A day and a half before Haven was born I began to have severe left sided back and buttocks pains. A pain I've never experienced before. They were extremely strong, sharp, and intermittent. They grew and grew more stronger and painful as time passed. Cold and warm compresses, repositioning, oral pain medication and pain injections didn't ease them as I'd prayed they would. We then opted to the best choice we thought possible, one I didn't think of having to choose so early on in the pregnancy - an epidural, so that I can have some relief and get some rest. After some "food" sleep and hours of being pain free, what we thought was just pain were really contractions. They were easily coming at every 7 to 10 minutes lasting for a total 60 seconds each time. I would be irritatedly be urging Paul to "massage" and "rub" the pain/ ache thinking they were the regular pains and aches of pregnancy - when evidently I was going into pre-term labor. Paul was so incredibly patient with me and did as I pleaded him. Hours short of Haven's birth, the doctors performed a speculation exam and gave us news we didn't expect or wanted to hear, "You're more centimeters dilated, Myra.I felt your baby's limbs (legs and feet) when I did the exam." Haven was making her way out all on her own. The urges I thought were ones of pain and having to have a bowel movement was really my body preparing itself and telling me that our baby was coming much, much sooner than anticipated. In that moment, my heart, world and soul became shattered. This is something I hope no parent ever has to experience.
Moments after the news, I felt weak, helpless, unworthy, incapable, undeserving - you name it all. Paul and I understood that we had to accept this reality even after living in the hospital, praying so hard and crying/ begging for miracles. I whispered to my brother, sister and Paul that my only hope was that the baby didn't think I "gave up" on him or her, that I didn't try to fight for his or her life, didn't love him or her enough to hang on and keep fighting. They told me I was crazy and that the baby would never ever think this. The Gavini Babe was making her way out all on the perfect timing planned out by our God. "Too soon but on time", God had always planned. We knew our baby would be born some time after we received my last spec exam so I asked my siblings to phone our other immediate family members and they came in quickly for support and to be present at our baby's birth.
Then at 0700 am later that morning I woke up with a feeling and voice inside that shouted, "It's time." I immediately woke up Paul who spent the night sitting and sleeping in a chair next to me at my bedside and let him know this was it. Twenty four minutes later at 0724, our daughter, Haven graced herself into our world. During our hospital stay, the medical team's Plan of Care (POC)/ goals for Haven in order to receive a fighting chance were for her to at least be 2500 grams in weight or reach 28 weeks in age. She needed to reach either of the two requirements in order for her to receive the first major heart surgery she would need in order to survive within 1-3 days after delivery. However, our Havey entered at 26 weeks + 1 day old. Paul and I wished, hoped and prayed that there was something that the doctors, specialists and NICU and its' team could do for Havey after her birth but there was nothing .. no amount of tubing, machines or medicine had the power or ability to keep her alive unless either of the goals for her were reached due to the heart defect she was diagnosed of during our 20 week anatomy scan.
I felt weak, angry, helpless, incapable and unworthy; the enemy even had me believing perhaps I was not really "meant to be" a mother just yet. Honestly, I still feel all of this from time to time and know that these emotions will always re-visit for the rest of my life. I know these feelings are of and from the enemy. And understand that it will be continually my daily choice to choose Jesus instead.
This is the life after loss. It's the life that I have now after loss to fight, learn, believe and choose peace over pain.
That day, dreams of feeding, holding, putting her to sleep in the room we made next door to ours, watching her grow up - walk, sing and dance, to be successful and happy one day were crushed and broken forever. I remember looking at her and dreaming for the life I thought we'd soon have together. Despite the roller coaster of emotions, there was evidently so much love and a peace I couldn't understand while being in that room on that day. Through the tears, heartache + break, and crippling pain - I can now reflect and see that it was none only than the Holy Spirit with us that day in that room. God's presence was there. And there was an unexplainable peace that was present in the midst of it all, there still is. I believe it is this very peace that surpasses all understanding that keeps Paul and I going and lifted -- that she is in the best place, in the best hands and that she is not only healthy up in Heaven but healed and so, so happy. God had always known and was the first to embrace her when she arrived. As I go on to live my life now, there is still so much day to day wonder, questioning, anxiety, panic and fear for tomorrow, the future and what will happen next for Paul and I. And what I've daily been slowly trying to mold in myself and grasp is that God is already there.
"I am already there, dear Myra."