The summer of 2013 would change our lives forever, but we had no idea of that at the time. We got the answer we’ve been waiting for and were now witnesses to life growing inside me. Although much of the fear I had in the beginning had passed, parts of it still lingered. We became more confident in telling people we were expecting and were looking forward to moving passed the first trimester sickness and basking in second trimester joy. That joy would be short-lived. This is the story of the season our pregnancy took an unexpected turn that stopped us dead in our tracks.
First Trimester Worries
As thrilled as we were to be expecting, I was always given reminders of the past. The emotional process I went through two years prior to this was making being pregnant more worrisome that joyful, throwing up constantly didn’t help either. I was sicker this time around than when I was pregnant with my son. The mere smell of food made me retreat to my room every night for a good month, but I was willing to put up with it because I was finally pregnant.
When at last the sickness of the first trimester began to fade away, I began enjoying the pregnancy. I couldn’t wait to start sporting my pregnant belly. It wouldn’t be long until we would find out if we were having a boy or a girl.
Second Trimester Woes
Although we became more comfortable telling people about our pregnancy, my fear still crept in. I kept hearing and seeing stories about women who lost their babies in the second trimester and it gave me great sadness and a bit of panic to think about the possibility that might happen to us. I heard it happened to a friend I was once very close to and that’s when the fear became far too real. The sadness I felt for my friend who I haven’t connected with in a while quickly turned into a heavy woe for the better part of an hour. After that, glimpses of stories like that would pop in and out of my view almost as if they were preparing me for what was to come.
I did my best to shake off those woes and talk myself into thinking that fear was just trying to overtake me again. Fear subsided once again and we were looking forward to our 18 week ultrasound where we would find out if we were having a boy or a girl.
This was supposed to be our favorite part, seeing the face, feet, hands, heartbeat. It started out very routine with the warm gel on my belly, then the ultrasound tech began taking a look and asking me questions. She looked for what seemed like only a second and then asked when I would be seeing the doctor next. I told her it wasn’t for another month after this appointment. This seemed to bother her and she pulled the doctor in right away after that. I thought the ultrasound tech did that as a courtesy to us so the doctor could reassure us that everything on the ultrasound looked okay. Today I know that if a doctor has to sit in on your ultrasound, it’s probably not a good thing.
News That Stopped Time
There was no sugar-coating anything once the doctor came in and we were all looking at the baby on the ultrasound screen. Something was very wrong. In fact, it wasn’t just one thing that was wrong, lots of things were wrong. So much so that there wasn’t one thing they could tell us that was right with the baby. Not one thing. The word abnormality came out of the doctors mouth over and over again, it echoed in my ears. If it was just one thing that was wrong, it might be fixable after birth, but there were things on top of things on top of other things. Long story short, after seeing all the things that were wrong, the doctor said our baby wasn’t going to survive a full term pregnancy.
We were silent with shock.
This wasn’t what we came in for. They were supposed to tell us if we were having a boy or a girl, not this, not now, not again.
The doctor gave us the initial prognosis – not good. Those were her exact words. They cleared out the room to give us a moment to process what had just happened before moving us somewhere else. With the room to ourselves I wept in my husband’s arms for the second time in two years over the same thing, losing our baby. Except for my crying everything was silent, the room was dim, we just heard the news that stopped time. We didn’t know what else to do…so we prayed. Prayed for understanding, prayed for hope, prayed for peace, prayed for a miracle.
By the time we were in a different room waiting to hear from the doctor again, we were both numb. Before she came in to consult with us about next steps, the one thing I kept hearing in my mind was ask people to pray for us. We needed prayer in a big way and I never felt the urge to ask for it like I did this day. I was thirsty for prayer. I sent text after text to the people I called prayer warriors. Our prayer warriors were the people who would send up the prayers that we couldn’t ourselves. They would bang on the gates of heaven and hopefully make enough noise in protest for us that God would hear our cry and change the outcome with the snap of His fingers. This was the text I sent out:
Urgent Prayer Request:
Just had 18 week ultrasound and they found lots of abnormalities. Prognosis is not good. We will be meeting with other doctors to find out more, but we need major prayers from our prayer warriors. Heartbroken but prayerfully seeking.
This wasn’t the news we went in expecting to hear, not by a long shot. Just like that we were back to square one. For the rest of that day I kept thinking if I pray hard enough maybe God would give us a miracle. Maybe if I ask enough people to pray for us, God will give us a miracle. I knew that He could do it. If anyone can make these abnormalities go away after 48 hours, it’s Him. I was desperate. Desperate for prayer and desperate for a miracle. This happened on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 – a day I won’t soon forget. This was the day I clung to God unlike any other time in my life.
For the next two days I would yank at God’s pant leg begging for the miracle I was desperate for – the hardest, saddest, most prayer filled days I’ve walked through. I pulled God with me every minute of the day hoping He would see how serious I was about him miraculously healing our baby. When researching things online, reading scripture, journaling my plea to God, I was determined to steer Him in the direction we wanted to go. I wasn’t ready for this unexpected turn!
I had no idea what God was preparing me for. He was getting ready to show me something that would knock my socks off. He was sending us on the detour of a lifetime. I needed to let Him steer, but I didn’t know it then. I needed to get through the next two days until our appointment with the specialist.