Isaac Beck Koetje

admin —  November 5, 2018 — Leave a comment


I knew even before I was pregnant that I wanted my next birth to be different from my first.  My first birth was a very long hard hospital labor, mostly med free, however ending in a c-section.  At the time, and even now, I was very grateful for modern medicine and the ability to be sure Malachi and I came through safely and healthy.  But as I would look back I started to see things differently. Since Malachi’s birth, we have been on a health and wellness journey. This has taken shape in many ways in various parts of our lives. Through this, I decided that I wanted a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). When I had a miscarriage in October 2016 and dealing with my doctors office yet again, I then decided that my next birth would actually be at home and I would go for a VHBAC (vaginal home birth after cesarean).

Interestingly about this time a friend of mine was pregnant and through talking with her, she invited me to come meet her midwife at one of her appointments so I could not only meet her but see what a midwife appointment looked like. She was very kind, knowledgeable and had told me she was open to VBAC births under certain circumstances. She asked if we were pregnant and I had said no. I just wanted to meet her in the event I became pregnant since I did not want to go back to my doctors office. This was January. I found out in February I was pregnant.  This was just one of many moments I could see God’s hand in this entire story.

God had a plan and a story He was writing in my heart. He gave me a vision and a word for the year of 2017. I had never done the ‘word for a year’ thing, wasn’t looking for one and honestly didn’t even get one for 2018 even though I wanted one. However with healing from the miscarriage, God spoke very clearly to me the word “redeem”.  I didn’t know at the time what all that meant but I had hope. He was taking me on a journey that was at times hard and trying but a journey that taught me how to have faith and hope in Him alone. How to stand up and have courage to do what I know He is saying no matter what people around me think, feel and say. I needed to trust in Him alone and not in the loving people around me.

So back to the birth story….

It was a Saturday morning and 1 day past my due date. We were finishing up a remodel of our master bathroom and doing some final touches. By lunch time we had completed everything and the bathroom was officially done.  While I was eating lunch I had the strangest feeling that once Malachi was down for a nap I needed to get Wes and go to our bedroom to try and induce labor. I honestly felt like God was telling me to let go and enjoy my husband. We had already talked about doing various things to try and start labor since Malachi was so late. So if I didn’t have the baby over the weekend, Monday had many appointments of pressure point massages, adjustments and exercises to get things moving.

Well after nap time I began cramping. Since this was very normal after sex, I didn’t think much about it. And when the cramping continued through the early evening, it still didn’t phase me. I had been having contractions starting in the early evening and lasting until I went to bed for about 2 weeks. Every night I would go to bed and by the time I woke up, they were gone. I always took it as a sign my body was done for the day and I needed to relax.

Well that Saturday night as I was having contractions I also did some pressure points on my ankles. I went to bed starting to wonder since they were a little stronger but still didn’t really think anything more.

I then woke up about 3am. The contractions had grown to be strong. I went to the bathroom but didn’t feel like I could lay back down. I got on my birthing ball at the end of the bed and started rocking. Wes woke up but I told him it was fine, go back to sleep. As this was Sunday morning he would typically get up to go to work in a couple hours. I had told him he should still go to work since he gets home about lunch so get some sleep.

About 5am Wes woke up and I had him text the midwife to let her know I believe labor had started and to be prepared for the day. At this point we also realized Wes was not going to be going to work. She text back that she had just gotten home an hour before from a delivery and she had been up all night. She asked how far along and if she had a few hours to get some sleep.  I was also timing my contractions with an app that I could email her the chart for her to see duration, spacing, etc. I sent her what was going on and she felt we still had plenty of time. We told her that I knew it was still early, get some sleep and we would be in contact.

Interesting fact… a couple weeks after the birth I was told by a friend that we had a friend who had a dream about me at this exact moment and to ask her about it. When I finally saw her later I asked her and she told me this story. About 5am she woke up from a dream of me in an ocean with waves and she knew it had to do with the baby. She told her husband that they needed to pray over me and the baby. She didn’t know if I had already had the baby or if I was even in labor but felt we needed prayer at that moment. I found this very interesting and extremely awestruck at how amazing our God works things together. This was the same friend that asked if she could pray over me during the previous First Wednesday service. She is such a prayer warrior and I am so thankful for her.

I got back in bed and laid in my labor pose. We had read through the Bradley method book and had practiced the position suggested in the book to keep the body the most relaxed for it to do its job during labor. I actually found it to be very comfortable and dozed off and on through the early morning.

