Adventures with Heather

Monday, August 9, 2010

Story of Trust- The Beginning

A Story of Trust- The Beginning

My husband Brett and I found out we were pregnant in early 2008. We were as happy as could be being pregnant with our first child, dreaming and making plans for the future. I changed all of my bad eating habits, stopped drinking coffee, and pretty much did everything I could to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

We had our first ultrasound and everything looked great so we started telling friends and got a few baby things like a really cool crib set that was gender neutral. My mom even got us some cute little baby outfits and bibs. Everything felt certain…Life was wonderful and new.

One Thursday night I had a terrible dream. I dreamed I was in a dingy bathroom and Brett came in and I told him I was miscarrying, and to call the doctor right away. He called the doctor, but she was out of town. A huge angry rat came out of nowhere and started attacking us. I woke up from the dream and prayed and told Brett about it.

It was Friday, and that day at work I noticed some spotting (bleeding), remembering my dream from the night before, I called the doctor right away. She got me in for an ultrasound that day. She said that she wasn’t seeing any progression from the last ultrasound and didn’t see a heartbeat, but that it didn’t mean I was miscarrying either. She also told us she was GOING OUT OF TOWN and that we wouldn’t be able to get a hold of her, but if I felt any pain or increased bleeding to go straight to the hospital. I felt like the dream from the night before was a warning or preparation for us to know what to do and what to expect, but also that we were entering an ugly battle.

In the next day the pain started, and the bleeding worsened. I woke Brett up at 2am Easter Sunday morning in extreme pain and he sat with me massaging my legs and praying for me. I was crying the pain was so bad, so we called the on call doctor and she told us to go to the ER.
We spent Easter Sunday in the ER. They gave me pain meds, which helped a lot and the doctor did a pelvic exam to see if I was miscarrying. Sure enough my cervix was open and they were very certain I was in fact miscarrying. I cried. I was devastated. What did I do wrong? How could I have tried harder to ensure my baby’s safety? Was there nothing they could do other than send me home with pain meds and let the baby pass? It seemed so insensitive, so wrong, so unfair.

We went to my parent’s house that night and decided to stay there for a couple days since I needed lots of help. I cried in my parent’s arms and they cried too.

We decided to name our baby Lily for the Easter lily. We both thought our baby was a girl from dreams we had about her, so we stuck with it to give our hearts some closure. It was hard to be losing our baby on Easter Sunday. A day that is supposed to be filled with much hope and promise was filled with sadness and emptiness for us. We knew every Easter from that moment on wouldn’t be the same, yet God STILL showed us His love and hope in those moments. Knowing that we don’t belong in this broken place, but we were meant for more. That Jesus rose to life as Lily would also be raised.

I bled and was in gut wrenching pain for 2 weeks. I was weak and I was emotionally traumatized. I was living the death of my child everyday. I continued to bleed, knowing there was nothing I could do to stop it. I felt so out of control.

I remember lying helplessly on the couch praying and feeling the closeness of Jesus. That as I wept, I knew He was right there with me weeping too.

People from our church, friends and family brought us food, cards, flowers, left us messages on facebook, emailed us and prayed with us. I cried each time I received something, feeling so blessed in such a dark time. They were a great extension of God’s love for us. I was so grateful for them.

Somewhere in that time we received the crib set we ordered months before, and Brett told me, “I’m so sorry honey. I will put this away until we need it.” He was so sweet and put it away in a closet so I wouldn’t find it.

Finally, the doctor told me since the bleeding wasn’t stopping, she would need to do a procedure to “scrape” out the rest, a D&E.

I went into surgery in good spirits. I prayed a lot with Brett and my family before and had peace about everything. After the surgery, the doctor told my parents and Brett that the sac and lifeless baby was still stuck in my uterus, and it was a good thing they did the procedure when they did because of possible infection.

I cried again when I heard this, because I KNEW my baby was really gone. I felt empty and sad, like a piece of me was missing.

A couple weeks before Mother’s Day, my family and I planted a lily in honor of Lily. It was emotional to say the least. As my dad dug the hole I was thinking, it is sad I didn’t get to burry my child somewhere, but it was okay because I know she didn’t need a place to be buried, because she was in heaven with Jesus. Just in time for Mother’s Day the lily bloomed! Another LOVELY display of God’s love for us! Even in the little things like a lily blooming. He knew what it meant to me and it was a beautiful moment.

It was probably 8 months before I felt somewhat normal again. I was overwhelmed with grief, depression, and feelings of guilt and shame. People were still asking me everyday “how’s the pregnancy going?” or “how’s your baby?” not realizing I had miscarried and I had to tell them all over again about the miscarriage. In a way it was a good healing process to be able to talk about it, yet still, it brought up all of the horrific memories.

I had some great encounters with the Lord in that time. Sometimes when we are at our lowest He speaks the loudest.

