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3/19 Coping With the News

March 19, 2018 | 20 1/2 weeks

I woke up the morning after that ultrasound, and didn't even feel pregnant anymore. I didn't bother to take my prenatal vitamins. I barely drank any water. What was the point anymore, I thought? 

The grieving process had begun, and I just wanted to get this all over with and be on the other side. On the healing & moving-on-with-life side. From the way the doctor had talked about baby's condition and from the few case studies I had found, I thought it would be a matter of days, maybe a few weeks at most, before the full sting of death would hit, and in my heart and mind, I was living as if the baby was already dead.

But it all felt so wrong. My baby is not dead, and maybe my baby won't die after all. Maybe the doctors are mistaken. Maybe God will choose to heal the baby. As long as there is a heartbeat, there is life, and there is hope. 

King David was told that his baby would surely die. But his baby was born and even lived for a few days. The entire time that the baby was still alive and still had a heartbeat, David was still hopeful that the Lord might relent. David says, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’" (2 Samuel 12:22) My child is still alive & I want to honor this little Davies as a part of our family. 

Still, as long as the diagnosis stands, there is this torturous tension between life and death going on inside of me. I'm making preparations for a death, while still trying to honor this life within. 

We prepared for as much as we could think of. I made repeated phone calls to insurance, doctors & hospitals (I needed to transfer my care from midwife/home-birth to OB/hospital). I explained my situation over and over, asking what the next steps were for my prenatal care, birth, and post-birth. Again, I googled as much as I could, but it's hard to dig through all the forum threads, hunting for the information I was looking for. One of the best things I did was reach out to other moms that I personally knew who had had to say good-bye to a baby. The hardest question I had to ask was, "What do I do with the body?" Can you imagine handing over your baby's body, and then walking away knowing you will never see that precious face ever again? I can imagine everything except for that.

Moving forward, we are trying to focus on truly enjoying this baby. Enjoying every single moment we have with him/her. We involve the kids in our daily doppler listenings. Aaron and I each wrote a letter to baby and read them out loud to my bare belly. I often talk to baby in the shower. And as soon as I told the kids that baby has ears, they were all about talking to the baby, too. They love to come up and hug and pat my belly.

I even asked my kids if they want to come to the hospital and hold baby's body. They each said they would, and our littlest one, Lily, even said she will bring a hat and blanket for baby. We do plan on having a special blanket and hat that we'll bring to the hospital and put on baby. I want some of baby's skin cells to slough off onto that blanket and hat. I want to bring those items into our home and have baby's DNA with us in our daily lives. This baby is a human being, made in the image of God, with a unique DNA sequence. I want to remember that always. And I want my kids to remember that, too. 

Those first few days after hearing the news were full of ups and downs. "What were the ups?" Aaron asked me. "This has just been one hard thing after another." Yes, this has been hard. It's been a hard week. It's been a hard year of saying good-bye to our unborn babies. This will be now our third one in a row, and it has only gotten harder with each one. During those 9 days in between ultrasounds, we prayed, fasted at one point, & all out begged for healing, but the Lord did not choose to change baby's condition. That was hard, too. The path ahead will be even harder. But we've had a ton of support from family, friends, and church especially. I have received such an outpouring of love from everyone, so I really don't feel like I'm bearing this burden on my own. Still, this is a hard reality.

I want to cry, but I won't grieve
There's still a life inside of me

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