I smiled as I finished fastening the tiny snaps on the little thrift store dress with its wide collar and dainty lace. She looked beautiful, just as I knew she would. I gathered her gently in my arms and swayed softly back and forth, rocking her to sleep. Her eyelids closed, and I laid her down on the couch and pulled the blanket up to her little chin. Satisfied, I wandered off to find the next thing that sparked my interest. See, even then, so many years ago…I knew my calling. It started with those dolls that I loved so dearly, carried on to any baby I could get my hands on. Ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. The answer without fail would be “Mama”.
I was only 19 when my lifelong dream seemed to be coming together before my eyes. The day my husband of 6 weeks and I bought our first box of pregnancy tests. We weren’t going to have a baby immediately, we thought, but maybe after a few months? We were both so young and so eager to start our own little family!
I squinted at that first test and immediately dismissed the oh-so-faint line that a year later would have made my heart leap for joy. A positive pregnancy test would be unmistakeable! Not this little questionable blue line…
Three days later we sat cross legged on the bed with a digital test blinking in front of us. Two minutes.
The word on the little screen was so small, and yet so huge all at once. We fell into each other’s arms in an ecstatic embrace…we were having a BABY! Our Baby M should join us in late July of 2014..except that I was only 4 weeks pregnant, and there are so many things that can go wrong. Especially in those first few weeks. In week 7 I saw the first signs. “Some bleeding is normal.” I was reassured. When it was finally enough to convince me to see a doctor, I wasn’t so confident.
“Your levels are low.” Was the first thing. And then, “Your hcg has dropped from 7600 to 6400.” That is when I knew it was over. Until a couple of days later when my levels rose again. Up and down, just like my hopes. The bleeding never stopped. A speck of a baby never appeared on the ultrasound. The gut-wrenching anxiety that crawled over me at every visit was unbearable. Until finally, week 9…
“We’re sorry. There’s no baby.”
My world came crushing down. My baby was gone. My first child had vanished faster than it came. I wept. We cried together. So many times over those days, those weeks. We had a private service between the three of us and God, and laid our little one to rest beneath the red-tipped bush on the side of our property. My heart was shattered.
My husband would come home from work and turn the music off. I’d play song after song and cry. Just Be Held and Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns, I Will Carry You by Selah…these became songs on repeat. I thought they were healing, and they were to an extent…but I couldn’t stop crying as long as they played.
I grew closer to the Lord in those early days. I stayed at His feet, remembering my baby was in His arms. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t have him or her with me, but I knew His way was best! Losing my baby before we had a chance to meet is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I will hold my tiny angel in my heart, and one day I will tell Madilynn all about her older sibling in Heaven, about that darkest storm we weathered, and how our Father in Heaven saw fit to send us a bright, sparkling rainbow in His own time. My home above is even sweeter knowing that I have a little one waiting there for me.
Don’t ever think I have forgotten. I glance in the rear view mirror and see Madi sleeping in her car seat, and an image crosses my mind of a second seat back there, occupied by a curly-haired two and a half year old. I’ve dreamed of that face before. So round and innocent, and those soft little hands gripping mine. I wonder how full my hands would be with both of them, but oh, how full I know my heart would be!
Mama loves you, Baby M. You will always be the first to claim my mother heart. Watch over your little sister always.