....and it's our baby's heartbeat.
We've spent much of the last year praying for that moment. Last September I went for my ten week appointment with my first pregnancy. I assumed it would be a routine visit, so Scott didn't go with me. The midwife couldn't find a heartbeat and I was whisked down the hall to the ultrasound room. I will never forget looking at that screen, knowing in my heart that there was no heartbeat. The silence in the room was overwhelming, the nurse staring at her screen for what seemed like an eternity before she said, "Mrs. K, we have a problem...." Before I had time to process what was happening, a nice nurse was holding my hand and leading me out the nurses secret exit so that I wouldn't have to march back through the waiting room sobbing. The next morning I had a D&C and my doctor reassured me that we would "be sending him baby pictures before I knew it."
We moved two weeks after the surgery. I felt so lost. I stopped praying. I was so angry with God for allowing this to happen, especially letting it happen while we were moving. I felt empty and lonely and confused...and God took me straight to Miss E.
We lived with Miss E, a wonderful godly lady, for the first two weeks in our new town while we were waiting to close on our new house. One morning over breakfast she and I were talking and I mentioned how I was feeling, how I felt like I didn't know how to handle the hurt I was carrying in my heart. Her response was so simple and so wise, "Get up in the morning and pray. Then go to work."
She went on to explain that the way she has learned to grieve is to pray for the strength to get through one hour at a time and to take it one day at a time. I had no idea how to grieve...I didn't understand that God already understood my grief. I learned to pray again, and for many days and weeks my prayers were nothing more than, "Help me." And I learned that was okay.
Months passed and we were pregnant again. And we miscarried again. And again, God took us straight to the exact person we needed. This time it was Dr. H. I woke up one morning and immediately understood what was happening. By early afternoon I was in the doctor's office, crying, in pain, and completely confused. Dr. H walks into the room because she was the one doctor that so happened to have a cancellation at that exact time. She asked if I had a doctor and I told her we were new in town and had only seen one doctor. She immediately "adopted" me as her patient. Did you know that some doctors will not do testing until after a third miscarriage? Not her. Before I left the office that day she had ordered blood testing and put me on a regimen of vitamins and baby aspirin.
Our hearts were so heavy the next few weeks and months. Nothing abnormal was found in my blood work so we were given a brand-new list of scary words which included, "habitual aborter, genetic testing, in-vitro, secondary infertility..."
But even through this God was so good. He gave us joy. We found laughter often lies just behind our tears and that hope can grow in our darkest times. And one of the many blessings that we have been given through all of this is that God has taken our time of grief and transformed it into the sweetest time in our marriage.
And so when we got that positive pregnancy test in May, the first emotion I felt was hope, not fear. I thought I would be fearful and cautious or even sad. I had pictured myself tip-toeing into the bedroom and tapping Scott on the arm and quietly sharing the news with him. But God had already restored to me what the locusts had eaten...He had given me back my hope. I busted out of the bathroom and yelled Scott's name (while he was still dead asleep) at the top of my lungs and said, "I'm pregnant!" over and over. I might have even jumped on the bed once or twice. I laughed with tears streaming down my face while Scott sat there and looked confused and sleepy.
Hope. How beautiful.
I have hope because I have a Savior that promises difficulty in this world but freely offers peace and joy. I have hope because I have been blessed with an amazing husband, and even if we never get to hold a child in our arms and call it ours, my life with him is enough. It is full, happy, and joyful. I have hope because I know next time the Lord leads me down the hard road I have learned He goes before me and beside me. I have hope because I can say thank you for the pain, grief, and struggles we have been through.
I have hope because of that tiny, precious heartbeat and I know what a wonderful, wonderful blessing that is. I am so thankful.
(J, I'm sure you'll read this is...I've been trying to email you for over a week to share our news but my email isn't working and won't let me send any outgoing messages. Thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement over the last few months.)