6 In Home Life

A story of trial and love. (Sequel to “A year ago today’)

(If you are reading for the first time and catching up, please read “A year ago today – Part One” first.
This will fill you in on the story of our third baby. :))
I can still remember leaving the hospital that night feeling numb.
And not from standing in the snow bank for too long watching the vehicles
wreckage getting cleaned up. Numb from the inside out.
I felt totally helpless with the news that my body was in labor.
In labor 17 weeks early.
I remember falling asleep that night with my hand on my growing belly;
the baby beneath my skin moved and wiggled and I cried silent happy
tears into my pillow and took the movement as reassurance from heaven.
I remember laying awake for a long time. I could hear the rise and fall
of my husbands breathing beside me and everything started to feel
familiar again. But there was just one thing, I couldn’t get the thought out of my head, that nothing would be the same again.
This pregnancy that was going so well, was suddenly in jeaprodry. The baby I wanted so badly, was now at risk of being lost at any moment. I was in labor. My body was trying to birth this little one that was not ready to be born. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, trying to rid my mind of the awful thoughts. I don’t
remember sleeping much that night. Every time I started to enter into slumber, i would startle awake by my memory of the cars colliding and the sound of crushing metal ringing in my ears.
Those first days were the worst. I woke up, tired and anxious, I had to figure out what “bed rest” meant, and how I was suppose to do so with two other children to care for. My nights were spent tossing and turning and dreaming of losing our baby.
Nights were the worst, but day time was difficult in its own way.
I remember my two and a half year old daughter, with her big eyes and her independent demeanor,
asking me to play on the ground with her. I would lay down on the
ground and try to keep her from climbing on me. Together, we tried to
find ways to play while I laid down with my feet up. I don’t remember
being emotionally present those first few days. I was completely
consumed with the fear of losing our baby. I didn’t want to do anything,
had to force myself to eat and remember feeling trapped for hours upon
hours just laying on our couch.
Somehow, one day turned into another, and another, and with every day the
sleepless nights passed, and day time hours dragged on. Life seemed like
it would never hurry up.
I love how in a single moment of devastation,  is it sometimes impossible to see the good. And then, after you are through the darkest valley, you can look back and be thankful for the times you wished away; the character building times.
Before this situation, I would consider myself to be extremely independent. I
don’t ask for anything from anyone, and I try to problem solve on my
own. (Not the best combination in DIY, by the way.) I have never really relied on anyone, except for myself.
But in THIS situation, I was immediately left helpless both physically and
emotionally. I needed help to take my kids to school, to cook dinner,
to do daily activities. A week before, I was active and use to being a
multitasker and rushing through life.
Now, bed rest, and the thought of losing our “non viable” baby put me into an automatic depression.
In those dark, sleepless, worry filled days of helplessness I did the only thing I could do.
I prayed.
I don’t mean to get over spiritual on you, but I believe in the power of
prayer. I believe that during this time when I was helpless and bedridden,
not knowing if my body would carry this baby inside me to term, while I
began giving up control, began asking for help, something unknown to my
independent self, my words of optimism and pleading, flung to the heavens in desperation, somehow turned into a miracle.
I remember laying on my couch day after day and each morning praying
prayers of thank fullness that my body held the little baby safe inside
me, if only for one more day.
That meant one more day closer to 24 weeks, one day closer to viability after all.
Every morning seemed to be a new milestone for me. I began letting go of my controlling ways, realizing I could do nothing in this one situation and finding myself praying throughout the day, not just in the mornings.
With so much solitude and self reflection, I began evaluating my life. As an independent person, someone who had always worked multiple jobs , all the while continually pursuing my post secondary education in the form of courses and apprenticeships, while still carrying for my little family,
this was the first time that I had sat down, really sat down, and thought about my
life.
After all, it is so easy to get caught up in day to day activities and the business
of life, and mine was no exception. I would run from picking up my children
from this place or that, to making dinner while bouncing a baby, to
completing school work, and bed time routine and then would collapse on
the couch. Though, our little family went to church on Sundays, I admittedly
didn’t make much time for prayer or reflection.
I was self sufficient anyways, and didn’t really need to rely on a higher being for much.
This situation, however, stopped me completely, from running through life.
It jolted me into a freeze I had never known. And though, it seemed
horrible at the time, I am so thankful NOW for how character building
that time waiting was.
I took my dusty Bible off of the shelf, and flipped through its pages.
Just a little at first.
Just to get reacquainted.
I was brought up in a Christian home and knew much of the Bible by memory, but there was something unfamiliar, about really searching for encouragement within its pages.
Every day, I would lay my Bible across my growing belly, and would take a few
moments to read positive affirmations. They truly got me through the
agonizing days of wondering about the health of our unborn baby.
A few that got re read and read some more were these…
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not
dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I
will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart.
Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed
day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an
eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the
things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things
that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Matthew 11:28-29 Come to me, all who labor and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and
learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find
rest for your souls.

