband, family and friends are always near, and God even closer.

    Love and hugs to you!


  2. Hi Dearest Beth: If blogs had been invented, and if I was as gifted as you at putting feelings and thoughts into words, this would have been my exact blog post (minus having to tell my precious kids) about 20 years ago (twice.) Thank you for helping me relive the blessed presence of Jesus, how he healed me THEN and continues to heal me each and every day NOW, and how without Him, how lost I would be every moment of every day. I never saw my husband hurt so much as he did the moment we lost our 2nd baby, and I would just encourage you both (as I know you are doing) to continue to minister to each other in word and deed, and to continue to speak grace and love to each other. I believe strongly that the hurts we experienced in losing 2 babies were not given over to Jesus adequately, and I still regret that. I love you my sweet sister, and will continue to pray God's healing grace, and his loving spirit to minister to your precious family each day. "Oh that will be.... glory for me..... when by His grace I shall look on His face.... that will be GLORY, be GLORY, for ME!" Love, Carol

  3. There is nothing so heart wrenching as a daddy crying for his baby. :( :( :(

  4. Beth~ Thank you for sharing your story. It brings back some thoughts and memories our our loss almost 8 years ago. Thank you for the reminder that God is with us and holding us through the tears and pain... He is soo faithful and such a loving father!

  5. I am very sorry for you and your family. It will be very wonderful when no family has to go through this.

    We have had a few ourselves, the worst was finding out there was no heart beat at three months. Although it was my wife I was very concerned about, it ended up being one of our daughters (5 years old?) that broke my heart.

    Thank you for sharing, I will be watching for the rest.

  6. Thankful for Kris in your life. What a blessing for your family.

  7. I'm so sorry, Bethany. What a horrific experience.

  8. Hi Bethany...I have read your blog for a while now, but not sure if I have ever commented. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. This story was 2008 for me....one pregnancy loss in April and another in October. It ranked as almost the hardest, if not the hardest, thing my husband and I have had to face as a couple. We had one daughter at the time, and have since had another...glory to God. But I still, two years later, relate so well, in such a raw way, to what you are in the process of sharing. I'm so very sorry you lost your baby, your precious little one who was being formed inside of you. I pray that you are surrounded by the love and comfort of God, family, and friends through this. And that you may comfort others with the comfort you are receiving someday.

  9. My heart hurts for you and David and your family. We've had people tell us in a brush-off kind of way that a miscarriage just means they were too sick to survive, as if that should take the pain out the of the situation. No, that precious little one is a little bit of you, a little bit of David, and still a miracle baby even though his or her birth bypassed earth and went straight to heaven. We love you guys. Wish you weren't going through the pain but asking Jesus' hands to hold you as you grieve.

  10. I'm so sorry for your loss. May God give you the supernatural grace and strength you need for each day.