I woke up this morning and I heard the news.
I know the pain of a heartbreak.
I don’t have answers and neither do you.
I know the pain of a heartbreak.
This isn’t easy. This isn’t clear. And you don’t need Jesus til you’re here.
The confusion and the doubts you had up and walk away.
They walk away when a heart breaks.
I heard the doctor but what did he say. I knew I was fine about this time yesterday.
Well I don’t need answers. Well I just need some peace.
I just need someone who could help me get some sleep.
Who could help me get some sleep.
I’ve heard this song over and over.
It was so beautiful to my ears each and every time that I wanted to use it for a Celebrating Life video.
But then I heard the lyrics and knew it just didn’t match.
Never did I know it would help me tell our very own Celebrating Life story.
It still shouldn’t match. But this time, it does.
Unfortunately this story won’t be accompanied by a video or pictures of us celebrating the first breath of our child.
But it is still a story that celebrates our first baby.
It’s a story that was written long ago…one pieced together by our Creator.
It is a story of a person whom I never met but whom I miss so much.
**originally written 10/15/16**
Maren was the first baby on our hearts + Finley was the first baby in our arms. Yet neither of them were actually our first Whitkid.
Nearly 2.5 years ago – on May 21, 2014 – I visited the OBGYN for a routine ultrasound. I had just begun seeing this new doctor a few weeks prior + he wanted to take a look at my polycystic ovaries himself.
But before I tell you about that ultrasound, we should rewind a bit to touch on a few things.
- Yes, I said polycystic ovaries. I have never mentioned it before because our story of getting to our kids isn’t a cut and dry infertility issue. We didn’t try and try and try to get pregnant as most people have assumed. We truly felt led to adopt first. Had I not known I had PCOS…sure, adoption may have come later. But adoption is such a big Plan A in our story. // In addition, I choose not to claim infertility because there are women who have hoped month after month that the Lord would open their wombs. Though I had similar feelings of easy pregnancy being taken away from me, I don’t know what incessantly trying feels like and I will not devalue their stories by claiming it.
- In the weeks leading up to the visit, I had terrible pain on my right ovary. I assumed it was a cyst larger than normal. Three different times, I was near going to the emergency room before taking Motrin, using a heating pad and lying down…when the pain subsided, I could only assume it was nothing serious.
- A couple of weeks before this was Mother’s Day. I felt a small sting in my heart that it wasn’t time for us to have kids but also felt relief that I was getting so much time with my husband. Little did I know…
The ultrasound tech called me back, and we chatted as we walked to the room + prepared to “take a look around.” Once the tech began, I let her know that I had some bad pain on my right if she would check that out as well. I followed it up with a joking “If there’s a baby in there, it’s news to me!” (You see where this is heading.) Bless that poor woman. She quickly stopped the chatter + barely spoke a word for the remainder of my ultrasound.
I returned to the waiting room and sat next to the door where the nurse calls names. I’m always afraid I won’t hear my name if I’m too far away in this large, large waiting room, and I didn’t want that embarrassing moment where the nurse comes searching.
After a few minutes, I heard my name called from around the corner. I got up and heard it again. The women at the front desk were asking for me + there was a nurse there with them. She told me I needed to go down the hall to the lab so they could run some tests.
I knew this wasn’t normal.
This wasn’t how this goes.
But I convinced myself I was just being overanalytical.
I proceeded to the lab + attempted to strike up conversation with the lab tech. As she poked me and drew blood, she didn’t say much. Midway through, I heard my name again. A nurse was sticking her head around a corner saying “Do you have Kate Whitmore? Make sure you get [some special vile of blood].”
It was then I stopped telling myself I was fine. I allowed myself to believe something was wrong. EVERY PERSON in this place is looking at my file. I am known. They’re all talking about me.
I returned to the waiting room and opened my Bible Study app to Nehemiah. I tried to distract myself but focus was difficult.
I was soon called by the nurse through the doors I had previously sat near. Sweet Rhonda. She is usually talkative + silly. Today she said nothing. She walked me to the scale where she stopped and stared at it. “Do I need to step up on it?” She stumbled over her words as she answered yes.
It’s not right.
Something is wrong.
She guided me into a room and asked me to sit on the table.
I waited in silence.
The Doctor walked in and Rhonda followed.
He stood at the end of the table facing me. He then looked straight in my eyes + breathed 7 words that would change my life.
“I believe you have an ectopic pregnancy.”
I feel like I stared at him for a lifetime though I’m sure it was a matter of seconds.
In that time span, I remember every thought in the order it took place…
“I CAN get pregnant?”
“I AM pregnant.”
“I’m loosing this baby.”
It’s a lot to process so quickly.
Those are things that should be processed over years. For me, seconds.
My sobs were uncontrollable, and after a quick exam, I was left alone to compose myself. I put my clothes back on & sat in a chair facing the table where I had just received this awful news.
My eyes looked up toward the clock high up on the wall but not really looking at it. And, through tears, words left my mouth that I’m not even sure were coming…
See, two years prior, I had this amazing woman counseling me. I’m not sure she knows how much she changed my everyday life and my walk with the Lord. At one point, she encouraged me to thank the Lord even when I don’t feel thankful. I thought it was dumb. So dumb. I tried it on the way home anyway + felt so silly. I didn’t know what I was doing.
But she was a smart woman and so I forced myself to continue over the next two weeks until I saw her again. And then I continued for days, weeks and months.
It transformed my thinking.
It made me trust the Lord in the smallest, hardest circumstances.
Which, in turn, made me FEEL thankful naturally.
I wasn’t thankful I lost a baby.
I wasn’t thankful I was alone.
I wasn’t thankful this was happening to me.
And yet I was.
Because I trust Him.
I trust that He works all things for the good of those who love Him. That they are for His glory.
And I want His glory before my own.
Those two small words set the stage for the following few months (and years). They were the hardest of my life as I frequently laid on the apartment floor – bedroom, bathroom, living room…wherever the grief hit me – sobbing for my baby. Asking God why I couldn’t just hold him. Hurting for the piece of me that was gone. Feeling guilty for not knowing I was pregnant for 9 weeks. Feeling guilty that I didn’t enjoy him better for the 3 hours I knew he existed before I was rolled into an OR to save my life. So much guilt.
You can guess what He did with our hearts as less than 5 months later, we had decided to start the adoption process.
We did love our time together as a married couple. But now we knew it was time for another Whitmore. We knew that feeling we had, the love we had for a child we never met…we wanted that again. We were meant to have that again.
The very next Mother’s Day, I was a mom of 3. THREE in one year. One pregnancy loss. One growing inside me. One growing in our hearts.
And seeing what God can do in just 364 days, I can only say THANK YOU over and over again.