The Missing Heart Beat
"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5
It was my first known pregnancy. The first time I had seen a doctor to discuss this new life inside of me. I was excited and nervous. David and I had been married for six months when I learned I was pregnant. I had stopped taking birth control three months previously and took pregnancy tests religiously for the next three months.
David joked about us buying stock in pregnancy tests. I think he was half way serious. I always bought the one dollar ones at the Dollar Tree. I figured they were just as good as the ten dollar ones. And since I was buying so many, well.....you understand.
The day I got a positive result, I had driven to David's work during my lunch hour and taken my one dollar pregnancy test in the bathroom.
Was it true? I took another one to verify. Yes, I had another one on hand. It's how I rolled.
And there it was. A double line telling me my life was about to change. Forever.
Back to the doctor's visit.....I was only a few weeks along. The doctor used the doppler to check for a heart beat. My heart almost stopped as I waited in anticipation.
He repositioned the instrument. Still nothing.
He sent me for an ultrasound. I've always been able to read expressions fairly well. The technician performing my ultrasound looked concerned; although, I could tell she was trying to keep a straight face. They aren't allowed to tell you the facts they see in front of them. I have always thought it must be hard keeping all of that inside, but then again, breaking bad news is usually not enjoyable for anyone, so maybe they don't mind.
I wasn't fooled. I prayed. I remember not really knowing what to say, but "God, please protect my baby."
I was twenty-four. I was young but not naive.
The doctor gave me the news, "We only see a yolk sac and can't detect a heart beat. We will recheck you in a week. I am cautiously optimistic, but I can't make any promises. You may miscarry..." His voice faded out to me as my mind reeled and tried to process this news.
I left shaken. I was not expecting this news. Even though I was only a few weeks along, I already loved the life inside of me.
The next seven days were brutal. Every time I went to the bathroom I checked for signs my pregnancy was still in tact. Each time having relief rush over me when blood didn't present itself on my tissue.
I prayed. David prayed. Our family prayed. We asked God to breath life into this creation and allow me to carry the baby. Please, Lord.
When I returned in a week, David sat with me as we waited for the nurse. He squeezed my hand reassuring me we would be okay.
The technician inserted the ultrasound wand, and I heard it. It sounded like beautiful horses galloping at a high rate of speed on a hard surface. It was the beat of my baby's heart. The most beautiful sound I had ever heard in my entire life.
Our baby was okay. I was okay. David was okay. We breathed deep, a tear rolling down my face. Thank you, God.
I would be asking God to help me a lot over the next nine months as I battled terrible morning, noon, and night sickness. I remember always being afraid of the cord getting wrapped around his neck because of the thousands of summersault moves he did inside of me. Each time praying God's protection over him. I would ask Him again to help me as I labored for thirteen hours without making any progress. And yet again when I was wheeled into surgery for an emergency c-section to find out my baby had the cord wrapped around his neck and feet and wouldn't have ever descended down the birth canal on his own.
"He's lucky to be alive," the doctor said. Wide eyed and shocked, "Thank you, Jesus."
That baby has now grown into my oldest son, Isaiah. He begins seventh grade this year, and I can't believe it. I know I can't prepare for all of the changes he will go through over the next few years. I know there will be wins and loses. I know he will experience happiness and tears. I know I won't be a perfect momma who always says and does the right things, but I do know the one who gave him a miraculous heart beat almost thirteen years ago will always be with him.
And He will always be with me, a sweet anchor of hope and ever present help in my life. So many things can happen causing us to doubt the plan of God. We impatiently sit in moments of waiting for God to move, sometimes questioning if He will. Silence can overtake our thoughts. We can feel like nothing is happening as we wait to hear the heartbeat of our dreams, goals, and unanswered prayers.
It's in the still moments of life, we must lean in and hold on to the hope of hearing even the faintest sound, the faintest thump, letting us know He still hears us, and He will still keep His promises to us.
Father, thank you for answering prayers. Thank you for protecting us, for battling for us, for giving us a future and a hope. Thank you for breathing life into us and creating us in your own image. Give us hope and help us to endure the race as we always attempt to finish well. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.