Celebrating life

I heard the baby’s heartbeat again yesterday. Without the proper context, you probably don’t realize just how much it meant to me.

For the last several days, I had a foreboding feeling about this pregnancy. I haven’t felt much movement, but I did think I was feeling small occasional kicks and gentle, indistinct movement. I also seemed to be “popping out” last week – going from just a little thick around the waist to Obviously Pregnant.

But then on Saturday I realized that my belly seemed unusually still and quiet. At 18 weeks, this concerned me a little. I started looking for movement, sure that I would find it.

By Sunday my concerns were becoming more serious. I hadn’t talked about it yet to hubby so I didn’t want to say anything to our friends at church, but I felt awkward every time somebody asked how I was feeling. The more I tried to feel movement – any movement! – the more sure I became that I couldn’t feel a thing. And was my belly actually getting smaller?

I finally mentioned it to hubby and we agreed to call my midwife in the morning. I had an appointment for Thursday and was hoping to move it to Tuesday. Hubby was home all day Monday, and I still felt no movement. Ann heard my concerns and immediately agreed to squeeze me in on the following day. I was relieved that I would have an answer soon, but the stillness in my belly seemed too powerful to ignore and I was already quietly grieving for this baby.

Yesterday morning as I drove the 75 miles to my midwife’s office, my head was filled with questions. “Will there be a heartbeat?” was not even on my list. I was asking myself what it would be like to deliver at 4 months (I have had early miscarriages and a full term stillbirth, but never in the second trimester.) I was wondering if we could find a nice little wooden chest at Hobby Lobby to serve as a coffin. We could bury the baby in the family cemetery next to our stillborn daughter Sarah. What would we name the baby, and would the gender be apparent to our untrained eyes at this stage? I was wondering if we would need to notify the county coroner after the delivery, and would the midwife need to be present or would it be safe to deliver alone unattended? I composed the blog post in my head: the title would be from Job, The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  I was sad, but content.  We are all His.

When I arrived a bit early, I sat down to read and wait, but the midwife was ready for me. She hurried through the preliminary parts of the checkup: blood pressure, urine test, etc. Then I laid down and she rubbed cold jelly on my belly. I was composed, thinking I knew what to expect. I had heard the deafening silence of a baby’s still heart once before. As she got ready, she warned me that the baby at 18 weeks has lots of room to move and hide; I shouldn’t jump to conclusions if she didn’t find a heartbeat immediately.

She laid the cold head of the stethoscope on my belly and we instantly heard the most beautiful sound imaginable: the pitter patter of a tiny heart. My composure melted and I burst into tears of surprise and relief, thanking God for entrusting this child to us for a little longer.

And that was what did on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade this year.  I celebrated an unborn life.

Comments

  1. Wow. This gave me chills.

  2. Kim, I’m so glad your baby is ok!

    God bless,
    Sallie

  3. This made me cry! What a wonderful view of parenting you have.
    Praise the Lord for the life inside you!

  4. Kim, as I read your post I was convinced by your words and believed as you did. I anticipated as you anticipated what you would hear.

    As the midwife placed the ultrasound to your tummy and you burst with excitement at the pitter patter of your baby’s heart my eyes welled up with tears of joy that your baby’s life was once again restored in your heart.

    Praise the Lord for LIFE!

  5. Oh PRAISE GOD! After having two miscarriages myself, one at 14-15 weeks I know it must be quite nerve-wracking to have those moments. I’m so glad she was able to find the heartbeat right away! That is my fear now, since that happened with our baby last time…

  6. Martha in Fredericksburg says:

    PRAISE THE LORD! I was crying as soon as I started reading the blog. You are truly blessed among women, as I am too. We think of you and the children from the time we met you in Boerne. You are a delightful family. Love in Him, Martha

  7. I’m so glad everything’s okay. You are certainly included in my list of pregnant people I pray as many days as I remember.

  8. Mrs. C,
    I would have loved to know, but I didn’t have a sonogram. It was only a doppler, which is a fancy electronic stethoscope.
    I’m not complaining , though. Just hearing that little heart beat was enough to make my own heart skip a few beats!

  9. What a horrible experience to go through!!! I’m so glad that the baby is OK. I don’t suppose they peeked a little at the privates… or do you not want to know?

  10. You brought tears to my eyes! I too have been in this place. After miscarriage then normal birth then another miscarriage, I was ready for the quiet when I felt like something was wrong and went to the MIdwife’s office during my 4th pregnancy. When I heard that quick heartbeat sounding through that small speaker I could not control the tears. God’s grace is ever-present! I am so happy for you. And your last sentence was indeed the nail driven into the rawness of your post!
    Thank you
    Nanette

  11. Rejoicing, praising the Lord, and crying tears of relief and joy right along with you!

  12. I found your blog through Amy Clark’s blog and had to comment on this one. I know how you felt about hearing the heartbeat. My first son was a stillborn about 6 years ago around 23 weeks. I did feel him move but then all of a sudden he stopped moving. I didn’t think much of it either at the time because my stomach was still huge and I sure felt pregnant. Well at my appt is when they found no heartbeat and then the ultrasound confirmed my worst fear ever! With my second son born in 2002 I was a mess the whole time, even went so far as to rent a heartbeat monitor so that I could hear his heartbeat whenever I wanted to. I read the story about your Sarah and when my stillborn son was born he also had a problem with his kidney, one was missing, but they never gave us or couldn’t give us a definite answer about what happened to him. I’m glad everything is okay with your current pregnancy. I know that “fear and panic” feeling. Best of luck to you and your family.

