My husband and I returned home after our doctors’ appointments knowing we had difficult phone calls to make. I don’t remember much about those couple of hours. I had even forgotten that it was actually my husband who called my parents first to tell them the news, though my mom and my husband remember that. He also called his parents and the administrator of the school where he was the elementary principal.
We decided to go out for a quick supper – and we had a surprise waiting for us when we returned. We walked back in the door an hour or so later and found luggage in our house. Yes, we had company. My husband’s best friend from high school, along with his wife, had stopped by to spend the night on their way up the coast. They had a key to our house, so when they arrived and found we weren’t home, they had dropped off their stuff and gone to get supper themselves. (Obviously this was in the days before cell phones were common!) We had their visit scheduled for the next weekend, not this one. Although it was a minor detail at this point, the house was not clean, so I dashed around trying to tidy up before they got back.
Though I may not have seen it in that moment, I believe this was another gift from God. Having them there for a day or two was a distraction during those first hours of dealing with our news.
Once I took all this in, I noticed that we had a message on our answering machine. My doctor had called and left a message, checking to make sure that we were okay. This wonderful man did so many thoughtful things for us in the coming months.
That night, while talking to my parents, the tears finally came in full force. I remember sitting on our bed and thinking I could never cry enough to fully vent all my feelings of loss.
We didn’t go to church on Sunday. I knew that our Pastor would let people know about our baby and I didn’t want to be there. I hadn’t yet figured out how to respond to the sympathy, and I’m not sure I ever learned. Our church family would come to be a huge blessing and support, but I wasn’t sure that I could emotionally handle being around when they first found out.
On Monday, my husband and I decided to spend another day together, so I called in to work. I remember talking to Sharron, a fellow employee, telling her I was taking the day off and why. She was very kind and I know she smoothed the way for me when I went back the next day.
From the moment they found out, many people began praying for us. From the church we attended, to my home church where my dad is still the pastor, to my husband’s church, along with friends and family, we had so many people praying for us. There was one gentleman from my home church that I know prayed for us daily – and I know that he, along with many others, were asking for God’s healing for this baby. My maternal grandmother was another of our faithful prayer warriors. She sent cards and notes to us throughout the pregnancy, letting us know that we were in her thoughts and prayers.
I can truthfully say that I never felt that our baby would be healed. Once we had the ultrasound and heard the diagnosis, I just seemed to know that things would go exactly as the doctors said. Was this a lack of faith? A dose of realism? An acceptance of this as God’s will? I don’t know. Maybe I was afraid of false hope, but for whatever reason, I just never thought this baby would be born whole
On Tuesday it was time to face the music, to begin dealing with the reactions of people I knew, as well as strangers who would innocently comment on my growing belly.
To be continued next Monday….