In this life, there is a time for everything. And, On May 6, 2014, the time came that ended my chances of bringing another baby into this world. I asked the Lord to decide our family’s size. He answered that prayer. Yes, on Tuesday, May 6th, a child was taken from my womb for the very last time. For it was that day that my womb was also taken from my body.
That day was clearly full of joy. But, after reality set in, it also brought so much disappointment. I realized that my plan was really not His. There was a time in my life when I didn’t think that we could have more than two. At that time, we were okay with that. Jamie was really okay with it. But, when it is God’s will, He is bigger than any medical complications. Praise the Lord. He knew exactly what we needed! He knew exactly how to pull on our heartstrings when He sent us number three.
Yes, God softened our hearts. He began to show us from His word how each bundle of joy brings new blessings. And, He continues to show us how He provides. I suppose I thought that the surrendering of one’s womb meant more. So, despite the warnings and complications that came about with this last pregnancy, I really hadn’t fathomed that it would be our last. I clearly understood that there was a chance. There was a chance that I might not survive the birth. There was a chance that Jayce might not survive.
So on May 6th, I prayed for God’s will. I prayed for Him to save my life only if I could be the woman that He needs me to be. (He’s still working on me). I prayed for my unborn baby. A few days earlier, I told my doctor that it was okay if my womb had to go. I didn’t want to leave my babies behind. Although I was scared, I had found a great peace going into surgery- a peace that only God himself can give. I wanted to survive, but I knew that this was out of my hands! I wanted a chance to be the wife and mother that He needs me to be. I wasn’t ready to let go. But in the end, I knew God was the ultimate decision maker. His will was done in that operating room. He chose my life. He chose Jayce’s life. But, He also chose to take my womb.
Just a few days later, tears began pouring from my eyes. The whole experience seemed too painful to bear. I grieved over more things than I have ever cared to. My body ached to the deepest parts of my bones. I can’t even begin to explain it.
I grieved over the fact that I had such a traumatic birth experience. I had survived! Jayce was alive!! I was so grateful! But, I still felt hurt and sad. That can happen when we try to understand…
I grieved over the death of my sweet grandmother. I couldn’t even attend her funeral. I was in a hospital bed separated from my newly born baby and the rest of my family.
I grieved because Jayce was born so early…was it my fault? I believe more times than not a mom always wonders if it is her fault when her baby is born prematurely.
I grieved over my womb being gone. The very thing that brought my children into this world was taken from me. It will never sustain another life. It. is. gone. This has to be for His glory.
I grieved for my unborn children. We still had two options for a little girl’s name: Jayne or Jayma. I just knew our next would be a little girl. God has given us a pattern…boy, girl, boy, girl, boy…
Yes! I have grieved over that little girl (or boy) who will never be welcomed into our family. My older kids have grieved, too. Jacob and I cried as we sat in that motel room the night I was released from the hospital. It finally hit him that he would not have any more brothers or sisters. He told me that God can give me a new womb because He performs miracles. And, one afternoon not long after Jayce’s birth, Jaden told me that she was sad because I can’t have any more babies. Yeah, that broke my heart into a million more pieces. My kids really do love each other. They have their squabbles, but their love for one another amazes me. And the way the older ones nurture the younger ones paints a beautiful picture.
With all that grieving and the emptiness I felt, my two-week postpartum appointment brought more sorrow. Life seemed hard and a little unfair. I hadn’t got what I wanted. I wanted easier pregnancies. I wanted full term crying babies and stress free births. I wanted short hospital stays. I wanted more children. The Lord was carrying me through, but I hadn’t fully come to terms with the molding that was taking place. So, walking back in that doctor’s office was painful. The doctor that delivered our youngest three was going to deliver our 6th. I planned that out a few days before Jayce’s birth as I sat in that hospital bed with hemorrhaging and preterm labor. The word VBAC had even been thrown around. At that time, I refused to dwell on a placenta accreta, increta, or percreta.
So, as I sat in that examining room, I couldn’t help but focus on the heartbeat of my sixth child that would never be heard. I broke down and cried. Through my tears, my doctor put things into perspective. He said, “I am just happy you are alive.” He would have saved my womb if he could have. He has six kids. Trust me. He would have saved it. I agree with my doctor. I have to keep reminding myself that it was my womb or my life. What good is a womb in a corpse?
