Story has always intrigued me. From an early age, I immersed myself in fictional stories and the inner worlds of characters. Today, I’m still drawn to character — fictional and non-fictional. What makes people tick? What are their thought processes? What compels them? How do they deal with difficult situtations? Often the listener in conversation, I delight in hearing others’ stories especially those with “real skin on.” Perhaps this is the result of moving around a lot as a kid and assuming the role of the observer? Or maybe it’s simply the way I’m wired. Either way, just like when I was a kid in school, when I do have something to say or add to the conversation, I’ll raise my hand.
In the days following our loss, the words did not come. They’re here now. So, at the encouragement of several close people in my life, I am raising not a frantic “pick me! pick me!” hand but what we call in teacher-speak a “quiet hand.”
My hope is that just as I searched and scoured books and articles for stories of those walking a similar road, there’s a soul out there that may read this and be encouraged. Thank you for walking with this journey with us and whereever you are on yours, I pray you’ll find comfort in these words or elsewhere.
Quiet Hand is a story of loss and sorrow, one of tears and fears, but one of deeply-rooted joy in the most unlikely places.
This is the first part in the series of posts entitled Quiet Hand. Each concludes each with “Glimpses of Grace,” or positive things that struck me in each part of our journey. Read Part II, Part III, and Part IV by clicking on the respective links.
QUIET HAND, PART 1 — FIRST NEW: SWEET PEA
“They told you, right?” the doctor leaned over the side of my hospital bed in the corridor of the emergency room, arching her back to avoid collision with the barrage of patients, EMTs, and tear-streaked family members looking for loved ones’ rooms. It was a doozy of a night with some rough cases overheard at the nurses’ station.
Um, no. I thought.
Well, I did pee in a cup and was a couple days “late” so the thought of pregnancy crossed my mind as quickly as it left. Given that a couple months prior my husband and I sat across from a fertility specialist (after years of trying) who told us (very kindly, mind you) we had about a 1-3% chance of conceiving on our own. And that was after months of testing and difficult diagnoses. After much hemming and hawing, we mutually chose not to pursue the recommended treatment. Over the holidays we had shared the decision with our families.
“It was positive.” The doctor relayed flatly and explained some tests she wanted to run to rule out the causes of the intense side pain that had placed me on a Friday night date with my Stand-in Husband at the local hospital.
Talk about picking your jaw up off the floor. Think of every possible cliche to describe surprise, shock, and elation — they were running races in my head. The doctor’s back was to my Stand-in, also know as my sister-in-law, who had graciously dropped everything to go on said date.
The real husband happened to be in New York City for his intensive grad class weekend, completely clueless that his wife was 1) in the hospital or 2) knocked up. I wanted to wait for more information before calling him so he didn’t worry, take the first train out of Penn Station, and fail his class.
The happy pools in her eyes and the way she cupped her hands over her mouth when I spilled the news across the hall are memories stored in the untaped mind footage from that moment.
The beginning. The first knowledge of new life.
She was the first person to find out and would carry the responsibility of keeping the secret of our beloved Sweet Pea until we were in the “safe zone.”
Glimpses of Grace:
- The ability to conceive given our single digit chances and a long season of trying. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” –Luke 1:37 God is outside of statistics!
- Despite my husband being out of town, my sister-in law and her family were available to help.
- The way we were unified in our beliefs and convictions as a couple.