About 7:30am Wes text Amanda, our friend and photographer that was going to be coming over during the birth to be prepared that baby would be coming today. She then text a couple of our friends to get childcare for her 4 kids, one of them being a friend who was planned to take Malachi. This caused her to start texting Wes about coming to get Malachi and she came to get him about 11am.

About 10am my midwife checked back with us to get my progress. Wes texted with her off and on the rest of the morning and I have no idea all the contact between them.

Throughout the morning I would get up and pace, lean on the back of the couch and on Wes. However laying in bed was by far the most comfortable for me. Every time I moved the contractions would get stronger and come more frequent so I just wanted to stay there.

At one point I remember leaning on the back of the couch while Malachi was watching some TV. He wanted to know why I was groaning but then didn’t really seem to care beyond that. He doesn’t typically get lots of screen time so he was just in his own world happy as can be.

I had decent back labor so Wes took tennis balls and applied counter pressure on my back to help relieve it. He was also an amazing coach and would have to occasionally get me to swap sides in my lying position but I would get so comfortable I just stayed. One of the main points of the Bradley method is to stay as relaxed as possible that you almost seem asleep to let your muscles do their job without fighting against them.

I didn’t have much appetite throughout labor but by about lunchtime my midwife really wanted me to eat something. The only thing that sounded decent to me was pancakes so Wes made me some to eat in bed.

After that I knew walking was really good during labor and I was starting to get tired of the bed. I honestly was just feeling like I should really get up and do something because it wasn’t like I was sick. LOL Thinking back now, I’m a nut.

So about 1pm I slowly made my way out to the living room. This caused the contractions to get very strong. I sent another contraction report over to my midwife. I was also yelling at Wes because I didn’t think he was taking me very serious that the contractions were really strong and wanted him to get her to the house.

At 1:45pm I was laboring leaning against the back of the couch when a contraction came on really strong. As it peaked, I felt a pop and water start to run down my leg. I knew my water had broke and that would cause the next contractions to come on even stronger. I begged Wes to help me back to the bed as quickly as possible. I remember having a contraction in the hallway and then once I was in bed it was really strong.

I started telling Wes I couldn’t do it anymore and my groans became louder and stronger. I remember Amanda coming in and starting to take pictures but I really didn’t care at that point.

About 2:30pm my midwife came in and set up. I remember her telling me to take my groans deeper but that she liked what she was hearing. She also had me get up and go to the bathroom to do a rinse. While I did that, her and her assistant changed the sheets on my bed to my labor sheets and got everything set up with the pads on the bed.

I got back in bed and asked her to check me. She asked if I was sure and I told her yes because I couldn’t do this much longer. She told me she would only tell me where I was if I was over 6cm. I responded that if I wasn’t at a 6 yet there was no way I was doing this without meds! When she checked me I was at 9.5cm. The only thing was a lip of my cervix that hadn’t quite come all the way open. She had me flip to my hands and knees and lean on my birthing ball to get that front lip to pull back. After a couple contractions like that, I laid back on my side.

I remember continuously repeating I couldn’t do this anymore. My midwife would just keep encouraging me that I was already doing it, just one contraction at a time. I also remember hearing Amanda in the corner praying aloud over me and speaking God’s strength over me.

She kept checking the baby’s heart rate during my contractions and at one point realized the baby’s heart rate kept going way down. Once the contraction would end, the heart rate came back up.

At one point, I was on my right side which was my most comfortable side and she didn’t like what she heard so she wanted me to flip. I said I would after the contraction and she said that I had to right then. I remember arguing with her but then the next thing I know her and her assistant had me flipping mid contraction. That was excruciating. She then didn’t really like my other side either but on my back was okay.

She assured me that she felt the baby was fine but she was going to keep monitoring it. As long as the baby’s heart rate would come back up just as high and as quickly after the contraction ended, she was okay with it but that I wouldn’t be able to go much longer. She also felt like I wasn’t breathing deep enough so put me on oxygen just to be sure the baby was getting plenty.

The oxygen really helped the pain and relax me. Wes even asked her if there was something else she was giving me because it relaxed me so much.

I then started pushing on my back.

I didn’t feel like I was getting very good movement so I asked to stand and push. I got up and stood at the end of our bed. With each contraction I would squat down and hang on to the bed to push. Wes was supporting me and helping hold my oxygen mask. She wanted me to keep standing back up for the baby between them. With each squat I was pushing/pulling on the bed and her assistant thought I was going to push it through the wall. I also was grabbing at the sheets which ended up in a wad.

