I adore the recent song Oceans by Hillsong. If you have not listened to it yet- Go Now! I will wait for you to come back…
The song is a beautiful song about faith and how God calls us to step out. He does not always just sit back and tell us to go and see what happens. He walks in front of you and extends his hand back to catch you.
In my 10 years as a wife, 8 years as a worship leader and 7 years as a mother, God has called my husband and I out on the water many times. Sometimes I go…and sometimes I don’t. Fear over takes me. Confusion grips. My feet fail.
When we decided to start our family, we had to trust God.
Our first pregnancy was such a great announcement. My In-Laws owned a UPS Store so we took a yellow onesie and painted the UPS logo on it with the words “I CAN DO BROWN”. They had just returned from the UPS University, so we gave them a gift bag with them thinking it was a congratulations for graduation.
The look on their faces when they opened the bag was priceless.
I will always remember that day.
My Father in Law said, “That’s Fantastic”, in the voice that we joked that he would use. My Mother In Law just squealed in delight and all around it was a beautiful day. I even remember my Father In Law asking if I could eat popcorn.
We decided early on that we did not want a hospital, so we went with a Birthing Center. My mother had me in a hospital and then said never again, and had my brother and sister at home. I was beside myself during the tour. Some of the women had been on fertility treatments and were 11 weeks or more along after getting the all clear and we were 6 weeks and giddy that we got pregnant so quickly. We went to an early ultrasound just because we were so excited to see our little baby, even though the Midwife on staff that day said they don’t normally do early ultrasounds but we could go if we want, so she gave us a referral.
And that’s when things changed.
The U/S tech was very bland and said there was nothing to see and either it was too early for a heartbeat, or the baby had quit growing. There really was no remorse or sadness for us to go off of, he was just matter of fact. I googled everything I could on wrong diagnoses and hopped for the best. We even had a second U/S as a favor from a friend. She too said she could not see anything.
But no one told us what to expect. And no one from the Birth Center followed up, so we went on as if things would be just fine and progress normally.
Almost 4 weeks went by as we waited for our next appointment at the Birthing Center. For my husband’s birthday, we were at his parents again and everyone was still so excited about our new addition, the first grand and great-grand baby.
Except I wasn’t anymore.
I tried to smile, but inside I knew that something was not right. And I stared having weak contractions which I was able to time at every 30 minutes. I knew that it wasn’t normal or natural and that nothing good would come out of it.
I went to bed that night and told my husband I was having some cramping. Late at night I started to bleed and was up for 1.5 hours bleeding out. When it finally subsided I went back to bed, and in the morning told my husband that I was sure we lost the baby that night after he asked how I was doing.
He told me never to feel alone during something like that again and we will always go through things together (He is my hero).
The next 24 hours ended in an ER run as I labored in miscarriage and had to get pain pills. At the ER a nurse actually asked if I was sure I was pregnant because there was nothing on the U/S. Angrily I told her, “of course there is nothing, I have been bleeding for hours on end.” Thankfully we went to a catholic hospital, so my baby (or blighted ovum) was buried and prayed over.
(This was me in my first maternity shirt, 7 days before we miscarried)
After that, it took us 13-14 months to get pregnant again. At the 12 month mark, we were considered “infertile” because we were under 30 years old. But then things got brighter after another positive test -finally.
Again the excitement! I made a card that said a line and a line = 2 lines and waited for my MIL to get it!She was so excited because surely it would be fine this time. This time we would bring our child into the world.
Only it wasn’t again. I started spotting a few days after the test turned positive. We went to the ER just to check and it was confirmed that I would miscarry. We went home and I cried and DH cried and we laid on the couch. My Pastor’s wife and a friend from church came to visit and pray for me. But it was bitter sweet, as she was 7 months pregnant with her child she wanted, asked her husband for and got on the first try. I was already bitter that she had gotten pregnant with her 4th after I was still trying for my 1st. I even asked God to let me get pregnant before her when she told us women she was asking her husband for another baby.
Bitter is not a good feeling when you are also mourning.
My husband asked why God keeps letting this happen and I told him I did not know, but it would be ok and we would have a family. He asked how I could be so sure it would be ok.