    Rebecca

  13. God is so good! I praise Him with you all!

  14. Oh, I am SO happy to hear that the baby is doing well. This was a beautifully written post and I’m glad I took the time to drop by.

  15. How wonderful! I rejoice with you.

  16. As one who has had to hear the sad words, “I’m sorry, hon, there isn’t a heartbeat anymore”, I can rejoice with you. I am so happy for you…may the Lord continue to grow this little one and may he enjoy a long, busy life!
    :-)
    Karen

  17. Praise the Lord! This gave me chills when I read it! Glad the midwife could fit you in. God is so good!

    Jennifer :-)
    jordanfamilyhappenings.blogspot.com

  18. Meredith_in_Aus says:

    Dear Kim

    I’m so glad you trust in Him. He has brought you through a lot and it shows. May you continue to rest in Him, knowing that this little one is His, loaned to you.

    Leanne, praying for you and your babe. May He give you peace in this stormy time.

    In Him

    Meredith

  19. leanne gilchrist says:

    Kim~

    I’m so rejoicing with you!!!!! I’m so glad you heard the sweet, beating reassurance of your baby’s heart beat….

    Would you pray for me?there is some question about the baby that I am carrying. We don’t really know how far along I am, and there is a question about a second impending miscarriage. I am having another blood test tomorrow (Thursday) and another ultrasound on Monday. We will get to hear the baby’s heartbeat, I pray to God. We love this baby and want it sooo much.

    IF you would pray for me, my sister in Christ, I would feel so much more peaceful.

    Thanks for letting me share my situation.

    And God bless and keep your precious baby.

    Leanne in Longview WA

  20. I am thrilled for you Kim. I celebrate life with you.

  21. Oh this so touched my heart for reasons I don’t feel comfortable posting on an open blog… but just know, you really touched my heart today, and I read your story about your daughter Sarah… There are so many times that I praise the Lord for bringing other Christian women into my life, even indirectly, like your blog. God bless your family~

  22. I am so glad your little one is ok.

    I have played those kinds of scenarios over in my mind before…you know, the “my husband is late getting home, he hasn’t called, and he is on a busy highway…..he must be in a car accident….what will I ever do?” game. The wanderings of the mind can get overwhelming, can’t it?! For myself (and I am NOT preaching to you here :-) – just sharing how I have had to deal with this), I have to snap back to reality, trust in God, and His knowledge of all. The first part of Romans 12 is a part of the Bible I love and need desperately in my life! Renewing my mind from all of those meandering thoughts.

    I am so thankful that all is well :-). I’m praying for a wonderful pregnancy for you with your little one,

    Sarah

  23. Oh Kim! This brought tears to my eyes! I remember the day we saw no heartbeat on the ultrasound for our third baby. It makes the times when you DO hear the heartbeat that much more special and appreciated!

    I am SO glad this story had a happy ending! I’ll be praying for you. :-)

    Jennifer

  24. What great news! We’ll continue to pray for a save and healthy delivery.

  25. Erin M in MO says:

    I am praising God with you for sustaining this life for your family!! May all continue going well…

  26. Oh that’s wonderful, Kim! That heartbeat is truly a joyous sound.

  27. Shelley P says:

    Dear Kim, I am just praising God ….hugs to you all , I can’t imagine what that journey must have been like but praying for a safe remaining journey for the little one and you all.

    Shelley P
    from over the pond

  28. Lisa in ND says:

    So glad baby is OK – how scary! Here’s hoping the rest of your pregnancy is uneventful and little one will keep on bopping around. :) God is good.

  29. Thank you Lord!

  30. Kim, We rejoice with you all!!

  31. Kim- I am so happy for you! I cannot imagine going through that and I pray I never will have to endure that. Right after I read this, I moved on to read the rest of the blogs in my reader. The very next blog had the words to a hymn and they are fitting for what you wrote here today! Here they are!

    “Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father,
    There is no shadow of turning with thee:
    Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
    As thou hast been thou for ever wilt be.

    ‘Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!’
    Morning by morning new mercies I see:
    All I have needed thy hand hath provided—
    ‘Great is thy faithfulness,’ Lord unto me!

    Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.”
    —Thomas O. Chisholm

  32. so glad things worked out I had scares with both of my pregnancys when they couldn’t find the heartbeat only to find out everything was fine once they used ultrasound…….talk about an emotional roller coaster

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