Looking out my car window this morning, everything looked like a perfectly normal day. But it certainly didn't feel like a normal day. Funny how little the world around us seems to care or even notice when something inside feels so wrong. I've experienced this feeling before. It’s a lonely feeling that seems to be felt when we've lost or came close to losing something we treasure. And for that reason, to understand my pain, I must first explain to you the joy of the treasure I felt I was loosing.
It really began a little over a month ago when I received a text message at work. It was a busy day and I glanced down at my phone to see who it was from. It looked like it was from our daycare lady which was strange because it was my wife’s weekly day off with our daughter and they had been spending the day at the zoo. I couldn't get the message to open as my flip phone (yes I still use one) seemed frozen. So I closed the phone but then opened it again and went back into my inbox to see if I could open it that way. There I found an unopened message from my wife. “Let’s see….must be a picture of our daughter with a monkey,” I thought. I downloaded the picture and on my little screen could quickly see it wasn't from the zoo. It took me a second but I then realized it was a pregnancy test. And although hard to make out, it looked like it was positive. I was stunned and elated at the same time and I’m pretty sure a little smile came on my face.
We had been trying to conceive for a number of months and at this point were resigning ourselves to the possibility that God might not want us to have any more kids. Our first two children were nothing short of miracles and while we both wanted another child we knew that our family was perfect just as it was. At this point I thought that if it was going to happen, it probably would have already and I was ok with that. So that morning when my wife told me she was a few days late and feeling a bit different, I didn't think twice about the possibility that we might be pregnant. I knew she was going to take a test that day but the odds in my mind were nearly zero so that was the last I had thought about it.
As I stared at that picture, I was in shock and all the worries of work I had been dealing with just didn't seem like such a big deal anymore. First I sent the picture to my computer so I could see it better and then I got up and went looking for a place to call my wife. I knew she had to be as excited as me and I had to talk with her. I slipped into an empty conference room and what a joyful conversation we had. This was a special gift.
Since then things have progressed similar to our other pregnancies. We opted not to tell many people till after our first doctor’s appointment. My wife did start to experience more morning sickness then in the past but we took that as a sign that everything was normal.
Fast forward to this morning when I heard my wife call me upstairs while she was getting ready. The door was shut and I could hear in her voice that something wasn't right and I pretty much knew what it was. After coaxing our son downstairs to eat breakfast, I went in to find my wife in tears on the toilet. She was bleeding heavily with some clots. We both knew that this was likely a sign that we were losing our baby. I hugged her and tried to offer her some words of comfort but of course there is nothing to say when faced with something like this. I took her hands in mine and prayed with her for our little one. Shortly after that she experienced some intense cramping and we were all but certain this pregnancy was nearing the end we feared. We set up an appointment to do an ultrasound and see what was going on and I took the kids to daycare and school.
On the way, I asked my son to help say a rosary for his mom and together we said three decades. Then I tried to finish it on my way back and that’s when it really started sinking in. I couldn't say the prayers for a moment and my eye’s teared up. I hurt inside for my little child, for my wife and for myself. So many moments I now feared our child and our family would never experience. I did finish my rosary and prayed to my Grandmothers who are no longer in this world for their intercession. They both loved babies but my Grandma Dolly especially cared, worked and prayed for the unborn.
Back at our house the wait for our appointment was very difficult. Then came the drive to the doctor’s office. It was during this drive that I had that feeling I mentioned at the beginning of this. That feeling that my world had been turned upside down while the world around me just kept going as normal. Neither of us wanted to go hear and see what we thought was coming. “Do you think there is any chance that our baby is ok?” My wife asked me before we went in. I told her there was certainly a chance but that it probably wasn't a good one. Trusting God in situations like this is one of the hardest things I imagine I’ll ever try to do.
Then we went in. I held my wife’s hand and we braced for the news. This was the moment of truth and I looked longingly at the screen for some small sign of movement but saw none. The nurse said she was taking some measurements right away…and then she started moving the device around a bit and said, “Oh, do you know what that little flickering is? That looks like a heartbeat.” And it was a beautiful little heartbeat. My wife started crying tears of joy and my eyes filled with tears as well. Of course the next question was if our baby was ok. Everything seemed pretty normal the nurse told us. These two parents never felt so happy and relieved.
We never expected to be leaving with smiles on our face. Though drained emotionally the feeling of joy was overwhelming. Looking out my window now, this still didn't feel like a normal day. It was certainly not an easy day but it didn't feel so bad anymore. Looking back it was a very good day…even one of my best and I’ll never forget it. This beautiful little miracle of life continues and I’m thankful for every moment.