Thursday, December 8, 2011
Washed Away with Grace
Chapter 4 An Expected Child
Elizabeth got the kids situated for breakfast and glanced around the table. It was amazing how a few years ago she could have been found sobbing over her desperate desire for a baby of her own and the lack thereof. She would arrive in church and see all the round bellies of the expectant mothers and be so conflicted. She was joyous for them, but so sad for herself. Little would she know, after so much heartache that she would have little ones around her table as well as bigger ones in her life. Having Samantha and Wayne was wonderful. She enjoyed going to softball practice, cub scouts, hiking at parks, and concerts at school when they were smaller, but they were already so independent when Elizabeth and Bob got married they didn't need her like a tiny one would. There was nothing like having a little one completely rely on you for everything. It was a feeling Elizabeth longed for, but for the longest time was unable to feel.
Elizabeth had always had a deep desire for a large family and children. She was sure much of the reason was she had 3 siblings growing up. She enjoyed living amidst a busy family full of life and wanted the same type of family when she grew old enough. The four of them had been, for the most part stair steps with the exception of the small gap between her and her brother. There would have been another child that her mother had lost late term, the missing step that would have completed the stairs however God had other plans for that little one. Elizabeth believed that the babies that she had lost herself were probably wonderful friends with the baby her mother had lost so many years ago up in Heaven…
Elizabeth herself had lost 4. She and Bob had lost a baby in an earlier term miscarriage, her first biological child. It was heartbreaking, but nothing in comparison to what was to come next. Soon after her first miscarriage, she became pregnant again. She carried this child, each day a blessing, for her pregnancy was filled with complications. She had opted to use a midwife that was associated with a local hospital and who worked alongside a doctor if necessary. No doctor, no midwife, no exam could explain the chronic bleeding. It never ceased and became increasingly worse each day she became further along in her pregnancy. It got to the point where they were doing ultrasounds regularly to check on the "status" of her child. She prayed for the child inside her daily, multiple times a day.
When the opportunity came to get away on a girls trip for just a few days she thought that might be just the thing to get her mind off of her tumultuous pregnancy. She went away with her mother, sister, a few of her adopted siblings who were quite small at the time, and daughter Samantha for a girls' beach retreat. There was little rest for Elizabeth. The constant reminder of her baby in distress was so stressful. She was afraid she may even lose her baby while she was away from her husband… God held off a little longer and got Elizabeth and her daughter Samantha home safely and able to enjoy a few moments of getting away with the girls to enjoy the beauty of the beach, a little shopping, and even a short cruise to see dolphins, which was extra special because her daughter Samantha adored dolphins. When she was younger she said that she wanted to work with dolphins when she grew up. Going on a dolphin cruise with her daughter was one of those memories made to be sure.
A brief time later Bob, Elizabeth, Samantha and Wayne went to visit Elizabeth's brother and sister in law in Buffalo NY. They went to Niagara Falls together, and then to a local mall before arriving back to Jonathan and Jessamyn's home. That evening the bleeding was accompanied by pain, pain that reverberated in her back. She tried to ignore it, tried to soak in a tub while everyone else slumbered and snored. It wouldn't go away, and got worse. While she was awake at around 3am she heard a loud bang. She was so stressed and tense that a car backfiring really did sound just like a gunshot. She called 911 and reported her fears much to the humor of her family later on. What happened next was no joke however.
By 6am it was evident Elizabeth was having contractions and she was only 20 weeks along. She woke her husband and told him that she needed to get to a hospital. He said it was really important for them to get back to their own hospital and Dr. rather than going to a strange hospital, especially with her being only 20 weeks along. If their baby was going to be born, it would be much easier to spend months at a local hospital rather than one 3 hours away. She couldn't argue that point and breathed a prayer that they would get to their hospital in time between strong pains. They loaded the kids up and headed home. Elizabeth's contractions became very close and she had an overwhelming urge to go to the bathroom. She saw a rest stop in the distance and told Bob to STOP. She rushed into the restroom and went to the furthest stall to go to relieve herself. As she sat down she felt her child sliding from her body and put her hand down just in time to catch her wee babe before she landed in the toilet. It was a girl and she was ALIVE….