For this first Walking With You, I thought we would begin at the beginning. If you are joining us as a bereaved mother, then it is certain that there was a day, a moment when your world changed. There was a loss of innocence that day – the innocence we have before we know that the unthinkable can actually happen. A complete change in perspective. It may have taken place as you laid on the examining table and heard the words, “there is no heart beat”. Or maybe you have heard the words “incompatible with life”. Perhaps it happened in a blink of an eye when you were expecting to meet your baby, and had to say good-bye before you even said hello.
However the news was presented, that moment has been woven into the tapestry of your life, etched in your mind and your heart. The news that something is wrong with your baby or that your baby has died is life-changing. There are a myriad of emotions and reactions. Today, I’m going to share some pieces of my own journey…my memories from the days that changed my life. The moments when I heard those words, moments that have shaped who I am today, and who we are as a family. Moments that have brought me here to walk this path with you. As moms who have walked this path, we share those moments, and I hope you are willing to share them with us as we walk this path. The stories we have are the stories God has given us to tell…in order that we may comfort and encourage one another. For now, I will just focus on hearing that bad news and initial reactions. As we continue, we will cover other pieces of the journey. This week…we remember our first steps.
Sharing the Journey
We were twenty-one years old and expecting twins. I was about mid-way through the pregnancy…maybe a little further. I was admitted to the hospital for pre-term labor and endured the lovely effects of magnesium sulfate for about a week. The time came for our scheduled ultrasound. The nurses wheeled me down the hallway and into a yellow room. As I lay on the table, I could sense a change in demeanor from the ultrasound technician. Her face paled and grew stony. She would not look me in the eye as I started to question her. I could tell something was terribly wrong. The events that followed are blurry to me. I see them in flashes only…can hear the words in short bursts. “Too much amniotic fluid.” “One baby is bigger than the other.” “A possible problem with the heart.” The room is spinning. I feel like I’m choking, fighting for air. I can see the concern on their faces…hear the somber tone in their voices. They are sending me to a high-risk specialist in the morning. I don’t sleep all night. I pray as I’ve prayed for weeks for the health of my babies. The next morning, in one fell swoop we find out that we are expecting twin daughters instead of just twin babies and that our sweet girls had a condition known as twin-to-twin-transfusion syndrome. The journey continued…but that is how it began.
Less than two years later, midway through my third pregnancy, I heard the words on the telephone. “There were some concerns on the ultrasound.” “Not enough amniotic fluid.” “We will be sending you to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.” “We are so sorry.” I went to the appointment. As I laid on another examining table, I heard the words “absence of kidneys”, “Potter’s Syndrome”, and “incompatible with life “. Never had the darkness seemed so dark and mocking than on that day. The life seeped out of us. As I stood in the hallway frozen and unable to move forward, unable to take one step into the life that held the hopelessness of the words we had just heard. The tears streamed down my face in unison with the raindrops dripping down the window. And one word sums up what I felt in that moment. One lonely, dark word.
In that dark moment, I felt forsaken. I felt mocked, destroyed, and without hope. For a moment. All the way home a voice in my head mocked me, asking “Where is Your God Now?” I didn’t have an answer in that moment. I felt defeated.
But, that night, as the relentless mocking continued, I reached in my helplessness for my bible. I opened it and let my tears drip on the words…the words that would be my soothing balm, my weapon against the mocking attacks, the truth that would squelch every lie that threatened my hope. As the storm raged on with all of it’s fury, I collapsed into His arms, wet from the rain…tired…bedraggled…barely even able to reach up and take His hand. It was O.K…my weakness, my inability to put one foot in front of the other. The Lifter of my head was there. He met me there. He met me there as I read the familiar words that quieted that mocking voice.
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. ~ Hebrews 13:5
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which in in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:35-39
He will never leave me…even if I feel deserted, He is there. In the thick fog of the unknown, in the darkness of the greatest sorrow, in the depth of the lowest pit…He will never leave me. He is there. And I do not walk alone.
How do I know? Because I walked there. And, He walked with me.
And His love…nothing can separate us from it. No trial. No sorrow. No loss. No imperfect faith. No inability to measure up. Nothing… can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing. Whether you can feel it or not, His love is so powerful…His relentless amazing love for you and for me. And, if you cannot feel it right now…just hold on. You will again, one day. You will. He won’t stop until you know how dearly loved you are.
If you have just heard the news, and you are facing a difficult pregnancy diagnosis, here are a few resources that may be helpful to you on this journey:
String of Pearls ~ Difficult Pregnancy Diagnosis
Perinatal Hospice ~ Resources for those continuing a difficult pregnancy
Growing Through Affliction~ Support and Encouragement
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep ~ Beautiful photographs for families experiencing loss
A Place to Remember
Books for those waiting with a difficult diagnosis –
A Gift of Time
Waiting With Gabriel
Prayer request: Please pray for us as we minister to grieving families through SGM and please pray for our upcoming meetings covering many projects for 2012
Whether you are walking this path now, facing the loss of your child, a newly bereaved mother, or whether it has been many years since your loss…we hope you will join us, so that we may take this walk together. The subject this week is sharing the initial news and how you were affected by that…the beginning of your journey. Then, if you have some resources to share that helped you with that part of your journey or some wisdom that would be great. If you are in that place now and have a need or question, you can share that as well…and maybe we can help fill that need. Also, please close with a prayer request if you wish…we would love to be able to pray for you where you are right now on this journey. You can link your post to the Linky or leave it in the comments below. You can also email me directly at: email@example.com. Or, you can just read along and glean comfort, grace, and wisdom for your journey. In whatever way you choose, I hope you will join us and as always…thank you for the privilege of allowing us to walk with you.
Please enter the link to your WWY post below. Make sure you copy and paste the link to your post and not just to your blog, so that when others click on this, they will see today’s post. Some people may not see these for several days or weeks. This will ensure that they can find the post they’re looking for. It’s also very important to take some time to visit the blogs linked and leave comments of encouragement. One of the goals is to convey the message that we are not walking alone. Thanks and if you have questions, just ask! Love and Grace to all…