The baby began to crown as I was standing and with each contraction I would squat down. I was still saying I didn’t think I could do this and would even just try to relax and take a break from squatting to just let a contraction pass. My midwife and Wes would get on to me for wasting contractions and not pushing.

At this point I felt so weak and like my body could not physically take any more. This is when I knew and was being encouraged to dig deep and let God. This is the point in labor that gave a new meaning to the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 because God was going to have to be the one to provide the strength. I seriously felt incredibly weak.

Once I had been crowning for a bit, my midwife finally felt that the baby would be coming soon. She wanted me to get back in bed to deliver on my back. She felt as a first time birth, gravity would cause the baby to come too fast and increase my risk of tearing. Once they got me back in bed, Wes had to go to the bathroom. Amanda took his place and just kept praying over me and helping me through the next couple contractions until he returned.

I was still feeling weak so she had me reach down and feel the baby’s head. She was encouraging me that we had another red head. I wanted her to just pull him out! This was when she said I needed to get serious and have the baby now. I needed to dig deep and deliver the baby.

Finally after a little over an hour of the baby crowning (OUCH!) the baby came at 4:51pm. However, the baby came ALL-AT-ONCE! One push and the entire baby was born. Wes could not believe how much the baby came leaping out of me. My midwife said “Reach down and catch your baby!” To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure the baby was born. I was still in a lot of pain and the baby didn’t cry immediately.

The cord was around the baby’s neck and down the back (which is what caused the heart fluctuations) and therefore took a second to start crying. Because the baby came all at once, I had torn very badly. I was rubbing the baby and feeling better but it was not the high feeling I was expecting.

I then hear her offer Wes to come cut the cord. It was almost immediate so I said “no I want delayed cord clamping!” Apparently the cord had already stopped pulsing that quickly. Looking back, with the way he was born, the quickness in the cord being done pulsing and the way it was around the baby, we now believe the cord kept pulling the baby back with each push. It was acting as a rubber band that would not allow him to go any further. We basically had to wait for the placenta to start detaching at which point the baby became like a slingshot and came extremely quickly.

Her assistant then said “Do we know the gender? What do we have?” With all the commotion, no one thought to look! We saw it was a boy and immediately knew we had Isaac Beck.

He also had one ear that was folded up and was adorable. We were all trying to figure out how it was folded the way it was, but it didn’t last long before it straightened out.

We also had to lay him on me off to the side a little bit so his head was almost upside down. Since he was not squeezed the say he should have been, he needed help getting some of the mucous and stuff up and out of his mouth. He didn’t have much interest in eating at this point since he was still coughing stuff up.

Within about 10 minutes I was ready to deliver the placenta. When she told me to push again, I looked at her like she was crazy. I remember her telling me “don’t worry, no bones in the placenta.” She was right, it was nothing.

After a bath for both me and Isaac, clean sheets and some more nursing attempts, she had to address any tears I had. I ended up having a 3rd degree tear. She was concerned for a bit it was a 4th degree at which point she would have had to take me to the hospital to get sewn up but luckily it did not go that far. She stitched me up while Wes continued to love on Isaac who was fast asleep.

Once we were finally done with all of that, I tried to feed Isaac again. He was so sleepy and still had no interest. He was actually still coughing up amniotic fluid and mucus so we were trained how to help him get it up and out.

My midwife then did all of Isaac’s measurements. He was 7lbs 9oz, 20.75in born at 4:51 pm.

Thinking through this entire story from beginning to end, I can not help but see God’s hand in it all. Teaching me that I need to trust in Him through a miscarriage and giving up my time table in getting pregnant, to trusting Him when He makes a promise that He will redeem. He gave me grace, peace beyond what I could imagine and faith to know how faithful He is with His word. There were many times I had to lean into Him not understanding everything fully but knowing how I felt and what I knew to be true. I knew He was writing a story and I was simply along for the ride. I am so humbled I was able to give birth the way I had wanted. Did it go perfect or how I envisioned? Not really, but is there really such a thing? I do know, it was so soothing to my soul. I didn’t realize how much I needed to do this to heal parts of me I didn’t realize were still wounded from Malachi’s birth until it was done. I didn’t know how much God had to teach me in how insufficient I am to understand everything or even having the physical control to do it on my own. I needed the lesson that His strength and power and perfection comes when we are at our weakest.

Isaac Beck has been used by God for healing and teaching to his mama’s heart and I pray God will continue to use him for His glory in his life.

