Once again, this post is probably going to be pretty raw. I think it helps for me to write my feelings out. It is a good way for me to process. And, it just makes sense to do it on here because then you can follow our story without asking us 100 times. I might get a little too graphic for some people in certain parts. If so, I am so very sorry. It is not meant to hurt you or to gross you out, I will try to be very intentional to include only what I feel helps you understand where we are coming from today.
On Tuesday afternoon, after we discovered our precious little one stopped growing, our AMAZING doctor walked us through our two options. The first being to let my body take it’s natural course and pass our baby. The second being to have a D&C (surgery) to take out our baby. John and I talked about it a little on Tuesday but decided to wait until the next day to tackle the issue of what to do next. Wednesday morning rolled around quite abruptly (after 5 hours of sleep). I fasted breakfast that day and intended to at lunch as well, but physically couldn’t handle skipping more than breakfast. There were lots of hunger pangs, so there was definitely a lot of praying that morning! Most of the prayers consisted of…
God, just let us know what to do…
I trust you, please give us peace…
I was really kind of stuck in the middle of both decisions by early Wednesday afternoon. Then, I asked John, if you had to make a decision right now, what would you say? He immediately said the operation. If I was somewhat leaning toward either choice, it was the D&C. So, I called the doctor’s office, because I was ready to just get it over with.
Dr. Peppy personally called me back within the hour and I told him we wanted the D&C. He was so understanding and said we could do it as fast as the next day or a week from the next day, whatever we wanted. I responded that if the next day (Thursday) was possible, I would prefer that. And, before I knew it we had an appointment at the Sand Lake Surgery Center for 11:30am.
Dr. Peppy had written me a prescription for a pill to take 12 hours before the procedure that would help soften my cervix to make the procedure easier. Therefore, I took that pill at 11:30pm. No later than 11:35pm my body decided it wanted to naturally pass our child. I started bleeding. I felt like it was such an illustration of God’s goodness. He knew I had a hard time with deciding on the D&C, even though it felt like the best decision. So, He just gave me that much more confirmation that our baby was ready to leave the womb.
Right around 1:30am, shortly after I had gotten off the phone with a dear friend, the cramping kicked up. The pill I took was designed to give me some cramping (to open the cervix). So, between my body’s natural cramping and the pill, it’s like the pain was on overdrive. From here on out, the time of things get kinda fuzzy. But, the contractions began to come closer and closer and get more and more painful. I actually vomited twice from the pain. I got the chills as well. Right when I was practically screaming that I couldn’t take the pain anymore, one last round of contractions came. And, at the end of that round out came our precious baby. Was it a mini version of the babies you see at the nursery in the hospital? Absolutely not. Really, it was just a big clump of tissue.
But, that clump of tissue was supposed to turn into the baby I was going to hold in May. Here I am, in my bathroom weeping like I never have before and looking at my husband, then at what we had created together. I didn’t want to let go of the toilet paper that held my dead baby. It was the only chance I would have, this side of heaven, to hold him or her. And, I never wanted to let go. I am weeping now as I type this, just remembering that moment of despair.
I was not supposed to meet this baby that way. I was supposed to be in a hospital in May with my husband as we celebrated the life of our precious newborn. I wasn’t supposed to be clinging to toilet paper and trying to remember the image so that I’ll never forget our baby. I have absolutely never been in a darker place of my life as I was last night. Despair, hurt, pain, confusion, etc, seems like a severe understatement. I literally have no words to describe the depth of these emotions. And, I feel like I have walked my share of dark valleys through my life. But, this one has trumped all of those by a million.
And, writing this almost makes me feel like I want everyone to know about my baby. Not the pain that John and I have gone through, but that our baby existed. Since our child never fully developed, not everyone will get to know that a baby came to the Phillips household in 2009. I just want our baby’s story to live, even though our baby never had that chance.
Okay, now fast forward…after our baby came the contractions stopped and I could hardly believe how the physical pain had diminished so much, so fast. There was still some cramping and still bleeding, but nowhere near the same. Somewhere around 6:00am, John and I tried to get some sleep. He got probably at least a good hour, which I am grateful that he did. I on the other hand, got a solid 20 minutes. Which, believe it or not, I was so thankful for that. After several frantic phone calls to friends and the doctor’s office, we finally got word to head to the doctors office. We arrived around 8:15am? I had an ultrasound to see if I had passed everything and then a physical examination.
My uterus needed to be less than 10mm and mine was 35mm. Dr. Peppy told us that if we continued naturally, it would probably be at least another week of heavy bleeding and cramping. He advised us to go through with the D&C. We completely agreed. So, we ended up at the surgery center 30 minutes earlier than we were originally supposed to be there. While I was filling out paperwork in the waiting room, I began to feel like I was going to break down. My personal favorite question on the questionnaire, was the very last thing I had to fill out…
For Females Only (Circle One):
Y or N Is there any possibility that you could be pregnant?
When was the date of your last menstrual cycle?
