Thursday, November 24th, 2005 – My mom walked in the door, arms full with Thanksgiving things, and Chayla (she was 2 ½ at the time), says, “Hey Grammy Sue, Mommy is going to have a baby.” I quickly shook my head, “No, I am not pregnant.”
It had been a long and painful 2 years of trying to get pregnant. There were so many ‘not pregnant’ tests thrown into the trash. No plus signs. No two blue lines. There were so many tears of disappointment. It makes my heart hurt for those women who have had years and years of this kind of hurt. Hugs to you if you happen to be one of those women who truly want a (another) baby.
Just four days later I realized I was late and I decided to take a test… I ran and threw my arms around Sam and we cried joyful tears together. All of our prayers were answered. As a family we had cried out to God together, so we couldn’t wait to tell the kids and have a praise party with them.
(Josiah’s actual positive pregnancy test)
It was a short rejoicing time. All too soon I became extremely ill from the all-day ‘morning’ sickness. So many friends gave their advice on what worked for them, but nothing seemed to help. At 11 weeks we went in and had an ultra sound done. Our little Jumping Bean was very active and healthy.
March 5th I was finally starting to feel better, so Sam and I decided to go on a little get-away for our birthdays (mine is 03/06 and Sam’s is 03/10), so to Frankenmuth, MI we went. It was wonderful to get away and feel really great while we were there.
Pic taken at Frankenmuth on March 6th – almost 20wks
March 7th we drove home. Everything seemed normal. However, when I woke up March 8th, I started spotting. I called my OB GYN right away and made an appointment to come in later that afternoon. I actually had my 20wk ultra sound scheduled the following week. As I laid on the table and the doc used her Doppler to check the baby’s heartbeat. Around one side then over to the other, swirling high and low… no heartbeat was detected. Everything was a blur from that moment on. Next thing I know, I was having an ultra sound done. There it was, in plain sight, a still baby form.
“Is he dead?” I asked over and over again.
“I need to go get the doctor,” the technician said, as she hurried out of the room.
It felt like we waited forever. I am sure it was less than five minutes, but it just felt like the hours were ticking by. When the doctor came in, she viewed the pictures on the screen.
“Is he dead? Is my baby dead?” I said over and over again.
“Let’s get you back to the examination room, and we can talk in there.” The doctor answered.
My mind raced and yet went numb at the same time. It was like one of those movie scenes where the main person is standing still and everything around them is a racing blur.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Guidry; your baby has no heartbeat.”
Nothing else made much sense. But I do remember her giving us our options.
- You can wait to see if your body will naturally dispose of the baby. However, I don’t recommend this because you are so far along.
- We can induce you to start labor and deliver the baby in the hospital.
Sam and I decided on option two. I numbly walked out to the car, sat in my seat, put on my seatbelt, adjusted the strap for my pregnant belly, and stared down at my stomach. I started to cry. We had wanted this for two years. Josiah was an answer to prayer. Why was God taking him away? The questions flowered over top of each other… until the thought…
“How are we going to tell the kids?”
My mind went back to the memory of all of us praying for a baby. Then the memory of telling them that I was pregnant. They were so excited. I thought about the fact that Chayla knew I was pregnant before I did. She was so attached. She spent so much time talking to Josiah. She was actually the one who told me that we were going to have a baby boy and his name was Josiah. She would get mad at people who said, “Isn’t it exciting that your mommy is going to have a baby,” she would cross her arms and pout and say, “Josiah is MY baby.” Samantha was also very attached. She would sing and pray over Josiah. Then there was Robert. He prayed so hard that a baby would join our family… How was I supposed to sit these three kids down and tell them that Josiah was with Jesus?
When we got home, I had a friend of mine watching the kids for us. She knew by the first look at my face that it was awful news. She gave me a big hug and then gathered her two boys together and they left. We asked the kids to sit down in the living room. When we told them, it really was just awful. The disbelief and confusion on Robert’s face. The hurt and scared look on Sami’s. And I will never forget the wails that came from Chayla… yep, it still makes tears come to my eyes. We let the kids ask questions and express their feelings. Then we all hugged together and cried together.