A Letter to Our Baby

admin —  August 16, 2017 — Leave a comment

You are a gift, a blessing and a sign of redemption.  You are our rainbow baby.  The hope after the storm.

When I saw that second line and knew you were present, I was ecstatic.  I had a huge smile on my face all day long and I couldn’t stop worshipping.  The weekend was your earthly father’s birthday and I was surprising him with a trip to the mountains.  I knew that the news of your life was going to be the best birthday gift I could give him.
Finally, when he came home I gave him the present of the trip and your arrival news.  He was thrilled.  We both could not contain our excitement for you to be apart of our story and family.

Soon after the excitement wore off once we got home from the trip, I began to worry. I started doubting God’s goodness and just hoping you would stay with us. I longed to know you, to hold you and to kiss your face. I was still dealing with the loss of your brother, Jonah.  I thought I was in a good place but the news of your little life brought all of my fears back.

I had learned some hard lessons through your brother’s story and was determined to put them into action.  Every time a fear or doubt would creep up, I would pray and hand you over to our Heavenly Father.  I found myself having to reaffirm my trust, faith and hope daily; if not hourly. Throughout this time I wanted to keep it to ourselves.  We didn’t tell your oldest brother or any family.  Your daddy and I decided we wanted to just enjoy you for a while and keep it to ourselves.  However, part of me really wanted to keep it quiet out of the fear.

Then it came to a peak. The day you were 6 weeks along in me, I got a virus. I was running a fever, couldn’t get out of bed, and couldn’t keep any substance in me. I knew that you could be in danger and this was so close to the exact time your brother Jonah went back to Heaven. I was terrified. I prayed hard. I had 2 others praying for you as well. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing you but at the same time I knew I had to hand you over and trust God.  I couldn’t do anything to save you or even protect you. All I could do was pray.

Well the virus passed and so did the day in pregnancy I had been dreading.  You now had been on this earth longer than the one that came before you.

After the scare I didn’t feel like I could emotionally do it anymore. I soon just started ignoring your existence.  I knew in my mind you were here but I wouldn’t think about it.  I wouldn’t keep track of your development or even let myself dream.  I wouldn’t talk about you or let myself hope. I would lay on the couch, out of energy and not eating much, and just felt stuck. While I would cherish every nauseous feeling with your oldest brother with glee, I would just feel sick with you and not let my mind go to your precious life and the work you were doing.

Looking back, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I didn’t cherish you for your life.  I put myself first in what I could handle and didn’t want to deal with your existence. I’m sorry I denied you.

When you had been in me for about 9 weeks, I finally felt like I woke up. I started feeling a little better physically and you came back to my mind. I know it was your Heavenly Father nudging me to not only acknowledge you but to recognize Him because something changed in me. I began to look up your growth, I got excited to tell our family and friends, I began to talk about you, pray for you.  I started to hope again. I realized that I had been depressed over the very thing I wanted, prayed for, cried over, hoped for and longed to have.

Your earthly daddy is a patient and loving man. Through all of this, he let me go through the journey I needed to go on while taking care of me and your brother. He was excited for both of us when I couldn’t. He loves with a fierce love and he already has that love for you. He is the best daddy around and I’m so excited for you to meet him.

At 10 weeks we went to see/hear you.  When we told your oldest brother about you he was filled with joy.  He had prayed for you and loved you even before he knew of your existence. He wants you and can’t wait to teach you things.

He only had one reservation, that you are alone in my womb. See when we lost your brother, Malachi was devastated.  He grieved and wanted answers. I felt for him because I was in the same place. Soon after, he started praying for you to come but was insistent God give us 2 babies. Since you are alone, he is now already praying for the other baby he desires.  However, through all of it, he can’t wait to have you in his life. He already hugs you, kisses you and loves you so much.

When your daddy and I saw you for the first time, you were so full of life. You were dancing, waving, playing and hiding. We couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. To see that you were not only there but that you were so joyful, it was a wash over my heart and soul. Your brother was there too, laughing and watching with such intent.

You are your own precious life. You have always been wanted. You are not a second choice. You are not an accident. You have been wanted, prayed for, and desired for over a year. On the other side of the storm of heartbreak, you are our dawn.

Throughout the process of wanting you, your Heavenly Father has led us to be a foster family. This was not out of you not arriving, but out of His provision for our lives. His will, love and grace that He wants us to experience. You will be entering this world as our third child, but second to come fully earth side. However, you may have many other brothers and sisters in and out of your life.

