It was mid December and the stockings had been “hung by the chimney with care”. In anticipation of having a “little one” in the house again, I had purchased a few new Christmas decorations that I thought we would enjoy in the years to come. One of my favorite items was a candy cane chalkboard. I wrote “Happy Birthday Jesus” and included a Christmas countdown. I had never been one to use a Christmas countdown before. It was probably more for counting down the pregnancy than days to Christmas. We were just one week from finding out if we were going to have a boy or a girl. I was starting to get excited and ready to begin planning for the baby after Christmas.
It was December 11, 2013 and I was almost 20 weeks pregnant. As I was getting ready for work, I noticed a few symptoms that could pose a reason for concern with pregnancy. As soon as the doctors office opened, I immediately called to speak with the nurse.
Since my symptoms were so minimal, initially the doctor suggested that I monitor things for a day or so. However, after additional discussion with a nurse (who is also a friend) at this same practice it was decided that it might be a good idea if I came in for an ultra sound. This would hopefully give me peace of mind. As we arrived at the doctors office that day, I remember having complete peace. I was actually more focused on the fact we were about to find out if we were going to have a boy or a girl a week early!
As the ultra sound began, it did not take but a few moments to realize that something was wrong. The ultra sound technician was moving the wand so quickly it was hard to see anything. She said “I’m sorry, I cannot seem to get a good look at the baby.” As any expecting mama, my eyes were scanning the screen looking for the heartbeat. If I could just hear the thump, thump, thump of the precious little heartbeat, I would breath a sigh of relief. There was complete silence in the room. I finally said, “There is no heartbeat, is there?” She looked at me and said, “Let me go get the doctor.” I looked over at Scott with my eyes full of water and he nervously said while shaking his head, “Wait…just wait.”
The doctor came in and confirmed what already was apparent. I still tear up as I remember this moment. The compassion extended from the doctor and ultra sound technician was so sincere. My friend who I had talked to earlier, came into the room. We hugged and both wept.
As we were waiting for details on what we should do next my friend stayed with us. She had just walked through a similar situation. She was able to graciously minister to us and provide insight on what we should expect. I love how God places people in our midst at the right time.
Scott was starting to feel faint and had to lay down a minute. We were actually able to sneak a moment of laughter through the tears as my friend “fanned” him while he laid down on the table with the stirrups . If you know him, then you know that he had worked as a first responder for nearly 20 years. He is trained to handle the unexpected. However, this was a little more than we both had bargained for. After he drank a sprite, we determined this HAD to be related to his blood sugar. He had ate Fruity Pebbles that morning and his blood sugar probably dropped. (There you go honey, you have your “man card” back ).
Since I was nearly 20 weeks pregnant, the safest option would be for me to be induced into labor and to deliver the baby. I told the doctor, “I don’t know nothing about birthin’ no babies. I have C-Sections.” He reassured me that this was indeed the safest way but the most emotional. Also due to the size of the baby, this should not pose any additional health risk. Before I consented on moving ahead, my mommy heart had to ask one more time, “Are you 100 percent sure?” He nodded and said, “Yes, I am so sorry.” We sat there a few moments in silence.
We were scheduled to arrive around 7:30 pm at the hospital. As we went through admissions and were sent to the baby floor of the hospital, I could not help but to be a little angry and embarrassed. I was admitted into the hospital with the diagnosis code of “Fetal demise.” It felt like everyone knew why I was there. How horrible.
I felt like a failure as a mommy. Why did this happen? Was I too stressed out? Was I too old?
As we walked into my hospital room, I had two empathic nurses waiting on my arrival. They were so loving and incredibly compassionate. I remember asking how many of these type of cases they see. They responded with around 1-2 a month.
My labor progressed very quickly. As night turned into dawn, the baby was delivered. Scott was standing by my bed holding my hand. The room was lit very dimly. It was very quiet and somber.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:21
We finally found out that the baby was another BOY! We had already discussed baby names. We knew that we wanted a strong biblical name especially if it was a boy. We both liked the name Abraham. It was mostly because of the meaning of the name. What mama would not want their child to be the “father of many” in a spiritual sense? What a high calling!
Abraham meaning “The father of many.” We would call him Abe. Baby Abe.
I did not realize all the decisions this time would entail. Now on the other side of this, I would have done a few things differently. However, I am so thankful for the pictures the hospital had taken of baby Abe. While they are very difficult to look at they also bring closure and healing. I will share more about that later. Pictured to the right is one of my favorite pictures. It shows the size of his foot in comparison with an adult finger in gloves.
“There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.”
Today is exactly one year to the day. The stockings have been “hung by the chimney with care” and I once again added something new. This time it is a small blue stocking. With the Christmas season in full swing the countdown can continue exactly where it left off last year.
Right before all of this happened, I had began a new project called “Real Woman Stories”. I had plenty of stories and I knew many people that did. I really was not sure what this was all about but I love following the Call of Jesus on new adventures. Little did I know, I had to live and walk through a time that would bring grief and loss to a totally different level than I had ever experienced before.
That said, I would like to invite you, the reader, to a FREE kickoff event in the parlor at Travelers Rest United Methodist Church on January 24, 2015 at 6:30 pm. I can’t tell you how much it will mean to me to see you there. This is a project I have tried to get out of. The confirmations surrounding this project and the sense of urgency beckons me to finish. Visit the website below and send me an email! I would love to know if you or ladies group can come.
I will be sharing more of my story and struggles I faced during the past year. I will be joined by other women who have walked some very difficult paths. They are willing to share some of the darkest times of their lives because they have learned that healing will come when you find purpose in your pain. Even if you think it is too late and there is no way your story will have a good ending there is a message for you! Don’t miss it!
We all have a story! What are you going to do with your story?
Baby Abe Part III
“Because of her story many believed”. John 4:39