The early morning light piercing through the curtain flooded into the room and woke me from my drug-induced sleep. I glanced around the room, momentarily confused by my surroundings. The memory of the previous day spilled into my mind. Desperate to get up and run, I panicked. My mind screamed, “I’m not supposed to be here. This isn’t the way it was supposed to end!”
A nurse walked into my room and announced she would be taking care of me throughout the day. She stood beside my bed, reached for my hand, and began to wipe the tears from my eyes. She leaned over and whispered, “I know you don’t believe this right now, but it’s going to be ok.”
Uncontrollable sobs erupted from within me. “I’m not supposed to be here. This isn’t the way it was supposed to end.”
Her eyes filled with tears, “I know, sweetheart, I know.”
She reached over and pushed my pain medicine button, looked me in the eye and said, “This is no time to be brave. Push the button when you need it!” I watched the drops of medicine slide down through the tube and into my arm. No matter how many times I pushed the button, this pain would never go away.
Twenty-four hours earlier I spent the day preparing for Christmas. Feeling fatigued, I climbed into bed early. I lay awake rubbing my swollen belly. Joy filled my heart as I imagined our baby tucked inside my womb.
Over the last eighteen months, we had lost three pre-born babies. This pregnancy was different. Our confidence grew when we reached the second trimester. We were finally going to have our happy ending. The long, painful journey to have a baby would end when the doctor placed our baby in my arms. I fell asleep as I imagined the future with our little munchkin.
Hours later, I awoke with sharp pains in my abdomen. I immediately recognized this as labor pains and woke my husband. We rushed to the hospital where an ultrasound was performed. The technician solemnly announced I was pregnant with twins. My husband and I looked at each other in shock. Twins?! Two?! Joy filled our hearts. The technician interrupted us, “Unfortunately, neither one of them has a heartbeat.”
Everything inside me screamed, “NO!” My mind raced. “He’s wrong. They can’t be dead. The machine is broken.” I begged God to save my babies. “Please God, let the technician be wrong. Please God. Please God. Please God! Not again! Not this time! Raise my babies from the dead! I know you can! Please don’t make me go through this again. I won’t survive. ”
They called the doctor in to confirm the technician’s diagnosis. “I’m sorry, neither of the babies is alive.” Everything stopped. My mind screamed, “I’m not supposed to be here. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to end.”
Everyone filed out of the room to give us time to grieve. After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor came back in to talk about our options. He suggested I consider a dilation and curettage. I was in the second trimester of a twin pregnancy, and Christmas was a week away. It seemed like the safest option.
An hour later, they wheeled me into the operating room. As the drugs began to take effect, I turned to the anesthesiologist and mumbled, “Please take care of my babies.”
Hours later, I opened my eyes and looked around. Everything seemed foggy. My husband, Donny, sat next to me holding my hand. His eyes swollen and red; he looked shaken. I glanced at the clock on a nearby wall. It was late at night. Five hours had passed since I entered the operating room. Confused by the time, I asked why the surgery took so long, but then I drifted back to sleep before Donny could respond.
When the anesthesia wore off, the doctor explained he made a mistake during the surgery. The routine thirty-minute procedure turned into an emergency situation. My babies were gone, and I faced a six-week recovery period. I closed my eyes. The nightmare felt never-ending.
Four days later, I sat in the hospital lobby waiting for Donny to pull the car up to the entrance. My heart was numb. Surrounded by new mothers with their newborns in their arms, I wanted to die. Everything in me ached for the babies I would never hold.
After arriving home, Donny settled me in bed and went to take care of our three children.
I laid my head against the pillows. My heart longed for my babies. After a few minutes I began to panic. Fear overwhelmed me. I couldn’t catch my breath. “Where were they? Did they know how much I desperately wanted them? Would they ever know how much I loved them? Would I ever see them again?” So many unanswered questions.
Desperately I cried out to God, “Please help me. I want my babies. It hurts too much. I’m not going to survive this.” Immediately, He gave me a vision. I stood with Jesus in a large field of lilies of the valley. They are one of my favorite flowers. A few yards from where we stood, two little, blond boys played and picked the delicate, white flowers. I could hear their laughter. I knew instantly they were mine. I watched them in amazement. After a few minutes, Jesus walked over and picked them up. He turned to me and smiled, “Your boys are fine. They’re with Me. They will be with Me until you get here.”
As He turned and walked away, the boys peeked over His shoulders and said, “I love you, Mommy.”
“I love you too,” I whispered.
The vision ended. For the first time in days, peace filled my soul and body.
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going” (John 14:2-4, NIV).
Henry T. Blackaby says when God speaks, He often reveals something about Himself, His purposes, or His ways. His revelations are designed to bring us into a love relationship with Him. Jesus revealed Himself to me to remind me of who He is, who I am, and what I believe about Him. He is the source of my eternal life. Our pre-born babies live in heaven with Him. They live with the same anticipation I do of being together again.
Later that night, Donny asked, “What happened to you? You seem calm and peaceful. ”
I replied, “I am. I saw the twins.”
He rejoiced with me as I shared the vision God gave me of our boys.
Eleven months later, we drove to the same hospital. Our hearts raced anxiously. In the last two years, we had made the same trip four times. As we traveled, my mind drifted back to the loss of our first baby. At the time God whispered, “There will be more babies. You will nurse a baby again.” And true to His word, more babies lived within my womb. Sadly, they died within a few short months.
Even in the midst of tragedy and death, I believed God when He said I would nurse a baby again. My faith in Him carried me through the loss of each of our children. Throughout our season of sadness, my hope in Him and His faithfulness never wavered.
My thoughts were interrupted as we pulled up to the entrance of the hospital. The nurse took us into the room where our doctor waited. They placed the ultrasound monitor on my belly. Surrounded by family and friends, we watched and listened. Within seconds, the sound of a heartbeat filled the room. The room erupted with joy, tears, and laughter.
A few hours later, they placed our son, Jedidiah, in my arms. Our season of grief ended. Joy filled my heart. Our long, painful journey melted away as my baby boy latched on to my breast and began to nurse. Once again I was reminded of the Lord’s promise when we began our journey through infertility, “You will nurse a baby again.” I thanked God for His faithfulness to me. I laid my head back on the pillow and closed my eyes as the sun went down outside my window.
“I was supposed to be here. This was exactly how it was supposed to end.”