July 12, 2010

Even in the Shadows...

I will praise you, Lord!

"For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb."  Psalm 139:13

This morning doctors confirmed what I've known for some time but could not bring my heart to believe.  Our eleven week unborn baby has died.  Tomorrow they will perform surgery to prevent further complications.  After seven healthy babies, my husband reminded me of how much we all took for granted that this one, too, will join us at the family table for hours of laughter.  We praised God when each of them were born.  We praised God when we found out this one was on the way.  And today we struggle to praise Him through the valley.

"...the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."  Job 1:21

Even before the doctor came to see us, the Lord sent comfort to me.  As I left the rest room at the doctor's office, a nurse that has seen us through four babies stopped me and with tears running down her face put her arms around me and told me it would be okay.  And I know it will.  My God is still as powerful as He was the moment He created this life.

I was disappointed when the secretary told me I would be seeing the doctor I don't really care for much.  Yet, God knew it and paved the way.  Yes, He is worthy of the praise!  This doctor who I have always avoided, treated us with such care and kindness, compassion and tenderness.  He comforted, reassured and encouraged.  Thank you Lord for preparing the heart of Dr. C. to minister to us.

In these last weeks of turmoil and heart break, I have not shed a tear.  Something quite surprising since I have cried at everything since the moment I found out I was pregnant. After seeing the sonogram, the first thing that came to mind was the pain the children would feel when they heard this news after suffering so much loss in the last few weeks.  Then the tears flowed freely.  Lord, I praise you for tears that cleanse our aching hearts. 

Lord, I praise you for the the office assistant who had to handle the details.  The perfect stranger.  The mother who has been in my place.  Who so eagerly offered us comfort and encouragement.

When we left the doctor's office the beautiful sunny day, had turned overcast and gray, a suiting analogy for our hearts.  As we often do in moments when we are unsure of what else to do, Allen and I just drove.  We took the back roads all around town way out  to the country where he grew up.  I don't even know if Allen noticed or not.  I couldn't help think of how we always return to our child hood in times of pain.

The entire ride back to town, all I could think of was how to make it real for the children.  How do you bring closure to something so intangible?  The image of the tiny dollhouse baby in the cradle the children placed on our dining room table came back to my mind over and over.

It is funny how your mind works in times of grief.  As all the thoughts are flying through my head, torn between going home to the comfort of my family and prolonging the pain of ripping their hearts apart,  we stopped for a light and I looked down at the sonogram picture on my lap.  On the wall in our living room hang the yearly photos of our children.  A few weeks ago, after the photo shoot with my friend Susan, I updated all of them for this year.  On Tuesday, the girls and I were at Joanne's and bought new frames. Brianna suggested getting one for adding "Gussie's" picture when he was born so that he would match everyone else.  They only had four frames in the style I wanted so we planned to come back next week when they restocked.  Sitting at that light and looking at the picture, all I could think about was that "Gussie" would never be in a frame on the wall with the children.  The big debate of whether he would go on the boys' side or the girls' side would not be settled until we were in Heaven and it no longer mattered.  All of a sudden it was the most important thing in the world that I get a picture frame to match the other children.

Silly, eh?  Again, though, it proved that God was leading the way.  When we finally made our way home, with picture frame in hand, it was that picture that brought it all home to a place the children could understand.    They immediately decided that "Gussie" should hang above the door that separates the boys' pictures from the girls' since we won't know this side of Heaven where to put him.  They found comfort in such a small item yet knowing that in a small way their baby would be part of our family here on earth.

It was decided that to create closure we would plant a tree.  Emma replaced the dollhouse "Gussie" with a much smaller version, closer to the size that he would have been when he died.  She asked to bury the doll beneath the tree and someone else suggested a memorial plague.  How amazing is our God?  My greatest worry at this point was how to help the children through this, and they figured it all out themselves!

We held each other together for a long time as we wept and prayed.

Then we praised God.

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."  Psalm 28:7


  1. Ohh no. :( Sending our love and sincere prayers. Your words of strength are beautiful. I hope you can continue to rest in the comfort of our good God and your amazing family. <3

  2. Blessings and prayers to you and your family during this time. God will continue to carry you through. Thank you for sharing so we can pray for you.

  3. so sorry to hear. you and your family are in our thot's and prayers!

    i again marvel at your spirit and attitude during these hard/trying moments. yet, we know we are not alone. so thankful for the strength on our side.

    hugs to you dear blogging friend!

  4. dear In the Shadows,

    This has never been my experience, but my heart goes out to you in yours.

    The words of a favorite hymn come to mind:
    "though by the mist and the shadows, sometimes my sky may be dim, Rich are the moments of blessing spent in communion with Him.
    Ever, He walketh beside me, Brightly His sunshine appears...
    Spreading a beautiful rainbow, over the valley of tears."

    Looking to His promises through every experience of life

  5. My heart is breaking for you. :( I will definitely keep you in my prayers.

    In Christ,
    Lizzy Rose

  6. Praying for your family. Grieving with you and praising Him with you.

    Rejoicing that your children know that their Heavenly Father is caring for their sibling until they meet.

    Asking Him to heal you and comfort you and guide your steps.

    Blessed be the name of the Lord.

  7. Praying for you... crying with you... so very sorry for your loss.

  8. I didn't imagine that I would be here twice in one day, but when I read the title I knew I had to come make sure everything was ok.

    My heart breaks for you all during this time. I marvel at your spirit and the spirit of your sweet family. Keep strong and lean on the ONE that holds the strength and the comfort to get through this time.

    Praying for your family.

  9. Lifting you up sweet friend.
    May the God of comfort continue to minister to you and to your family..

    With much love and prayers!!

  10. You are blessed with so much love in your life. I'm praying for continued peace as you grieve through this. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  11. So very sorry for you loss. So encouraged by your beautiful words of praise and your sweet family's memorial.

  12. So very sorry for you loss. So encouraged by your beautiful words of praise and your sweet family's memorial.

  13. Carrie and I were very saddened to hear of your loss. We had a scare with the twins ourselves at 12 weeks. Our thoughts are with you and your famiily.

  14. I am so sorry for your loss.

  15. We lost a little girl half-way through the pregnancy - 4 1/2 months. We went for the check up and no heart beat! We didn't know it was a little girl then - the only little girl we would ever have. We called her Gracie when we found out. There's still an empty space. The son born after her used to tell others about his sister in heaven - that is the one thing that gives me comfort - is that one day, I will be able to take her hand, to hug her. And she won't go through the terrible teens, she won't ever say, "I don't love you." Jesse Duplantis in his sermon "Trip to Heaven " (I think Part 2 on Youtube) talks about our babies in heaven - I brought me so much comfort.

    The nurses sat my husband down before we left the hospital and gave him a huge lecture about watching my behavior around her due date - loss of appetite, depression - and, yes, one day, I cried deeply, past the bottoms of my toes to the the bottom of my soul. Someone explained to me later that I experienced, "trevail" where the Holy Spirit grieved through me.

    I think the hardest part is that we never got to hold her. And, because of that, people do not respond, support or wrap their arms around you like they do if it's an actual delivery with a baby to hold.

    I pray that you have peaceful sleep and restful dreams. I pray that God replaces the feeling of loss with a contented quiet waiting for that reunion at the end of your journey (in, oh, hopefully 75+ years). And, I pray that you continue to feel God's arms wrap around you when you feel like sagging into a puddle grief - and know that it is o.k. to feel that way.

    I am so sorry; my heart grieves with you!