I will never forget seeing those two little blue lines for the first time. Those blue lines gave me hope. They gave me comfort. They gave me a sense of peace. I was pregnant.
We had been trying to get pregnant for ten months and finally, we were part of the “club”. We were going to have a baby! We told our parents at 8 weeks and then a few close friends in the two weeks that followed. It was an amazing feeling knowing that in a few short months we would be holding our sweet little boy or girl.
And then tragedy. At my 10 week ultrasound I heard the words, “there is no heartbeat” followed by the words “are you sure on the timing?”. I was sure. We were 100% sure. There was lots of discussion about what would happen next. I could return home and wait to miscarry or I could have a procedure done right then and there that would extract the baby from my womb. While still in a state of shock, we decided to have the procedure done there in the doctor’s office. There would be no more pain, no blood and no waiting. There would also be a gaping hole in my heart. “Bad luck” is what I remember the doctor saying.
To say that the procedure was horrifying would be a drastic understatement. As I lay there on the table with my feet in stirrups, wide awake, my doctor inserted a needle into my vagina to numb the cervix. I was then injected with something to make my cervix expand large enough to insert a vacuum tube to suction out the fetal tissue. The numbing agent did little for the pain. The sound of the vacuum pulling out the remaining hope that was still clinging to my uterus was unbearable. As I lay there, naked and without dignity, I could not believe what was happening. All of those future plans that we had made were gone. Now, I must return home and tell the few family and friends that there would be no baby. This scenario would happen two more times, although I opted to miscarry on my own once and then have the procedure done in a hospital while I was anesthetized the second time. Each time taking a little of my soul with it.
We were encouraged to seek fertility help after the third miscarriage. Little did we know that before we would even see the fertility specialist, I would become pregnant for a fourth time. With the help of medications, we finally saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, and 12 weeks! We could safely tell family and friends of the news we had been hoping for for the past three years. Our future had been determined. We were going to have a baby.
Discussions in our household centered around “will we find out the gender?”, “will I breast feed?”, “should we have a baby shower?”, and “what will the name be?”. So much hope and love for this little human growing within me. My life was changing. I was gaining weight, eating better (except for the taco bell cravings that I had), and I was starting to feel teeny tiny flutters within my belly. Tiny kicks and punches that would eventually turn into huge rolls and feet protruding from my stomach. I remember waiting to feel a kick…waiting and hoping that everything was going to be OK this time.
I couldn’t wait to tell everyone the good news. Strangers would come up to me at the store and want to touch the belly. These same people would wish me luck and tell me how exciting it is that it was my first. Co-workers would hear me giggle as I would feel every little hiccup from this beautiful child continuing to grow every day a little bit bigger, getting ready to meet the world. Oh, how I loved this child even before I ever set eyes on her.
When I went for my 20 week ultrasound, we decided not to find out the gender. We wanted it to be a surprise. I remember looking on the ultrasound screen and seeing this little being with 10 fingers and 10 toes. The baby had a beautiful head, tiny little nose, sweet little ears, and best of all, the baby had her hands folded as if she were praying. What a beautiful human being. At 20 weeks, it was around the time of March Madness, so we decided to create a tournament of names. Each night we would narrow our list of 32 boy names and 32 girl names until we finally had one of each gender decided on. If the baby was a girl, we would name her Amelia. If the baby was a boy, we would name him Ryan.
A few weeks later, the plans continued. We registered for our baby shower, painted the nursery, borrowed furniture from a friend, and began Lamaze classes offered at the hospital where we would deliver. So many plans for our future child. Our love continued to grow for her every day.
As we got closer and closer to the due date, we met with the pediatrician who would visit her in the hospital, we washed clothes, setup the nursery and then waited. We waited for that first labor pain. On August 5th, 2005, I felt the first sign of labor at around 1:30 am. We called the doctor in the morning as my contractions were getting closer together. The doctor told us to meet him at the hospital after lunch. Finally, we would meet the sweet baby that we had been waiting so long for.
We arrived at the hospital at 12:30 pm and delivered our beautiful baby girl at 9:17 pm that night. She was perfect; a sweet, tiny, beautiful angel sent from God to restore our hope and give us a reason to become better people. We now had a child who depended on us. This child has given us a glimpse of our heavenly Father’s love. She brings us such joy every day. She is like no other child I have ever encountered. I thank God for giving us her at the exact right time, God’s time, not ours.
God knows the perfect time for everything. We may not know why or how, but His timing is perfect. God knows exactly what we need when we need it. He knew that I needed to experience pain and loss to become the mother that I am today. It is because of this pain, loss and redemption that I am writing this today.
I urge all women, young and old, to embrace God’s perfect timing and turn away from abortion. I saw my daughter’s heartbeat at 6 weeks old. I felt her kick at 13 weeks. She had hiccups at 16 weeks. She prayed in my womb at 20 weeks. She punched and kicked and rolled over in my womb at 24 weeks. She was always a baby, not a fetus, to all of those who already loved her way before she was born. Choose life. Choose hope. Put your faith in our Lord that He will provide the way in His perfect timing. Every child is a precious gift from God at all stages of life. Life begins at conception. Hope begins at conception. Love begins at conception. May God grant all women the courage to accept His Love, His Hope and the life He lays out before them.