A story of Shalom –

It’s been a week.

A week ago today, I went to the OB with every confidence in the world that I would see my sweet little babe nestled inside my womb, their heartbeat steady. Just two days prior I had been in to be seen for some spotting and while it took her a bit to find the embryo, we saw it. We saw that tiny heart beating. I was reassured and sent home with the words “keep doing what you are doing…things look optimistic”.

Early pregnancy is never easy. There is always that question if this one will be the one we bring home from the hospital. If this one will survive those first twelve weeks when everything is a gamble. They say miscarriage accounts for 12 percent of all viable pregnancies. For me, that percent rises to sixty. Of all five of my pregnancies, three of them have been lost before or right at nine weeks gestation.

Last Wednesday’s appointment was on a newer machine, with a well trained ultrasound technician. We made small talk of whether I was trying for boy three, as I waited with baited breath praying she would find the baby and that all would be well. She searched my uterus and came up empty. I lay there claiming life over this precious baby, claiming that it would be right where it needed to be (and just harder to find because babies at that age are tiny and often can hide).That’s when we saw it

Hope was there flicking away …

Baby had for whatever reason implanted not in my uterus but in my Fallopian tube. I had ovulated on my left side and somehow the egg crossed over to my right, because there the baby with that beautiful strong heartbeat was nestled.

Ectopic pregnancy is different than a miscarriage in that they pose a threat to both the mother and the baby. The baby doesn’t have a way out. Should it continue to grow, the fallopian tube will burst causing internal bleeding for the mother, which very likely would lead to her death. These pregnancies are rare, accounting for 10% of all viable pregnancies.

I am one in ten.

Phone calls were made. Covid tests taken. Surgery scheduled for the next morning.

I sat on my dear friends porch that evening stunned. Wondering why Lance and I were suddenly placed on this journey. We had already walked a long road of 11 months to get to where we were. Our first four babies were conceived the first try. Enter covid. My body no longer ovulates on it’s own and we struggled for eleven months to receive the sweet news that a wee one was on its way.

Why God…I don’t understand

We left the house at 6:15 the next morning in order that I may get to the surgeons office by 6:30. I changed into a robe that reveals all, answered approximately 252 questions and signed my life away (..the wager is still out whether buying a house or having surgery causes more paper work). A second doctor had to be brought in, because my OB who has been in practice for years and knows her stuff had never seen an ectopic like this one, leave it to me…

Turns out baby was right at the end of my tube and if it had only waited a little longer to implant our story would have been different. That sweet, steady heartbeat would have still been flicking away and hope wouldn’t have been lost.

Instead God had a different plan. A plan that might cause me to never be able to have another biological baby again. Yes, women go on to have healthy pregnancies after ectopics but with my cocktail of issues surrounding pregnancy the question hangs in the air.

Recovery has been hard. No one tells you, to expect basically a miscarriage (your uterus prepared for pregnancy and therefore has to expel its lining) after your surgery. It’s taken me a week to be able to move properly, and still I can’t do too much before I am exhausted and rendered to the couch to gain my strength back.

Shout out to Lance and our boys! Truly. These three men of mine have been amazing. The boys world turned on it’s side this last week and yet they have persevered. Matthew, my sweet Matthew who wants to be a big brother again so badly, who loves babies and has the most tender way about him. Whose watched all of mommies friends get pregnant this last year and wondered when it will be our turn. His sweet little soul. If not for any other reason, I am praying the Lord will bless our womb in months to come because that boy he is precious and “deserving”. Then there is Zachy. I am not sure his four year old little mind can really wrap around what is happening other than mommy has been sick. He doesn’t understand the ins and outs of life and death but he does know that when mommy looks sad coming up to me and smiling with all he is worth makes things alright again, if only for a little bit.

What a blessing these two sweet boys are to my momma heart in the midst of my grief.

And their daddy. If only everyone could have a husband so selfless and amazing as my man. He’s far from perfect (we all are…) we have our iron sharpening iron moments of marriage but the truth is that he is my very best friend and favorite human. He is a saint. I am so thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord and the way He provided me a man who goes above and beyond.

And then the friends and loved ones. When going through darkness, through the fire it becomes pretty obvious who your people are. Sadly, the opposite also rings true, there have been people who have caused further hurt in this time, but my focus today is on those who have poured life-giving water, quenching my souls thirst. We are so grateful for the ways the Church body has come together to bless us this last week. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate enough when such amazing people surround you and hold up your arms, but truly from the bottom of our hearts thank you.

Shalom, the sweet baby I long to hold, the baby who joined their two siblings in heaven a week ago tomorrow, a baby named for the opposite of what this roller coaster of a journey has been. I love you with all that I am. You are precious and momma’s heart takes courage and joy in the fact that when you first opened your eyes it was the face of Jesus you beheld. I have a hope that angels escorted you to heaven, just like Aunt Lahni prayed.

I don’t know what the next steps entail. I will be taking the next five months (the rest of 2022) to focus on my health. To focus on nourishing my body with healing foods and supplements and then if God gives us the green light in 2023 we will try again. The possibility of not ever being able to carry to full term is very real. It’s sobering to think about.

But what is more real and true than that is my God.

Even if…come what may…

God. He has a story for my family, He isn’t done with us yet.

Soli Deo Gloria

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