Mom to Angel, born and died November 11, 2005,
Enoch James, born and died May 6, 2006,
Joshua Logan, born and died April 1, 2007
I will never forget when I first found out I was pregnant. We had thought we were pregnant the month before, even though we were not trying and had not planned on having kids for a while. We ended up being disappointed when we found out that we were not pregnant. After that we decided we would stop birth control and see what would happen. We did not expect to get pregnant so fast, but one month later, on a Sunday morning, I tested and sure enough, I was pregnant. We were so excited we could not wait to share with everyone. We called our parents and even announced it at church. We had so many hopes and dreams. We began thinking of names, of course I know at one month it is early for that, but we could not help ourselves because we were so excited. It was in late October when found out. Early November all the Christmas stuff was out and we were so excited. We bought bears because we wanted to do bears for the baby and were going to do bears for a nursery even. There were so many hope and dreams pinned on this new life coming into this world. Our first baby. I am sure some of you can relate to this. Life was great so it seemed. One day, a month in, I began to spot. I called the doctor, who had me come right in. They did a sonogram and said baby was either not as far along as we thought or we had lost it and it was no longer developing. My heart sank. I was so upset and shocked. It was the day before our one year anniversary. They sent me home and said time will tell. Of course by that night the bleeding got worse, and when I went to the restroom at a school dace that my husband was DJ at, it happened. I passed a large clot of stuff and knew it was our baby. It was all I could do to hold it together to get through the night. On a side note, it was my choice that my husband went ahead and did the dance; he would have canceled, but I chose not for him to. None the less, God gave us this precious little life…how in the world could we have been ready for this little life to be taken away in just one month?
After losing my first baby at one month, I was so angry at the world…at everyone, honesty. The only thing I focused on was “I want a baby”. I told my husband to give me a baby for Christmas. I had problems with my parents, and ended up not talking to them. I almost caused problems with my husband, but then I got what I asked for: I found out I was pregnant shortly after Christmas. Keep in mind that I had miscarried in November, so it was pretty soon. I got what I wanted, but soon found that I was afraid and did not want to get attached. I was afraid to tell people I was pregnant because I thought I might loss this one, too. I honestly was afraid to even love the baby or get attached to the thought. My husband was okay with it, but I wasn’t. To top it off, I had morning sickness almost from day one that would not let up. I could not eat anything. I can remember being so hungry, yet telling my husband, “I don’t want to eat because I know I am just going to get sick and throw it right back up.” I lost 25 lb during the first few months. I was so miserable. They almost had to put me in the hospital for dehydration once. I kept pushing on, though, because it was all worth is to have my precious little one.
Getting toward my fifth month, I really began to get attached and was doing better with that part, even though I was still sick and was even blacking out at times. At my five month check-up we went in for the sonogram and we were so excited. We were finally going to find out if it was a boy or a girl. It was a boy!!! We were so excited. Then came the, “But we think there maybe something wrong. We see a possible cyst on his brain and we want you to go to a specialist in Dallas who can better decide what is going on.“ They said that it might be nothing, but they just wanted to check it out. Due to how sick I had been, I ask the doctor if I could be having early preeclampsia since my BP was getting higher and higher. The doctor assured me that I could not possibly have it that early.
We went home with heavy hearts that night. He no longer was baby, he was our son, Enoch James Rodgers, and we wanted nothing but the best. I was off work the next day so I spent the day home alone praying about Enoch. The appointment was scheduled for the next week. I was praying God would just heal him and remove whatever this was, that it would be nothing. I sent out messages to people requesting prayer for him. In the afternoon I could say this was the time I truly bonded. I play the flute and I grew up dreaming of playing lullabies to my babies. I sat down and spent an hour or more, played for Enoch. It was our time. I was still very sick and not feeling well. Solomon, my husband, came home from work later and we were talking about things. I had felt uncomfortable in my chest all day, but it began to get worse as then evening passed. Finally, I had Solomon check my BP and it was like 190 over 100. Being a nurse, I know this was not a safe resting BP. He rushed me to the hospital.
