Lord, Thy will be done. I can say this prayer and think I believe it with all my heart, but what happens when God’s will for us doesn’t bring joy to our lives? What happens when God’s will brings pain and heartache; when it brings questions that we may never have answers to? My story of pain and heartache is one that many women have faced unfortunately. But I have found in efforts to share my story, that it is not one that is spoken of often. It is a topic of conversation that is instead, spoken of in hushed voices and behind closed doors, that has made many women feel insecure, powerless, and broken. But instead of letting my story go untold, or to be speculated about, I want to share it here with you. It’s not easy, but it is healing for me.
My husband and I knew that when our first child turned one we wanted to start trying for another baby. We had talked about this for quite awhile, and knew that we wanted our children to be close in age. We found out about a month before our son Silas turned one that we would be going on a trip to Grand Cayman at the end of October, so after much discussion, we decided to wait until then to start trying for our second baby. It was a business trip and it was very important that we both were able to go and enjoy our time there, plus we figured a couple months would not make a huge difference. Little did we know that we were very much not in control of what was to come, and that a month or two might have changed everything for us.
After our much-enjoyed getaway, we of course started trying to get pregnant at the end of October. We have never been the sort of couple to really pay attention to cycles and ovulating. Pate and I like to leave the planning up to our Lord and Savior. We can plan all we want, but in the end He is sovereign. It took us a little bit longer to get pregnant this time, but by the beginning of March we had found out we were pregnant with our second child and we were so excited to tell our family and friends. We waited until Easter weekend to tell our immediate family (I was 5 weeks at this time). They were ecstatic and so pleased to be welcoming a new little one into the family.
As the weeks passed, we started to plan our lives around our new little one. As a second time mom, I wanted this pregnancy to be my best one yet! I know this might sound silly, and my first one was not a nightmare by any means, but as moms we all know that we want to give the best and be the best we can be for our children. I worked out every morning, but realized by about 5-6 weeks in that I couldn’t do my regular workout. I decided to scale it down to training on the elliptical for 20-30 mins each morning and doing 4 sets of 50 crunches. This also gave me time to read my Kindle while I was working out, and being an avid book reader I couldn’t pass that chance up! I also started watching what I was eating more. I tried to eat healthier and better-portioned meals.
I started to think about what I would need to start the process of, or things I wanted changed with my son before the new baby came along. To start off, I breastfed Silas for 15 wonderful months. After that he wanted to go to the bottle for milk feedings every morning and night. Unfortunately, we have not been able to successfully break him of this habit, but at the time I was determined to have him off bottles before the new baby came. In my mind, having two children drinking out of bottles would just be a disaster. I also wanted to have Silas mostly potty trained by the time the new baby came along and saw that as a project we needed to take on. Lastly I wanted to have our spare bedroom cleaned out and remodeled to move Silas into, so that the new baby could have his room in the front of the house and closer to our bedroom. So many things evolved around our new child that was to be born at the end of November.
At 6-7 weeks, I had some abdominal pains that were concerning. I called my doctor and they said we could try to do an early ultrasound to make sure that everything was going as planned. My husband and I went to this ultrasound with high hopes, and we weren’t all that worried. We knew that our child’s life was in God’s hands and He was in control. Everything went great at the ultrasound. The nurse was unable to see anything but the sac since it was so early in the pregnancy, but she said that everything looked good, and that the baby had not attached outside the uterus, which is what they were afraid of.
After that everything went back to normal and I stopped having pains as far as I remember. At week 9 we went in for our first doctors appointment and second ultrasound. We opted to do another ultrasound at this point, since we couldn’t see much with the first one and we wanted to see the heartbeat. Again everything was great, we saw our sweet baby and it’s beating heart! We were on track to deliver by c-section in November.
On May 21st we embarked on a family trip to Orange Beach, Alabama. My parents and my sister along with her husband and two children were all going with us. We were very excited for this trip. It was our longest drive with Silas that we had done so far, but he ended up doing very well. When we got there we spent 3 great days on the beach. We had a blast with all the kids and they were getting used to the ocean and braver every day.
I was now just over 13 weeks along and we planned to announce our pregnancy while we were on vacation. We thought it would be fun to take some announcement pictures on the beach, and also a good chance to get some good shots of us as a family of three. On the night of May 24th we took our pictures, and honestly it was a disaster! The wind was blowing, my hair was not staying curled due to humidity, and Silas was hungry and upset. We finally got a couple shots that we thought would be okay and rushed off to dinner with my parents. When we got back from dinner, Pate quickly went through the photos to edit them and we posted our announcement that we would be adding another bundle of joy to our family on November 28th.
Minutes after we had posted this to the public, I started cramping. Moments later, while using the restroom, I had some mild bleeding. I will say here that I had been spotting some for a few days, but it was never enough to make me worry at that time. I had heard that spotting could be a normal occurrence in early pregnancy. I was worried about it this time though, because it was quite a bit more blood, but definitely not enough to be a miscarriage. I was confused, upset and at a loss of what to do, but with all of these terrible feelings, I could not lose hope that everything would be okay. That night when we went to bed, I told Pate everything that had happened and he held me while I wept and he prayed fervently for the safety and health of the small life inside of me.
This is only the beginning to our journey. Even though I was scared and upset, we had so much hope and faith at this point that Jesus would put a shield of protection around our baby. We wanted to believe so badly that everything would be okay, but as I said before, unfortunately His will doesn’t always bring us joy.
Note: This topic will be continued in a later post.