yesterday morning, i woke up feeling terrible. nauseous, very nauseous, and tired. i just felt awful.
at our house, the doppler has become a nightly occurrence. papa comes home and we all gather around the couch and we listen to the baby’s heartbeat. when i woke up in such a funk, i decided that a nice little listen in on the baby would be just the remedy for the dark cloud that was surrounding me, physically and mentally.
i couldn’t find it.
i’m 16 weeks along, and i’ve been able to find that heartbeat every single day without fail. it usually takes me less than 30 seconds and we’re hearing the swishy sounds of a tiny heart beating fiercely from my womb. it’s been a given for almost six weeks now. at first, i wasn’t worried because i’ve heard of this happening and my midwife had trouble finding the heartbeat at my 13 week appointment. i decided to put away the doppler, eat something, and try again later.
after i took ezra outside, i tried again. no heartbeat.
i started to panic. just a little bit initially, but this immense sense of doom and fear came over me so quickly and so violently, it nearly brought me to the ground. the thoughts whirling around my head were absolutely heinous.
“you didn’t deserve this baby anyway.”
“see? you can’t trust god. he doesn’t care about you.”
“this is your fault.”
i put the doppler away, by this point hysterically crying, and tried to forget about the whole ordeal. then, like any human would do these days, i went to the almighty google. hundreds upon hundreds of stories, just like mine, were found on pages from every site, every community, every forum. some women found their doctor unable to find the heartbeat at 16 weeks, some much later. ultrasounds later confirmed that baby was just fine, and was hiding from the doppler in the safety of mama’s very roomy womb. sites stated how baby is still tiny, and has lots of room to move around and that around the 15 week mark, baby DOES start moving around much more. my fears seemed to be assuaged, if only temporarily. those horrible thoughts were unrelenting, creeping in every minute and presenting me with new reasons to fear, new tragic possibilities to meditate on.
i went to bed that night, and i could feel baby move. i felt so much better. but the thoughts swept my momentary happiness away, telling me that maybe i wasn’t feeling the baby at all. maybe it was gas. maybe i was so desperate for reassurance, i was fooling myself into thinking those flutters were baby when they weren’t. i fell asleep, not sure what i felt.
this morning, after the boys and papa had left for a bike ride, i took out the doppler and looked again. no heartbeat.
i fell to the floor in heaps of sobs and tears, begging God to help me. i pleaded with the Lord to give me some sign that this baby was okay. i haven’t been feeling regular movement anyway because my uterus is tilted, and i may have an anterior placenta. so movement isn’t something i can rely on to soothe my frantic mind. i went into the bedroom, i laid down on my left side. i pulled out my ipad and decided to do my she reads truth for the day. the devotional content spoke about how He is our hope, the Lord is the source of our hope and it is never-ending. here’s a direct quote:
“we’ve all felt it – the uncertainty, pain or fear that leaves us on the brink of despair. perhaps you are feeling it today as you rise to meet what greets you. we close our eyes and drink in the truth like water: He is our hope.”
after the devotional content is different pieces of scripture to read, pieces that relate to the devotional lesson but also serve as an excellent way to dive into scripture everyday when you might not otherwise. the very last reading was from Romans 8:22-25:
“all around us we observe a pregnant creation. the difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. but it’s not only around us; it’s within us. the spirit of God is arousing us within. we’re also feeling birth pangs. these sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. that is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. we are enlarged in the waiting. we, of course, don’t see what is enlarging in us. but the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.”
after trying to remain calm all day, yet silently being tortured by my thoughts, i decided i needed a hot shower to make me feel better. i got into the shower, and i started thinking about yesterday’s scripture from the “my daily bread” app. the app gives you a story and accompanying scripture each day of the year to ponder on and pray about. yesterday’s was about false idols, about how dangerous they are, poisonous to the soul. then, i started ruminating on today’s she reads truth devotional and a lightbulb went off.
i had placed my faith, my trust, my hope, in that doppler. not in the lord.
as soon as i had this realization, it was like 1,000 tons of relief washed over me through that hot water. i had depended on that doppler, and then on the internet, to tell me how my baby was, to make me feel safe and secure, not the Lord. i was trusting this piece of machinery and strangers on the web to give me peace, i had made these things my hope instead of God. the Lord was trying to turn my eyes back to Him, to remind me who I thanked almost four months ago when i fell to my knees in that bathroom in praise. i had trusted the Lord to give me another child, but then i forgot to trust Him with that baby as it grew in my womb. this baby is His, it’s only on loan to us. and those voices of paralyzing fear and terror? the enemy, of course. if i would’ve had my trust in God instead of a doppler or a website, it wouldn’t have been an issue. not finding the heartbeat wouldn’t have shaken me, and i wouldn’t have been defenseless to the lies the enemy was whispering in my ear, over and over again. after getting pregnant with this sweet blessing, i fell off the spiritual wagon and this was a little message from the Lord telling me where my trust must lie. where my peace and security find their home.
i’m going in this week to check everything out, per my midwife’s suggestion. in my heart, i feel that this baby is perfectly fine. but even if this baby isn’t okay, i have to remember where my hope lies: with Him. and there’s nothing more life-giving than that.