A few weeks ago, I shared about my journey into motherhood. It was something I have been looking forward to my entire life. Today, motherhood does not look the way I expected it to but I know that this is just temporary. One day, I will cradle other beautiful babies in my arms and have the joy of seeing them grow up. For now, we are chronicling our journey and learnings through this season as a personal reminder for ourselves that our God is faithful. Our hope is that others who are going through similar stories of loss may also find strength and encouragement in Jesus.
I will continue where I left off in my previous blog Desiring Motherhood.
It was my 21st week of pregnancy that we got the scare of our lives. A few days after a perfectly healthy full congenital scan; we discovered that my amniotic fluid was low. In fact it was so low that the doctor at a hospital in Singapore pleaded with us to take an emergency flight back Manila the following day. This meant that we would be leaving Singapore a month earlier than expected without time for proper goodbyes or to tie up loose ends at work. We took the doctors advice, flew to Manila, and desperately prayed for God to refill my water bag. Miraculously, within a week of bed rest and drinking 3-5 liters of fluid a day, my water quickly went back to healthy level. I continued with another 4 weeks of bed rest, just to be on the safe side. Thankfully, every check up got better and better and we felt increasingly relieved. At this point, I was convinced that we were almost in the clear.
On the Monday of my 26th week, my OB had suggested that I slowly start re-introducing little activities into my routine. We knew that was a good sign – it meant that Celine was doing great and the amniotic fluid issue was no longer a concern. Our spirits were high and I was excited to get off my season of “strict bed rest” so that I could see the outside world again. By now, I was enjoying Celine and her constant ballet moves in my belly. She was a vibrant and active baby and I felt like I really got to know her within those 5 weeks we spent at home together. We prayed & listened to worship music together, we watched her papa work, and we talked a lot. I was thrilled to finally be able to do regular daily activities with her.
In a sudden twist of events, Thursday came and she wasn’t as active as she normally was. Because of the bed rest, I had become very sensitive to my daughter’s movements and that day seemed very different from the rest. Evening came and for my own peace of mind, my mom suggested we go to the hospital for a check up. I was about to find out just how precious those 5 weeks of uninterrupted time with Celine were.
That night, my worse fear was confirmed. They could not find Celine’s heart beat. Water levels were great, cervix in tact; everything was healthy…but no heartbeat. I sat in the delivery room with monitors attached to my belly but in deafening silence. The nurses made it seem like they had to try several monitors and dopplers, but deep inside of me, I knew something was wrong. Shortly after that, an ultrasound confirmed that we had lost our baby. My heart hit the floor and I sat in the delivery room completely numb and in shock.
Our doctor sent us home to get some sleep but in the morning we would have to come back so that I could be induced. We went home that night but didn’t sleep a wink. We lay in bed crying out to the Lord for a miracle. All of me wanted to selfishly insist that God would revive Celine’s heart. I wanted to hold her and watch her grow up to be a strong woman of God. I was not ready to surrender her to Jesus. I wanted her to be with me. I wanted her in my arms and in my presence.
At some point that night, the Lord reminded me of a verse in Matthew.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21
As I read this I was overcome by emotion. I had never felt pain this deep but the opportunity to give God my greatest treasure was knocking on the door of my heart. Being a mother was my one desire, it was the one dream I treasured the most. And there I was being asked to store up in Heaven the very thing that I treasured. The Lord gently reassured me that my precious Celine was meant for Heaven, and by surrendering my treasure to him, I was surrendering another part of my heart to His Lordship.
I then realized that both my daughter and I were being given such a beautiful gift. Celine skipped the pains of this earth and is already basking in the joy of never leaving God’s presence. And I was being given the chance to store treasure in Heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal. It was an opportunity to surrender more of my heart to Jesus. What an incredible gift.