Psalm 118:1 The Day We Met Our Miracle
I sent an e-mail to our friends in church to explain all that took place when we found out our baby was with Jesus. It was so painful to relive the events of that night through writing that email. I’m not sure I can do it again, so I decided to just copy and paste the email here on my blog instead of rewriting the whole story. This is a vulnerable step, but Blake and I feel that we must be open and honest through this journey. People keep telling us how strong we are. Any strength we might exhibit is only Christ’s strength in us. Trust me, there is no strength to be found of our own ability. I keep reminding myself that it is God’s job to restore and heal us. I know His Word promises these very things. I’m feeling led to open the door to my heart so you will have the opportunity to see God’s goodness and mercy. Before you read this, I want to ask you a question. What do you fear the most? For me it has always been the death of someone close to me. As a child, I feared the death of my parents. As a new wife, I feared losing my husband. As a mother, I feared losing my only child. I wondered if God really would be enough. I wondered if I would curl up and die. The day has come. I have faced my worst fear. I have given up my precious, long-awaited, only child. My Savannah. I am at my weakest. I have no strength of my own to walk this road. I have the opportunity now to see for myself, in my own life, that God is true to His promises. I am watching, and waiting to see how His power is made perfect in my weakness. I’m inviting you to watch with me. I give thanks to My Lord, for He is good; His love for me endures forever.
Most of you know by now that our little girl, Savannah, went to be with Jesus. We would like to tell you what happened and how God has been good to us through this tragedy. We also want to thank you for the way you’ve shown the love of Christ by reaching out to us. We can’t begin to express what it means to us that you have acknowledged Savannah as our daughter. We know you have been praying for us because we feel those prayers. I tell Blake often that I know God led us to join this FLOCK and that He confirms that belief through the love shown by each of you. Thank you for allowing Him to use you to be His hands and feet. That being said, let me warn you that this is a long email and we won’t be offended if you don’t read the whole thing. Also to the men in our group…I apologize for what Blake refers to as the “female stuff.”
Two weeks ago, on Friday evening, I began spotting. This was the third incident since the beginning of my second trimester. I was worried, but since everything turned out ok the other two times, I didn’t allow myself to think the worst. I was cramping, but it was mild. I called the doctor and told him what was going on. He thought that since I was not bleeding heavily, I should go home to rest and come in to see him first thing Monday. Blake and I both felt sure that this was a repeat incident and that our little girl was probably fine. Late that night, however, I woke up with intense cramping. Blake and I debated about going to the ER. Since my bleeding was still minimal, we decided to wait and call the doctor Saturday. While I lay awake that night, God gave me the verse, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1. I repeated it over and over until finally, I fell asleep. When I woke up on Saturday morning, the pain was gone and the bleeding had all but stopped.
I called the doctor that afternoon to update him since having the intense cramping, which I now realize was probably contractions. He assured me that since my bleeding was better and the cramping had stopped, that he was not too concerned. He said that if I began cramping or bleeding again, I should go to Mercy. Otherwise, I was told to come in Monday for an ultrasound. Blake and I were not convinced that everything was fine, but we were thinking bed rest, not miscarriage. Somehow I had a feeling all day that the cramping would start up again. Unfortunately, my intuition was correct and at about 6:00 Saturday night, I began cramping. After a couple of hours of resting and drinking water, I told Blake we had better go to the ER. I was feeling panicked, but Blake still thought everything would be ok. Again the verse from Psalm 118 came to my mind and I began praying those words.
When we arrived at the ER, I knew God was with us because a nurse brought me a wheelchair and took me to triage even though there were several people in line ahead of us. Blake and I kept praying that everything would be ok. But, a sense of fear and dread overcame me as my first exam revealed that I was slightly dilated. I began to cry and tried to explain to Blake that this was not good news. I still thought Savannah was alive, but knew that she was at risk if I began preterm labor. After this, they whisked us away to ultrasound where we were told nothing. I saw a change in Blake’s face that scared me. I had not been able to see the screen, but Blake was watching. After an agonizing, but relatively short wait, we got the news. Savannah did not have a heartbeat (I still feel the blood drain from my face as I type these words.) I looked over to see that Blake’s face was white and he was crying. I’ve never seen Blake cry. We both wanted to ask if they were sure, but knew the truth.
