Telling Parsley’s story brings this blog current in this chapter of our story. We lost Parsley December 2012, almost exactly a year after our first loss, Pepper, in December 2011. Know that we are taking necessary steps to protect whatever blessings God may see fit to give us in the future. We are honored to know that many of you are praying for us as we walk this path.
Upon waking early one Sunday morning, it dawned on me that I just might be pregnant. I had none of my usual tell-tale signs that accompany the opposite scenario.
Honestly, I trembled at the thought. To be pregnant again after two previous losses seemed too much to bear. I fell to my knees under the weight of it all and cried out to The Lord. I cried and prayed, promising Him that I would walk whatever he had for me; that if I were indeed pregnant, I praise His name for the blessing and place the little one into His hands.
After some time in prayer, I worked up the courage, and yes, even the hope to test. A few minutes later, I knew little Parsley existed.
You see, just the day before, Chris and I had an emotional and heart wrenching conversation about our family. In a sense it was a sort of memoir to the road we’d walked for the past year and the ways our faith had been strengthened. We affirmed before God to one another the things we believe: we would not take things out of God’s hands; we would accept the blessing of more children however He sees fit to give them; we would accept His choice of perhaps never granting us more children; and we would be eternally grateful an blessed by His sovereignty in giving us Poppy.
It was one of those conversations that leaves you feeling spent and energized all at once; but mostly, I felt peaceful, in harmony with my God and my husband.
Because of that conversation, the following day’s exciting news was received a bit with fear and trembling. I now know that becoming like Christ is painful.
Yes, Lord, I will follow you. Yes, I will trust you no matter where my path leads. Yes, you are enough. Yes, yes, yes…
And yes, I know where you lead may hurt. Yes, I understand that becoming more like you means dying to self. Yes, I understand my faith is worth more than gold. Yes, yes, yes…
Like times before, I shared the wonderful news with Chris. Could it really be possible that in two-and-a-half years of marriage, this was my fourth pregnancy? Four times to experience the elation of a positive pregnancy test! Four times to celebrate with Chris. I don’t want to sound trite, but seriously – what a blessing. I fully recognize that even the experience of a positive test is a blessing denied to many. And so, I rejoice.
We didn’t really make plans on how or when to announce this new little one’s existence to anyone, but I nearly had to spill the beans the very next day due to some intense morning sickness. I was pretty nauseous with Poppy, but mostly after week 6; and I hadn’t had any morning sickness really with my previous two pregnancies. I was estatic! Morning sickness is generally believed to be the result of strong hormones. Since it was my hormones we had been doubting, I saw morning sickness as a true gift. I know, I know… But, repeated pregnancy loss turns everything upside down.
Thankfully, I made it through a big Thanksgiving prep grocery trip with my mom and Poppy, and we told our parents two days later – the night before Thanksgiving. I just couldn’t hold the news in any longer, and in case we had the opportunity to share at Thanksgiving (you know, the whole go-around-the-table-and-share-what-you-are-thankful-for spiel), I wanted to take it!
Thanksgiving passed without the opportunity to share our news, but I was content. Simply peaceful. Our experience with Pepper motivated us to share big and share early with Basil; but with Parsley, I just felt at ease.
My “at ease” feeling lasted exactly one week.
At 4w5d gestation, I was overwhelmed with sadness and fear. It was the first day where my past came back to haunt me, and I was emotionally miserable. I spent the whole day believing that spotting was on its way. In retrospect, it was. Still, it was so insignificant that when things seemed okay the following day, I changed my mind about what I thought I had experienced.
This up-and-down emotion and my body’s confusing signs continued for a few more days, and I felt the stress. The few people who were privy to what I was going through kept encouraging me to stay rested, not panic, release the stress. I think that those were good reminders, but I also think that subconsciously I was preparing for what was coming.
The not-knowing and the fear to hope during that week were agonizing. My sweet mama even reminded me to trust the Lord and hold tightly to Him. It was almost impossible for me to explain at that time that I did trust Him, and He was why I was even able to take one step in front of the other. However, and I want you to catch this because it has been life-altering for me, trusting God doesn’t mean we get the happy ending. If I have learned anything in the past year, I have learned that this is the case. But, you know what? Trusting Him is still worth it. I wouldn’t be able to walk this path if it weren’t for His mercy upon me.
Finally, after more than a week of spotting and pseudo spotting, emotional anguish and many shed tears, I began to miscarry. I was exactly 6w0d.
You may be questioning my use of the word, “finally” above. I’m going to be painfully honest here: in real, tangible ways, it was a relief to know the answer to the unspeakable question. Oh man, did it hurt. I grieved this lost baby whose eyes would never meet mine; whose body I would no longer nourish; whose hand I would never hold. I grieved the loss deeply. But, for better or worse, I was now accustomed to the grief. I knew how to be there. I knew how to feel the pain and keep walking. I knew how to cry one moment and laugh the next. I am learning better and better every day how to dive into the arms of my heavenly Father for my comfort and source of peace.
It’s not that the pain lessens or that my ability to withstand the blows strengthens. It is simply that when I am weak, He is strong. And in those moments, I was weaker than I had ever been.
The “finally” means that “finally my sweet baby sees the face of Jesus.” “Finally, I can find peace and not worry.” “Finally, I can stop fearing to hope.” Finally.
Gratefully, Chris was able to be home with me through the next few weeks. That had not been the case when I lost Basil, and I could tell how having my husband with me daily made an overwhelming difference. We decided after a day-and-a-half of bleeding to go to the doctor. They were able to confirm with an HCG blood draw that I was indeed miscarrying. The doctor I saw was very genuine and compassionate – a relief to my previous two experiences. I didn’t even need to return to the doctor; I simply took another HPT a week-and-a-half later to see that opposite. That negative.
God was very gracious to me as this third miscarriage was the easiest physically. And, at the risk of attributing my experience to others’ – I have found that the emotional road to recovery somewhat mirrors the physical. It’s easier to begin healing emotionally when your body is healing easily, too.
And so my fourth pregnancy became my third miscarriage. My third child to know only the richness of heaven – to see the face of Jesus before the face of his or her mama.
I love you sweet Parsley… baby number four.