Are you kidding me right now?? I left the question blank. I legitimately had no idea what to put there. I handed the paperwork back in. Then, I decided to go to the bathroom. I took about two steps in (it was a one person bathroom) and I just fell to the floor crying. Which, hey, that had to be grief, because the floor of a bathroom at a surgery center? Ewww. I cried it out for less than minute and then I was reminded, Jesus is good, He is still good. I peeled myself off of the floor and went to the bathroom and just kept repeating in my head, Jesus is good, Lord, I know You are good, Jesus is good, Jesus is good. Talk about overwhelming peace right when I needed it.
Then, it was time to go back. I first had to go in pre-op all by myself. John wasn’t allowed to come back yet. Therefore, I almost lost it again. Here were the first three questions from the nurse (which is the same for everyone, just to make sure it’s the right person and chart);
What is your birthdate? Who is your doctor? What procedure are you here for?
I literally responded with a, what? Huh? Can you repeat that?? I answered her questions and a tear fell with the realization of what procedure I really was there for. Then, I had to sign 4 papers that had words like abortion, disposal of fetal tissue, etc etc. I’m sure my signature is quite the scribble on those papers. At this point, the nurse (who was really sweet and meant well) proceeded to tell me all about she never had a miscarriage but how hard it must be. I mean, seriously, the entire time I was with her alone she talked. Putting my gown on, getting my IV in, putting my leads on, getting the blood pressure cuff, she talked about how she thinks the reason why so many people lose their first baby is because of their busy lifestyle and the busy world we live in today. Umm, I pretty much stayed silent with a small smile every other sentence.
Then, praise my Jesus, John was able to join me. What a wonderful husband my Savior has given me. He not only completely amazed me last night, but he sat next to my bed today with a peace in God that I wish I could say I had 100% of the time these last two days. He prayed for us and for Dr. Peppy and for our anesthesiologist. He prayed with such certainty of God’s goodness. That even in our lowest of lows, our Savior still shines bright. And, how obvious He love is for us. Oh, the love my precious Jesus has for John and I has flooded over me the last few hours.
Then, after a lot of anxious waiting (can we say worst 2 hours of my life just sitting around knowing you are about to have surgery to get the remains of your baby?), it was time. Dr. Peppy walked into my little curtained off cubicle and I instantly started crying. He held my hand, squeezing it, telling me that he is about take care of the physical part of this miscarriage and that he will walk with us through the emotional part as well. The Lord has definitely skilled this man with awesome things to say at the right time and also made him a medical guru (in our eyes anyways!).
The anesthesiologist then gave me my first cocktail of goodness. Now, why couldn’t they give me that sedative from the beginning?! They wheeled me back to the OR (which they said I probably wouldn’t remember, but that I might and I remember it clearly). As I was being wheeled back, I kept thinking how I was being wheeled back to say goodbye to my baby. But, luckily that sedative calmed me down so that those thoughts didn’t cause me to completely freak out. Then, I was in the room, I remember looking around and taking it all in. They switched me to the operating table. At that point, Dr. Peppy came up and told me I was doing a good job and it would be over before I knew it. And, it was! The last memory was the oxygen mask going on my face. Then, my next memory is seeing John in recovery.
I felt really good after the procedure and the Lord absolutely gave peace that surpasses all understanding. John and I knew it was absolutely the right decision. I had no regrets at all (which I was afraid about). So far, I have just had two weeping sessions since being home (one while writing this and the other was earlier when a friend that I worked with shortly on a mission trip shared her story that happened just 4 months ago). No abdominal pain, I had some pain in my legs, but that subsided after a good short walk. I am still bleeding but it feels like absolutely nothing compared to before. So, I am extremely grateful for that.
We are not going to lie to you, this sucks. Like I said before, I have never walked a valley this low before. BUT, I do know that there is a Savior walking that valley with us. And, no, it is not a made up spiritual entity to just make us feel better when things are junky, it is the only God. It is the God that created me, that created my husband, that created you, and that created my first child. He made absolutely no mistake when he created our baby. And, I will praise Him (even in the moments I don’t want to) because He knew our baby would only live a mere 7weeks and 5days. But, that baby gave me 10weeks and 5days of joy. And, I will never forget my first child, ever. And, no, we do not plan to just hurry up and try to get pregnant. A new pregnancy will not replace this child or instantly heal my pain. Therefore, we are not planning on that band-aid just yet. We are just trusting Jesus and grieving our first child.
We love all of you! It’s been a rough day but your prayers made it bearable :o)
5 thoughts on “Jesus Makes the Woeful Heart to Sing”
I'm continuing to pray for you! thanks for being willing to share your story as a testament to how big and great God is! you are a blessing. love you!
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
I don't know what it is about this verse, but every time I think of you and John this verse pops in my head. Please know that I am praying for you guys and am continually blessed by God's apparent evidence in your marriage.
You two are AMAZING. It makes me cry to think of how strong you and John are.
I want you to know that I'm praying for you and I love you very much.
I am speechless in how much of a strong tower you are in Christ and I'm honored to know you.
I LOVE YOU!
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
You both are in my prayers and I know that God will get you through this!
Oh Jennifer & John,
I am so very sorry. I will be praying for you.
May God fill that place of loss with Himself and bring you great comfort,