Since that appointment, time hasn’t stood still and my contentment has slowly came. Each passing day, God’s words revealed what I needed to hear. Don’t they always? I did much better when I went for my six-week checkup. The one that said, “You are good to go. You are all healed up.” And I echoed back, “This is the end.” Those words cemented the fact that those examining rooms are not just for listening to the calming sound of a new life. They are also there to say, “Sorry you will not have any more children or sorry your baby is gone or sorry you will never have a baby.” I wonder how many broken-hearted women have walked out of that place?
I realize I am not alone. There are many women who have wished for just one more baby. There are many women who have heard a heartbeat only to have it disappear. There are many women who have been told that they will never be able to carry a child (my heart aches for you). Even though I came close to losing our last two babies, I will never fall into the last two categories. But, if you do, I will pray for you!
Three months have passed since Jayce’s birth, and I am feeling better. He is a miracle. I am truly blessed. I see God’s love and mercy in all 5 of my children. I see it in my life. I realize that trusting God doesn’t always mean more. Trusting God means that your life is His to do as He sees fit. He gives us what we need and sometimes that doesn’t include what we want or what we thought He wanted. And, in the end it’s for our own good.
I have finally packed up Jayla’s baby clothes. I am ready to hand them to a glowing pregnant mama. I am happy for her. I will not let envy enter my body. I am moving forward. Slowly, moving forward.
Moving forward heals. Moving forward is right. It doesn’t eliminate the enemy. And there are still times when he tries to remind me that:
I will never again see two pink lines.
I will never tell Jamie that we are expecting for the sixth time.
Our sixth child’s heartbeat will not be heard.
The hand of a little one will never again push on this Mama’s abdomen.
We will not have another chance to say, “It’s a boy, or It’s a girl!” No, the first cry of our 6th child will not be heard. That brand new baby will not latch and nurse after his or her birth. What an indescribable moment in any mama’s life….
The list could go on and on and on…
But, I vow to stop focusing on what the enemy wants. I refuse to gaze at the things that can never happen. From this day forward, I will find joy in each passing moment. I have to! It is impossible for me to carry another child. God isn’t going to change my circumstances. It is clear that God has different plans. Better plans. It is finished. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
God said, “Five is the perfect number.” I trust Him. I would do it all over again. I would have number six. He is the one that put that desire in me. He knew my heart. So, I am glad He is the one that decided that number six will not enter our family.
One day in that lonely NICU room, I thanked God for taking my womb. I had asked Him to take it if it was His will. Thanking God for the unchangeable became my healing power. That’s when I finally saw how He was using this trial to bring me closer to Him. That’s when I understood why I need to endure this trial. The creator of all things knows best. These last three months of grieving have taught me that I don’t have to understand. Obedience and trusting are what make the difference. No matter what circumstances arise, He wants me to thank Him for them. He wants me to thank Him for the unchangeable each and every time. He knows why things happen, and that’s all that matters. He knows what will work together for His good and ours.
The grieving stage is fading. The same peace I felt right after giving birth is slowly filling me once again. I have struggled. But, turning my focus back to how good God is has really helped. I will praise Him in this valley because He is showing me that I am really on the mountain top. I am His child. He just blessed us with a child! A child that I wondered if I would ever have! He saved my life! Yes, God is love.
His love is the only way to keep things going in the right direction. Our whole family is moving on. We are moving forward. We are going in a direction that says yes to what God wants from us. Since Jayce’s birth being who He wants me to be has not always been easy. There have been times when I have stumbled. There have been times when harsh words have been thrown at one another. A lot of times we have all felt broken. And, often times we have failed to show love. But, we have listened to the warnings. I know the Lord saved my life for His purpose. In His strength, we are moving forward. Our Father’s love shows us that He wants what’s best. This trial is no different from the rest. He has always seen us through. God’s ways are the definition of good. His plans bring forth the best in us. Always…
(When Baby Jayce is almost two, gently remind me that Jesus has already healed my broken heart. Just say, “Be content.” Sometimes we all need loving reminders along the way. Our family would never make it without the Lord and our Christian friends.)
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (The Lord sent this verse to me over and over again during my pregnancy and after Jayce’s birth. He loves His children).
A song that has helped me through this time:
by: Laura Story
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long as we have faith to believe
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
A book that helped me understand the importance of thanking God for the things that we cannot change: Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships.