New Ashes

candles_withtext“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

I got married to a wonderful, patient, loving man back in December. Since then, we have had a variety of challenges, especially with regard to blending our family. There also have been some financial, logistical, and work-related challenges. We’ve had a lot going on, you could say. So on May 1, when I found out I was pregnant, it was kind of a shock to me. Not to my husband–he was just plain happy.

Despite my initial disbelief, it didn’t take long for me to also become excited about having this precious baby. We had decided, before getting married, to allow God to be in charge of whether or not we have more children. We both love kids of all ages. I think it is so sweet to see my wonderful husband interact with little ones. He is so good with them.

Through a couple decades each of raising children, we’ve both learned a lot about parenting, and a good deal of that was from making mistakes. We figure that we could probably do a pretty decent job, given a chance to parent a new little one.

On Monday, I started bleeding and having some lower back pains. I called the doctor, who scheduled me for an ultrasound that same day. I could tell that the tech was concerned. She was having a hard time locating the baby. Then I saw it on the screen. With guarded enthusiasm I said, “That looks like a baby. Where is it?” I didn’t like her answer: “In your right tube.”

An additional ultrasound and a blood test confirmed our nightmare. We had an ectopic pregnancy. The baby would have to be removed in order to ensure that I would survive. I was sent home and told that a procedure would be scheduled. I told them I wanted another ultrasound and blood test first. I wanted to be absolutely sure. I’m extremely pro-life, and the recommended procedure was to use methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug, that would end the unborn baby’s life. I had no idea how I could bring myself to do such a thing. As a mother, I have always known that I would instantly lay down my life for any of my children, and now I was supposed to kill my unborn child in order to save my life.

My husband and I, along with hundreds of prayer warriors, prayed for a miracle. Surely the Creator of the universe could move this baby to the right spot in my uterus. We also prayed that, if He chose not to move the baby to a safer place, that He would resolve this problem without me having to have an abortion.

Wednesday morning at midnight, I woke up with terrible pressure in my pelvic area. I felt like my insides were going to come out. My husband drove me to the hospital and I was admitted into the ER. Another ultrasound was done, and more blood was analyzed. The ER doctor told me that we had to go ahead and operate. They had found a heartbeat, so the methotrexate couldn’t be used.

They had found a HEARTBEAT! So then I knew I had a normally developing baby, developing in the wrong place. I was pregnant and our child was fine, and later they would operate and our child would die, so that I might live. But it was highly unlikely (impossible, according to the doctors) that this child would survive and grow properly where it was. So the operation was to save one life, rather than to lose both of our lives.

The operation was a “success,” if you could call it that. I lost some of the affected tube. Most of all, I lost a precious new life that had grown within me–a child that was created from the love my husband and I share. Honestly, it’s hard to understand, and it sure doesn’t seem fair. Yes, we collectively have seven children, whom we love with all of our hearts. But love multiplies with each new child. There’s an abundant supply, and we already had begun to love this little one.

There was some comfort in knowing that this one went straight to the presence of our Lord, and will not endure any of the trials of this world. One day, we will go to be with her. But our hearts will ache in the meantime.

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