When the test read positive, Jonathan and I did a victory jig in the bathroom. We were ecstatic to have another baby. We did some quick calculation and figured I was five weeks.
My plan was coming together beautifully. I wanted my children two and half years a part. Bella would soon have a playmate. Peter Rabbit would be the nursery theme. The baby name book was off the shelf and names were cycling through my mind.
My first pregnancy with Isabella went wonderful. I never had a moment of doubt that the second would be any different. I had no fear. No women in my immediate bloodline have ever lost a baby. I never could have anticipated it happening to me.
As the weeks of my pregnancy progressed, I felt more sick and fatigued than I had with my first pregnancy. I summed it up to each child is different, and lovingly bore the sickness because my mind wasn’t focused on the present day. I was already anticipating July 9th: the arrival of our child.
At ten weeks, I went in for my routine appointment. Everything seemed fine, until they did a scan for the baby’s heartbeat. My doctor rolled the gel scanner over my belly, back and forth, but we heard nothing. Her eyebrows scrunched a bit and she said, “Well it’s still early, so the baby might be small. Let’s do an ultrasound to be sure everything is okay.”
At the Zeeland Hospital, I laid on the bed watching the screen, hoping that we’d find a heartbeat. The ultrasound technician was taking plenty of pictures and measuring things that looked strange to me, but what did I know, I wasn’t certified in reading images. So I asked her, “Do you see the heartbeat?” She paused before looking at me. Her smile was nice, almost sympathetic. She replied, “I’m not sure, maybe.” It was then that I knew something was definitely wrong.
That night, my doctor called me from her cell phone. Her first words were, “I don’t like to call with bad news, but….” My heart stopped at that moment. She explained to me that the images appeared to be a rare Molar Pregnancy. The tissues inside the uterus were abnormal, the placenta didn’t look right, the fetus wasn’t forming properly, and a cyst was also present. Ultimately, the baby was no longer living, and we needed to schedule an extraction surgery. I hung up the phone and wept in Jonathan’s arms.
I had to wait five days before they could get me into surgery because the hospital was booked. So for five days, I not only felt physically ill, but utterly devastated. As Friday approached, I battled with anxiety over the surgery. Jonathan suggested that I look up scriptures on peace. During my search, I came across Isaiah 26:3-4, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” I read that verse and thought, Okay. I will trust in you Lord. You will be my Rock through this.
On December 16th, I entered surgery. Molar pregnancies are tricky because if the abnormal tissues are left inside the body, they can become cancerous. It is important that everything be fully removed or the tissues may continue to grow and enter other parts of the body, namely the lungs.
I was put under anesthesia and the doctor worked on extracting the tissues. I started to hemorrhage. The anesthesiologist hooked me up for a blood transfusion but once the placenta and fetal tissues were out, the bleeding reduced significantly. Praise the Lord, I was able to avoid transfusion. After my uterus was scraped twice and the last tissues were suctioned, I was wheeled into recovery.
An hour later, I awoke feeling shaky and weak. I remember looking around the room. It was all white. White walls. White curtains. A nurse stood beside me looking at a monitor. I stared at the wall and thought, It’s done. I’m empty. Before the surgery, I knew that my baby wasn’t living, but now, my baby was truly gone. Tears filled my eyes and washed down my cheeks. The nurse rubbed my arm and told me it was okay to cry.
Recovery has been a very very hard process. The physical pain after surgery was horrible. A week passed and I wasn’t getting better. I went in for my one-week follow-up and found I had a clinical infection. After ten days of antibiotics, my physical body felt almost completely healed. But feeling physically whole is very different from feeling emotionally whole.
Losing a child is devastating. I’ve never felt such a deep loss ever before. I have wept and still weep many tears. It’s hard to describe the great depths of emptiness and grief. I loved that baby from the moment I knew she was inside my tummy. I wanted that child even before she was conceived. And I miss my baby more than words can say.
We have named our second child Shiloh, which means “His gift.” We never were able to hold Shiloh or rub her smooth face or see her color of eyes, hair, or skin. But Shiloh is still my gift from God. I have lost the time with my child here on earth, but I have not lost my child.
I miss my Shiloh. I will miss Shiloh until we are reunited in Heaven. But oh, that time is coming. I look forward to the time when I enter the pearly gates and Shiloh will run across the streets of gold and into my arms. What a wonderful gift!
Right now, I know my baby is whole and healthy in Heaven’s magnificent nursery. Each night Shiloh hears the most beautiful lullabies sung from the voices of angels. And my precious child will never know pain, sorrow, or fear for she is already in the presence of Jesus.
I prayed the other day, “Jesus, could you go to the nursery and hold Shiloh in your arms, tell her that Mommy loves her and that I miss her. Kiss her for me. And tell her that Mommy will be there soon and very soon.”
I know the Lord did just that.