James 1:17 tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above”. We think of this verse when we find our spouse, when we find a job that meets our needs, or when God provides a place to live. However, there are times we must look deeper to see the blessing. Allow us to share with you a blessing we received from the Lord that came at great cost.
A few months back, Mark and I had the privilege of learning that we were expecting another child. We were nervous, and unsure about how we would handle this life change financially. We were, however, still very excited. We trusted that the Lord would provide what we needed, when we needed it! As the summer progressed and the fall began, we started to plan. We had seen our little miracle’s heart beating and saw it jumping on the ultrasound screen. We were looking forward to expanding our family.
Last week we hit the 19th week mark of the pregnancy. We were almost half way. I had begun to feel a little movement a few weeks back. More recently it seemed to have stopped. I was trying to remind myself that moms feel their babies at different times, and that it could take a little while to feel the baby on a regular basis. However, over the weekend I began experiencing some complications. Mark and I decided to go the ER to see what was going on. I think as humans we hope for the best and assume the worst. Needless to say, we were trusting God through it all. Sunday we learned that our little one no longer had a heartbeat. Nothing can prepare your heart to see your baby on a sonogram; A fully formed little person with no flickering beating heart. Mark and I began to fall apart the moment we saw a straight line crawling along the screen indicating there was no life, no heartbeat.
There were many decisions to be made in the hours following the dreadful news. Due to how far along we were, it was decided we would go to the hospital Monday to be monitored and induced :/. Our child’s gestational age was about 16.5 weeks. It is very unusual to lose a child at this point so on top of our grief we worried about the cause of such a late miscarriage.
Monday morning we headed into the hospital to begin the long process. We had heard it could take days to convince my body it was time to deliver the baby. God gave us a fantastic nurse. I was her only patient, and I felt so loved and cared for. I could not have asked for a better nurse/ friend to help carry me through such a hard process. As my body started reacting to the medication, I was very glad for pain meds. However, morphine apparently has no sway on me (a truly devastating revelation at the time). The pain was so very real; physically and emotionally. Forcing a body into labor that early is in no way God’s design! Labor was hard, but thankfully my body responded like it was supposed to, and in a very timely manner. Nothing could have prepared us for what came next; seeing our precious baby. For those who have ever wondered if a baby in the womb is really a baby…I have news for you! Even at 16 weeks, and in the midst of all our grief, we recognized the amazing handiwork of God. We saw our little ones head, hands, all 10 fingers, feet, toes, eyes, ears, nose, mouth…it was all there! God is amazing! He allowed us to have a little boy. We named him Noah Matthew. Noah meaning (rest, comfort) and Matthew meaning (gift of God). He truly is a gift! We cried like we had never cried before with him in our arms. Mark and I prayed and cried our hearts out to God, and then we said our goodbyes. Noah will always be a part of this family, and we miss him greatly!
We have learned so much through this process, and for us this journey is really just beginning. We are taking it one day at a time because that is the only way we’ll make it through. We are so grateful for our friends and family who having been lifting us up in prayer. Also for those who have been the hands and feet of Jesus. Thanks for visiting us, crying with us, and being there for us in our time of need. We most of all want to thank our Lord and Savior. Without Him we would not be able to deal with such great heartache. He gives us strength in the midst of pain, peace in the absence of understanding, and hope to carry on; His love knows no bounds!
After reading this post, surely some will wonder how this is a blessing at all? We consider this part of our life a blessing in many ways. These last couple of days we have heard from others who we never knew went through this same heartache, they have ministered to us. We have cried with strangers and family members alike. We have felt more cared for and embraced than ever before. Not only have we felt the love of others, but we have felt the love of each other. It served as a beautiful reminder of the power of a deep intimate marriage as we cried together and comforted one another. Our perspective has been irrevocably altered for the better, as a parent and as a servant of God.
But the one blessing we keep thanking God for is that He gave us a son! In the midst of this situation it would be very easy to only think of our loss, but we also celebrate the blessing of having a son, regardless of how short his life may have been. It is not for us to know who he would have become, but he was our son and we loved him dearly; and that was a great blessing indeed!