So there I was. Sobbing in the shower. Asking God to please do “something”. I was a typical twenty nine year old wife and mother of two with a million and one responsibilities. And that made me miserable. Life just did not make sense to me. Living to do stuff was not life at all. But my life was full of to-do lists, meetings, work, cleaning, ironing, cleaning, cooking, cleaning…on and on and on everyday. This was not life. So there I stood, with the scorching water pounding on my face, begging God to please open my eyes and help me enjoy the big things. The important things. The significant things. At this point, I was completely miserable and apathetic to others around me. I wanted my heart to evolve.
Two months later, I was pregnant. “This is it,” I thought. This baby is going to help me slow down and force me to give my time to something more meaningful. This was my time of awakening.
At thirteen weeks, I visited the genetics clinic and agreed to the gender blood test. A week later, we threw an intimate gender reveal party where everyone was shocked to find that a third boy was on the way. The pregnancy was finally sinking in, and we named our baby boy, Jacob, that day.
One week later, I went in for a routine second trimester check up. No heartbeat. I was in disbelief. “He’s wrong; he must be. These things don’t happen to me.” But, he was not wrong. My immediate follow up ultrasound at the local hospital proved that it was true. My baby boy was gone. Immediately, my two boys, Jeremy and Julian, popped into my mind. They are healthy; they are alive; they are beautiful. “Thank you, God, for my boys.” My family rushed to my side. They showered me with hugs and kisses and their own tears. A complete stranger came up to me and let me know that she was going through the same thing. I felt an immediate undeniable and unbreakable connection to the woman. She knew exactly what I was going through. The thought of that settled my heart a little. Her father, a pastor at a local church, prayed for us to trust in God.
I was forced to wait three days to see my doctor to discuss the “options”. Three days full of questions and concerns. Three days of people coming to see me with a deceased baby in my womb. Three days of sleeplessness. Three days of sobbing. Three days of inability to even think about eating. I could not do it. Literally. I checked in to the emergency room a day before I was to see my doctor. I was in the middle of a full blown anxiety attack. I had to explain my story at least five different times. It pained me to have to repeat over and over that I was in the middle of a missed miscarriage. Not one of them gave their condolences. It would not have changed anything anyway. No words of sympathy could ever change how I was feeling at that moment.
I delivered little Jacob on Monday, April 28, 2014. After twelve hours of labor and three days of mind induced torture, I could finally grieve. I could finally feel like it was all coming to an end. The worry, the anxiety, the sleeplessness; nearly gone. Of course there was the sorrow. Complete and utter sorrow. That will sneak up on me at times throughout my entire life.
I found that everything went pretty smoothly considering what we were forced to endure. My mom lived with me for a month until I was able to take complete control over my life again. She was also an ear to my countless hours of pouring out my thoughts. My husband and I gained a stronger connection. I just wanted to hold him all day. Just being with him was comfort. Months prior, he had to beg for me to spend time with him. But now, it was natural as I gravitated toward him. The sight of my boys’ dirty dishes or smelly socks actually made me smile. These were artifacts that showed their existence. That month of healing was a month of discovery. A discovery that life is truly a gift. It is delicate. It must be treated with care. A discovery that I am not in control, and I must accept the events of my life and learn from them. A discovery that my family is the best resource for love and true happiness. A discovery that I am truly blessed. A discovery that the little insignificant to-do’s are merely shadows in dim light that appear to be bigger than what they really are, but if the shades are removed, it is obvious that those little insignificant things are nothing compared to what really matters: God, family, relationships, life.
After some blood work, it was found that I was recently exposed to Parvovirus b19 (AKA Fifth Disease, Slapped Cheek Disease). Apparently most people are exposed at a young age, and like Chicken Pox, your body becomes immune for life. It rarely causes any complications during pregnancy due to the fact that the mother is usually immune. I was not, though. My other tests came out clean, so my doctor suspects that this was the primary cause of little Jacob’s demise.
My husband and I have not decided if we are going to “try again”. I still have unanswered questions. I still have to work on my anxiety. But life is more beautiful now because of my little Jacob. I now know that life is to be enjoyed every minute. It is precious and fragile, and it does not last forever. My little Jacob did something no one else could do.
He awakened my heart.