The ER doctor began explaining that we would be taken to labor and delivery where they would induce labor. We were numb and in shock. All I could think was that this was God’s plan and that He is good. Nurses placed an IV and gave me some pain medicine. I remember crying out to God that I needed Him right here, right NOW. He heard my cries. Blake’s mom and brother, and my sister arrived and cried with us. We were taken upstairs to a labor room. It all seemed surreal. My doctor came to see us a little while later and explained the induction process. We then learned that we were the third couple to lose a child that night.
My parents arrived a few hours later and both of our families stayed by our side. They prayed for us and cared for us. We were told that it might be 8-16 hours of labor and that we should get some sleep. It was 2:00am when they gave me the drug to induce labor. They also gave me a pill to help me sleep and another dose of pain medicine. We “slept” for about 1 hour. I remember waking up with the contractions hitting me like a ton of bricks. Blake was by my side trying to help in any way. Most of this is a blur to me, but Blake tells me that the nurses were concerned about my pain and that things were progressing so quickly. My blood pressure was also very low. After what seemed like an eternity, the anesthesiologist was able to give me an epidural. It took a while to take effect. In and out of awareness, I remember asking why the epidural wasn’t working. My blood pressure was still very low and my oxygen level dropped temporarily. Our parents were not allowed in my room during that time. I feel so sorry for Blake that he was alone and scared through all of that.
Finally things stabilized and my mind was less cloudy. Around 5 am the nurse said I was ready. The Dr. arrived a few minutes later. Savannah was born at 5:30am on Sunday, December 4th. It was so strange to go through labor, getting an epidural, and delivery only to know we would be leaving the hospital empty handed. By the grace of God, our doctor was able to pinpoint the cause of Savannah’s death. She had a problem with her umbilical cord called an “amniotic band.” I’m still not sure exactly what that means, but we were able to see how a small portion of her cord, closest to her body, was very small and abnormal. The rest of her cord was perfectly healthy. She couldn’t get enough oxygen or nutrition through the abnormal part of her cord to survive. The doctor said there is nothing we could have done to prevent this from happening. He also said there is no way this could have been detected by ultrasound. We know many people lose a baby without ever knowing what went wrong. By God allowing us to know exactly why she died, we are able to avoid the guilt syndrome.
Blake and I got to hold our beautiful little girl and kiss her. Our parents also got to hold her. It was so special to have that time with her. I thank God for allowing us to see our baby girl. I thank Him for choosing Blake and me to be her parents, even though we will not raise her here on earth. All throughout this experience, God has revealed to me that this was His plan all along. He was not caught off guard, as Blake and I were. He knew from the moment He created life in Savannah, that she would only spend 19 weeks in my womb. He is good and His ways are good. His plans are to prosper us and not to harm us. As much as Blake and I love Savannah, He loves her even more.
We have shared with many of you that God spoke to Blake back in August. He said that He did not want us to pursue further infertility treatment because He was going to give us a miracle. About two weeks later, we found out that I was pregnant with Savannah. We know with all our hearts that Savannah was and is that miracle. We don’t understand all the whys in this situation. We might never understand. What we do know is that our little Savannah is safe in the arms of Jesus. Even though our hearts ache in an indescribable way, we are so thankful that our child is in the presence of our Lord. I only wish that we did not have to be separated from her. Thank you again for your love and support. Please continue to pray for us. We are still having a very difficult time. We miss her terribly. Don’t be afraid to ask us about anything. We are not afraid to talk about our experience or about Savannah. We might cry a little, or a lot, but we still want to talk about it. We love you guys.
Blake and Caroline