This realization is what grounds the hope that's been swelled up like an inflated balloon in my lungs; I am holding my breathe and still somehow breathing.
But when she angled the computer monitor away from my face and stared grimly at the screen while pressing the wand against my belly, I knew something wasn't right.
I knew as I glanced inquisitively at my husband sitting across the room that when she was done snapping pictures, there'd be another waiting room waiting for us.
These past three months have been anchored in waiting.
We waited for the positive pregnancy test of our long-hoped for fifth pregnancy.
We waited for tests to come back confirming HCG levels were rising steadily.
We waited as each week rolled by to hear the heart beat of our baby as my stomach swelled and rounded.
All the while hoping the waiting would lead to our third child being born alive and well and beautiful in our arms.
But at the midwife's office there was no heartbeat found with the doppler. So we waited for an ultrasound later that evening.
And came full circle back to the waiting room.
Somewhere in the past week or so a feeling of peace had washed over my body -- peace I couldn't understand; I'm always thinking, sometimes anxious.
I prayed, though, in trust that God would take care of this baby and take care of me.
Peace, unexpected and abounding, in the surrender.
John and I hold hands, hopeful, but the balloon begins to deflate with every moment that passes, and I'm breathing deep breathes before she walks in and hands us the phone.
My midwife, she says she's sorry. The baby stopped growing. 10 weeks 5 days and I'm actually only 11 weeks 5 days and not the 13 we thought.
I don't hear anything else she says.
I birth heavy wet tears
in the midst of peace
I cannot explain.
I voice the injustice and I sob and I fall into my husband's arms with more questions than he could ever answer.
But underlying is this strange peace.
I don't sleep much that night
but I breath, and I tell my body
"it's ok. just let go. the baby is already in heaven. so let go."
I cry more through out the Day Two and notice cramping sneak into the lower parts of my abdomen,
heart still thick-coated in grief dancing closely with gratitude, each battling to take the lead
and un-understandable peace.
So we do what we know how to do:
Balloon of baby-hope deflated
as weeks of hopeful waiting
one night of waiting rooms and
bleed into waiting days.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-6