I want you to know that you were hand picked for us to have at this moment in our lives. God knew exactly when you should enter our lives. Not only for us, but He knew when you should come because He already has a plan for your life. Little one, you are being hand crafted by our Creator and King. You already have a story. You have already been used by God to fulfill a purpose in your mama’s heart that was needed. You have changed me and will continue to teach me. God is already using you for His glory.

After I lost Jonah, I lost some other things in my life. I had to learn some hard lessons and went through a rough time wrestling our God. I realized He had put me in a season of wait. I didn’t like it but I knew He was wanting me to wait because He had something big coming. As I prayed throughout the end of last year, a word came to me for this year. This is the first year I have ever had a word revealed to me to arch over the year and it was out of the grace of God I received one this year. It was REDEEM!

I knew God was going to redeem many things in my life this year. I was praying for Him to move and do some mighty things as He allowed me to come out of my season of wait.

You, gift from God, child of mine, are part of our story. You are our hope. You, sweet rainbow baby, are our joy in the morning. My heart has ached and longed for you. I would cry out that my heart had already grown to love you but felt empty without you. I praise our Heavenly Father that He is sending you when He chose in His perfect timing.

You will do some mighty things for the Kingdom, I feel it. We have a good Father in Heaven and he is knitting you perfectly together within me. I pray over you that you will grow to love our God and be a child of His. For you to know how He is already using you before you have taken your first breath. He knows you; your name, personality and His plans for you. Trust Him little one. Because even in the darkness of night with uncertainty and sorrow, always comes the morning with new joy and grace.

The Story of our Jonah

admin —  November 2, 2016 — 2 Comments

Many people do not know that Wes and I experienced a miscarriage recently.  This is our story and the testimony Jonah brought us.

The journey I believe started back when we began pursuing foster care.  We decided back in March of 2016 we were going to become foster parents.  God had laid it on our hearts and we couldn’t deny it any longer.  We had already gone through a year of debating with God and one another if it was right.  Once we decided we needed to pursue it we had also decided we wanted more children.  We had tried for a few months but not very seriously.  In April we decided that while yes we feel like we need to pursue foster care, we also wanted to grow our family and really began trying.

Throughout the spring and summer we went to training, began our paperwork for foster care, started cleaning out the bedroom, having home inspections and collecting things we needed for fosters.  I began to become frustrated that we hadn’t gotten pregnant yet but Wes encouraged me that maybe we need to fully commit by getting our paperwork done in obedience to following God first before we expect Him to give us blessings at our request.

We finally finished everything we needed and turned the last stack of papers over on August 31st.

On September 26th, I found out I was pregnant.  I was so excited and felt like it was an answered prayer.  God had granted us what we had wanted in response to us being obedient to His calling in our life.  However, I began to become very fearful of losing the pregnancy.  There weren’t any signs of this and nothing appeared wrong, it was just a fear I couldn’t shake.

I kept having dreams I would miscarry and I couldn’t seem to shake the anxiety.  This made me even more fearful because I truly believe there are times God speaks to me in my dreams.  It doesn’t happen often and many times I do not realize it until I look back on them.  The first time I really knew it was when I was pregnant with Malachi but didn’t know it.  I kept having dreams of having a baby that it caused me to question and take a test that was very positive.  It has occurred a few other times but not that specifically.  So when I couldn’t shake dreams of miscarriage it ramped my fear up even more.    The fear and anxiety was to the point that I was looking up miscarriage statistics and it still seemed I was having a healthy baby.  No signs but I was trying to figure out what all I could do to keep it that way.

On October 1st, we went and told my parents.  Before we left the house I felt like I should take another test, just to be sure it was still positive.  It was, so we headed up to Murfreesboro to go to a pumpkin patch.  When we got home, we told my parents by taking a photo with 4 pumpkins, one for each person represented in the photo.


A few days later, I went to the first Wednesday service at church.  That night was a sweet night of worship and to be honest I don’t really even remember what was talked about.  All I remember is that God broke me that night.  I knew that I shouldn’t fear however that night I realized what I had been doing was a sin.  I had been so fearful and anxious I was not trusting God.  I wasn’t giving this child over to Him to protect.  I wasn’t placing my faith in Him that He had everything under control.  I realized I needed to hand myself and this baby over to Him fully and truly not fear.  I felt that soft whisper that God had this.  He had me and this baby and to just trust him.  And I did.  From that point I had joy and peace about the pregnancy and a calm fell over my heart.

That weekend, Wes’ parents came for a visit.  I had beauty school with Young Living and wouldn’t be there for the majority of the visit so we had a friend make up a Big Brother shirt for Malachi.  We put it on him the morning I left to tell his parents since Wes was not going to be able to keep it to himself until I got home and we had more time.  So we sent Malachi down the hall with his shirt on and shortly after I left.  With them coming in, we didn’t want to miss out on telling them in person since we do not get to see them often.

On Monday October 10th, Wes’ parents were leaving and we decided to take Malachi camping to celebrate his 3rd birthday.  We had a wonderful time celebrating him.  We woke up on his birthday and went for a short hike.  We came home for Wes to get to a meeting and that is when I saw the first signs of blood.  I became very worried but at the same time I had the calm over my heart.  Maybe I just over did it with such a busy weekend.  I sent Wes on to his meeting and just took it easy.  That afternoon when he came home the blood had increased.  My heart sank.  I knew at that moment we had lost the baby.

I was so angry.  Why did it have to be ON Malachi’s birthday? Why did this dark cloud have to come at that moment?  Why did God make me go through being broken by Him if he was just going to let my fear come true anyways?  Everyone around me kept saying, I think you just over did it, giving me glimpses of hope but I knew in my heart we had lost the baby.  It was my nightmare coming true.  The only positive I had in the moment was that I was happy we went camping so I was able to celebrate Malachi without the cloud.  I had been able to focus on him with full joy earlier that day.

That night I got in the shower and just grieved.  I cried, I mourned, I asked God why.  Wes was trying to be strong but I knew he was feeling grief as well.  He brought me in a shower fizz with a calming oil to help my emotions.  Even through his sadness, he took care of me.

The next day I continued to take it easy.  Wes wanted to stay home but there was nothing he could do so I sent him to work.  I called the doctor and a friend that had been through this before.  She walked me through everything the doctor would/should do and say.  She walked me through which essential oils would help deal with the emotions of it all.  I am so grateful to her for walking through a very dark time with me.

I had a chiropractor appointment that morning that I had to keep, especially after our camping trip.  I went and told him what I felt was happening.  He adjusted me to encourage my body to relax and do what comes natural.  He said he can’t force my body to do something it won’t but he can speed up what my body is already going to do.  So if it is what I thought, I would know in the next 24 hours.  He did also tell me that my body was retaining some water which was a good sign for pregnancy.  At that moment, I didn’t know what to think.  Wes and I met up to eat lunch together and just be out of the house.

The doctor fit me in that afternoon and did everything I was expecting.  We did an ultrasound that looked completely normal for a 4.5 week pregnancy.  At this point I should have been a few days over 6 weeks.  They said since it was so early I could just have my dates off.  I didn’t and I knew it.  They also did some bloodwork to look at my hormone levels.  Throughout the entire appointment I just prayed for God to breath life into the baby.  For us to see that I just overdid it.  I cried out to God to save my baby.

That night, a sweet friend that watched Malachi while Wes and I were at the doctor, cooked us dinner.  We went over to her house and it felt nice to get away a little.  I had some hope that evening as I felt a little better.  It also felt good to watch Malachi play and just be distracted for a little bit.  Towards the end of dinner, I started cramping badly.  I had to get home.  While Wes was putting Malachi to bed, I went to the bathroom.  At that point, we lost the baby.  I knew it.  There was no other explanation for what I saw.  I called Wes in and we even stood and discussed burying.  We decided against it as we still weren’t 100% sure what was going on.  I think it hit us that night though.  Even though we kept saying we weren’t sure and there is still hope, we had in our hearts that the baby was gone.  Not burying what I know was Jonah is my only regret in it all.

That night in bed, Wes and I laid there and talked.  We talked about how we were feeling, raw and unedited.  I grieved that I wanted to hold onto this baby but I felt helpless.  I wanted to protect this baby but I couldn’t.  I was angry for God giving me false hope that day.  Why did I have to keep going through having hope with being broken a week before to having the fear come true just to have another day of hope and then have it all come crashing down on us again that night?  Wes felt that for his closure, he needed to say goodbye.  He felt the realization hit him.  I have never felt the grief I felt laying in bed as Wes said bye to our baby.  That night, we held hands and cried ourselves to sleep.

When we first got pregnant, Wes and I had started discussing baby names.  Since we do not find out the gender, we go ahead and start thinking of names from the beginning since we need a boy and a girl name.  Wes had brought up the name Jonah.  I like to look up the meanings of the names because I believe that naming a child is speaking that over their life.  I had looked up Jonah and the meaning was ‘dove’. Then I saw that sailors view the name Jonah as bringing bad luck.  Laying in bed that night I made a comment about his name being Jonah. Everything about it fit what we felt at the time.


