Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Our Rainbow Baby..

Through a lot of restless nights lately, my heart and my mind keep urging me to share some of our story... to fill in the blanks of my massive blogging hiatus... and hopefully to help someone out there struggling with the very same things.

Seven years ago... seems like forever now, but at that time we were only about 6 months into our marriage when we found out that we were expecting our first baby. It almost seemed too easy... Little did we know how much our lives would change and be blessed by our little one who is now six-years old, in Kindergarten, and the absolute biggest joy in our lives. A couple of years after Colton was born, momma started getting the itch to have a second baby and after some convincing that our kiddo needed a partner in crime, we started trying again. It wasn't so easy this time... life gets in the way... Casey and I both were in the midst of big life changes... He wanted out of the fire department and had started going back to school to finish his degree. I was knee deep in learning what it took to be a head coach and had interviewed a couple of times for new positions after being super comfortable at my home school of Poteet. Needless to say, months came and went... no sign of new babies in our lives. Pretty soon after that, we started attending a new church (after 25ish years at one we practically grew up in together) and attended a service in which the speaker talked one Sunday specifically about adoption. We talked and prayed individually about if that was something that would be for us. We even looked into a few different agencies and I talked with a friend of mine who had adopted twice. Again, nothing really amounted to that but the thoughts/prayers were there in the back of our minds. So at this point, its sometime in the Spring of 2012.. I got my first head coaching job at another high school in Mesquite and left the comforts of the only "home" I had ever known. My first year (2012-2013) was rough, but I learned a lot and had started building a program that I could be proud of, and had an amazing group of girls coming back the following year. The second year started out much easier, as I knew what to expect and how to handle situations better than I had previously. Right after school began, we even found out that after four years of trying, we would be expecting baby #2 in March or April of 2014. We literally told no one though... I really still can't explain why, but I made Casey promise to wait until we were further along. Late in September, however, we learned that a newer couple in our Community Group would be delivering their first baby at 30 weeks stillborn. September 25, 2013 I attended a funeral that had the smallest casket I had ever seen and was heartbroken for this family. I went back to work that afternoon feeling extremely uneasy and felt as if something else was very wrong. I called my doctor late that afternoon and she scheduled an appointment for me the next day. By then I had started bleeding and was in the process of losing our precious one at only 8 weeks. Shortly after arriving and starting a sonogram, my fears were confirmed. I held it together somehow as we sat in the waiting room to see what the next steps would be. "Miscarriages are fairly common", I was told. "You can try again", they explained. "We are so sorry for your loss", they said. The emotional pain I experienced that day was almost unbearable. I barely remember the drive back home from the doctor, but I do know that somewhere along the way I lost it... completely... big crocodile tears that wouldn't stop flowing. I could not make sense of why or how my body had not been able to do what it had already done before. By mid-afternoon, we were back at home sitting on the couch in a silence only broken by my sobbing. "We will try again if you want, when you are ready," my husband said gently. He tried so hard to remind me of the absolutely beautiful child we already had and said that this was the best opportunity to focus on the blessing that we already had in our lives. I, however, was broken. My heart... my soul... my will-power... For whatever reason I remember insisting that I go back to work for practice that day. I will admit that my job became a great wall for me to hide behind. I buried myself in my job over the next few months and never truly dealt with the consequences of that. I refused to talk to or tell anyone about the experience at all and somehow convinced my husband to honor that wish of mine. My family... my friends... they had no idea. I struggled... I still do. That one experience led to other areas of my life being affected and pretty soon I was destroying my marriage and my family. It's truly only by the grace of God that we came out on the other side of such a dark time in our lives.. I did not handle it well then and I know now, looking back, that it was solely because I tried to do it "my way" and that never works out. We would try again... and again... and again... before we (I) truly gave the situation over to God. I think I could probably say this is true for both my husband and myself, but I know that I dove headfirst into prayer about what was next for us and where He would take us on this journey. After several frustrating months and many tearful conversations in prayer, the next step was to visit with a specialist that my OB-GYN referred me to. Dr. Karen Lee was a God-send and immediately put me at ease with conversations about where she wanted us to go from there. After a few simple tests, she found nothing significant and together we came up with a plan that allowed us to not have to dive so deep into fertility treatments just yet. At home, Casey and I had decided that this was, in fact, the best course of action for us and if it was not in God's plan, we would start considering the options of adoption that had once been placed in our hearts and minds. Of course, I was skeptical at first because this lady barely knew me or my body.. but she did know her craft. [I would never say that she created our miracle for us, but I will say that God gave her the abilities she has to assist us with a struggle that so many around the world have]. Needless to say, this past August, on the Friday before students started back to school, she told me that was the day to take a test to see if we were pregnant... Being the skeptic still, I think I piddled around as much as possible after I took that test just so I wouldn't have to face disappointment of any kind... But God is a funny, funny God... and boy is He faithful... that test was positive and our journey to have this baby girl had begun. I won't lie to anyone and say that I didn't have my doubts or that I still don't pose those hypothetical what ifs to myself.. I do... but then I remind myself that Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord, And He will give you the desires of your heart." It's been a rough road and we aren't to the end yet... but He provides and He is faithful. So as we near the end of the pregnancy journey, another will begin with such a different meaning.. We experienced life with Colton like we had never known before, we experienced loss with a baby that is now resting in the arms of his/her heavenly Father, and now a new life will be brought into the world as our Rainbow Baby. If you don't know what that means or why this post was titled that in the first place, check this out! Somewhere along the way, during my personal healing process, I knew I needed to connect in some way to others who had experienced the same thing. I found the Rainbow Baby movement and knew that our sweet, little Avery Grace would be ours. The gist is that a rainbow baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a dark storm and gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow. Storms are scary... they can rock you to the core.. they can create unimaginable pain and suffering... but they don't last. When they do end, a beautiful rainbow reminding us of God's greatest promises will be waiting. He is Good. He Provides. He. Is. Faithful.

Mommy and Daddy can't wait to meet you Avery Grace. You are our rainbow baby and we have been praying for you...


Theresa said...

What a touching and beautiful story!