The ultrasound doctor was taking forever. We had seen our baby alive, heart beating. It was so tiny, but then again, we were not even eight weeks along yet. It was supposed to be. The cramping and bleeding that had been plaguing me all weekend wasn't me losing a baby, so what in the world was taking so long.
When he finally came in, he said, "We want to take another look." It my confusion and in the lack of communication from the tech, I pulled my pants down. The tech said too late, "Oh no, just your belly this time." Well this is going great I thought as I awkwardly pulled my pants back up. I laid back on the table and lifted my shirt up instead, exposing my not yet protruding stomach. Whoever invented transvaginal ultrasounds, I would like a word with you.
I didn't have space in my emotions to be humiliated, however, only worried. They whispered a lot before turning it off, before the doctor started his spiel. "The good news is your baby is doing fine." Okay I can breath I think. But then he started to list a lot of scary disorders and epidemics that was somehow placing my child in the wrong place, backed into a corner, possibly in a fallopian tube, stuck at worst, just abnormal at best. He listed the outcome of each possibility. The worst was a "cornual pregnancy" which is an ectopic pregnancy where the baby is stuck in the part of the fallopian tube that is actually located in your uterus. If this was the case he said they would have to have surgery to save my life.
"Would we lose the baby?"
Nope. Nope. Nope. I thought. That is not how this is going to go down. There has to be another way. I'm not about to give up this child's life to save mine. That's just not what mothers do.
And then I thought of Tim and Titus. And I hurt. Oh I hurt. I so ached to be here for Titus, to watch him grow, to take him to kindergarten and the prom, to show him Jesus. I know he needs his mommy.
But so does this child.
So I asked again, as I have so many times lately, "Will I leave Titus, and this precious child within me better than if their life hadn't included me? And the love of my life? Timothy? Is his life better now than before he met me? Will I leave him better than I found him?"
Oh Lord, let it be so.
Oh Lord, take this cup from me.
And He did. A week later, we went back to check on the baby again. All the blood tests for all the bizarre disorders were negative. The only thing we could do was wait for the baby to prove the doctors wrong. Immediately in the next ultrasound, it was clear the baby was in a completely different place than initially. The baby had grown and moved more centrally. The strange tissue and fluid was still there, but it wasn't inhibiting the baby's growth.
After many ultrasounds and doctor's appointments later, here we are, at 12 weeks. The baby is doing just fine! And so am I by the grace of God. Grace upon glorious grace.
Everything about this past five weeks has been hard. Every time I feel something that doesn't seem right, I was afraid something has happened to the baby. None of the normal fun announcements happened with our friends and families because we reached out to them so early to plead for their prayers. It has been hard to find joy in this pregnancy because I'm so scared all the time or just so exhausted taking care of Titus and struggling with the decision to sit down during nap time and rest or face the mountain of responsibilities I have to keep us all afloat. Each decision felt hard and like, "What if I make the wrong one and I lose my child?" But then, there was the sweet in all this bitter. Our community. We've had to ask for a lot of help with watching Titus for appointments. Many people brought us flowers and sent cards and prayed for us. We've been so humbled to see Jesus in each and every act of love.
Tim hasn't been able to make every ultrasound with me. Many reassured me I wasn't alone. That God was with me and for me, always. I can do hard things because God is with me. In this life, I don't ever have to go it alone. Not into an ultrasound room. Not into a doctor's office. He goes before me.
And I've struggled often with the thought and guilt that so many dear people in my life are trying to have children. And I prayed God would restore that joy I had initially when we found out that our newest love was coming to join our family. That the scared and exhausted wouldn't eat up the joy. That my joy would be found outside our circumstances, no matter what the future would hold.
I am so thankful that God gave us the immense gift of this child. I'm realizing that every baby is a complete miracle. I don't know why He has chosen to give this gift to us, but I know He has big plans for this life inside me. Already He has shown his faithfulness to us through each positive ultrasound, each week passing with another heartbeat, through each act of kindness and prayer to us during this breath holding five weeks.
The other lesson He has showed me? That because of the love he placed in me through Jesus, I'm capable of great sacrifices. It is possible for me to lay my life down because He laid his down first. He didn't call me to die physically, but He does call me to die. Every day. To myself. To building up my own life for my own sake. It is possible in the every day of my life to lay down my life, just as it was possible in an ultrasound office.
So what are you calling me to lay down today for the sake of your glory, King Jesus? Thank you for showing me how. More than that, thank you for doing it for me when I know it is so impossible for me to do on my own. I want this body to be a vehicle to nourish this child, yes, but may it also be a vehicle to show your love to all who cross my path. May I leave this place better than when I came.