*This is Part two of a possible four part series on “2018.” If you haven’t read the first one yet, here is the link. Go back, read it, then come back for this one.*
Well, well, well. You’re back! I promise this second one will be just about as gut wrenching as the first one. But the biggest takeaway is that God reached out to us through the darkness and comforted us. That’s the only way I can keep saying confidently that everything is and will be just fine. Now, on to the next week.
Just before dad passed, probably the month prior, we found out that we were going to have another kiddo! Oh happy day! It takes an act of Congress for us to get pregnant and we did it all on our own this time! It was so stinking amazing! In the middle of the stuff going on with the Wildman, we had a flicker of light and joy.
The day after dad’s funeral, we went for our first sonogram in Lubbock. We got into the office and sat in the waiting room with nervous excitement. We had joy in this rough time.
Our tech called us back. She squirted the goop stuff and got to work. We had shared some baby experiences with this tech before, actually with both of our prior pregnancies. The mood went from light to a little more subdued and finally somber. She asked where we were in our pregnancy. Jeg told her and she nodded her head.
Honestly, her voice turned into Charlie Brown’s teacher then for me. Jeg can explain this part better than me. I immediately knew something wasn’t right. We had to sit on this vague visit for a week before we got any kind of answers. It had to be one of the most agonizing weeks that either one of us had to date (mind you, my dad had literally died the week before.)
Our doctor told us that our baby stopped growing in the weeks before the sonogram. We had miscarried our new kiddo. That information flooded my mind and buried me under the surf. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. And that was just me. It doesn’t even come close to what Jeg was feeling.
They told us that Jeg would pass the baby naturally. So we got to play the waiting game all over again. I dealt with it by not really dealing with it. I’d talk with my buddies Scott and Tanner and try to explain my feelings, but it was just tough. Yeah, Jeg and I talked about what was going on too, but we didn’t get very deep. How could we? We were walking on the edge of this knife waiting for the final slice.
We decided that some kind of change was needed. We had to snap this stupid funk that the devil was trying to put on us. So we did what anyone who was completely overwhelmed with life and put our house up for sale. 😳
The day our house was being shown to the eventual buyer, something happened. It was roughly a month-ish after the sonogram and Jeg started bleeding. Not, “Oh no…I’m bleeding” but “Holy crap, you’re bleeding…like a lot.” And guess where I was? Two and a half hours away on a pipe recovery job.
When I got that call, my mind flashed back to a month prior when dad died. It was just fear that washed over me instead of peace. I might have kept it cool on the outside, but I was 100 percent afraid that I was gonna lose my best friend.
I thank God every day for the folks I was working with that day. My engineer and company man caught wind of what was going on and they shut down the job and we took off to Levelland. Both of them had been exactly where I was right then and they knew how important it was for me to be there at Jeg’s side.
Another big blessing was that NanaMary, Jeg’s stepmom, was with her until I got there from Odessa. She got her to the ER in Lubbock and threw her weight around to get her admitted. (Not exactly sure how that went, but I just know Mary was all momma bear status and it was awesome.) The attending doctor (who was a former OB/GYN) examined Jeg and said that she was hemorrhaging and part of what was supposed to be passed was still attached and causing the massive bleeding. If she hadn’t gotten there when she did and gotten help, she would have bled out. That was all before I even got there.
When I arrived, all the major excitement was over. We were just left with the weird emotional hangover that I guess comes with narrowly avoiding death. We were discharged and we went home. Just like that, it was all over.
Well, it wasn’t over. It was all just the beginning of us picking up the pieces of our life all over again and handing them to God to do something with. Patch us back together, throw us back together, just do something. We needed something. Some kind of answer to all the pain that we were walking through.
We’re pretty private people. We spent many years in the spotlight and under a microscope through ministry work. This wasn’t a story that we wanted to tell people every other week and it sure wasn’t a story to be told through a game of telephone. The help and support might have been there, but it sure didn’t feel like it. We were treated like we had the plague from most folks. It was just a level of loneliness that we had never experienced before
People who have gone through losing a baby will understand what I’m saying here. Nobody really knows what they need to say or even what they can say. I can say confidently on my end of things, that I was lost and just flat out sad. I didn’t know what to say to my wife, who was absolutely wrecked. What do we do?
Well, we got up and went to church. We sought after God. We figured out what He said about our situation and tried our hardest to apply it.
Second Samuel 12:16-24 talks about David losing his son. Now, this is due to him jacking around with Bathsheba, but his kid gets sick and he goes into mourning and the child dies. After the boy’s death, in verses 23 and 24 he explains what he’s doing.
“But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife…”
We can’t turn back time and change what happened. All we can do is have our time of mourning and grief. Then, trust that God has got our kiddo there with Him and know that we will go to see them one day. That’s it.
Like I said in the last post, over time things heal and change, but nothing ever goes back to the way it was. Just like in the loss of my dad, this loss left a hole. A little, baby shaped hole. When you really think about it and focus on it, a whole life is supposed to be in that hole. But you have to realize that the only thing you can fill that hole with is the peace and comfort that only the Holy Ghost can bring you. In John 14:16 it says, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—” That’s the skinny of it. The only way y’all make it through.
I realize that there is still a ton of unpacking to do in the situation, but that is the barebones of it. Trust that God is still going to have your back. Trust that He is faithful and He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can even ask or think. Trust that He is going to lead you and your family out of this valley and back to the mountaintop in His glory.
Phew! That was heavy. It’s so tough writing about this because you wind up revisiting and rehashing it all over again. But this is gonna bless someone. To know that someone went through it and made it out is going to encourage somebody out there.
Thanks for reading folks. Stay tuned for part three of “2018” because the hits just just kept coming that year. Y’all stay safe out there.