Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hope Returns

At 38 weeks pregnant, lying on my back is not only uncomfortable, it makes me feel vulnerable. Like a turtle lying on it's shell, I feel unwieldy, unable to get up quickly or move easily. As I lay on the examining table in my OB's office, flat on my back, those feelings are never more apparent.

She squirts the warm gel on my belly and runs the doppler gently across my huge expanse of belly. I am anxious, as always, to hear the comforting sound of my baby's heartbeat. Don't be afraid, I tell myself as I listen to the static coming from the machine. I strain my ears to hear even a faint echo of baby. The doctor is asking me questions about the headaches I am having that seem to indicate further issues with my blood pressure, but I try to block her out so that I can hear babe.

The Doctor lifts the doppler for a second and asks me where we usually hear baby. I point to the right side of my tummy as she squirts more gel. I feel my heart start to race as she places the wand back on my belly, pushing a bit harder now.

My mind is going places I don't want it to go. Tears start to stream down my face as I think, "I knew I would never hold this baby in my arms alive." I feel resigned to the fate of another dead baby. More minutes pass, each one has the weight of hours in it as the doctor continues to move the wand around. She notices the sobs racking my body and starts to croon to me. "It's okay, sometimes baby moves into a position that is hard to capture. We have an ultrasound machine here and we will find him with that. When did you last feel movement? See, it will be fine. You have been happy with his movements, right? It's okay."

All I can think is that she must not remember that I have been here before. Straining to hear a baby's heartbeat that had ceased to beat. Hoping against hope, but that time I never once imagined that my baby could actually be dead. This time I can think nothing else. Hope has left my heart, fleeing with the static that fills my ears.

And then. And then I hear it! The OB has moved the doppler all the way behind my ribs and we hear it, strong and loud, and now my tears fall in utter, disbelieving relief. "There he is! Strong and healthy at 150 beats. He is fine." The doctor sounds as relieved as I feel. She showed no alarm for those long moments of silence, but now it is evident that I was not the only one who doubted.

So baby Zed is healthy and strong and we are still awaiting his blessed birth. My heart was broken and mended again, even if the stitches are a bit haphazard and loose this time. Hope has taken up fleeting residence in my soul once again. But as I lay in bed tonight, weeping quietly to myself, I am not sure for whom I weep. All I can think of is the family from my church who received the news I did 6 years ago, that their much loved baby has died in her womb. A few Sunday's ago I sat in the pew and watched this couple walk to the front for prayer. I had no idea why, they weren't ready to announce or talk about what had happened. But as I watched them, I started to sob, I felt in my spirit why they were up there and my heart broke for them.

And it breaks today for all of the others who have held their lifeless babies in their wombs or arms, all hope gone, hearts broken completely, feeling as if they will never mend again. Never hold hope in their hearts again. And I pray that hope returns. That hearts mend. Souls soar once more. Because with God's help, I have come back from that awful place, the brink of the abyss, bottomless sorrow and even bitterness that threatened to creep in and take over. God has healed my heart, not just once, but over and over again. Fear has threatened to come in and take over, but my God is bigger than my fear and he eases it and allows hope to fill me over and over. Today I feel, once again, that there is a day soon coming where I will hold baby Zed in my arms as he cries lustily in protest of leaving his warm nest within me.
And I also know, within my heart of hearts, that the day is coming that I will even hold the baby girl that was taken from me too soon. She is well and perfectly happy in heaven with her God, and one day He will let me be her mother again, when my days here with you are over.


  1. Anxiously waiting.....glad to hear things are still good to go.....do you have anyone that can post the announcement for you?

    Hang in there mama! It's all going to be fine, although I know it is hard to believe it fully until you have that baby in your arms safe and sound. hugs.

  2. Oh, that fumbling around to hear the baby's heartbeat just drives me mad each and every time! And now that I feel the baby's kicks stronger, I hate going hours without a kick. This incessant worry must stop!

    This is beautifully written - thank you for sharing and offering new hope and faith. Your strength is inspirational.

  3. *hugs*

    What a beautiful post, MMM.

  4. I agree...that was a beautiful post. I have tears in my eyes.


  5. what an emotional release & relief.
    can't wait for him to get here!

  6. Oh Kris.
    I held my breath...and cried.
    I'm so glad he's okay and I'm heartbroken for that family.

    Make sure you or B call from the hospital. I'm sorry to hear about your headaches.
    Love you muchly...

  7. Ah, sweet Kristen... I am so sorry that you have this fear, and rightly so... That ANYone should have the tragedy of losing a child.

    I am so glad Zed's doing well. Hang in there, and accept my cyber hug...

  8. The anxiety does not ever quite go away, neither does the pain. I am so glad that he is doing well and I can't wait to hear about his birth. I will be praying for you and all of your family.

  9. Know that I am praying for you big time! Stay in His arms! We will be awaiting the big news, big cyber hugs!!

  10. That search for the heartbeat... I always felt my own heart stopped for a moment. I'm so relieved to know all is well.

    My heart breaks for that family, for every family facing such an unimaginable loss. I will pray for them.

  11. Pretty soon you will be listening for the sound of the car in the driveway and worrying about that too.
    It is one long worry train and I would sign up again in a minute...
    This was a beautiful post. I am still crying. Thank you. Keep writing....

  12. I'm so glad your baby is ok. I'm sure the time spent searching was interminable.

  13. Your faith is strong and so is that baby you are carrying. In just a little while he will be in your arms. Sending hugs and prayers for these last couple of weeks...

  14. I'm so glad you heard Zed. And so glad you'll one day hold your little girl. There'll be a new sound from Zed very soon! The cries of a newborn are wonderful.

  15. Yeah! I am so happy for you and little Zed. Cant wait to see a picture of him

  16. HUGS and TEARS to share with you. So, happy the little guy is doing well. I felt the horror you speak of and wish it on no one.

  17. That little stinker was hiding! LOL! I'm so happy for you. The happy baby day is just around the corner. You are in my thoughts, and I cannot wait to see pictures of the precious little one.

  18. What a touching post, Kristen.