I’ve told you my husband and I are expecting our first child; what I have not told you is the story behind this miracle of ours.
On Sunday June 2, 2013 I found out I was pregnant. Excitement rushed over me and joy overflowed from my face. Despite my best attempts to keep it secret, a couple close friends and family members started guessing within hours because I was so completely happy. We had 24 hours of total happiness and celebration. But the next day, everything changed.
Due to some odd symptoms in April and a minor procedure that I had in May, we were unsure how far along I was in the pregnancy. I could have been a couple weeks or a couple months along. Since I was unsure how long I had been pregnant and was experiencing cramping, my doctor decided to see me the next day.
Monday afternoon I went to have an ultrasound and meet with my doctor. As my husband and I sat waiting for the moment when we would first see our little one on the ultrasound screen, our hearts were racing with anticipation. Within minutes, however, our hearts sunk and confusion set in… They could not find our sweet baby.
Blood work had verified that I was indeed pregnant. But the ultrasound tech found zero evidence of pregnancy. Her words were something along the lines of, “As far as I can see, you’re not pregnant.” Words no expecting mother wants to hear.
The nurse escorted us into the doctor’s personal office. We sat on his couch and tears streamed down my face. He began discussing with us his concerns about an ectopic pregnancy. He reassured us that it could have just been too early to see anything on the ultrasound, but said he wanted to run more tests to find out more. He told us all about HCG levels and how monitoring my blood work over 48 hours would help him to determine whether it was a healthy pregnancy or not, as well as give him a feel for how far along I actually was in the pregnancy.
We left his office and went to a nearby lab to have the first round of blood work drawn. After that, we had to go home and wait. I went home, took a midterm (did I mention this was in the middle of summer school?), and tried to stay calm.
The next day the phone rang. A nurse from my doctor’s office was on the other end. She asked how I was feeling, whether I was experiencing any bleeding, and informed me that my blood work suggested I was 6 or 7 weeks pregnant. “This means we should have been able to see something on the ultrasound yesterday,” she added. She instructed me to return to the lab first thing the next morning to have more blood taken and told me to be prepared to go to the ER if I started feeling worse.
My mom, who was with me at the time and knows my doctor and nurse personally, spoke with the nurse on the phone and asked the question I was too scared to ask: Does this mean you really think this is an ectopic pregnancy? The nurse said it was looking more and more that way, but that they would know more information after my next round of blood work.
My mom hung up the phone and prepared me for what would happen if it was an ectopic pregnancy. She was the rock and support that I needed so desperately in that moment. She cried with me but also assured me that, no matter the outcome, God would get me through it.
I walked upstairs and fell apart. Somewhere inside my body was our sweet baby. But I had no way of knowing whether I would ever have the privilege of meeting this precious child here on earth. In the hours and days that followed, I began writing letters to our sweet baby, singing to him/her, and soaking up whatever time I could connecting with our child.
Below are some excerpts from letters I wrote to our baby during those few days:
My precious child,
I don’t know how much more time we have together. The doctor is having trouble finding you. Wherever you are, please know that your mommy and daddy love you so very much. You brought us so much joy when we found out about you on Sunday. Whether it’s in this life or in heaven, I can’t wait to hold you in my arms and look into your precious eyes. I have always wanted you and that will never change. You are a blessing and a joy. You have changed me for the better and I will never be the same. Thank you for coming into my life. I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, no matter what happens, my baby you’ll be…
All my love,
Hello my sweet angel,
I am so excited to be your mommy. I have wanted you my entire life. Your life is so meaningful. Your story matters so much to me. I will do everything I can to love you, encourage you, and support you no matter what challenges you face in life. Nothing you could ever do would make me love you less. You are my child and I am so grateful to be your mother.
You know what’s even better than my love though? God’s love for you is everything you could ever need. He cherishes you so much. You were his baby before you were ever mine. And no matter what happens in this life, he is going to be the most wonderful father to you. He created your life and he knows exactly what is best for you, my sweet baby. He is holding you in his hand and he will never let you go.
