By Rebecca Waldo
My husband, Colby, and I have been married for 15 years. Eight years ago we decided to start a family. Thinking it would be easy, we were very cautious at first. After several years, we realized something was wrong.
Our decision to try in-vitro fertilization (IVF) was not an easy decision. For years I was in denial that we had problems. When I turned 34 in 2013 and realized I had one year until the medical community officially declared me “old and on the downhill side of fertility,” I decided we should take stronger action.
Colby and I had an agreement to try everything once and only once. What I didn’t realize was how long this process would take. After months of appointments and trying the easier alternatives, we made it to our last option:IVF. Just before my 35th Birthday, the doctor retrieved 11 eggs. Four made it through the process and two of those were transferred to my body. Both eggs actually took,and everything went very well until the 12th week.
I thought it was a normal ultrasound. First the doctor looked at baby A, then he moved over to baby B. The words “Baby A looks normal, but…” are words that no doctor wants to say and no patient wants to hear. After those words, everything else was a blur…something about chromosomes, a little about heart malfunctions, infections, etc. I stared numbly. I remember the doctor saying that I was probably in a state of shock. All I wanted was to get out of that office and try to understand the problem.
Colby and I went home and cried. That night I prayed for two healthy babies and for at least one of them to be a girl. I prayed for my baby not to feel any pain, but to feel complete love from God and her family. That was November 24, 2014. I prayed we would get better news at tomorrow’s appointment. The next day came, and the new doctor said it was way too early for such a grim diagnosis. Relief. But it was short-lived and false hope from man, not God. Still, I rested better that night with those words in my mind.
It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8 AMP
The next week I started having problems, so I went back to the new doctor. This time her outlook changed, and after looking at the ultrasound, she deemed baby B “incompatible with life” and told me the best scenario would be for this baby to die before next week so that baby A could thrive.
How could that be? She had tiny hands and feet that I could see. She had a strong heartbeat that I could hear. I could not hold back the tears. I sobbed and sobbed in her office.
Colby was out of town that week, and I remember dreading having to tell him the news. I sat and cried for nearly an hour in my car after that appointment. The weight was too heavy for me to bear alone. I tried for several days, and then I decided that from then on no matter what the doctor told me, I would remove my faith in man and put my trust in God alone to get through this.
There were days I could not even pray. There were no words to say–just deep sadness. Yet these were the days when I would receive a text from someone saying they were praying for me, or my mom would randomly tell me one of her friends was heavily burdened for me. And then I would realize it was the same day that I had doubted God or cried and cried inconsolably.
My sister often said she felt like Aaron or Hur lifting Moses’ arms when he was too tired to lift them himself to win the battle (Exodus 17:11-12). Friends and family lifted me in prayer when I was too tired or sad to continue, building my faith and giving me hope when I felt like there was nothing to hope for.
It is such a blessing to have Christian friends and family members! My heart aches for those that do not have anyone to pray for them when they go through dark trials.
As smart as the doctors and technology were, I knew my God was smarter and his ways were higher than man’s (Isaiah 55:9). He made this life inside of me. He gave it a heartbeat. He must have a plan for my baby.
We soon found out the diagnosis. It was Trisomy 18. Baby B, who looked like a girl, was severely deformed with fluid underneath her skin. Her stomach was growing outside of her tiny body, and her hand was deformed. The doctors all said she would not make it, and if she did, she would die soon after being born.
We continued to pray for a miracle because despite what the doctors told me, I found a few stories of Trisomy 18 survivors, and I couldn’t imagine why she would have been created to die so young.
The next week we went to an ultrasound specialist to have both babies recorded. I cherish that footage and those pictures so much because it is evidence of her life and how strong her heartbeat was at 13 weeks.
At 15 weeks, we went back to the high-risk specialist. It was Friday, December 19, when the specialist confirmed that Baby B had died earlier in the week.
We went on to have a healthy pregnancy, and by February I was declared a “normal, low-risk pregnancy.” My body absorbed Baby B and Baby A was very healthy, born Friday, May 29, 2015 and weighing 8lb 9oz!
I’ll never know why God gave me a girl who died at 15 weeks, but I do know it gave me great compassion and understanding for others with fertility problems and parents who have late miscarriages. I’ve sat in the waiting room and watched and prayed as women came out crying; I know their pain all too well.
I also know that I prayed for a healthy baby girl, and now she is in heaven. Perfect and pain free–and she is waiting to meet us there–one glorious day.
Let’s pray for our distressed brothers and sisters in Christ!
Who do you know that is hurting right now? Maybe they’ve miscarried or are dealing with infertility issues? Maybe they are physically, spiritually, or emotionally unwell?
Do you need prayer? Leave a comment on this post so we can pray for you, too!