Let me start out with a little background. Josh and I have been married for over seven years. We were blessed unexpectedly with twins about a year-and-a-half after we were married. I was twenty-two years old, and to be frank, incredibly naive about what a miracle getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby, much less two, actually was. I never worried about miscarriage or loss, and looking back I completely took for granted that my babies would be born healthy. I do believe I even complained about swollen ankles and lack of sleep for about a 38 weeks straight. If I could go back and slap my former self, I would. That's what loss does to you, it makes you envious of the naivety of others. Angry at the gall some women have, to actually complain about the miracle occuring inside them. But...I was once one of those women, and I certainly didn't intend to be that way, nor do I judge pregnant women who utter understandable complaints now and then, but when I think of the times I whined and moaned about stretch marks, I literally cringe with embarrassment and regret.
To our great joy, my twins, a wide-eyed baby girl and a cherub-faced baby boy, were born totally healthy, weighing in at seven pounds, one ounce each, and completely perfect in every conceivable way.
Fast forward about five years...to make a veeeeery long story short, Josh and I had been through some stuff, big hard stuff that forever changed our marriage and ourselves, but stuff that God was able to use to strengthen our commitment to each other and our faith in Him. We renewed our vows in April of 2010, with J* and E* there to be a part of it.
Those two children bring us more joy and laughter than I ever thought possible, and I absolutely adore being their mother to the very core of my being. Josh and I knew we wanted to have another baby and (being the naive woman that I still was) I knew it wouldn't be that hard or take very much trying really, considering how easily (and let's face it accidentally ) I got pregnant with the twins.
Lo and behold, one month later I was pregnant! Easy peezy lemon squeezy, as E* so eloquently puts it. We were so excited! And I have to tell you, it felt so good to actually be excited about being pregnant instead of terrified! I told Josh I was pregnant by writing "#3 is on the way" on a three of hearts in the deck of cards we were playing rummy with one evening, and when I dealt him that particular card he stared at it and said, "Wow that was fast!"
We were going to wait to tell our families until my 14th week, not because I thought anything would happen (naive, remember?) but because my 14th week happened to fall on Jake and Eisley's fifth birthday, and how perfect would it be to announce it to our families than having the kids open up adorable Big Brother/Big Sister shirts?!? Perfect.
Ten weeks later, I found myself staring at an operating room ceilling while tears poured out of my eyes, and that naivety I've been talking about? Gone forever.
After our miscarriage, we were devastated. We had been convinced it would be a girl and we were going to name her Gracie. Her very creation was a demonstration of God's Grace, and we thought it fitting. We still refer to her as Gracie.
And now one child of mine was waiting for me in Heaven.
It took us six months before we even considered the thought of trying again, it was so painful a loss for us. One consideration later, I found myself pregnant again. Much more cautious this time, I told Josh by whispering it to him when he was half asleep at one o'clock in the morning. Ohhhh how I prayed for that baby! I was terrified of losing it. The moment I saw the stick turn pink I got down on my knees (literally) on the bathroom floor and begged Jesus to take care of this baby.
We told everyone we knew almost immediately because we so desperately wanted their prayers. I was a wreck. I vowed to never ever utter even one complaint about my incessant morning sickness and rapidly expanding waist. After the first trimester passed, I finally let out the breath I had been holding for twelve weeks. I had made it! Phew! Everything was fine, and I could finally enjoy my pregnancy.
I adored being pregnant! I took pictures of my belly every month and loved getting fatter and nearly cried with joy every time E* would sing her special lullaby to the baby. We took them to our ultrasound and found out it was a girl! We were ecstatic, all four of us, and that was just one of the best times of my life. J* and E* were so excited and we couldn't wait for them to meet her. If you are one of the lucky ones who got to watch E* announce she was having a sister on facebook, you understand how very excited we all were.
Josh came with me, though he nearly didn't, to a routine ultrasound to check baby girl's growth. The moment the tech put the probe on my belly, I knew. There was no flicker, no movement, nothing. The tech told me she was so sorry, but she didn't see a heartbeat. My perfectly normal, healthy baby girl had just stopped living...just stopped. No explanation (at that time), nothing I could do. It was just...over.
The next two days were a living nightmare filled with pain from the inside out. It was painful telling our children that their baby sister had died, even though they literally prayed she wouldn't die every single night (there is nothing as awful as watching your child question their child-like faith). It was painful calling our families and friends, painful knowing I had a baby inside me that was no longer alive, and though it seemed incredibly unfair, it was extremely physically painful being induced to give birth when my body did not understand why.
Lily Grace was born sleeping on Father's Day, tiny but perfectly perfect. She had gotten tangled up in her umbilical cord which we learned had caused her death. She had features that reminded us so much of her brother and sister, and we were so blessed to get to spend time holding her, singing to her, praying with her, and introducing her to our family. We have some beautiful pictures and memories of our time with Lily, and though she was with us for such a short time, she left a mark on this world and on many people's hearts that will not soon be forgotten. I know I will never live another day without thinking about her and missing her. I will not understand God's reasons this side of Heaven, but the peace He gave us in that delivery room and in the months that followed only strengthened my belief that He is right here with me, every moment.
And another one of my babies was waiting in Heaven for me.
This loss was different. We had an actual little body, so we needed an actual funeral and there was a much more public grieving process. We have never been more aware of how blessed we are by so many family and friends than after we lost Lily. Our support system is unbelievable, and I am so thankful for it!
(Copyright Naomi Fugit Photography)
We were told to wait three months to try again, and that we did. Without discussing it or even venturing to hope that things would be okay, we got pregnant again. And before we could say faith, the Lord took that baby too.
And another one of my babies is waiting in Heaven for me.
So...here we are. We have thought about adoption in the past, not ever had a serious conversation about it really, but after three losses and the desire to grow our family still strong, we were at a crossroads. When I was still pregnant with this last little one, God had actually brought someone into our lives that straight up asked us the question: "Would you ever consider adoption?" And even though it made absolutely NO SENSE considering I was PREGNANT at the time, for some reason I could not get it off my mind!
Surely the best thing I could do at that moment was tell Josh the situation and my thoughts, as I knew he would immediately shut me down and jerk me back to reality with a stern, "You're pregnant woman! Stop talking crazy!" But lo and behold...he didn't!!! He was completely open to it, and even though it made no sense to either of us, we agreed to do some serious praying about it. Which we did. And God kept tugging at my heart. Whispering. Adoption. Adoption. Adoption. This door was just open a crack, not wide enough to walk through, but there.
After our third loss, it was as if God swung that creaking door wide open and said, "Walk!" So here we are.
We feel confident of only one thing, that God has told us to take the first step. It might not make a lot of sense and we certainly don't know what we are doing or where we are going, but our desire is to follow Him. To glorify Him with our obedience, and, to be completely honest, add a new little one to our family that we can love and cherish and kiss and snuggle and raise up to love our Lord as much as we do.
If you are reading this blog, you are pretty lucky, because you get to be a part of our journey from the very beginning. And I have a feeling that God is going to do some pretty awesome things along the way.
We are asking for prayer, lots and lots of it, and for your support and love as we start this walk of faith towards our child that I just know is out there.