Approximately a year or so after my wife and I were married, we made a baby. For a first-time father to be, I’ll admit… I was VERY scared! Here I was 24 years old, still a young green-bean trying to figure life out and suddenly I was going to share the responsibility of shaping a child’s life, not to mention having to provide for another family member. Dawn and I were working within a dual-income family, although neither one of us were making a lot. We were making it though, and we were married and not having a child out-of-wedlock so I thought that was a plus. (That happens way too much today in my opinion, but I’ll save that for another blog post someday!)
Dawn had a few appointments with an OB/GYN, and we got an ultrasound picture of the baby growing in her belly. I thought to myself when she showed it to me, “That little peanut-shaped thing in the black spot is a baby?” So from that point forward, the baby had the nick-name “Peanut”. Seeing it, although very tiny and not quite in a human shape, really made us both excited about the possibilities.
Just as we were settling into the idea of becoming parents, the reality of life snatched it out of our hands. 3 months into the pregnancy, Dawn miscarried. We were absolutely heart broken. We had gone on a trip to Tantara to celebrate out first wedding anniversary (a wedding gift we held on to for a year). It was a nice resort area and we had a nice cabin/room right on the lake. We had some nice dinners that weekend, tried to ride some scooters around the lake (Dawn will definitely never be a Harley gal), and I fished and caught the largest fish I’d ever caught from the bank. We even celebrated a little the way that couples usually celebrate on their anniversary. But late the last evening Dawn began to not feel right and started “spotting”. To this day, we don’t know if all the activity of the weekend caused her miscarriage, but for two young parents… there was no good reason.
We got back home and early that week she scheduled a doctor’s appointment. The doctor delivered the grim news that we had lost the child. She told us that miscarriages are very common and that a lot more women go through them that what we thought. That didn’t help us with our situation. As a young couple, we had never gone through this and all of the other women in the world didn’t matter to us. We just lost OUR child. Dawn needed to go through a procedure to “clean-out” all of the tissue remains and that devastated her. I felt helpless that she had to go through that procedure alone. I felt like all of this was my fault. If we had just let her rest that weekend, maybe things would have been different.
Over the course of a few weeks, our church family really supported us and a lot of friends came out of the woodworks to let us know that they had gone through a miscarriage also and that God would see us through it. They said that we would go on to have healthy children and that we shouldn’t be afraid to try again. As tore down as we both were, I believe that Dawn and I had the same mindset… that as soon as she was 100% healthy enough, we were going to try again. This time it wasn’t going to be unexpected. This time, we were on a mission.
Mission succeeded about 11 months later when she delivered our oldest daughter. We were so happy to hold that baby! I remember during the delivery that the only contribution I could make in the delivery room was to feed my wife ice chips and help her count as she was pushing. (Men are worthless in the process, except to take pictures or shoot video. The ice chips and counting are so the nurses have something to giggle about.) As the baby was making it’s entrance into the world, my counting out loud turned to sobbing because we finally did it! We had a child to hold! So beautiful (as I’m tearing up now just thinking about her) and I fell in love all over again. A little healing took place that day.
Flash-forward to today. That baby is now nearly 15 years old. She has a 9 year-old sister, who was just as beautiful and fulfilling to hold as her older sister was. They are two distinct personalities, both beautiful in their own way. And now we’re pregnant again. Another little life to shape. Another little soul’s well-being charged to my wife and I. It would be easy for us to worry, with her being 40 years old and in a high-risk category. I think deep-down, both of us are a little. We still think about our little “Peanut” and so both of us have reservations. It’s like we can’t be 100% elated until we hold this new child and know that it’s alright. But believe you me, we are praying for a healthy delivery and that this child will bring glory to God in a mighty way.
Recently God has given me comfort. I started reading a book called “Heaven is For Real” by Todd Burpo. It’s an incredible book about Todd’s son Colton, who had a NDE (Near Death Experience). Colton said he had died on an operating table and that he spent 3 minutes in Heaven with Jesus. During that time, he met a few people and saw some wondrous sights. Once the boy had come back into his body and recovered, he later asked his mother, “Mom, did you have a baby that died in your belly?” His mother was astounded, because as a four year-old boy, there’s no way that he could have known that. She asks him, “How did you find out about that?” Colton told his Mom that he met that baby in Heaven, a sister, and that she hugged him and wouldn’t let go. She didn’t have a name because the Burpo’s had never given her a name, but she was his sister nonetheless. There are other incredible things that this young boy reveals to his parents about his visit to Heaven, but I won’t share them because I encourage you to read them yourself. I will tell you though, after reading the book, that I know our little “Peanut” is there in Heaven waiting for Dawn and I and I can’t wait to hug him/her and tell them I love them. I want to hold all of my children and see what God will make of them, including Peanut. Including this new baby warming up in Mommy’s belly right now.
We are reserved now to avoid the full blow of pain that miscarriages bring to parents. We are being careful. But man, I can’t wait to hold this baby!