When our son was two we started trying for another child. By then I was sleeping through the night and so was Jonathan. He was still a strong-willed very busy little boy but our little night time ritual had become second nature and now that Daddy was home more often, I was feeling more confident in my motherhood.
It’s funny what we choose to forget as time goes on. I have always been one to concentrate on the good rather than the bad in life. Jonathan was a funny, bright and very creative little boy. He loved to build things and loved to watch the Animal Planet channel. He was a force of nature with a temperament to match.
Even with all of that, Jerry and I felt “ready” for another baby. I laugh even as I type those words. “Ready? What does that even mean?” I was 24 and thought I knew so much. Ha!
I got pregnant rather easily and thought everything was fine until my ten week check up. I went in and they couldn’t find a heart beat. I broke out in a cold sweat and my heart was in my throat. I had micarried before Jonathan and I was not prepared to do so again. They did an ultrasound and found my little peanut with a strong heartbeat.
They did some blood work and I left feeling relieved that all was well. I shared my fears with Jerry over dinner and he assured me that no matter what, all would be well. My blood work came back totally normal, so I went about living and put away the doubt.
At my next check-up they couldn’t find the heartbeat again. I didn’t panic since they had found it on ultrasound last time.
The tech searched for more than 15 minutes trying to find a heartbeat but to no avail. A DNC was required and we had our OB-GYN baptize the remains just in case. Our little boy, Simon Jude, was gone and I was unprepared for the wave of grief that would descend. I went home from surgery a few days later, feeling the heavy weight of grief, something I would feel even more intensely 22 years later.
Jerry and I gathered ourselves together and decided to wait a few months before trying again. We now had two babies in heaven, Oliver and Simon and one son with us. I wasn’t sure if I could handle another loss.
I would dream of holding Simon in my arms as I did his big brother Jonathan. I would spend hours thinking about what kind of food he would like or what color his hair would be. I would ask God “why” and then listen to the silence. I wasn’t bitter, just consumed with sadness.
When fear overwhelms you and consumes your heart with grief, it requires a supernatural influx of grace to overcome. I remember standing in front of a statue of Our Lady at the base chapel and just staring at her serene peaceful face as the tears rolled down my face. She had lost a child too. Her only son. She knew my heart in that moment. She knew how much I loved my two little boys I would never get to hold.
I prayed with earnest that moment for her guiding hand on my heart and to help me feel joy again. I begged for her intercession on my behalf with her Son, to heal my heart and if it be God’s will, to allow us to conceive again. I felt a peace that moment that I was desperate for and things began to change.
A month later I conceived again, much
sooner than we had planned. I was scared that my body had not had time
to heal from the DNC, even though I had had a normal cycle. Fear began to take over once more and I was terrified to go to the doctor just so I could see that I had lost another child. It was a viscous mental cycle and one that I stayed in for several days.
Finally, Jerry encouraged me to the OB-GYN appointment I was dreading. Since I had miscarried my last little one, they did an ultrasound and right there big and beautiful was my sweet Courtney’s heartbeat. No searching needed. She was strong from the beginning and strong in the end.
In a matter of months we had gone through the excitement of new life to the grief of miscarriage and now God had answered my prayer and we were once again at the beginning of another adventure.
One that would change us forever.
Pray with me won’t you…
Dear Mother Mary,
Life is filled with great joy and tremendous loss. You know this truth intimately. We live in a fallen world filled with sin and therefore bad things will happen to good people. Thank you for always being willing to listen to our sorrowful pleas for help and intercede on our behalf with your Son. You have shown us, through your prayerful example of “pondering these things in your heart”, that when we lay our troubles down at the foot of the cross, Jesus will bear the pain and renew our hearts with his unbounding grace and mercy. Thank you Mother Mary for never leaving us alone in our grief and sorrow. May we never forget that your Son laid down his life sothat we may have ours.
We ask this in the name of your son Jesus,