Thursday, January 8, 2009

Her Story - A Surprise Appearance

We got married, and sure enough, a few months later, we were expecting. I told my husband who was initially in shock and then spent the rest of the day telling everyone he knew and some who he didn't.

I phoned my parents, and since this was their first grandchild, my mom couldn't believe it. (She did have a few kids, so she should know how this works!). My dad was thrilled. Nine months later, some of my family flew out to Europe to wait for this new arrival. We waited. We waited. And then we waited some more.

Do you know how hard it is to have group of people staring at your tummy and hinting that their ticket runs out pretty soon? If I even moaned slightly, the entire house jumped and watched my belly like a chicken was going to hatch out of it any minute. I was ready to kick them all out - along with the baby who had determined to never show up.

Eventually, two and a half weeks late, my tiny son made his appearance into the world. He was perfect. Minuscule. Hungry. He ate like a vacuum cleaner on attack mode.

About two months after his appearance, I started to feel strange. I was not getting back to normal. In fact, I felt pregnant. We had guests visiting, a mother of three teens who also was a nurse. I told her that I suspect I am expecting again. She just smiled and said I wasn't used to my body's changes, that's all.

I was used to my body. So used to it, in fact, that I already knew.

A month later, I flew back home for my brother's wedding. The day after I arrived, I bought a pregnancy test and confirmed what I already knew. Another baby would be born before its brother's first birthday.

I told my husband, and after a few moments of shocked surprise, he was excited. The two babies would be good friends. I told my family, and they were less thrilled. There was almost no response from them. It bothered me slightly, but I assumed that their minds must be taken up with the wedding plans. Maybe they didn't quite believe me. It was so soon.

So many times over the years, my mind goes back over the events of the next few months, wondering. Was it this, was it that? Was it the day I decided I was fed up with not having caffeine and had two cokes? Was it flying? Was it because an tense member of the wedding party shoved me angrily out of the way and I fell? Was it because my little brother didn't come home one night when we had traveled together to see old friends, and I stayed up all night pacing and worrying? Was it because of being tired after waiting for my brother, that I got a really bad flu from the kids where we were staying? Was it because I was exhausted staying up caring for my baby who also got the flu? Was it because for several days, I couldn't keep food in, but had to keep nursing since he would not take a bottle?

One event during that time stands out. When I took my son eventually to my old family doctor since he was so sick, I mentioned to the doctor that I was also pregnant. He looked up quickly, and said, "uh oh" in a worried voice. He changed the subject when I asked what he meant. Did he know something I didn't? Was this particular flu bad for unborn babies?

Questions and more questions. In the immediate crisis after she died, I had to learn to put down the questions. God knew the answers to them, and He chose not to tell us. I choose to trust. The questions still come, but I choose to set them down again unanswered.

It has become enough for me that He knows, and I can rest in that. I chose to believe the things I knew in my head about God, and one of those is that His way is perfect, even when it is not easy.


Shilo said...

Hi Ellie, thanks for sharing the story of your daughter with us. A mother's heart never forgets, does it? May God continue to give comfort in those moments of remembrance.

Karis said...

Oh, Ellie! Your view of God is such an encouragement to me each time you give a testimony of what He has done in your life.

Missionaries in La Ceiba, Honduras said...

Blessings to a memory that will never be forgotten :-)

Cindy said...

What a comfort it is when we read that Jesus called the children to Him, put them on His knees, comforted and blessed them...
also remembering...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this very personal story with us. And I am so glad that you found peace over it. Not an easy thing after such a loss.