I WISH I had pictures of my 4th child. The story goes like this. We found out we were pregnant. Unexpectedly. One of those phone calls that comes from the Dr.'s office saying, "Mrs. Metcalf we ran your blood work and everything seems good. There was one thing we noticed with your hormone levels so we ran that and Congratulations you are positively pregnant!" WHAT!? WOW, news! I still remember where I was sitting when the news came. I was so shocked and happy at the same time. This was not planned, but most of the best things that happen are not! I attended my OB appointment like a good patient. They told me I was 9.3 weeks pregnant. Everything looked OK, but small. Much smaller than "normal". The Dr. warned me that if i started feeling "off" I should call. It was one of those conversations you have in the desk office, not the normal office. I knew something was not right. Something looked weird to them. That Mother's Gut kicked in. They told me 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Most women who suffer them never even knew they were pregnant! HOW SAD, and is this supposed to make me feel better? I was handed a bunch of pamphlets on healthy pregnancy as well as 1 on miscarriage. They told me that this pregnancy looks like it might not go as planned. I thought surely this will change. Two days later I started feeling like complete crap. My whole body felt like it was shutting down. I was cramping. I knew that this was not going to end well. I did not want to just lay on the couch awaiting this little funeral. So we decided to go walk around Kohl's. We were there for a little while when I starting having some pretty bad pain and thought I really should just go home. We went home. I went to the bathroom and discovered that I'd given birth to this teeny tiny little person. I was holding her in my hand. She was as tiny as the top joint on my pointer finger. I could count her toes and her fingers. I could see her elbows. I could see the features of her face. There she lay in my hand lifeless. In the midst of all this, I was in awe of what I was looking at. Jacob called the Doctor. We took the baby in a tiny Cottonelle coffin to the hospital, where I had to hand her over to them. I wanted to bury her, but Jacob objected for fear of some animal coming to dig her up. So, I planted roses in her stead. They are still blooming even today, December 19, 2011 there are bloomed roses out there. She died February 2007. She waits with 2 of her other siblings in heaven. She is there praising Jesus. My 4 living children know about their siblings in heaven and they as lots of questions about them. What do they look like? Why did they have to die? Will they know who we are some day? These are all questions I have peace answering. I know Michelle Dugger does too. I am a mother of 7. She is a mother of 21. There is no difference in the word MOTHER, no matter which sentence it is in. Everyday I think of ALL my children. Everyday, even on the days I want to rip out my hair, I am thankful for them all. I know that God has a plan. I know that one day I will see my children again. Losing a child is not easy, whether they have only spent 9.5 weeks with you or 9.5 years. I have not lost a child at 9.5 years, so I don't know THAT hurt, but they are still your child either way. There is nothing that can bring them back; there is nothing that you can do to make the pain of loss go away. You just learn to live with it and the hope of a future. In those moments of losing a child I realized so many things. First, I didn't care how many children God would want to give to me. I had a new thinking process. (My mental health would later make that choice much different, but that is another blog post) Jacob and I both had such grief in our hearts. I realized in those moments that this was hard for the Dad too. It wasn't JUST ME who lost a child, though people often treat it that way. I realized that there are some statistics you can't beat. There was nothing I could have done differently to make this outcome different. God was in control. Up until this point i always said, My children belong to God, its His choice to do what he wants with them. In that moment, I knew what it felt like. I always meant it, but i never FELT it before. In that moment, I realized even more so how much I loved Clayton and Candice. I WISH I had a picture of the baby I held. This picture is a stock photo and is VERY accurate, but holding this tiny being in your hands is so much different than looking at this picture. There was once life there. And you as a mom, sit there holding this Baby, weeping over her death even though you never saw her before. She stole my heart and took part of it with her. I will never forget her.
Duggers, my heart goes out to you. But even more so my heart goes out to those who are so judgemental and unsympathetic to human life loss. I pray they never have to experience such loss and somehow come to know the peace we both know! God bless you and your family!