This blog has always been transparent and raw- a way to process and a way to share.
So, I want you to know her. To know our Shalom.
I had been looking forward to Mother’s Day for awhile; it was the day we had chosen to make our pregnancy announcement. We would have been 13 weeks along with Sweet Baby Number 2.
When my mom came to visit, Judah surprised her with a onesie that said “Oops they did it again! I’m going to be a Big Brother!” We were going to FaceTime my dad and tell him the news later that week.
My mom came on a Sunday and we had a doctor’s appointment Wednesday, so we decided to wait to call my dad until then. We all jumped in the taxi, excited to finally see our baby on the big screen.
The week before we went for our initial appointment but the doctor couldn’t see anything. I sat in the park awaiting the results of a blood test- praying for good news. He called, telling me that everything was fine, that my hormones indicated the presence of a pregnancy so I must not be as far along as I thought I had been. I slowly let my breath out.
My gut was still in knots.
I tried to believe what the doctor said was true, but it still felt off. I was already experiencing morning sickness and was fairly confident about the date our baby had been conceived. Last pregnancy morning sickness hadn’t come til later in the pregnancy, around this same time.
Not wanting to worry myself for no reason, I told myself I was being silly and listened to my husbands reassurance. I had doubts when getting pregnant with Judah as well, but everything turned out fine.
It would be fine.
Lying there on the examining chair at 9 weeks pregnant, the ultrasound still found no trace of a baby— my worst fear was confirmed. I looked over at my husband for a glimpse of hope, struggling to accept the doctor’s words.
Granted I’m living in a foreign country, the doctor was not speaking my primary language. I forced myself to stay calm in order to fully comprehend what was going on. My husband and I slowly followed the doctor into his office. We sat down and he explained that we had had an anembryonic pregnancy, otherwise known as “blighted ovum”. This is when the fertilized egg attaches to the wall but the embryo doesn’t develop. However, the placenta continues to grow and hormones continue to rise, which is why I still felt pregnancy symptoms.
Since I hadn’t miscarried naturally yet, the doctor immediately jumped to explain several alternatives for ending the pregnancy. Still in shock, I began to weep. I collapsed on Jesse’s shoulder while the doctor who had delivered Judah tried to mutter condolences of “don’t cry, you already have one baby, you’re young, you’ll have more, many people can’t have any…..” My husband kindly told the doctor to shut-up as I had begun to absorb the finality of this baby’s life.
I went out into the waiting room where my mom was playing with Judah, one look at me and she knew. “Oh Hunnie” she whispered and engulfed me in her arms. I’m so glad she was there. But I needed to hold my baby. I turned to pick-up my firstborn, kissing his head and telling him how much I love him.
It was not the doctor’s appointment I had been anticipating.
That day we went to work as normal, went to a meeting, as normal, and went to bed.
The next day and the day after that we went to work. Numb. Filling the hours with “normal” life tasks while I waited to naturally miscarry.
Finally, at 11 weeks “pregnant”, the doctor recommended a D&C procedure to clean out my uterus. I needed it to be over. So I went in and after again confirming no signs of life, 15 minutes later I walked out of the office feeling as empty as I have ever felt.
My husband and I sat on a bench in the same park where we had celebrated being pregnant with Judah, and started to mourn the life of our little “Shalom”. The name God had given us for our baby girl. We didn’t know the gender, but had a feeling Shalom would have been a girl.
We talked about the friends she would have in heaven, Jesse’s and my siblings we had never met, and other loved ones who we know had gone to be with the Lord.
Since then it has not been easy. It’s been difficult to find joy. Unless blatantly distracted, my spirit still feels broken, womb still feels empty. My family feels incomplete.
I stumbled upon Jeremiah 1:5 the other day, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” My first instinct was anger. Why God would you form this child if you knew the outcome would be a miscarriage? It just wasn’t fair! I expressed this to my husband who gave me a different way to look at it:
“Kimmy, this verse is saying that our child WAS indeed known.”
This put me all in a puddle. Wishing I could have known her. Wishing I could have held my little Shalom. But again. Shalom. Peace.
I have peace knowing that God knows my Shalom and He is holding her now.
So what did God set Shalom apart for? For Him. To point us towards His glory. Towards His peace.
Shalom’s estimated due date was on Thanksgiving. I couldn’t wait to have my own little turkey “in the oven” and again a newborn babe around Christmas time. In fact, there were many dreams and visions I’d already had for my unborn child. From the moment I saw the double pink lines –I took the test the morning before Judah’s first birthday– his baby sister’s life had become a reality.
We will remember the day we found out we were pregnant, the day of the miscarriage, the day of the procedure, the day she should have been born, and the following days, months, and years that we had anticipated her to be with us.
Our family will hopefully grow and Judah will eventually become a big brother, in God’s timing.
But we will never forget.
Our precious Shalom.
Who is now living in an unbroken world. Experiencing the fullness of Him. Dancing and singing with the angels.
And we are still here. Looking forward to that day we will be reunited. Doing our best to live for Him until then.
With Shalom reminding us we are graced with His peace.
His Perfect. Timeless. All-Knowing. Peace.