It’s been quite a journey these past couple of years- one that I would like to share…not because I have it all figured out – not even close, but more so, if me talking about our journey helps just one person- even if it’s myself, then it’s all worth it! I guess I will start from the beginning.
Our lives are full of choices, thousands of them from the time we wake up, to the time we go to sleep, and then we do it all over again the next day. For the most part I would say that I am someone who chooses to look at the bright side of things. I choose to be happy. I choose to celebrate life and all it’s beautiful chaos. I may take the long route sometimes, but eventually I end up there. I believe happiness is a choice…and we all have that option. But what happens when things in our lives are chosen for us? BIG things. Things that will be with us forever. What happens when God chooses you for things you didn’t ask for?
People tell you kids are hard. It’s no secret. They may even share their stories of public tantrums, sleep regression, and of course the pleasures of a teething child. But what about the really hard stuff? The stuff that can take your breath away. The stuff that makes you question all you know about God and your faith…
As I came to the close of my reign as Mrs. Illinois 2016 we received amazing news that I was pregnant with our second baby! We had been trying for a little bit, so the news made us ecstatic!! Almost instantly I began to get sick. Really sick. This wasn’t anything new for me though, I had morning sickness pretty bad with our first child, so I just tried to stay focused on the fact we were having another baby and push on past the hard part! After all, I had a two year old to take care of!
At around 8 weeks of our pregnancy my husband and I decided to attend a weekend retreat up in Wisconsin for our church. I was able to pull it together for the most part, but it was so hard! Smells, car motion, foods – pretty much everything made me so unbelievably sick. I remember with my first, my mom told me that morning sickness was a good sign that the baby was growing stronger. So I carried that thought with me to help get though the very long days. At this point I envisioned my little one having the strength of Mighty Mouse!
The retreat came to an end and I had made it! But we had a really long drive home…4 hours! I made it the whole way without having to pull over- I was so proud of myself! This was definitely not the norm for me at this point. With just a little over an hour to go, I decided to take a nap to pass the time. I must have just begun to doze off when I woke up with terrible stomach cramps. I could barely sit up. I knew something wasn’t right. Chris wanted to stop so I could run into the bathroom, but we were only a few minutes from home at this point so I decided to hold off. When we got home I ran up stairs to the bathroom. The pain was almost unbearable. I will never forget the feeling I had when I saw. It was like my heart fell out of my chest. I was numb. There was so much blood. I was absolutely horrified. In a panic I opened the door, and screamed for Chris in tears- he came running to me and we just stared at each other in silence. My mom who happened to be there watching my son, urged us to get to the ER asap, but I knew that much blood could only mean one terrible thing.
We sat in the ER waiting room for hours. It was awful. Why wasn’t anyone helping me?? Didn’t they know how scary this was?? I remember looking around the room, watching all the people go about their business and realizing the world does not stop for our tragedies. What was happening to us was going on without anyone even noticing. Or anyone caring for that matter. I felt so completely helpless. I felt like I was in a slow motion dream. We sat. And prayed. And sat. And prayed. We were joined by two of our friends from church in the busy waiting room. My first reaction was to tell them not to come. To leave me to feel my pain and sadness in my own little corner.
You see up to this point, I had tried to do things all on my own. Fight my battles alone, in the privacy of my own despair. What would people think if they saw me this sad, this weak, this vulnerable??
Sometimes things happen that make you realize you can’t do it on your own. You’re not supposed to. You need God and you need the support of others. This was one of those times… with many more in our future to follow.
Eventually, after some tests and hours more of waiting, we were sent home with a single piece of paper that had instructions with what to look for during a miscarriage. We were told there was nothing they could do for us and to follow up with my doctors “after I pass.”
I don’t think I believed them or anything they said. Maybe I was in denial this was happening to us, or maybe it was my God-given mommy intuition. One thing we did know for certain from the ultra sound taken in the ER was that our little peanut DID have a heart beat.
To us, that meant we still had hope. Very high hopes. We also knew that we served a very faithful God. For the first time in my life I truly realized all of our plans were now in His hands.
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