There is a part of me that doesn't even want to start writing this post out of fear of what emotions and memories will come from it. Then there is another part of me that realizes that I have been put in a place I didn't really want to be put in where my story, journey, struggles, and honesty can help encourage someone else. Why do I struggle to let this part of me get out? Good question. When I figure out the answer to that I'll let you know.
What I'm finding out lately is that God has a plan for my story and the pain I've been through in sharing my story. It leaves me vulnerable that when I open myself up, people will not understand my emotions, and how could I even expect them to. Opening myself up will cause me to have to remember those hard places I had to face, I will most likely cry (maybe even for days at a time), I may be misunderstood and rejected by those closest to me, changes may have to be made that I don't want to make, but most of all I HOPE that opening myself up will encourage someone else who may be feeling the same way I am/did and will point them to God's Glory to not stay in the dark places of life, but to grasp on with the tiniest amount of hope that Christ saves us from the terrible things of this world. So, here I go.
A little over 7 years ago, my husband and I were starting to talk about parenthood. You see to two people who work with kids everyday, we enjoyed being able to teach and shape young minds while still being able to be home with each other and no other distractions. But we started conversations about parenthood. It didn't take too long (like less than a month) for me to find out that the possibility was going to soon be a reality. I found at in late March of 2007 that I was expecting. I was happy, glad, excited, but mostly really scared. Could I really raise a child? I have never been a person who dealt with babies much. I did lots of babysitting and teaching, but all of those kids knew how to use the bathroom on their own, tie their shoes, wipe their noses, etc. I think you get the picture. I kind of felt like this was out of my element. I started to worry!!! After finally convincing my husband that this was REAL. We made an appointment like most people do and began our prenatal visits.
The summer came and as my morning sickness turned into all day nausea, we realized that we needed to quickly get our house ready for another member. The summer is when we have tried to complete lots of projects that we just don't have the time for during the school year. So we painted our spare bedroom, bought a crib and dresser, and began to collect baby things gradually as we found them. Sometime that summer we found out that we were having a boy. What a great surprise!!! I kind of wanted a boy, b/c I'm not the most girly girl there is. I have a love/hate relationship with pink. Everything for little girls is pink. But that is another post for another day.
Well, the summer came and went and it was back into another school year. I started teaching 3rd grade with a great team of teachers. I quickly began to feel the pressures again. Teaching while being pregnant was really hard!!! I had a really challenging class that year, and wanted to get everything planned out for when I had to take my maternity leave. I'm a firstborn, and I think that means that we like to have all the plans laid out in a nice orderly fashion. But when those plans don't work out the way we think they should, we (Firstborns) have a really hard time adjusting to that.
The middle of October, I had a lot going on, but I quickly rushed out of work that day to make it to one of my appointments. That appointment changed my life forever. I was basically flying into the office and had barely sat down when they called me back and did all the normal pregnancy tests for each visit. That is when I was told that my blood pressure was quite elevated, and I had protein in my urine (sorry I kind of have to be real here). This being my first time doing this, I had no idea what that meant. My doctor sent me to the hospital that day and said that I might want to be ready to deliver a baby. What??? I was only 30 weeks along, no where near ready to have a baby!!! After my husband showed up and got the scoop from the doctor, he was really great at reassuring me that it was just to make sure my blood pressure went down. I had no idea what my blood pressure had to do with the baby, but later found out that they were quite concerned about my health more than with the baby.
I was told that I would be on bed rest until I had the baby. For me, that was hard, but not impossible. I had a lot of support at school, and my sub who had planned to take over for me when I was going to be on maternity leave just started a little earlier, like 2 months earlier. Sitting at home doing nothing gave me a chance to read, pray, write, and mostly rest. It was really tough though. I went from being really busy and having too much to do to having nothing to do. For 3 weeks I "rested". About that time, I had a Bio Physical Profile, which is basically a sonogram, but they are looking for specific movements, growth, and some other measurements. I knew something was not quite right when the person doing my sonogram would not look at me or even say much to me. She then directed me to go see my doctor. I thought that was strange, I wasn't scheduled to see my doctor at that time. But my pastor's wife took me and waited in the car for me. As I entered the office, the receptionists looked at me and quickly got me into a waiting room without checking me in or anything. Strange, but I was still clueless as to what would happen next.
I'm sitting in a room waiting for what seems like quite a while when another doctor I've never met comes in and asks me if there is anyone who could be with me right now. I said that my pastor's wife was waiting for me in the car and then said "why?" They told me that I should probably have someone with me before they told me what was going on. My pastor's wife called her husband and my husband too. We waited for a long time. My pastor got there, but it took my husband a little longer as he was coming from a nearby town about 30 minutes away. The doctor came in again and told me that it was not good news and that the baby had no heart beat. At the sound of those words, I was in a state of shock. I could not believe what I was hearing. I didn't cry, just sat there. I knew that I was going to have to tell my husband and it would crush him. Eventually he got there and I told him, not only did I cry, but I sobbed. I never knew life could be this disappointing!!! But my husband's first words were of great comfort, "God is still in control."
We were sent immediately to the hospital where they were once again monitoring my blood pressure and kept asking me if I was seeing spots. Why would they ask me that? I will tell you more on that later. I went through some of the most painful procedures of being induced, as my body thought it had more time to prepare itself to have a baby. I will say that next to hearing that our baby was gone, being induced was the most difficult thing in the world to me at that point. I will just say it, it stunk!!!!! I was in a constant state of being poked, checked, given meds, a state of fear, and mostly really SAD!!! I hated that room!!! After about a day and a half, I delivered my son stillborn on November 2, 2007 at 1:14 pm. The umbilical cord was wrapped extremely tight around his neck and that was the cause of him passing. We decided to name him Caden Everett. There was no significance to that name, but we had it picked for quite a while after we knew he would be a boy. It was unique enough, yet still had some normal ness about that name. I will probably write another post about naming our kids in the future.
We were flooded grief and as I held him in my arms that day, I looked down at his face and new that he was perfect, but that he wasn't there. His first memories got to be with Christ and that gave me so much comfort in such a painful time. We had many friends and family come to visit us and they just had no words for what to say. I didn't tell you, but that weekend was going to be our baby shower and it had to be cancelled. My emotions were all over the place and I just wanted to go home, but they would not let me until my blood pressure went down, and my blood pressure wasn't going down b/c I was too stressed. How do you not stress when you've had the most precious gift taken from you. Or so that was how I saw it at the time. It took me about 4 days to finally get to a place where they were going to let me go home.
In sharing this with you, this is my account of how things happened, but my journey was just beginning. God had some other plans for me and a road for me to walk down that was much harder than I expected or even wanted.
I've been encouraged to share openly and honestly b/c I've been told by some other women that it helps to hear my story. I'm grateful that my son Caden has a legacy he's leaving and that my pain was not and is not for nothing. Most of all I have not wanted to waste what I've been given, whether good or bad. I pray that God uses my story to make a difference in someone who has nobody and that by sharing I can encourage others that life is never quite what we expect, but with our hope in Christ we can live regardless of what this world throws at us. God never promised us a life of comfort or without trials and heartache, but He did promise He would go with us through the storm.
I do have more to say and this is not the end of my story, but is a good stopping point for me right now.