As a nurse I had worked I hospitals, but I had never been on the other side as a patient. We were so scared. They did not seem to take me very serious in the ER as they made me wait in the waiting room for a long time without reassurance that things were okay. Then once taken back, things went from bad to worse. I had a terrible experience all the way around from ER, ICU, Cardiac floor to finally the second day on the L and D floor. All the while they assured me Enoch was fine and that it was just my BP they needed to get under control. That night they had finally gotten it all under control and were planning to send me home on bed rest the next day. The nurse came in to check fetal heart tones. She seemed to be having trouble. She brought in a sonogram and there on the screen was this little slow flicker. My husband, not having a clue, commented, “Well, if that’s the heartbeat, we are in trouble.” The nurse politely said that sometimes it was harder than others to check baby’s heart rate and she would let the doctor know. I knew in my heart of hearts that was Enoch’s little heart beating and my baby boy was in trouble, but I could not speak it into the air for fear that it would make it true, so I kept quiet. This was not the fairest thing I could have done to my poor husband, because in about ten minutes the doctor came bursting in the room with the sonogram machine saying, “I would like to say I am not worried, but I am.” She did a sonogram, but this time there was not even a single flicker. We had watched some of his last heart beats earlier. Enoch was gone. We were in shock. The baby that was just there was gone that quick. I had not been out of the hospital room in 48 hours, so my husband took me for a walk. I remember walking down stairs and outside, where we sat for a long time calling our parents and just crying together. Finally, Solomon said we had to go back. I did not want to go back, though. They were going to induce me and take him. Somehow, as long as he was still in me, he was with me. It was the longest walk I ever made walking back up and down the hall to the room.
I slipped into a depression like no other. I wanted to die and was on medication to keep me stable. They said I might have Lupus and might never have kids. All the while I know my God was holding me safe in his hands. I pushed God so far away, but He never left my side. They finally told me I did not have Lupus and could have kids. So, in November I got pregnant again. This time things went so well. At the fifth month, though, I started feeling bad and told the doctors something was wrong. They thought I was just freaking out because I had lost my last one at five months. This went on for a week. I was in and out of the ER and finally a different doctor admitted me to the hospital because my labs were off. By the time they figured out what was wrong, I was in kidney and liver failure. They told my husband I was as good as dead, but they would try to save me. I had developed HEELP syndrome, which was not normal that early in pregnancy. They told my husband to prepare to say goodbye to us both as they induced labor to take the baby in a last attempt to at least save me. Joshua Logan Rodgers was born April 1, 2007, some April Fool’s joke. He lived about 10 minutes and we got to say bye. There were people praying all over for me to live. Within 24 hours, they said I was almost a new person. They told me at best I should have been in ICU for 3 weeks and gotten 30 units of blood. Instead, I never got any blood and two days after delivery I was sent home.
I was diagnosed with Lupus and told I would never have kids. This time was different, though. I knew it was only by the grace of God that I lived and my sons’ deaths could not be in vain. I won’t lie and say it was easy and I never got depressed or didn’t want my life to end, but God had better plans for me. Two weeks after we lost our last son, my husband got called to be a youth pastor, which he had planned to do, but had fallen away. He surrendered and accepted the job as youth pastor. I won’t say life was easy after that. I had lots of help from Christian friends that we made and there have been many bumps along the road. Now I have had over 25 kids to love on. I could have never been so dedicated to ministry and help so many young lives had my plans to have kids and a family worked out. I can truly say God’s plan is much better than mine. Yes, there are days that I miss my kids, but I cling to this verse: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart, the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21) I have a happy life with a wonderful Christian husband, more kids to love than ever, and plenty of friends. I know my God loves me and I can’t wait to see how He is going to use me in life. I know He has even bigger plans then I can ever imagine. Whatever your trial, whatever the struggle, it’s never too big for God and His plans really are better. As one of my favorite songs puts it:
“What if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise.”
Whatever the struggle, give it to God, because He loves you.
Mary blogs at http://www.wounded-healer.org.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.