The next morning, the doctor called.  My levels had come back and my hCG (pregnancy hormone) was 411.  My progesterone however came back very low at 1.29.  She said with the ultrasound and my hormone levels, I could just still be very early in pregnancy so I needed to take progesterone.  I knew at that point, I was not going to take progesterone.  I had already told her that the day before but she wouldn’t listen.  I knew my body would do what it was meant to and taking progesterone would just delay the inevitable.  I chose to just let whatever was going to happen, happen.  At that point, I couldn’t even really pray.  I still had some anger.  I felt like God was going to do whatever He wanted so what was the point.  I felt that through my anger but I still knew prayer needed to happen.  So Wes and I called upon some people to stand in the gap for us.  Some knew the details and others didn’t but we called others to pray when we just couldn’t.

I went the rest of the day just feeling numb.  It was as if I was just existing that day.  I couldn’t feel much emotion and just felt like I was going through the motions of life.  My bleeding had slowed but the cramping was a lot worse.  I laid on the couch and my sweet 3 year old would come kiss me.  He would ask if mama was happy and I would just say “No buddy, mama is sad.”

That night Wes looked at me and said something about all of this and mentioned Jonah.  It brought a smile to my face that it was just a knowing.  We didn’t have to discuss it, we didn’t have to talk, this baby was Jonah.  Now we had no idea if this baby was a boy or girl.  Honestly, at this point in a pregnancy, gender hadn’t been assigned yet.  But we knew.

Friday, I had to go in for more bloodwork.  During a normal pregnancy the hCG level should double or triple every 48 hours.  They said I would know my results on Monday.  I asked if there was anything they could do so I could know before the weekend but there wasn’t.  I had to just sit and wait.

That afternoon I had to get my mind on something else or I would go crazy.  I went to Hobby Lobby and started collecting things for Malachi’s birthday party.  I overdid it and started cramping pretty bad and so I went home and just stayed on the couch the rest of the day.

Emotionally, I was a roller coaster all weekend.  I went from being hopeful to being angry for the hope, to guilt for feeling like I had given up on the baby, to sadness and grief that I had lost the baby back to hope just to start the cycle over.  This cycle could have repeated itself every minute to every hour.  Physically my bleeding would come and go.  There were hours that I wouldn’t bleed at all and I would think it was over and then it would come back.  I kept myself busy making things for Malachi’s birthday party.

My dreams came back that weekend as well but this time of the baby.  I had dreams that the baby had some very serious medical conditions and multiple ones.  I began to understand what I knew in my head all along that these happen when things just don’t develop correctly.  I even told Wes Sunday night I was now afraid for the news to come back that my numbers are good.  I knew if they numbers doubled and the pregnancy stuck, the baby would have very serious health threats.

I began to pray again, but this time for the results to come back clear.  I didn’t want the numbers to come back in a gray zone where we still weren’t sure.  I mean in our hearts we knew but at the same time, there is something about seeing it in black and white that we hadn’t yet.

Monday morning, October 17th I got the call that it was confirmed.  My hCG level that should have been 800-1000+ was down to 55.  I felt relief.  Not relief that I lost the baby, but relief that the number was clear.  The wait was over and I knew.  What I had known all along was now in black and white.  I had peace.  And what really took me by surprise was that I had joy.  I had the kind of joy that only comes from Jesus.  Joy and hope that I will see and hold Jonah one day.

I then had to talk with Malachi.  We had told him that I was pregnant because the hope was to talk to him about it from the beginning to help him understand the difference between this baby and foster babies that would be coming into our home.  Not a difference in how we love, but in a way that a foster baby may leave but this baby is ours forever.  We had begun discussions with him in hopes of him understanding.  Well now that it was official, I had to break the news to him.  I cuddled him in my lap and told him that he had a brother.  His name was Jonah but he had to go back and see Jesus.  We won’t get to see or hold Jonah until heaven.  I told him the baby was no longer in mama’s belly and that is why mama had been sad.  He lifted my shirt pointed and asked “Baby?”  I said “No buddy, the baby had to go back to see Jesus.”  At that moment, I didn’t expect anything but for him to keep playing.  And he did.  However, a few minutes later I caught him starring off into space on the couch.  No toys, no tv, nothing, just sitting.  I went and asked if he wanted to talk.  I didn’t think he fully grasped it, but he did.  He hugged my belly and said “No mama, I need him.  I want baby.”  I said “I know honey.” I told him again that the baby had to go back up to see Jesus and that is when in true 3 year old fashion, he argued with me.  He said that baby did not go back up.  We went back and forth a few times and finally he relented.  I asked him one last time where the baby was to see if he finally understood.  Normally he would point to my belly as he had for a couple weeks.  However this time he said in his little voice “back up with God.”  Malachi had to process it and grieve in his own way.  I don’t know that he still completely understands everything but he will grow up knowing that he will see his brother in heaven one day.

