09 July 2008

I decided to take a bath today during Oliver's nap. As I got settled in to the warm water and candlelight I realized that it has been a very long time since I've had a bath in my tub. As I soaked I remembered quite clearly the last time I'd been there.

It was the night Evie died.

It was a Monday. I had worked in the yard that day and cleaned the front porch fan during Oliver's morning nap. Oliver and I played on his swing set and blew bubbles when he woke up. I read a book that afternoon on the back patio while Oliver entertained himself in the grass. I remember noting what a lovely day it was and how grateful I was for my sweet son.

I felt her kick at 1:00 that afternoon. I remember making note of it because she was moving less often and with less force over the previous days. This was a mighty kick, high in my tummy and I remember mentally congratulating her on a good firm hello. I was rooting for her. I looked at the clock because I had been told to make note of these movements and to notify my midwife if 4 hours ever elapsed without movement.

That afternoon I clicked my way to a blog by a woman who was also 32 weeks pregnant with a baby girl that she would not get to keep. That day she was having a cesarean and would meet her daughter not knowing what would happen. I followed the updates on the blog that day and watched and prayed for her family as they met their daughter, as Audrey passed away, and as they said goodbye to her.

I was so sad for the Smith family, and sad for our family as well. I knew that we would be saying hello and goodbye to our baby girl someday soon too.

Ryan was out of the house working that day and by the time he arrived home I was feeling anxious. We had planned to attend an Architectural Discussion at our church that evening but I told him to go ahead without me because I just didn't feel right.

While he was gone I waited and waited for more movement in my tummy. I called Rebecca and wept on the phone with her. I told her about Audrey and how that sweet family had met their baby today and that tonight she was in heaven. It all happened so quickly and I was so scared.

Evie was in heaven with Audrey even then.

Ryan returned home from church and calmed me, comforted me and prayed with me. There was still no movement and we called my midwife to let her know. She said we could come in that night or to try a few things to stimulate movement and come in the next morning.

Ryan was tired and Oliver was already asleep. We'd had one false alarm a couple weeks earlier and I didn't want to put my family through all of that again if it was nothing. We decided to get a good night's sleep and not to disturb Oliver. We could go in the next morning if there was still no movement.

That night Ryan and Oliver slept. I rested for a while but my intuition kept me from sleep. I knew that something wasn't right. I did everything I could to relax but was feeling very anxious. Being productive helps me, so I finally decided to take a bath and make a list of things I would need for the hospital when the time came.

I remember the bath that night. It was 3:00 am. Once I'd thought of everything I could possibly need I set the list aside. I soaked there in the dim light of the candles and prayed for courage. I asked God to give me the strength I would need when the time came. I tried to imagine the possibility of giving birth to my still baby, holding her and letting go. Preparing for that moment was impossible. I asked God to give me grace for that moment when it came.

Today marks three months since Evie was born. Three months since we kissed her soft cool skin and held her in that sweet blanket we'd picked out for her. Three months since they wheeled me into my recovery room on the new moms floor without a baby. These have been very sad months for us. But, I can say with confidence, that God has indeed been with us. He was there to give us grace for that moment and for every moment from then till now.

Thanks be to God.


The Morrisons said...

I love reading your memories, Raechel, because even through your pain, His grace and mercy are so apparent. He is using you to show the world that He deserves our praise because of who He is, no matter where we are at the time. You are a testimony to His faithfulness.

Allmykids123 said...

Dear Raechel: I found you through Angie Smith's blog. Like you, I love hearing her words because they are such a comfort to me. I read the story of your beautiful daughter Evie and my heart breaks for you and your family. Please know that someone in Texas is saying a prayer for you tonight.