We had called our parents and Sam’s oldest, John, before we left the doctor’s parking lot. My mom and brother quickly got things together and drove the hour it took to get to our house so that they could be there to watch the kids whenever we got the phone call to go into the hospital. Within an hour I had a dear friend stop over with food for dinner. We also had two flower arrangements arrive so quickly. The news passed quickly through our church friends. They were all so supportive.
Then the dreaded call came – it was time to go to the hospital. I do have to say, going to the hospital to give birth to a baby who was dead is something I will never forget. As I walked to my room, I heard a mom scream out, and then a precious baby cried. I touched my stomach, I would never hear Josiah’s cry. As we walked passed more rooms, you could hear baby heartbeats being monitored, but I would never hear Josiah’s heartbeat ever again. The nurses and staff were great. They were compassionate and loving. But seriously, it is the most painful thing in the world to have to give birth to a dead baby and be on the labor and delivery floor. Though my room was separated from the others, it didn’t stop being able to hear the very alive and well babies.
Though it may seem gross to some, after I delivered Josiah, Sam and I requested that he be kept in our room. Sam and I spent time holding his lifeless body in our hands. He was that small. Even though I delivered him just shy of 20wks, his body was only about the size of what a baby would be at 14 or 15wks. We said our goodbye slowly. The nurse took pictures and gave us some angel keepsakes. It was so sweet, and I am so thankful for our nurses’ tender care! When it was time to go home, even though I knew that Josiah was no longer in his body, even though I knew that Josiah’s spirit was with Jesus, I felt so weird leaving ‘him’ there. It was like I was abandoning my precious baby boy, leaving him at the hospital. It was heartbreaking being wheeled out without my baby in my arms.
Every year that my birthday would come around (remember it’s on March 6th), there was always a dread. I always knew what followed, what was always hovering around the corner… yep, March 9th was always in view and it was difficult to truly be happy on my birthday. March 9th was always such a sad day of remembrance. My heart deeply hurt.
March 9th, 2014, something new happened. I went upstairs feeling the normal sadness. It typically was a day I spent alone in my room… usually sleeping as much as I could. I went to go lay down for a little while. Then it happened… I am not sure if you have ever heard of the Christian band Red. They are a pretty hard rock band. They have a song called, ‘Breathe’. In their video for ‘Breathe’ (if you are sensitive to creepy, I wouldn’t recommend watching it… it is very intense!) there is a part where a girl is struggling to breathe – which is basically what the video is about – this girl gasping for breath… then at the end, the lead singer of Red, Michael Barnes, leans over the girl and screams – BREATHE! – So there I was sleeping and all of a sudden it was as if Jesus stood over me and screamed – BREATHE! I took in a gasping breath and it was so incredibly weird because my deep sadness, my dark pain of March 9th was just completely gone. The heavy weight of grief had evaporated. I sat up with a clean fresh breath.
I can tell you with the deepest truth of my heart – God is faithful. Step by step. During the times I was angry with God. During the times I questioned His love for me. During the times when I wondered why, especially during the long road of losing 6 other precious babies through miscarriage. It has been a difficult journey, but one of the biggest things I have learned is how deep and wide is God’s love for me!
I can truthfully say the memory of Josiah or any of the other babies aren’t gone because I have healed. I still cry for the things I have missed with my precious babies. There are still times when I wonder what Josiah’s smile look like. What would have made him laugh? No, we will never forget. We will not stop missing any of our precious babies that have gone to Heaven before us. But, yes, though I couldn’t hear it then, I accept it now, what a reunion that will be! Thank You, Jesus, for healing me from the dark grief that filled my heart. Thank You for showing me that I can still love and yes, even miss my baby, without it needing to destroy me on these memory days. Thank You, God, that when I miss him/them, it doesn’t overwhelm me. To God be the glory.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)