I remember one occasion I was at my church sitting alone and I felt this overwhelming feeling of loneliness during worship. I made a conscience effort to worship God anyway and pushed my feelings aside. I closed my eyes to focus my mind on Him. When I opened my eyes I had this overwhelming feeling that I was singled out by God. That even though I was in a room worshiping with 3,000 people He SAW me. It was so personal and profound. I cried and peace washed over my heart and I told Him everything I was feeling about losing Lily and that I missed her. I later got prayer and I felt like a stitch was placed on my bleeding heart. That healing had begun.

In those months women who had also lost a child, came out of the woodwork and talked to me. I had no idea how many women had been through what I had. I thought I was alone, but to my surprise, many women have been through it, yet are just unable or scared to talk about it. I had many great talks with those women and we cried together, shared together and shared the hope of meeting our children in heaven. What a great hope!

God continued to pursue me and urged me to keep talking about Lily and to continue to heal. He wanted to pull out everything

I had put under the rug and deal with it even though I wanted to hide all that I was dealing with. He is good like that. He doesn’t want us to stay hurt or broken. He wants us to heal so we can help others.

In the months following I was able to talk at different women’s events about my miscarriage, and how God got me through it. I cried each time, the wound still fresh, but God continued to use Lily’s story to bring people to Him.

God gave me a sweet analogy in that time that Jesus has scars in his hands and feet as a reminder of LOVE of what He did for us, and I also carry scars of the Love of my daughter. They will never go away, but it is okay. We all have scars, but it’s what we do with them that matters.

Women came to me, wrote me letters, and shared about the children they had lost and that they had never had the courage to talk about them until I told my story. I am constantly reminded that God really does work EVERYTHING together for good, and uses every person’s story to bring Him glory!

Fast-forward a year and a half.

Brett and I decided we wanted to try again for a baby. A year had past with no luck. I started to think maybe the procedure I had might keep us from getting pregnant, but we prayed and others prayed for us too keeping faith. Every time I took a pregnancy test I felt the sting of defeat and failure. It was not easy but I kept praying and trusting God that HIS timing was perfect.

On October 10th, 2009 the day before Brett’s birthday, I had a strange craving for pizza and went to the store for a pizza and a pregnancy test. I took the test not thinking anything would happen, and to my surprise I saw a little pink plus sign in the window! I called Brett feeling scared, yet excited and told him the news. He was hesitant to get excited and he said, “Are you sure?” I sent him a picture text of the test, and he finally believed me! We told our family and asked them to pray. I ended up telling all of my friends too just because I felt that no matter what happened, I wanted to celebrate the life I had for as long as I had it. I was trusting God for the health of this baby.

With little time to celebrate, I immediately started feeling sick. Thinking it was just normal morning sickness, I tried to continue life as normal, but soon I was immobilized by intense nausea and vomiting. We switched doctors in that time, and I called him up because of the trouble I was having.

By the time I got into the doctor my symptoms were MUCH worse. I couldn’t move without throwing up and drinking and eating were near to impossible. He told me that my blood tests from my last appointment showed that my progesterone levels were low (Low progesterone can cause miscarriages) and that he wanted to put me on progesterone supplements. I was overwhelmed by the diagnosis, having flashbacks from the previous pregnancy, but I also felt grateful to be able to stay on top of the problem. Again, I was faced with my worst fear, but I KNEW I had to deal with it head on. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy…

Also, my doctor wanted me to go straight to the hospital for some IV treatments and meds since I was pretty dehydrated and miserable.

I got the treatments from the hospital and went home that night and ate a good meal, but ended up throwing up EVERYTHING I had eaten. Feeling defeated, the next day I called the doctor again saying nothing had changed. They told me the next step was to put me on Home Care. My nurse told me it was VERY important that I do the Home Care because of my health and the baby’s. We were nervous because of the cost, but KNEW I wouldn’t make it without it.
The Home Care nurse came and hooked me up to a Medicine IV pump to help with the nausea and vomiting, and later I went to stay at my parent’s house because I couldn’t take care of myself.

I was in shock. I thought pregnancy was supposed to be fun and easy! I wanted to pick out cute little outfits and talk about names, but there was no time for that. Flashbacks of hospital visits with Lily were in the back of my mind constantly, but I kept praying under my breath, hoping for a different outcome.

The medicine they had me on through IV gave me some really crazy side effects that made EVERYTHING worse. My heart was racing, I had heart flutters, shortness of breath, insomnia, restlessness, and it felt like I was lying on pins and needles. I was getting no sleep and could hardly stay in one position for a minute without pain or vomiting.

One of those nights I was so sick I thought I was going to die. I kept throwing up, and my Ketone levels were in the high 80’s, which means your body is very dehydrated and eating off of your fat supplies (starving), and I was having trouble breathing. Every sound, smell, movement, and light made me sick. I lost 3 pounds that night. Not only was I thinking of myself dying, but I was also thinking about losing my baby and it was terrible. All I could do that night was sing worship songs in my head and cry out to God for help.

