I will never forget lying on a cold table, in a dark room, staring at the ultrasound machine. Time stood still in those moments as the nurse nervously moved the wand around my belly and I regretted telling my husband I didn't mind going to my appt alone. It was supposed to be routine...in and out with a good word about how healthy both my baby and I were. I was alone...and felt the most alone I had ever felt in my life. What seemed like hours came to a halt as we located a sound...a still small heartbeat. Upon zooming in a tiny little form came into view and my tears began to flow...there she was. Her heartbeat was but a flicker and her size way too small, but in that moment, my heart was irrevocably gone as I fell in love with her. I lost her that night...never saw her face...never nursed her or kissed her or rocked her to sleep. Her ultrasound picture is all I have...and the memory of her flickering heartbeat.
A few days later I went back for a followup ultrasound and I will never forget what the nurse said to me. As I lay on the table crying, she put her hand gently on my arm and said, "Just be thankful God took her for you so that you didn't have to choose." It took me a few minutes to realize the implications of what she was saying. All the sudden I was overwhelmed with rage as I realized she was telling me that I was lucky to not have had to choose to abort my baby since something was wrong with her. My head was already exploding with emotions of sorrow and anguish and loss...how dare she indicate that I would have chosen to kill my child???? Thankfully my tears kept me quiet and I left the office without saying anything.
I ended up walking through the valley of the shadow of death again as I lost another baby through miscarriage just three months later. Unless you have experienced it, there is no way to know or understand the pain of losing a child...there are no words. I have thought often of that nurse and what she said. I no longer get angry as I think of it, but rather feel a deep sorrow for her and anyone else that chooses to end life due to it's imperfection. I don't regret having been pregnant with my babies that went to heaven...for they gave me eyes to see God. The months of despair and hopelessness led me to a walk with Jesus that I would never have known otherwise. He reached into my soul and loved me even when I did not love Him. I'm not going to pretend that I would have rejoiced over a life spent caring for a child that would suffer through life due to physical or mental difficulties...that would have led to grief all it's own. But, God delights in bringing beauty out of ashes, turning our mourning into dancing, and bringing hope to the hopeless. For every life that is ended because the road ahead looks grim, God is unable to meet that need and that woman chooses to miss out on the blessings God was going to give her. Life is a gift...not matter what form in come in or how long we possess it. I thank God for my four blessings...those in my arms and those waiting for me in heaven. And I pray for the boldness to reach out to mothers of an unwanted baby to help them see what God sees...the sanctity of LIFE.