So many people go through and have to wonder why.  Why did this happen?  Why did God make me go through this?  I know because I have been there.  However, God has poured His grace and mercy on me in helping me see.  I truly feel that God was preparing my heart to loose Jonah from the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test.  He knows what I needed to get through this and continue to be a mama and a wife.  He is good and faithful to help us understand the lessons He teaches us.  Sometimes those answers do not come when we want and other times they surprise us.  Throughout wondering why this happened I cannot help but think about our first feelings about this pregnancy.  We got pregnant out of our obedience to God in pursuing foster care.  Continuing that thought, the one part of the foster process Wes and I had trouble with, out of everything, was answering the questions about grief.  How do we handle grief and how would you walk a child through grief?  We didn’t have an answer, we had never known grief, truly.  Not only was God giving us our blessing, but he needed to teach us grief.

We learned throughout this that grief if fickle.  You can go from sad to angry to hopeful and peaceful all within seconds.  You can experience emotions so deep and cry so hard it feels fake because you have never cried like that before.  We truly feel that God had to teach us this and we had to go through this so we can help the kiddos God has in store for us in the future.  That the children in foster care that will come into our home will not only see Jesus but that we can help walk through grief because we understand the very fickle and indescribable emotion.  We can help them understand that the raw and deep emotions are not too big for God.  He is bigger than it all and can handle what we dish out.  We can be angry with God and tell Him so.  We can cry and yell and it is okay.  God not only understands but he created those emotions.  Even when you feel like you are alone, God is there and can not only handle what you dish out but can help you walk through it if you let Him.  If you allow yourself to break into His hands, you will find yourself stronger than before.  He can mend those broken pieces to make something beautiful from them.

I am so grateful to an amazing and understanding husband that walked this out with me.  I couldn’t imagine walking through this with anyone else.  He was my rock when I could not stand and he is the one that kept pulling me back to God to see his goodness when I was in anger.  He let me feel my anger, didn’t judge me in times of darkness but loved me through them.  He felt all the emotions with me and we both were able to see God through it.  I do not think I would be at a place of peace that I am without him walking with me through this.

I also have an amazing friend that walked this out with me.  She understood the need to check in on me but not cover me in positive texts about God’s plan and it all being okay.  I knew those things but I didn’t want to hear it.  I just wanted to hear that it sucked.  What I was experiencing was crappy and just check on me.  Those texts made me feel like I wasn’t alone but at the same time didn’t judge when I didn’t want to hear about God in that moment.  She prayed with me and for me but let me walk this out the way I needed.

I not only wrote this for healing but for memory.  Since from the time I found out I was pregnant for it to all be over was only 3 weeks, I feel like it was a dream already.  I know in the years to come it will only continue to feel like a faint memory.  I want to not only honor Jonah for what he taught me, but I want this to be a testimony that God can use.  He has shown me so much throughout this process that I would not ever have known Him in the way I do now.  I thank Jonah for showing me more of God and who He is.

Our society wants me to believe that I didn’t loose a baby, just some tissue and had a late period.  However, there was life in me.  There is a life that will never be because God used it for His purpose and is now back with Him.  God is good through it all.  Even when we think He is against us, He loves us.  He has poured his grace and mercy on us.  Even when we couldn’t bring ourselves to pray, we had some amazing people standing the in the gap for us.  We knew that we needed Him when we didn’t have the words.  The great I Am is never changing, ever present and full of a love that we can’t understand.  I had to walk through each and every step and emotion to be on the other side filled with the peace and joy that only comes from Him.  He knew that even when I pushed Him away and cried and yelled in anger at Him.  He continued to love me and teach me and guide me.  To get the rainbow you must first endure the rain.  Any baby God blesses us with now will be our rainbow babies.  A sign of God’s promises and redemption.  I miss Jonah but knowing He is just getting to be with Jesus before me brings a smile to my heart and just makes heaven sweeter.


MI – Strawberry Picking

admin —  July 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

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