This weekend, I went to a retreat with over 50 other very brave women. It was all women who have lost babies in pregnancy, stillbirth, or infant death. It brought a sense of community, a place where you could openly share your stories, your babies names, your emotions, your tears…all with women who got it. No judgement or attempts to fix you. It wasn’t a relaxing weekend in any way. Grief work is draining. But, it’s so necessary. I grew to love sooo many ladies this weekend. I hate the reasons we were all there, but I am thankful we could support each other. I posted a link before. The group is called Hope Mommies. There were ladies that came from all over the US to this retreat. There were ladies that had lost babies as recently as last week (not her first, sadly) and then one lady that spoke (she’s on the board) who shared about her son that died less than a month after he was born…nearly 38 years ago. Powerful. Real. I was thankful I decided to go.
It was such an interesting weekend to go, timing wise. This weekend I was the same amount of weeks that I was with Tiny when we learned he didn’t have a heartbeat, and then confirmed it the next day, and then started bleeding the next day. That was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (timing wise 12 3/7 wks-12 5/7 wks). So, going into this retreat, I knew that was going to be either a really good thing or a really hard thing. It was a bit of both. It was definitely at the forefront of my thoughts. But, thankfully, I was in a safe place to share these things. I was encouraged and prayed for, and will continue to be. I know many that are continuing to pray for us. This Thursday will be the time when I delivered Tiny (13 2/7 wks). Stephen and I have talked about it several times and again, just tonight. It’s just hard remembering that time. The pain, the sadness, the incredible grief. So, so hard.
One song that they sang this weekend in worship was hard to listen to. It addresses one of those areas that I still struggle with. What is God’s role when bad things happen? The way this song was sung, I just didn’t like the harshness that I heard in the way it talked about God. I know that part of the lyrics are from Job. But, when I listened to this with the words from John Piper at the end, it gave me a different view. Take a listen.
As a brief catch up, last Thursday, I went to see my midwife for my first official prenatal appointment outside of all the blood draws up this point. It was good to hear our little baby’s heartbeat so strong. It was about 168 during that appointment. Also, last night, Stephen and I finally got the guts to pull out our doppler and listen. Stephen hadn’t heard the heartbeat yet. I can’t say that it was easy to do. I was hoping to find it right as I placed the doppler on my tummy, but I did have to move it around a bit, and boy oh boy, was my tummy making all kinds of noises! But, then that strong heartbeat came. What a sweet sound. We are thankful.
We still are very aware that there are no guarantees with this baby, or with any of our children, for that matter. There are no guarantees with any of us. But, we are trying to trust that God will get us through whatever comes. It’s not a fatalistic view. It’s just truth. We are thankful for each day we have with our kids, and we are certainly praying that He lets us have them with us for years to come! Thank you for your continued prayers.