I named her “Baby Love,” because it was too early to tell if she would have been a boy or girl. I say “she” because that is my hunch, and I can’t stand “it” for a baby, no matter how small.
It was a Friday morning when the ultrasound showed no heartbeat and we began to wait. The doctor wanted to repeat the ultrasound after a week to confirm, but I knew. It was not like any of my other pregnancies to bounce back from the first trimester at ten weeks. So, for two weeks I considered it a blessing, but when the bleeding started, it was a heavy knowledge.
The waiting was such a strange place to be. The fifth-pregnancy belly that I had fondly laughed at still showed. The bulging veins still ached, but all the body of joyful anticipation was gone. How could I be pregnant and not pregnant at the same time?
We told the children right away because I am not good at hiding things, and walked with them through their various levels of understanding. “Will you still be pregnant?… Where is the baby now?… Will we have another baby?… Can I still sing to the baby?…”
That afternoon I lay on my bed silently wiping away tears, when Elodie crawled in beside me. As she chattered and played she kept sticking her doll under my shirt and saying, “Look, now there’s a baby in your belly!” Watching her play through her confusion brought comfort.
Praying was hard. I asked the Lord to help my body do what it needed to do quickly, but as I said the words, they were not what I wanted.
Looking back, those four days were a gift. When the moment came, I was physically prepared and my heart was surrendered. I spent two agonizing and beautiful hours with the Lord learning that when we are most broken He is closer than any person ever could be. “[His] strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). That strength carried me through the next few days when unconsciousness due to blood loss led me into the world of painful and confusing medical interventions. We will probably never know how much of that was necessary, but through it all there was peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:27
As a good friend who has grieved deep loss said to me, “Another part of our hearts reaching heaven first. We shall see them and get to hold them there in a moment.”