It was just over a month ago that I was pregnant. For the sixth time. When I found out that I was pregnant in July, I must admit excitement was not at the top of my list of emotions. More like shock. That feeling that you just got on a ride you didn't sign up for. Keep in mind, Moses, my oldest of five children, was only SEVEN YEARS OLD when I found out I was pregnant with number 6. So excitement? Not really. More like, um, seriously, we were trying NOT to have another baby right now. Hello??
But you know, pregnancy grows on you, literally, and I started to get pretty excited about having another baby. I started feeling him move (I always thought it was a boy). We started talking about him and the things we would do with him. He will be here at the end of March so we need to plan for the garden, for the bees, for the baby goats... Yeah, I think I am ready to have this baby. A baby! Thank You, Lord!
And then he died.
My stomach still churns to write that.
My midwife came for my appointment like any other appointment. Except this time, we couldn't hear his heartbeat. That heartbeat that just a month earlier raced through the room with such promise of what was growing so beautifully inside me... We went to have an ultrasound to see if perhaps we had missed something. Silence. Stillness. There is a moment in a prenatal ultrasound that the tech measures the baby's heartbeat. It is a wild collection of quick peaks and valleys as a heart that beats around 160 beats per minute is recorded. But my baby had only a flatline.
I have seen those flat lines before on movies. There really is not even a point in trying to describe what it is as a mother to see that flat line describe your child's heart beat... there are no words.
And I won't even try to describe the feelings in the days to follow... just such sorrow. For several days, such sorrow. And then, like any dawn, there is a hint of light in the darkness, a breath of hope. What a strange drink, sorrow mingled with hope. A cocktail only One Man can mix.
Abraham was born 8 days after that silent ultrasound. I was a few days from my half way mark of pregnancy, 5 months. He was born on Saturday morning. At home. With his brothers and sisters running around waiting to meet him. His Bowie (my mom) there to say hello. And his daddy to hold him while his mama cried... My precious friend, Tonya, was here to take pictures. One day I'll post some. When I can finally look at them myself.
You know, I really can't say that we had a funeral. Instead, we got to plant a seed into the ground surrounded by SO. MUCH. LOVE. Our family (some were blood relatives and some were not, but all are family) cradled us and hugged us and loved us and encouraged us and laughed with us and cried with us and were just plain with us through it all...
And like any good Farmer, the Lord watered Abraham's seed into the ground that day. Thinking back, it had not rained here since I found out I was pregnant. Oh, it has rained around here, but not HERE. And as we laid our precious seed in the ground, the wind blew. Eric, in an act that, God willing, I will never forget for all of eternity, took the shovel and rake and buried our son.
And then the rain fell, hard and emphatically, watering in a seed that already has and always will bear much fruit.
There is so much more I could say! So many more thoughts on life and death and the moments between... but just know, Eric and I are healing. I am beginning to realize there will always be a spot for Abraham, no matter how many children follow him. I also realize God did answer our prayers, just not in the way we wanted... And, most importantly, I am learning to take one step at a time, the one right in front of me.
And if I didn't learn that from Abraham, I don't know that I ever will. No one could have seen what was coming around the next bend.
Two days after we buried Abraham, Josiah was admitted to the hospital. And we stayed there for 16 days. But that is another story....