One Sweet Day

We went in for our first appointment.  Showed up early enough to fill out all the paperwork.  Met with the midwife, answered all the requisite questions.  Then it came time to see our little bean.  Three times they tried with different ultrasound machines, different people at the screen.  No heartbeat, nothing to indicate I was even pregnant.

This began a whirlwind of blood work followed by ultrasounds in radiology, never getting conclusive results.  Hcg levels indicated that yes, I was pregnant.  The next ultrasound ruled out an ectopic pregnancy and showed a gestational sac measuring 3 weeks behind, but nothing more.  Hcg levels rose, but very little – nowhere near the doubling we were looking for.  Each time we met with a doctor or tech, the answers were never great, but still we had hope.  Finally, 10 days after our first appointment, we got the call back from our midwife.  My hcg levels were dropping – I was miscarrying.

God’s ways are a mystery to us.  I know deep inside that He is good, all the time.  But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ll never hold this baby this side of heaven.  That she’ll never get to meet her big brother in this life.  But what I do know is that God wanted her up with Him more than we needed her here.  This is so humbling – this reminder that our children are not our own, not truly.  They all belong to God, we are just the blessed who are given a certain number of days with them here on Earth.  We’re not promised tomorrow, no matter how much our hearts ache for it.

It was too early on to determine our baby’s gender – but my husband and I know in our hearts that our little baby was a girl.  We named her Isabelle Marie – “God’s promise” and “Wished-for child.”  Yesterday, in a small private service about an hour from our home, we buried our little Izzy Girl.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but my husband was, as always, my rock.  We survived, and we are assured of her place in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Getting to heaven one day just got a whole lot sweeter.  We can’t wait to meet you there, little one.

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30 in Thirty

On the eve of my thirtieth birthday, my thoughts wander and I reminisce.  Here’s my list of 30 things I’ve learned in my thirty years here on Earth.  And here’s praying God is gracious enough to bless me with another thirty!

1.  Put God first and the rest falls into place.

2.  Family doesn’t always mean blood relatives.

3.  There are very few things in life that can’t be fixed with chocolate.

4.  Marrying your best friend is, hands down, the best decision you’ll ever make.

5.  Learning to laugh at yourself is so much better than the alternative.

6.  Be real with people who love you.

7.  Guard your heart from all that is ugly in this world.

8.  Smile at passersby.

9.  A warm bath and a good book are pretty close to heaven.

10.  The sound of your baby’s laugh is even closer.

11.  Dancing around in the kitchen like a fool should be mandatory in the mornings.

12.  Coffee tastes so much better when shared with a friend.

13.  Distance will either wreck a weak relationship or strengthen a true one.

14.  Don’t ever hang up without saying “I love you.”

15.  Snuggle all the little people in your life as often as they’ll allow.  They grow up too quickly.

16.  God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation is one of the most beautiful gifts we have here on earth.

17.  Our parents are real people with struggles and successes of their own.

18.  Proofreading is much more fun done on paper with a green pen.

19.  When you move to a new state, get your library card first, then worry about your driver’s license and all that other stuff later.

20.  Your siblings are the ones who will live your life with you – from beginning to end.  Be nice to them.

21.  Cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in your heart.

22.  Choose joy.

23.  Snow tickles your nose as it falls.

24.  Hearts do break, but the Lord heals us in His good time.

25.  Getting connected to a community of like-minded women is vital for your sanity.

26.  Record all the moments – both big and small.

27.  But know when to put the camera down and just live in the moment.

28.  Listen more and talk less.

29.  Love your family ferociously.

30.  Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.