Grow up, get married, start a family. Seems like a natural progression, right? Not always. Most of us are unprepared for the obstacles and roadblocks that hinder our progress on life’s journey.
Today I am the busy mother of three healthy teenagers. But, rewind the clock twenty-one years and the story looks quite different. After three years of marriage my husband and I decided to start a family. Naively, we thought we would conceive immediately. We didn’t. Hope blossomed only to be crushed, month, after month, after month. We wondered what was wrong with us. Was having a baby this difficult for everyone?
We cried out to God begging him to rectify the situation. After two long years, we were elated to finally be pregnant. We happily shopped for baby paraphernalia, set up the nursery and discussed names.
Sixteen weeks into the pregnancy the amniotic sac protecting our precious baby ruptured. My regular doctor, as well as the neonatal specialist, advised abortion. In their opinion, continuing the pregnancy was pointless. If the baby survived there would be severe birth defects. My health was also at risk. Prolonging the pregnancy would leave me susceptible to infection and possibly infertility. Devastated, we cried, we prayed and ultimately put our fate in God’s hands. No matter the outcome, we would not end our child’s life. As long as his heart still beat, there was hope.
Our baby clung to life for another five weeks and then his heart stopped beating. After enduring an induced & painful labor and delivery I left the hospital with a flat stomach and empty arms. Adding to the heartache, my breasts filled with milk, preparing feed a baby I did not have.
On a sultry August morning, surrounded by family and close friends, we buried our first son, Matthew James. The healing process was long and arduous. Each day brought fresh pain, each milestone left a scar. Through it all, God was there. He placed people in our path that loved us, supported us, and prayed for us. There were even people in place that took care of the many ensuing financial needs.
Tears of despair became tears of elation with the arrival of Stephen Michael thirteen short months later. But God did not stop there. Brittany Rebecca arrived three years later followed by Christopher David two years after that.
Twenty years have passed since we lost Matthew and
“why” is a question I no longer ask. The answer is unimportant. What matters is that I live each day with my trust completely in Him, knowing that no matter what comes our way, God will see us through.