Eventually, I realized that being self sufficient was great, but sometimes, I
needed to find hope and trust in something more than me. Though I had
always trusted in my strong body and how I took care of it, this time, I
couldn’t will my body to hold in the little baby within me. Something
was beyond me for once and I found myself relying more and more on the
promises I found within the pages of the Book before me.

Everyday I would take the medication prescribed to me to help stop labour while I hoped and prayed that it would work.Every week I went for an ultrasound and every week, I held my breath until I heard our baby’s
heart beat go “clip clop clip clop clip clop” on the doppler. Every week I smiled bigger, laying there on the ultrasound bed. Every week, I breathed a little easier and every week I felt my love for this little
life inside of me grow more and more and more with the stretching of my swollen belly.

At one of my first doctor appointments, I was told to “Enjoy the time I
had with this baby…” “…That it might be the only time you have together…”.
Hearing those words felt horrible, but I knew their truth was real.

I think every mother, who has lost a pregnancy can relate.
You think back to the times when your baby was inside of you, and the
movements, and the sickness and you are thankful for those moments, as
fleeting as they may have been, because you were happy.  You shared life.

You and that baby were one. That little being lived in you, and you
were the only world it knew. If you could go back to that time, to the
days when your baby lived and breathed inside of you, you would. You
would sit quieter, and sing lullabies more, and remember the feeling of
fullness and happiness more and more.

Losing a baby is all too common, and is still just as heart breaking with years past, as it was the moment you knew life was over.I knew this all too well. Thinking of this possibility every day, with no joy in sight, broke my heart. For myself but ultimately for mothers everywhere that endured these same issues and who faced heartbreaking losses too.

It has happened to many mothers, it happens every day, to anyone….to many. I know mothers lose the life within them every day. I know it is one of the worst kinds of losses humans must encounter. This truth is very real to me.

 And so, as happy as I was to see my stomach grow and stretch I also questioned why with every passing day that I still carried my baby, and yet women on forums that I regularly visited were losing theirs.

 Im not sure why I feel compelled to share this story, this intimate piece of my heart, but I wanted
to share our journey to give hope to those that have none.When you are faced with the possibility of losing your unborn baby you are left feeling a debilitating kind of hopelessness. You immediately, ask “Why me? “What did I do to deserve this?” “What is wrong with my baby?””Where is God?” and most times you are left with more questions then answers.

You try to turn to your partner, but some times, they cant relate to the consuming feelings of dread you have.
You try to stay positive but you can only find stories of loss and fear.
You are left feeling more alone than you ever have.
I wanted to tell my story to document, these feelings for myself and to make sure I am always thankful for how far we have come. But, I also wanted to share these feelings and this journey so that other Mamas can see that not all bad situations end badly. I wanted to share the joy that came after the
pain. The love that grew with every question filled day. The worry that subsided by focusing on positivity. The fear that was lessened by enjoying the simple time I did get to spend enjoying my unborn baby. The way I grew and changed as an already seasoned mama. And most of all, to share the joyous outcome we
experienced through this trying time.
At my weekly appointments, my doctor would smile her sweet smile and let
me know of another weekly milestone we needed to get to, so we set little
goals. They may have been small goals, but with each one I felt like we
accomplished so much.We could see the top of the mountain that we were
slowly climbing up.

