Three years ago today, I gave birth to a sweet baby at 18 weeks gestation. He was part of twins--we lost the first one at 8 weeks gestation. To me, my family and friends these were not fetuses--they were babies lost. They were dreams destroyed. They were love unshared. They were hope given. They were faith reborn.
I didn't understand God's plan for us at that time...yet I trusted Him completely. I couldn't breathe at times...yet I trusted Him to breathe for me. I couldn't cry at times. I couldn't love at times. I was a mess. I missed and grieved at the chance to hold my sweet boys and to train them.
Mark and I had the privilege to name our sweet boys. The first one was Zechariah Isaiah. The next one we named Hezekiah Tom Thumb. We never were able to meet Zechariah. Yet, he provided hope for us to keep his brother alive. We worked hard the next 10 weeks to protect baby Hezekiah, but God had a superior plan for Him. Unfortunately, it did not involve us having him here with us.
We lost Zechariah in the middle of the night. Fear gripped us as we drove silently to the hospital. Wondering what had happened to our precious baby led Mark and I into deep, silent prayer. Our eyes were elated and sadden to see two sacs on the ultrasound. One sac full of life the other sac empty. Zechariah gave us hope for the future and he encouraged us to take care of his brother.
We learned that Hezekiah had gone to be with his brother in Jesus's arms at a normal doctor's appointment. We were given a few days to think about the best way of delivering him. We had decided to do a D/C, but Hezekiah had other plans. Hezekiah was the only child born during a Dallas Cowboys football game. He was very small and special. If I had any doubt that God created life and that He knitted us together in our Mother's womb, I don't' anymore. I saw a perfectly formed body. All I could think and say after he was born was how beautiful he was.
During the next year, I learned valuable lessons. I learned to cherish my children as the gift they are. I learned that God was big enough to handle my grief and anger. I learned that God continues to give good gifts in the middle of crisis--I just had to look harder.
"But now, this is what the Lord says-He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...'"
During that time period of my life, God was very real as my Savior. He was my every breath and my every move. He gave me strength and encouraged me to continue on. He walked and carried me through every gut wrenching experience.
This October 15th is a day to pray and light a candle for all those who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or infant. Please pray, send notes, light a candle. Let us cherish human life at any age.