Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sad days for the Gustafsons

Hi friends and family. This is a very hard post. We had some wonderful news to share that I just couldn't wait to post, but instead it turned to bad.

We were expecting our second baby. We were at 9 weeks to the day and gathered as one big happy family at our first ultrasound appointment. Emily was there and so excited to get a glimpse of her baby brother or sister. (she was very confident it was a girl though!) That morning I explained how the ultrasound worked by taking a picture using soundwaves and she said, "Oh, like a bat!" I said, "huh?" and she replied, "Yeah, like a bat. They use sound to determine how far away they are from things." (She is so bright for 5!)

I was hoping to make lots of calls and post a beautiful ultrasound picture to everyone with the good news. We did get the picture, but we also got some bad news. The radiology center sent us directly over to the Dr. When we got there, he told us that they could not find a heartbeat. He conducted his own ultrasound and could not find one either. We were all in shock, because the baby measured 21mm which is consistent with the size of a 9 week old baby.

We were definitely in denial for a while and I kept asking, "That's it? The baby died when, today? Is there really no hope?" He said he believed that the baby had already died, but he said we have time to wait and check again to be absolutely sure. We waited 5 days and had another ultrasound with the same result - no growth and no heartbeat.

We had scheduled a D&C but I miscarried on my own the next day. We went to the ER because unbelieveably I was in labor. But I am physically recovering well and emotionally healing.

The first couple of days were the hardest for sure. I think I went through the 5 stages of grieving in those first days. I was in shock and disbelief, I was angry, I bargained with God, I blamed myself and I was unbelieveably sad - sad for me and Chris but also very sad for Emily who was very attached - She prayed every night for a baby sister for 2 years! I definitely could not say that this was for God's glory at that time...

...but after I was too tired to cry anymore, I was then able to see God's hand in the whole event!
* A week prior to the ultrasound appointment our home fellowship had a chaplain come as a guest speaker. He has minstered in over 30 baby deaths and his family suffered through 2 miscarriages. And he had very important words that I needed to have to help my and my family's grieving process.
* My appointment for the ultrasound was postponed because of Chris' schedule. It is likely that we would have gone in and not known there was a problem at all!
* Chris forced me to stay home the day I miscarried. I had planned to go into work because the Dr. had told me as long as I was still on the hormones I was taking I would probably not miscarry on my own. I would have been abolutely devistated to have a miscarriage at work!
* I was spared from the D&C - a surgery that requires general anestesia and also can cause scaring leading to future fertility problems!
* I had such an outpouring of support, meals and prayers from my close prayer partners! (Thank You!)

As I went back to work on Monday, God put Psalm 30:5 on my heart, "...weeping may remain for a night, but with the morning comes rejoicing!" That is exactly how I felt. I didn't want to cry anymore (even though I still do sometimes). I wanted to be thankful for the favor the Lord showed on us at this horrible time. Loving God doesn't mean we won't experience trials, but we must learn from them. And with Him, the burden is much lighter!

May this story encourage all of you who are going through trials. "All things work together for good for those who love God..." Romans 8:28