I've mentioned in previous posts that I was very angry with God when Grady died. I felt like He was playing some sort of cruel joke on me.
Before I was pregnant with him, every time I would think of having another baby, the words, "Ye of little faith" would pop into my head. I was so scared of having another preemie and the outcome not being so good. So, when we discovered I was pregnant with Grady, SURPRISE, I felt like he was meant to be, and God was saying, "Now you really have to trust me and put your faith in me". I had no other choice but to do just that, and that I did.
I started having contractions right around 17 weeks when we found out he was boy. I started taking weekly injections of a progesterone called 17P. These shots have been shown to significantly decrease the incidence of another premature birth in someone who has already experienced one. Even though I didn't actually go into labor right away with Emma Grace, the high-risk doctors felt it was a good idea to start them with Grady. I know myself, and if I hadn't tried them and he had been born early, I would have berated myself for not taking them.
So, I started the injections and several weeks into them started having a severe, hive-like reaction on my hiney. I'm talking huge whelps, uncontrollable itching, itching until bleeding, and bruising was occurring. Not good. After the high-risk doctors consulted my case, they were afraid that I would have a systemic allergic reaction and advised me to stop them. That wasn't an option in my mind. After further discussion, they suggested that since it was a compounded medication, maybe I was having an allergic reaction to impurities in the medication. We found a local hospital who made the same medication on-site with very strict guidelines for cleanliness and sterility in mixing meds. I drove 70 miles one way and paid $150 for one vial of this medication. Granted, the vial gave me five shots, that still was a big chunk of change to fork out. BUT, he was worth it! Those shots worked, and I continued to go to my OB's office once a week. I ordered a second vial and continued them until my 35th week of pregnancy.
Dr. Joe did every test he could to make sure things were okay with Grady. I had blood work, ultrasounds every two weeks to check my cervix, fetal-fibronectin tests (a test that can give with 80% accuracy if you're going to go into labor in the next two weeks), non-stress tests, and big ultrasounds at 14, 17, 21, 28 and 32 weeks to make sure he was growing well. Everything checked out fine.
At one point I continued having contractions, mainly the false ones called Braxton-Hicks, and they reached a frequency that was concerning to me and Dr. Joe. He prescribed me two medications to take on an as-needed basis to calm my uterus. They seemed to work.
I went to see him exactly one week before Grady was born still. Again, everything checked out great, and I got my last 17P shot. We were all excited that there were only 9 more days until Grady should be born. I just knew we were out of the woods, and we were going to have our baby boy and bring him home.
The next week, when I found out he had died, (you can read about that day here), I just couldn't grasp what went wrong. I had done everything I could - taken shots, rested every day, watched my diet - didn't eat lunch meat, organic foods as much as possible, took my vitamins, didn't stand in front of the microwave, etc. I was so angry because there are so many people who don't take care of themselves and don't want their babies, but many times they are allowed to keep them, and I couldn't keep my sweet boy.
After the initial shock wore off, I was really mad. I thought God should take a tally of the loss in my life and pick on someone else. Basically, I was having a big pity party for myself. I think I've mentioned this before, but my dad died when I was 13, all of my grandparents have passed, we almost lost Emma Grace, I had a miscarriage in 2005, my mom died in 2007, and now I had lost my full-term, perfectly beautiful baby boy.
Gees, God, how much more do you think I can take?!?!
There were several people who were shocked and angry with me that I was angry at God. But God already knew I was mad. I'm human after all, and He knows our thoughts before we speak them. The sweetest chaplain at the hospital, Sandy, got in my face (nicely) and said to me, "It's okay to be angry with God. You just need to tell him how angry you are". I can't tell you how freeing that was for me.
I continued to be angry for some time and wouldn't even talk to God.
Now, all of that to finally get to the title of this post. Thanks for being patient with me!
My first breakthrough came when we went to a service at our old church. My husband's family had a small get-together the Sunday before Christmas. Our old church, that we love and miss, was not far. We found out that they had added an evening service and decided that we would go there after our visit with family.
The sermon that night was about Jesus' birth in Bethlehem and how the songs many times glorify this event. When in reality, it wasn't such a pretty picture. Mary and Joseph could find no place to stay but a barn/stable. He painted the picture that this wasn't a special barn, it was like any other typical barn, smelly from the animals and their by-products. Mary was alone in labor without her mother or a nurse holding her hand. This was labor just like any normal woman experiences. It was cold. And when Jesus was born, the King of the world, there were no baby blankets and no place to lay him. He was wrapped in cloths that they gathered, and the only place for him was a trough that had probably recently been slopped in/on by the animals. This is not exactly the environment that we would expect our Savior to be born into. But it was.
God speaks to me in strange ways and many times when I least expect it. When Buddy (the pastor) was teaching, God spoke to me. He made it clear to me that BECAUSE of Jesus and his lowly birth, Grady had a direct entrance into Heaven. Our Savior was born into conditions that many of us would see as appalling or unfit, but my baby could live a beautiful, eternal life in the most wonderful place because of the gift of His birth.
Of course, I broke down in tears and cried for a long time. I just thanked God for loving us. I thanked God for sending His son for us. I thanked Him for showing me that He was still there, even though I had shut Him out. I thanked Him for reaching out to me in that moment. Even though Grady's death and stillbirth was NOT what we wanted, I was thankful for the promise, made possible through Jesus' birth and death, that I would see my precious boy alive one day and get to hold him in Heaven.
I don't believe in coincidences. I believe God sent us to church that night, so He could speak to my heart. Thank you God!
This was my first breakthrough. I was still angry, but my heart was beginning to soften. I wasn't too far from having 'my big revelation'........