I will call upon Your name
We decided to just wait on starting our family. It had been a very long time since we started trying. Our original due date had come and gone. I waited for my next cycle to start so I could get my wisdom teeth pulled (you have to be on birth control or prove you are not pregnant).
I was pregnant the very next cycle without trying.
Now the fear was real. This time I was unsure if we should get happy or excited. There was no happiness this time, only apprehension.
My husband felt the same apprehension, and at 6.5 weeks (a week past when I miscarried last time) I made a call to a midwife that “went to church”…
*side note for home-birth moms, some of the midwives are very new-age hippy dippy earthy-mama. I wanted one that trusted in God alone*
We had a visit with her and she was amazing. After we talked awhile, my husband said he trusted me with her and we would like her to care for my maternity and labor; she said it had to be a God thing because normally she had back to back appointments, but that day she did not have one after my consult and we could start the first visit that day. She ordered blood work to see if my HCG levels would double or not and if my progesterone was high enough for the little life inside.
My test levels came back not so great. She said it was possible I would miscarry but she wanted to send me to a local OB for an ultrasound anyway. The OB was also wonderful and she said that tests do not always double, and that mine looked good enough.
I went alone. This time, I did not want my husband with me. I wanted to mourn alone because I was sure the news would be the same. I just wanted God with me.
So I prayed the entire time I was driving to the appointment. I prayed filling out the paperwork and prayed preparing to get on the table.
I closed my eyes when she started looking, preparing to keep the tears in when I got the bad news…
And keep my eyes above the waves
“I see a heartbeat!”
She turned the screen to me and for the first time, I was able to see the tiny little blip on the screen. No lifeless circle, but a blob with a beat. And I did cry- tears of joy. She said my risk of miscarriage dropped to 5% or less now. Those were good odds to me.
My soul will rest in your embrace- for I am yours
I bought valentines cards on my way home from there and put the ultrasound in it…and gave it to my in-laws. The celebration was still cautious. My first baby came from the 3rd pregnancy and we had to let our excitement grow with each month. And at 21 weeks when I felt her kick- I knew it would all be ok.
From there we had 2 more. We decided on a sibling and got pregnant the first month. When she was 18 months old, we had a little surprise and were blessed with our son who is now 2. Both of them we were able to see at 6 weeks on an ultrasound because I have “History of Miscarriage”.
There is nothing I can describe like seeing your baby blip on the screen
My midwife had taken a leave to be with her 8 year old twins, but came to my birth with Chloe too. I also got to birth with her partner, whom shares a birthday with Lily and I went to work for when Lily was 6 months old. She has become a very special person in our life and I am blessed to have shared these last 2 births with her. She even came to our housewarming party! The other midwives there that I had the chance to meet and get close to are amazing too and I talk about them in my birth stories above. If you are in the Austin area- go see them for your birth or well women care!
And You are mine.
And now, God is calling me out on the waters again…except I don’t know which direction.
I am having a hard time coming to terms with being done having babies. I have friends that are older than me that are still having theirs (even if they are #2 and #3). And my Brother- In-Law just had his first and probably only. I feel like we are still part of the pregnancy and nursery team.
And then I fear miscarriage if we try again… I don’t think I can explain that to my kids. I would have 3 in heaven and 3 on earth.
I have an equal desire to have one more; to have one more go with charting, due dates, bellies and yes, even labor and equally to start a new chapter; to watch them grow and not need me, to trade our Tahoe in on a smaller vehicle, to maintain this weight.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…
And my trust is in God no matter what the final decision is. If we decide to have a 4th child, I trust that God will be with us as He has been for the 2 we lost and the 3 we birthed at home. I trust He has a plan for us all and will give us strength and peace to do it all over again one.last.time.
And if my husband sticks to his guns and God removes my restlessness at not being pregnant anymore and no more nursing and warm baby smell, I will trust that He will take our family to great things. And I will be happy to homeschool and raise the 2 I have been given.
Since God made women emotional and the weaker vessel (1Pet 3:7) I know that my Husband’s decision will be the best for our family and I will trust it because I have seen God lead him our upon the waters. So as I sit here uncertain as I look at my beautiful kids, there is one thing I know for sure:
God never fails… And He won’t start now