"Choose you this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baby Matthew's Short Time With Us

(The long, "for posterity" version)
During Christmas, I was feeling a little funny and beginning to wonder if maybe I was pregnant.  The day after Christmas I spent cleaning things up and getting the house back to a livable state.  Then I was ready for the answer-and yes!  I found out I was pregnant!  We were excited, although I was very cautious about getting too excited, probably because I had a miscarriage 9 months earlier.  And, maybe I am just a little skeptical of things turning out good.  Nathan asked me why I couldn't just have more faith that all would be well.  I tried.  At 9 weeks people were already beginning to notice that I had a baby bump, so we went to the doctor and had a checkup before making an announcement.  Much to my surprise, there was a heartbeat!  For some reason I just didn't think there would be.  It was so precious to me to see that little baby inside of me and to see the little heart beating.  I told Nathan that even if the rest didn't work out, that right there brought enough joy to my heart to make the pregnancy worth it.  
 Then we had a check up at 14 weeks and much to my surprise again, the baby's heart was beating-at 160 beats per minute.  I teased Nathan and said it was probably a girl with a heart rate that fast.  Jared said ya, she's probably already stressing out about life:)  The checkup was good and the doctor assured us that everything looked perfect and it should be a great pregnancy.  Nathan was still surprised by my cautiousness to get too excited.  But, I was finally letting it sink in that maybe all was well and I started making maternity shirts and put away all my clothes that were too tight.
My next checkup was 6 weeks away-the 20 week check up where we get an ultrasound and get to see the baby again.  We really wished we could see the baby at every check up.  I was beginning to feel little sporadic movements and every time I did, I would say in my mind, "you little darling!"  It made me very happy.
One day, I was talking to my sister in law on the phone and she was due about 3 days before me.  She said that her little baby was moving like crazy.  After getting off the phone, I thought about what she said and realized that I hadn't felt much movement lately.  We put our doppler on (after Jared spent about an hour reviving it) and even though we could get my heartbeat, we couldn't get the baby's.  I was feeling worried but tried not to panic.  Nathan and I had planned a date to Reno (highly unusual) and we decided to just stop by the doctor's office and get checked.  My ultrasound was still 2 weeks away.  They took us right in and after the two nurses tried and couldn't get a heartbeat, the doctor did an ultrasound.  He didn't say anything for a long time, and after what seemed an eternity, I asked if the baby was dead.  He said yes.  It was a hard pill to swallow.  We were so looking forward to having another baby and child in our family.  I tried to control my sobs.  The doctor said we could either go over to the hosptial now and induce labor or come back later.  I really wanted to go home first so we could tell the children in person and also make preparations.  We came home and told them and got to enjoy being together for a couple of hours.  Rebekah and I made a little blanket to wrap the baby in.  Rebekah got me these beautiful pink tulips-in my absolute favorite shade of pink.  She was so sweet to me.  We checked into the hosptial around 9 p.m.

We were there for the next 2 days trying to induce labor-it didn't work.   After my heart started doing weird things,  I decided I needed a break so we checked out to let nature have some time.  Nathan spent a LOT of time in this chair.  He read to me from Dallin H. Oak's book, "Life's Lessons Learned".  It was very helpful to focus on someone else's life and experiences.  

Many kind people sent or brought flowers.  This was the view we had out the hospital window.
The blossoms were amazing.

We found a great friend in our favorite nurse-Amie.  All the nurses were good to us.
We got home in time for Sunday dinner with the kids, watched the afternoon session of conference, and then the missionaries came over-Elder Andrews wanted to say goodbye.
I think Rebekah was exhausted after being the "mom" for 3 days.  I sure appreciate all she did for me.  I don't know what we would have done without her.
A week passed and I tried oils and herbs and even "focusing", and nothing worked for getting labor started.  So on Monday we went back to the doctor to try a different method.  I was very apprehensive to go that route, but in 2 1/2 days it all worked out and the birth was still a good experience-it went well and we got to hold the baby and say goodbye.  It was really hard to have patience-we wanted it to hurry up and happen so we could go to Sariah's graduation ceremony.  But it was not meant to be.  One day I mention how stupid the timing was and Nathan asked me if I was calling the Lord's timing stupid.  That quieted me and no, when he puts it that way, I don't think the Lord's timing is stupid-I just need to trust Him that there was a reason I have no clue about.

The good side to this, was that Nathan and I actually did get to have some alone time together!  It is very rare for us at this stage in our lives, and it was much needed and much appreciated.  We had a good time together (as good as you can have when you are in labor and in this situation).  Nathan was ever patient and took me to lots of thrift stores.  I never can get enough thrifting in, but I did this time!  :)  We also appreciated having a place to stay in Reno to make the frequent doctor visits much more convenient.
The beautiful blossoms lifted my spirits and reminded me of the resurrection.  
I am so grateful for the hope the Savior gives us and for the the gospel knowledge we have.
This time they said we could bring the baby home, so we were super glad about that.  We let each of the kids hold the wrapped baby  to feel his weight and to help Ada and Jed understand what had happened.  (They would pat my belly and ask how the baby was doing-so I knew they weren't quite getting it)
We waited till Sariah got home to bury baby Matthew.  She wanted to be a part of it and we were glad she could be there.

Jared lowering the little casket.
Ada and Sariah added flowers.
And now that 2 weeks have passed since the baby was born, I look back on this time in our lives and ask, "Was is worth it?"  After seeing the heartbeat the first time I said it was worth it.  But now after all that has happened, was it still worth it?  My answer is a resounding "YES".  It did bring me great joy to see the little heart beating in that sweet little body.  This trial brought our family together and taught us lessons that we otherwise may not have learned.  It gave us an opportunity to test our faith and trust in the Lord's will, in the Lord's timing, and in the Lord's love.  We are thankful for the Lord's help in getting through this time and that it turned out well.  He has truly been generous in His blessings to us.


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Annalee, you are ever an inspiration to me. Your willingness to bring so many precious children into this world - even when they are taken away so soon - and your faith in the midst of trials amazes me. You are elect lady. I love you!

agratefulheart said...

Thanks Montse! You are too kind. And I feel the same way about you:)