Monday, December 15, 2008

Womb mates

Instead of sharing Abigail's birth story today, I want to share some things about the pregnancy itself. First, I became pregnant with her at a time of serious financial instability. Loren was working a job which only allowed him to be home on the weekends (most weekends, anyway). Then, one Monday morning after I dropped him off at work to go away again, he called me to come straight back and get him. His boss had called him into the office and told him that they didn't have any more work for him but might have more work in the spring. He was unemployed for about three months, looking for work, and doing odd jobs here and there. We, of course, were not eager to have a baby in this situation. But we've never been successful at waiting for our own timing to have a baby. I guess God's timing supercedes our own. :)

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I told Joshua (our oldest and the only one old enough to really understand) that we were going to have another baby. I asked him if he wanted us to have another boy or another girl. He said, "Both." I asked him "You want to have two babies?" That's when he told me there were three babies in my belly. I argued with him, but he was insistent that there were three. I told him that he would be able to see later when I had my ultrasound.

When I went in for my early ultrasound (I have irregular cycles so they had to date the pregnancy), I told the midwife what Joshua had said. She shrugged and said, "Well I guess we'll see!" This truly surprised me because I was thinking she would just get a laugh out of it, not consider it seriously! In the ultrasound room, she got really quiet. This being my 4th baby, I thought things looked a little odd, but I couldn't really tell why. When I asked what was wrong, she showed me a strong little heartbeat (Abigail's) and then she showed me a baby with no heartbeat and another mostly empty sac.

There had been three babies after all. One baby had already reabsorbed into my system. The other was still there, but had recently passed away. I have to be completely honest with you. I didn't really grieve these babies. I had not been aware of them, had not expected them, had not bonded with them, or even the idea of them. And, frankly, I was thinking how difficult carrying and caring for triplets would have been. Besides, here was a perfectly healthy little baby, complete with a steady heartbeat. I was okay.

I even told everyone, "Can you believe I was carrying triplets? God really knew what He was doing! I definitely did NOT need three more babies right now!" Maybe if I had known how things would turn out, I may have felt differently, but for then, I was just happy to have (only) one healthy baby.

When the doctor, whom I had not met prior to the delivery, came to talk to me after the C-section, he told me he had found what looked like a tiny, calcified baby along with Abigail. He had not known about the other babies. Here again, I wasn't all that moved by this news because I was in a great deal of pain and was entirely consumed with my concern for Abigail's health.

When I went back to the doctor for my 6 week check-up, I did talk to him about this other baby, and he gave me a few more details as to the baby's size and such. I remember asking him if there was any way I could see the baby, but I don't remember if that was after the birth or during the 6 wk checkup. They did not have the other baby and had not taken a picture.

I have been asked by a couple of people whether I had ever named these other babies. I hope that no one misunderstands or is offended when I say this, but I've never felt the need to do so. I'm not sure why. I have never really felt a sense of loss with these babies. Maybe that's only because the circumstances surrounding Abigail's birth and death were consuming all my emotions. Maybe it's because I never had a chance to develop hopes or feelings for them before finding out they were already gone.

But I can tell you that I do look forward to one day finding out whether I have more little girls in Heaven or little boys. And I take comfort in the thought that they are all three together there, just as they were once together inside of me.

Ending on a lighter note, my midwife told me I should be careful to listen to Joshua. He seems to have a perceptive nature that is rather amazing. And if you ever ask him, he's quick to tell you that he has three siblings in Heaven. He's really fond of saying that we have as many kids as Jon & Kate plus 8. :0) God bless him!

Okay, more tomorrow.


Rebecca said...

I am praying for you as you find your strength in Christ to share the rest of your story. It helps me to personally hear (or in some cases, read) other's stories when it comes to losing precious ones. Every pain of loss we carry is different and yet there is much we have in common. It is comforting to know God holds each baby in His hands. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.

Shelley said...

Thank you Rebecca. I'm hoping to be able to write some more tomorrow. There is so much to tell. In hard times, God's faithfulness is amazing.