Guess what else…Your daddy here on earth is pretty fantastic too. He wants you just as much as I do. You are going to love him. He’s going to teach you all about airplanes, so I hope you like them. Before I ever married him, I knew he was going to be the most amazing dad. He is so great with kids and he lights up when we talk about you and your future siblings. He will be there for you no matter what. That’s the kind of man your daddy is…loyal, trustworthy, and incredible. I can’t wait for you to meet him.
I know we’ve had a bit of a rocky start here. But nothing will ever change the fact that you are my baby, I am your mother, and my love for you will never go away. I pray that I will get to see you on the ultrasound today and that you will be right where you are supposed to be, healthy and growing. But if for any reason you are being called home to heaven, everything will still be OK. I would miss you more than anything and would be so sad. But I know that whenever your time comes for you to go to heaven, you are going to love it there. You won’t have to worry about pain or fear because you will be spending every day with the God who formed you and calls you his beloved child. So no matter what happens today, don’t be afraid my sweet one. Everything is going to be just fine. You have all the love in the world. So fear nothing, but look forward with excitement because God has great plans for you.
I returned to lab on Wednesday for more blood work.
At 8:30 Thursday morning the nurse called. She said my HCG levels had gone up and they should definitely be able to see something on the ultrasound so to come back and they would look one more time.
By this point, I had a few of my closest friends praying fervently on our sweet baby’s behalf. One of my dear friends, Gwen Seiler (founder of Northfield Ministries), sent me this text before I went in for my appointment:
“If it is the case, do not despair. God is in total control. Keep telling Him you trust Him to do what is best…what will bring Him glory and honor.” She also sent her love and promised to be praying alongside us.
Before going back for my ultrasound, I spent the morning on my knees, crying before God, begging him to work a miracle, but also surrendering our unborn child into his hands. My floor was soaked with tears but I couldn’t stop praying. I knew there was absolutely no way I could walk through this without Him. I could have stayed in that posture of prayer all day. It was the only time I felt total peace. When I was completely leaning on Him and surrendering the outcome and my child into His hands, that was the only time I could totally breathe. His peace washed over me and I began feeling stronger. I sang hymns for our sweet baby to hear and talked to him/her all about God, prayer, and heaven.
Lyrics from Matt Redman’s song 10,000 Reasons became my mantra for the day:
“The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning. It’s time to sing your song again. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, help me be singing when the evening comes. Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Worship his holy name.”
I replayed these lyrics in my mind whenever I felt anxious.
At 2:00, I returned for the ultrasound. My eyes swelled with tears as I waited for the ultrasound to begin. Minutes later, the screen turned on and right before my very eyes was our precious little baby. Right where an empty uterus had been seen on Monday, we now saw the most beautiful sight in the world. I exclaimed, “Is that my baby?!” The ultrasound tech assured me that everything was right where it was supposed to be and there was nothing to worry about.
Several weeks have passed since then and they now think the pregnancy was just too early those first couple days to be able to see anything. They are still trying to lock in a more accurate due date, but now it’s looking like I’ll reach my 11th week in a couple days.
Despite being a terrifying start to my first pregnancy, those few days taught me some valuable lessons.
For one, this experience reminded the importance of staying calm and not jumping to the worst conclusions before receiving all the information.
It also reminded me that nothing can compare to God’s peace. Even when the rest of life is unstable and feels like it’s falling apart, He remains steady and is the one thing that can never be taken away.
Mostly, it showed me how very much I already love this little baby and reminded me that every day is a gift. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. I still have until February until this little angel is due and I am well aware that complications could still arise, although I am praying constantly for a smooth and healthy pregnancy. But life is full of unknowns. What I do know is that right now, today I have a precious miraculous baby growing inside me and I am going to soak up every minute I have with this little angel. Life is a gift and even if our baby is only 10 ½ weeks old, his/her life matters greatly to me and that will never change.