“I consider it an honor to be a loss mom”

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Hello Potters Plan Followers,

Please join me in welcoming our guest blogger,  Karmen Smith, the voice of Blessings Beyond the Barnyard.  Karmen was a huge encouragement to me during my season of infertility.   She has a fresh biblical perspective that is not only positive but rooted deeply in the Lord that gives her insurmountable faith that moves mountains.  As I read her story which I know personally because of our relationship,  I thought of the song “It is well with my soul.”  Though we go through trials and despair at times, as Christians we can find comfort and peace in the Lord when we lose loved ones in our lives because we know that one day we will see them again.  This is what keeps us going in this life and sustains us during the most difficult times.    Your heart will be touched by Karmen’s story and how she handled one of the most difficult things a person and a couple can face in a marriage.   Thank you Karmen for visiting us this week and sharing your heart and your testimony with those who are need of hearing it.  We are blessed to have you with us this week and next. 

 Part I

“I’m a loss mom” is what she said. “I didn’t want to be and surely hadn’t planned to be and yet I consider it an honor.”
“Me too,” whispered my soul. “Me too.”

**********

I was living a fairy tale.

A storybook childhood, married my high school sweetheart (who just so happened to be a handsome cowboy) working my dream job.  What more could a gal want?

All that was left to check off the list: complete Masters degree, have four children (=2 boys and 2 girls) and live happily ever after.

I didn’t have it written down but I didn’t have to.  The list had been in my head and on my heart for a lifetime.

Marriage, college and career had thankfully been a walk in the park.  The dream of four children was a bit of a different tale. 

The dream became a nightmare.  “Trying” one year, then two that turned into four long years .  Each month more convinced than ever, “I’m broken.  I just don’t work right.”

Everybody had advice.  “Try this…do it this way… don’t’ do that –instead try this…”

We tried everything shy of standing on our heads.

Month after month—fail.  Negative.  No.  Ovulation kits, pregnancy test, Clomid, trips to the fertility doctor, herbs, “How to books”…yada-yada-yada…

Family asking or knowing we were “trying” was just – well …creepy for lack of a better word.

Then one night, beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep -my thermometer showed my temperature going up!! “Could it be? No way, surely not??”

FINALLY !!!!! A POSITIVE sign!!!!!!!!! I took four tests to be SURE!

AT LAST. I got to make “that” appointment.   The one where I could squeal with delight as I requested, “I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT-I THINK I’M PREGNANT.”

Within the week I’d seen the doctor who had indeed affirmed…

BABY ON BOARD- due January 8.

No time to waste…I lined up a painter, had the nursery painted, finished preparing my classroom for the new school year and started gathering goodies within the first four weeks.  I WAS SO STINKIN’ EXCITED!  My plans were FINALLY working out…

I felt great.  No sickness. A little sluggish but nothing to complain about until one morning in late July…

I woke up with pressure I had not felt before.  I scurried around the house hoping to distract myself with chores but the pressure grew worse.  I decided to call my doctor.  The sweet nurse persuaded, “why don’t you come on in and let us check you just to be sure.” Just what my heart needed to hear.  Fortunately my husband is self-employed and was home.  Within the hour we were on our way. 

I cautiously stretched out in the back of our SUV.  We rode in awkward silence for about 45 minutes when “the peace that surpasses all understanding” flooded my soul.  I broke the silence with “this isn’t going to end well.”  I began to cry.  I cried quietly.  I knew by his silence— he was terrified too.

When we arrived the pressure was so great I could barely sit in a chair.  So I stood and prayed and waited. The nurses were kind; my doctor was gracious and eager to see what was going on.  The pressure was intense.  So much so that I found myself holding my breath when I could. 

“I’m going to check you now –just take some deep breaths. Try and relax.”

As I began to release my first deep breath my water broke and flooded the floor of the tiny exam room.  For a moment that seemed an infinity- no one said a word.  Shock, disbelief and sorrow rushed in. The next few minutes were a blur—the hurrying, the scurrying, the whispers and then the wheelchair. 

“We’re going to have to admit you now honey.”

I couldn’t speak so I nodded and gulped as hard as I’d ever gulped before. 

They whisked me from the exam room, across the catwalk, down the hall to the last room on the right.  I remember it was small and mostly dark and I distinctly remember thinking I should’ve been more sad. Really, really sad but the “peace that surpasses all understanding” wouldn’t leave me alone.  Within the hour I had an IV, monitors and family on their way when the doctor came in with this, “seventeen weeks is early—too early.  Your pray for your child at this point needs to be that his heart will stop beating.”  After that, I heard no words.  I saw his lips moving and I knew he was talking to me and telling me more about what was about to happen but all I heard was..

”Pray for his heart to stop beating…” 

My ears felt as though they were bleeding.  “Heart to stop beating” “too early” ….WHAT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is not at all what I bargained for.  This was absolutely not what I had planned and still the “peace that surpasses all understanding” would not let me be.

I wanted to be sad.  I wanted be mad.  I was crying but …the peace.

I began to pray…”Lord I don’t know what’s best.  You do.  I am yours. Do with me as you will.”

What else could I do?

Within 24 hours his little heartbeat had stopped.  Again, the Lord had heard and answered my prayers. 

Our little Samuel weighing just under a pound was born quiet and still that late July day.

We cried and cried and cried and yet there was peace.

They graciously politely asked, “Would you like to hold him or see him?”

We politely declined, “We’ll see him in glory.” And we will.  And he’ll know us and we’ll know him.

The doctors reported, “He was perfect—just too small.”

People mourn differently.  Ours was peaceful.

You may have heard “you can learn a lot from a child” and “a baby changes everything.”

I would agree.

I am not the same woman I was before Samuel.  

He changed me forever in just 17 weeks.

He taught me that in spite all of my efforts; the Lord is the Giver of Life, The Creator of all— great and small.

Only He has the power to sustain and keep and control—not me.  He is the Blessed Controller of all things.  And I believe with my whole heart “He works all things together for good for those who love the Lord…” 

I have chosen to let Him make me better not bitter.  By His grace, I can say, “I consider it an honor to be a loss mom.”

I was given an email by a dear, dear friend during our season of loss.  I have made that email my prayer.

 “Lord if you want to use my body to create little worshippers to come and sit at Your feet, use me Father.  Thou hast made me and Thou doest know.” 

To learn more about Karmen, her life, family and to read more of her blog posts on a regular basis you can visit her at http://blessingsbeyongthebarnyard.com.  Please remember to check back with us next week for part two of Karmen’s story.

 

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