 And then, as all miracles go, slowly and somehow all at once, our baby finally was born at full term.
I couldn’t believe it.
I literally, held the small little body in my arms on May 15th, 2012, and couldn’t stop saying “I can’t believe we just had a baby!”I hoped for the best, but never knew that I would be one of the few
that got to hold their breathing babies.  This baby was once ready to be
born when he “was not viable”, and now he lay peaceful and alive in my shaking grasp.

It has NOW been nine months of the purest kind of happiness I have ever known.
I don’t know why I have been chosen to mother this little boy. But I am beyond happy that I was chosen to do so.
I am humbled by his presence, by his very smile, by the knowing that not all stories end the same. I go through waves of complete joy and utter anguish as I know my ending and his isnt everyones.
So, I have made a pact with myself and with him and with the One I prayed to, and with all the mothers who have ever lost that this boy will be adored, utterly adored, despite the shocking news we received about his health when he finally arrived. Despite the odds.  I love this little man something fierce.
In those moments of doubt and fear, before he was born, I questioned “Why me?” “What did I do to deserve this?” “Why this innocent baby?” “Why my marriage?” “Why does my family have to deal with this fear and sadness?” 

All those questions that were constant and real, have now been answered.

 Hind site is funny like that.

It was clear the day our baby was born.

All the whys were immediately answered in the few moments after he was born.

I knew, even before I got to hold our little baby, that there was a reason for the trials. The sleepless nights, prayer filled days, the soul searching, the digging deeper, the caring more, the increased
closeness between my husband and I and the extreme love we already had developed for this baby…it was all because we needed to be ready for what we were about to face.

His health was questionable….surgeries were needed…invasive surgeries…he may not walk…he may not talk…he may not….

It didnt matter.

He was perfect, no doubt about it.

Just the mere sight of him made my heart ache with growing pains. I was smitten by that first glance and the love I immediately felt for him was something I wasn’t expecting. I was in love and would do anything for this little baby we wanted SO badly.

He was perfect to us, he completed our family, the look in his eyes was bonding and perfect, but the truth is, by medical terms…. our trials were not over…

(I hope to share more of our journey with you and the story of love and strength as the words are written. I hope our darling babies’ story, and our simple words, will bring encouragement to you if unexpected circumstances come your way. Until then, much peace to you..) 

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Sidney
    February 21, 2013 at 12:52 am

    He's so beautiful Bethany, thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure writing this was not easy!! We lost our first and I have always cherished the few short months I shared with that precious little life.

  • Reply
    bethanygier
    February 21, 2013 at 4:39 am

    Thank you for sharing too. My heart goes out to you, it is all too common, it seems, for families to live through this loss. I am so sorry for that. Such loss does make you appreciate the good moments and the little miracles that grow up in this world.
    xo

  • Reply
    ashley @ little miss momma
    February 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Beautiful story and beautiful little babe 🙂 you'll forever be my water-drinking sis 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply
    Cathy
    February 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Beautifully written! I cannot wait to read more. When our now 2 year old was born…..he was so perfect…..but 3 days in the hospital the doctors told us he has a murmur. Further testing has proven he has a congenital heart defect….but to look at him you would never know! You are inspiring!

  • Reply
    bethanygier
    February 22, 2013 at 5:33 am

    Cathy, thank you for sharing your story with me! I can relate, and I am so happy that your little boy is just like any other little regular boy! I am sure he is keeping you on your toes!!! Two is a busy age! Have fun with him, and thank you again for sharing and for reading along.
    xoxo

  • Reply
    bethanygier
    February 22, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Ashley, you made my day by coming over to say hello. 🙂

    ~Your water sista
    xoxox

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