It’s been awhile. A long while. I needed space, and quiet. It’s been a crazy year and a half.
A year ago, I could hardly breathe. No one noticed. To most of the outside world, I looked fine. Acted fine. But, breathing hurt. Not physically. But, it took effort. Each breath. But, I kept taking one breath at a time. Because I had to.
We lost him. The pregnancy seemed fine to the doctors. Not to me. I knew something wasn’t right. I guess moms sometimes just know these things. And so when they couldn’t find the heartbeat with the nearly broken Doppler, I knew it wasn’t broken. The couldn’t find it with the next Doppler, or the next two ultrasounds. My son was gone, and I was thrown into a swirling darkness that lasted a long time. I was the only one there. It was scary, painful, and lonely. But God was there, and He took me by the hand and pulled me through. It’s a beautiful, painful story. A love story. Because without suffering, there can be no love.
Despite it all, God promised he would “bless our family again.” His words. On last Easter Sunday. Those were the words I clung to as I moved through the days. The move, the starting over, the countless labs to find out Why. Eventually we did find out why. Which was a bitter sweet pill to swallow. Treatments could have saved our precious sons. But we didn’t know.
Then, it happened. Another blessing. “Pregnant.” I cried. In my husband’s arms. I wept from great fear and great joy. I started daily blood thinners, progesterone, and extra supplements all in attempt to keep this sweet tiny blessing alive. Anxiety shook me to my core some days. There are people who talked me through intense panic, and I’m grateful. Prayers, so many prayers.
I knew he was a boy.
Right away, I knew. I’ve been right with every pregnancy on the sex. And I knew this was a boy again. Which scared me even more. I had told myself we would never have a boy this side of Paradise. I couldn’t handle losing another. Week by week, I crawled through the pregnancy. Each month was a huge milestone. 18 weeks came, and I had to go between appointments, just to hear his sweet heart beating. Because I thought he was gone. He wasn’t. Just quiet. Our little rainbow baby was growing. I’ve always thought the term rainbow baby was beautiful–rainbows are a sign of God’s covenant with man.
20 weeks, the big ultrasound. 24 weeks, viability. 28 weeks, third trimester. 32 weeks, bi-weekly NSTs. 36 weeks, almost there. 37 weeks, full term.
And then it happened. The very moment I had convinced myself I’d never live to see. The moment, I had let myself envision only a handful of times.
He came. And he was alive. He cried and nestled on my chest for an hour before they weighed him. One of the greatest hours of my life. I sobbed to my husband. “He’s here! We have a son! He made it! I did it!”
I didn’t do it. He did. Our great and merciful God. He didn’t have to. He did not have to give me another sweet baby. He did not have to allow that sweet baby to be a boy. He did not have to answer my prayers about how my labor went. Down to the very hour.
But He did.
My friends, though times may be so very dark that your soul can’t see, He is there. Though it seems as though the swirling grief may never end, it will. Though it seems no good may ever happen again, it will. After every rain, there will be a rainbow.
Mine is sleeping upstairs.
Weeping may tarry through the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5