I come from a long line of women who have never struggled with pregnancy loss. The thought never really crossed my mind and I always thought I would be exempt even when I heard the stats on how 1 in 4 women will experience pregnancy loss. Nah, doesn’t apply here.
I walked through both pregnancies naïve and unaware of what could go wrong.
Cora was a wiggle worm! When I was pregnant with Millie, my first, I thought she moved a lot…but Cora took it to a whole new level! I often thought was going to bust out at any moment, but in all honesty I didn’t mind. I loved feeling both of my babies’ movements! It brought comfort, closeness, and I felt like I really got to know them. Millie would zoom to my husband every time he was near my belly. We would often play this game where he would move his hand to different spots on my stomach and she would follow him. What sweet memories.
Cora on the other hand, loved her sister! Oftentimes Millie and I would snuggle up on the couch and Cora would get as close as she could to Millie. She would kick her and Millie would talk to her and I would dream of the “little mother” Millie would become when Cora was finally here. I couldn’t wait!
On January 24th, I realized I couldn’t remember the last time Cora moved. My sister in law was a labor and delivery nurse, so she gave me some tips on how to get Cora to move. Nothing worked. At this point I was two days from my scheduled induction, so I didn’t think it was that big a deal. Cora was obviously outgrowing me and didn’t have as much room to move. (I feel it important to remind you of my naivety again.) I thought nothing of it.
I called my husband at work, told him what was going on and that my doctor recommended I go to the hospital, just to be checked out. I grabbed all of our bags, waddled to the car, and drove myself to the hospital KNOWING I would meet my little girl today.
I did meet her, but not in the circumstances I ever dreamed of.
I remember arriving at the hospital and going immediately to triage. I was the only patient there, so they quickly assessed the situation and took me back for monitoring. Praise the Lord I had one of the sweetest nurses and she was so kind and sensitive in that moment. She struggled to find a heartbeat and called for the lead nurse to come help her.
Once both nurses couldn’t find heartbeat, my FIRST THOUGHT was “how can you be so bad at your job”?! (Lord forgive me!) I just wasn’t getting it and they could tell. It wasn’t until the head nurse took my hands, looked me square in the eyes and said, “I’m so sorry, she’s gone”. Numbness. Complete and utter numbness took over and then my world as I had always known it ended.
My husband was immediately called and told to head straight to the hospital. “Please drive safely” is all I remember the nurse saying to him. And when he arrived, we wept hard.
Fast forward through ultrasounds, phone calls to parents, and sitting in a room for HOURS in complete silence trying to process this nightmare. It is in the moments right before delivery where I remember God being present. Through nurses whose beliefs aligned with ours, to my doctor coming in on her night off to stay with me and deliver Cora, and my sweet husband holding my hand and reminding me of the strength we have through God to walk through the hardest delivery we will know, God made his presence known.
My delivery wasn’t hard physically, but emotionally it was too much. To be posed with questions of “do you want to see her immediately or want us to clean her up first” “what do you want her to wear” “we aren’t sure what we’ll find or if we’ll know an answer as to why she passed”. No. I demand that no one should ever have to make these types of decisions! After three pushes, sweet Cora was here. We spent hours holding her, examining her long fingers and toes, and spending as much time as we could with our little girl. God was present.
The next day Millie, along with almost every family member from both our families arrived. We spent time introducing our parents to Cora, their littlest granddaughter, and then took a long time talking to Millie (then only 2 years old) about what happened and that Cora is in heaven.
The pictures we have as a family of four are simultaneously so sweet and gut-wrenching. This is never what I wanted. I had it all planned out. Husband has a good job, I have a good job, we have two little kids and we look like a cookie cutter perfect family.
Yikes! Reflecting back on this “image” it makes me sick. Because missing in the picture is the love I have for our Heavenly Father. Missing from that picture is my desire to walk with him and talk with him and have daily real conversations with him. Missing from that picture is my dependence on Him. But after losing Cora, I met Him. I saw how the Lord orchestrated that entire day and the days following. How he brought the perfect people into our lives to help us through that day and to hold us as we fumbled through the upcoming months.
It is hard to say, but I praise God because he DOES have the best plan for my life! It looks nothing like my dreams; it is far more wild and exciting than anything I could have dreamed of.
I would give anything to have my Cora sitting next to me as I think of you who are reading this. I would love to fall into what was comfortable; a life with no waves and no one rocking the boat. But we don’t live in that world.
My sisters, we live in a fallen world and the Bible tells us that Satan is out to “kill, steal, and destroy” my story is a perfect example. I can’t help but imagine that if you are here, you have experienced your own loss. You aren’t only morning the loss of your child, but the loss of your dreams and your plans.
Through this journey I have realized that there are very few resources out there for us. It is difficult to find resources that remind us we can have joy after loss. Your new normal doesn’t look like your old one, but that doesn’t mean it will be void of all joy. Our desire with Foreknown Ministries is for you to find a safe place to mourn, to find joy again, and to celebrate that your baby is in heaven, safe in the arms of God-with my Cora.