Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Will Carry You. . .

[A Chronicle of Life]

You were conceived in my soul just five weeks after the arrival of your brother. Lying on the sofa with Jonah’s tiny frame filling my arms, one dark and foggy postpartum day, the month of November surfaced in my spirit carrying the significance of new life, another pregnancy. I wrestled the idea, wondering if it was simply a deep-rooted fear toying with my psyche. The months rolled on and still November stood pronounced on the horizon. I grew more and more confident God had imparted this impression.

Anticipation began to build as November drew closer. In September, I sensed the movement of God overhead and his whisper (echoes of yesterday’s revelation) began to resonate within. . . “These lives I give, not to make a family, but to build my kingdom.” There was a weightiness about the breath of my children reiterated to me in those days. His timing was paramount and would undoubtedly shatter my agenda.

The end of September was much like the month prior to Jonah’s conception. . . a late period sparked curiosity surrounding the possibility of new life. I feared first, analyzing the timing, wondering if I had the strength and tenacity to nurture two so fresh from the womb. Then fear turned to faith and ultimately desire, but inevitably my period came. I cried. The sense of loss baffled my mind but felt so real to my heart.

October 8th my spirit was overcome with fight for life in love. . . and you were. I immediately sensed changes in my body- cravings, sensitivities and exhaustion, pronounced physical differences . . . I feared the building of hope for you knowing there was a possibility that you were not with me yet but still you filled my senses. You were on my mind everyday. I began to dream over you even then, before I had confirmation of your life.

Sunday, October 25th, I stopped by Walgreens to buy a pregnancy test on the way to your Mimi and Popi’s for lunch. I went straight to the bathroom when I arrived. A faint line appeared, but I wasn’t confident it was positive. I phoned a friend who assured me it was in fact positive. Your Dad left lunch early to lead worship for Restoration Church (before I had an opportunity to tell him about the possibility of you). On the way home (alone) I stopped to purchase a test with results that spelled the words pregnant/not pregnant. I needed confirmation. As soon as I arrived, I took the test, left it on the desk in the office to process and paced the hall. I stepped back in the office a few moments later to see the word “pregnant” . . . My heart swelled with excitement. My body grew numb. I screamed with joy and thanked God for you! I was immediately overwhelmed with images of life with you.

You were my promise and you had come!

I attended small group (typically held at our house but moved to the Singer’s at the last minute) with the knowledge of you, unable to breathe a word to anyone. Your Dad still didn’t know! He slipped in late after leading worship, and I was bursting with excitement, dying to tell him you were with us! We left that night in separate cars, stopped by the house to drop one off before driving to Donelson to pick your brother up at Mimi and Popi’s. I made a shirt for Jonah earlier that day. On it I wrote “Big Bro” with blue tape. I stuck it in a bag with the positive pregnancy test and gave it to your Dad. He asked me if I had gone on a shopping spree for Jonah. I smiled and said yes. He pulled out the tiny t-shirt and tears immediately filled his eyes. He stood, embraced me, laughed and together we celebrated the revelation of you!

The days subsequent were filled with conversations centered upon you, our curiosities about your gender, potential names, and the functional and practical adjustments we needed to make to accommodate you. We dreamt aloud about the close relationship that would inevitably evolve between you and Jonah. We were so anxious to see you together.

October 31st, Halloween, I experienced cramps that were more painful than those I remembered during first trimester with Jonah. They were alarming to me, but I tried not to dwell on them. That night, just after midnight (November 1st), I spotted for the first time. It was light pink and minimal, but it jolted my heart and took my breath. I screamed for your Dad. He looked at it and told me not to worry, that it was probably normal. His words didn’t ease my concern. Something felt wrong.

I couldn’t sleep that night. Thoughts of you swirled madly within. I felt desperate for you to remain with me. My hands held my belly with an ache to nurture you. Fear gripped me. . I felt you slipping. All I heard in my spirit was “He gives and takes away. Blessed be his name. . .” It echoed over and over.