Thank the Lord for my parents. They had a baby monitor in my room and anytime I needed help they got up to help me. I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m not sure if I would be here today if they were not there with me!

The nurse switched my medicine the next day to Zofran, (a medicine they give to Chemo patients for nausea and vomiting) and I was finally able to sleep through the night.
Everyday was a horrible battle with food. The nausea and vomiting were so bad that if I had something in my mouth it made me sick. I cried as my mom and dad and sister lovingly confronted me with trying to eat more. I was trying, but it felt impossible. I had lost 12 pounds (being underweight to begin with) so I knew I had to try.

In that time we had MANY doctors visits to check in on my progress, and at 10 weeks we went to hear my baby’s heartbeat. I was nervous. What if all of the medicine, lack of food and water affected the baby? I was trying hard to trust everything would be okay.

I was quiet in the car. My mom and Brett were with me as support and they knew I was feeling nervous. We got to the doctor’s office and my doctor put the little heart monitor on my belly and I heard nothing but static. He searched for what seemed like forever, and still nothing. I began to sweat and tears welled up in my eyes, thinking “Not again, please God don’t let me lose this baby too. It’s just too much.” The doctor said he wanted to do an ultrasound to check and make sure everything was okay, so we waited for the ultrasound room to open up.

As we waited my mom said, “Heather it is going to be alright.” I had a blank stare just wanting to find out if everything was okay, trying not to think too much.

We got into the ultrasound room and the doctor put the wand on my belly, searched around for a little bit, and sure enough! There was our little baby swimming and dancing around in my belly! The doctor said, “Looks like the baby is just fine! Sometimes when they are really active it is hard to get a heartbeat.”

I cried tears of joy all the way home with my mom. Words could not express the relief and happiness I felt. My baby was okay. Surviving the odds, I KNEW in my heart this child had a great purpose…Even if that meant just teaching me how to trust God.

The coming weeks were full of many late nights of sickness, misery, and insomnia. But the picture of my baby swimming around despite all I was going through kept me going. Seeing the ultrasound made it REAL for me. Knowing that I wasn’t sick for no reason, but because I was having a baby!

Things started getting easier around 17 weeks (4 ½ months). I started being able to eat a little bit more normally, and threw up only once or twice a day. Not only that but my belly was starting get bigger and I was feeling lots of movement! Just amazing.

The appointment I was excited for finally came! The 20 week Ultrasound appointment to find out if we were having a boy or girl and to check all the fingers and toes and organs.

I was excited and nervous to see my babe again. Praying that everything would be okay… Right when the ultrasound technician put the wand on my belly she said, “Oh, it looks like you have a low lying placenta.” Not knowing what it meant I said, “What?” She told me it usually shifts up as the baby grows but if not it could be trouble for delivery and certain activities could cause it to erupt. She told me that the doctor would want to follow up with me on it, and to not do much activity until then. I felt like crying. Another medical issue? Really? I wasn’t expecting that at all. I felt a cloud of anxiety set in for a second.

THEN. The most lovely thing happened! I saw my baby! The head, the heart, the hands, the kidneys, the legs, and the moving little body. It was precious! Then came the time when we were to find out if it was a boy or a girl, and after a bit of prodding, we found out our baby is a BOY! Filled with joy and tears I was speechless. Ever single hardship I went through up until this point was forgotten!

I ran out to the waiting room to tell my dad who was waiting anxiously and gave him a high-five and a hug and said, “It’s a boy!” His face was priceless. He had only had girls, and now he has a grandson!

We celebrated at First Watch for breakfast, and we texted and called all of our friends and family to tell them the news.

I got to work editing the video footage we collected and made a cool video to document the ultrasound appointment of our little son. I used the song “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham since that song has really helped me process through a lot with the miscarriage and with finding out we are pregnant again. The ending of the video is the Bridge that says, “When we arrive at eternity’s shore, WHERE DEATH IS JUST A MEMORY, and tears are no more, we’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring, your bride will come together and we’ll sing, You’re Beautiful.” A beautiful example of God’s redemption and hope for us. He makes all things new. He gives hope to the hopeless.

Brett and I decided to name our son, Trust Emmanuel Evans. Trust, because this whole journey of pregnancy and Trust’s life has been COMPLETELY about learning to trust God FULLY with our lives no matter the outcome. And Emmanuel means “God with us” or “God is with us”. We believe in this time God has never been far off but right there with us through it all. He is what has kept us steady, and hopeful.

We know that even after Trust is born, the story isn’t over. We will have to continually trust his life over to the Lord, and his name stands as a GREAT reminder to us to always trust God. His life is a living testimony of God’s mercy and grace in our lives. Giving us the gift of a child. No matter the circumstance, He works EVERTHING out for the good, even if we don’t see it yet.

The story continues...

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