Too Many Blessings To Count
When my husband and I got married we knew one of our first challenges together would be having children. Having had trouble since my teen years, we had been discussing this from the moment our relationship became serious. Michael always reassured me it wasn’t an issue. Soon after our marriage we completed our first round of In Vitro Fertilization and became pregnant with twins. We were elated. We planned everything around their arrival. The pregnancy was going great, we found out we were having twin boys, the names were decided and the cribs were purchased.
Then on October 15, 2012, our world fell apart. When you say “honey my water broke” it is supposed to be exciting, not be the scariest moment of your life, but that is exactly what it was. We were so scared we couldn’t even process what was happening. I was only 18 weeks and 5 days pregnant, this couldn’t be happening! We rushed to the hospital where they confirmed our fears. The doctor called every larger hospital around to transfer me and no one would take me. What do you mean no one would take me? Who would do that, say that there was no hope?
So he said he would fight as hard as he could, that was at 2am and our first son, Michael Jr., was stillborn at 8am. We were shattered. I couldn’t even answer the questions they were asking me about arrangements and if I wanted to hold him. This shouldn’t be happening. How could God let this happen? We had accepted that we couldn’t get pregnant, we had fought the odds and come up with the money for IVF and then this? We held our sweet Michael and said our goodbyes.
We then spent the next 10 days holding on to every morsel of hope and praying we could stay pregnant with the second son, but he grew his wings also and on October 25, 2012, we had to go through the second worst day of our lives. Our sweet angel, Colgin was born at 9pm and lived a short time, we were able to hold and love him.
As we were dismissed from the hospital I had no idea how I was going to live or even where to start. For the next several months I cried myself to sleep every single night and flinched when my husband tried to comfort me. Michael got angrier and angrier… not at me, at God. I could relate, what kind of a God would do this? I had grown up in the church and never in my life did I think my God would do this, where was he when we were crying out to save my babies. Where was he when my own mother went to the chapel and tried to bargain with God, asking Him to take her instead of my baby?
As time passed we learned to live with the pain. We had attended Christ’s Church of Oronogo sporadically and I hadn’t been in a church since we lost the boys, until our annual Christmas Eve service with the entire family. I had avoided it because I knew what would happen, I knew I needed God and I knew I was broken and needed help but I had no idea where to start. That Candlelight service I sat and cried the entire service.
The next opportunity to sign up for a class came around and we signed up for Grief Share where we met a couple that has been monumental in our healing process. I’m not sure where we would be without Paul and Marilyn. We thank God for them daily. In that class, I learned that God could never give me a reason good enough to take my babies from earth so He doesn’t answer the why.
Time passed and we did IVF again and had a beautiful baby girl in July 2014 and a surprise miracle son in November 2015. Both were in the NICU and after going through what we already had it made the NICU journey a bit easier. As life would have it though I noticed that Michael only seemed to get angrier after we had the kids, it was almost like he realized what he was missing with the boys and was even angrier at God. I tried to help him but I didn’t know how. Time passed quickly but things weren’t getting any better. A close friend posted she was returning to Haiti and I knew this could be monumental for him. I had been 4 times before and if a heart is hurting there is something about a mission trip and being in Haiti that transforms you.
I asked him to go and it was a flat “NO!” Weeks passed and the group leader was really needing someone with a construction background to lead the project since her other guys had backed out, and Michael builds houses. We went to church that Sunday and as Jasper asked us to kneel and pray I prayed. “Lord please change his heart to a yes before tomorrow morning when I have to give her a final answer.” After church when I mentioned it again it didn’t go well. When his boss found out he told him that he would pay him his regular pay while he was gone! The next morning I sent one last message asking and he said yes we could go! I hurried and booked the trip before he could change his mind or I backed out because it meant leaving the kids.
I had no idea how we would pay for the trip but, like always, God had a beautiful plan. In a matter of 3-4 short weeks, we had the majority of our trip paid for by generous donations. June 2018 was an amazing month for my husband and I, both of our hearts healed more than I ever could have dreamed, being immersed in that beautiful third world country. When we were approached to tell our story, I wasn’t sure what to write or how it could help someone, but I felt like God was telling me we needed to. I often wonder what else God has in store for my family, and even though there has been much heartache, there have also been too many blessings to count. I remind myself daily that those two days were awful, awful days but they were mere blades of grass and only God can see the pasture. We still have rough days, and those will undoubtedly pop up again, but my husband and I have grown stronger and closer. I may never fully know the reason He needed me to grow and fit into bigger shoes, but I do know that my faith is much stronger because I was forced to rely on Him and Him alone and the beauty of it all is my sons will meet me at the Pearly Gates. So I urge everyone to pray big specific prayers, He hears every single one and even when you think you can’t go on, cling to God and find your brave because God has something beautiful in store!