The following day I had an appointment to confirm my pregnancy for insurance. The urine sample I gave returned negative. Pain pierced my heart like a knife. . . Was God really taking you from me? I remembered a negative test with Jonah and still he lived, so I left the doctors office purposing to maintain a resolve of faith. I felt my spirit fighting for life. Breathless, but fighting still.

The next morning (November 3rd) your Dad and I returned to the doctor for a sonogram. As soon as you appeared on the screen, I knew you weren’t ok, that you were slipping and would not remain with us. You measured only two weeks old, and I was confident of the day you were conceived. The tech attempted to ease our concerns, stating it was quite possible I ovulated later than expected, but her words did not meet me with peace. They drew my blood and sent me home, stating the results of the test were the only sure method of gauging your health.

I arrived home with a flicker of hope for you, but a feeling of loss that trumped it. I whispered to God to take you if it wasn’t his will for you to share our home. I felt desperate to know his intent over you. . . over us. Just hours later, at 3pm, you began to pass. . . The blood horrified me. Such pain washed over my body. . . You were gone. . .

I had to leave the house. I took Jonah to the park, pushed him in the stroller by the lake, and sobbed. I cried so hard I could barely breathe. . . the realization of the loss of you washed over me. . . the warmth of you would never fill my arms, your cries would never echo off our walls. I would never see your smile. . . never hear your laughter. . . On that walk every dream I had for you, of you, slipped away. . .

I wasn’t angry at God, not even for a moment. I trust his way. He is good. I will bless his name. . . He gave. He gave me you, in a form so unexpected, but significant still. You were but a vapor, not even a breath, but through you I received the beauty of God. His way is so much higher; I can’t even begin to conceive of his plan, but my spirit rests, knowing his purposes are unfolding just as planned. You were penned into my story with divine intent that exceeds the scope of my insight in these days. You are more than a fluke. More than a cluster of cells. More than an embryo. You are the gift of God, his grace to me.

The essence of you awakened me, my child. . . the slumbering depths of my soul, places numbed and lulled by time. I see God through the window of you. I receive him in this brokenness more profoundly than I did in peace.

The weightiness of divine intent looms over your absence. Your death will bring life. . . hope and healing. You live on in me.

I will carry you. . .


Michael, Adrian, and Cole said...

Oh Jess...I had no idea. I know the pain and emptiness you are feeling. Feelings of fear and hoplessness...

We too experienced many similar emotions one August afternoon in 2005. So many dreams, taken away in an instant. We saw a tiny frame - head, hands, and feet, but no heartbeat. We were devastated...grieving like never before. It was a very rare miscarriage, one that required months of bloodwork and office visits afterwards - but through it all, the Lord poured out His grace, faithfulness, and mercy...even when we couldn't feel it, we knew He was there.

I'm here if you need someone to listen or pray, taking comfort in the knowledge that our little ones are praising their Heavenly Father together in His Almighty presence. Until we see them again...

Anonymous said...

Much love and prayers for you and your family Jessica. I feel like your family is really a part of my own extended family.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica;
Even though we are not close by we gets updates from Allen and Amber.
We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your precious baby.
May the Lord give you comfort as only He can do.
Love in Christ;
Wanda Price

Anonymous said...

Hey Jessica...your Aunt Lisa Lester told me about your miscarriage and i jumped right on here to read your blog...you have some way with words...i felt every things you wrote as if it were me...and i am SO sorry...but what beautiful words and a wonderful outlook you have...knowing that God is God in all things. I will pray for you and your family.
I've never lost a child, so i can't relate...but i could imagine loosing one and well...it's a horrible feeling. Thanks for writing this and i pray that someone reads it in there time of pain...so that they can see your love and committment to God.

April (Thacker) Dupree

Jennifer MIllard said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. I love your words. Very real and beautiful. There is no image more glorious than the image of our heavenly father holding little angels in his arms til we arrive one day to see them for the first time. To have confidence in the fact that they were taken care of in a way we can never care for our own here on earth. How comforting. That the very hands that hold me each and every day, also hold those tiny souls who never breathe air for the first time. May God bless you, and stay near.