One September Day

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Elisabeth

October 12, 1990

One year after exchanging our wedding vows, one miscarriage, and another long - painful pregnancy, we held our beautiful baby girl - alive. One hour later, she was in the Arms of Jesus.

Her name - Elisabeth Jayne.
6 #'s 6 oz. 21 1/2 inches long.
Light brown hair, Dark blue eyes, Looked Just like her daddy.
Perfect. In every way.

Today, 19 years later, my husband and I had a long - overdue outing. We went and ordered the Memorial Stone for the cemetery, with her name, and the names of her twin brothers.

Why we waited for so long, we don't know. It wasn't as if we weren't emotionally ready, nor did we not think about it.
It just wasn't time.
Today was.

Our Elisabeth's life was a real living testament of how believers rally together in prayer, encouragement, and sustaining one another in burdens.

I was 4 months along in my pregnancy with this little baby girl, and a Dr. ran an ultrasound determining that she was missing her kidneys. He said, "you're baby will not live."
I had a dear friend with me that day, and all I remember is seeing her face, and hearing nothing as she kindly led me to her car, and drove me home. I can remember like it was yesterday, driving along, looking at the other people in their cars, and thinking.. This isn't real. This cannot be real. Everyone is still moving along... and my baby is going to die.

***Learned...When others experience trials in their lives.. life isn't seen thru the same eyes as we are moving about our days with. Still the same truths, the same God, and the same daily tasks,, just seen thru different eyes.
Remembering to treat others in trials with understanding, and not judgement.

I had very little amniotic fluid while carrying Elisabeth. ( the kidneys make the fluid, and she had no kidneys.) The Dr.'s wanted us to induce labor at 4 months. She was incompatible with life.
We chose to carry her. Carry her with knowing that she would not be with us forever.
Each movement was a little more painful as she grew. She was growing and moving, and the lack of fluid caused her movements to feel like I was being bruised.

Did I question my ability to carry this baby till term - emotionally, physically?
Yes. I did.

***Learned- When others are experiencing trials, and they make decisions, or are struggling with answers - do not judge this process. It takes time, it takes prayer, and it takes God's strength to come to His plan. CLINGING onto His Hands is the only way to make these hard decisions. Give people time. Let them work thru their decisions.

At night, I would lay next to my husband, and after he fell asleep, I would get up, and walk and sing, and pray. Many, many nights. I would pray and pray that God would let her know how much I loved this little baby girl moving inside of me.
She was so restless at night.
After singing, and praying she would sleep. She slept, and I prayed.
God gave me this time with her. Forever imprinted on my heart.

As I worshiped in church, I can remember feeling loneliness and despair/anger at times. I remember standing there singing, and Elisabeth would move, and remind of the life that I carried. No one else around me felt that. Did any one really care? Why did I have to be the one to feel this pain? And why were the people I thought cared, shying away?
Were these things really happening?
No. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot.

***Learned- When others are experiencing trials- they can make one of two choices... to let God's strength and love be the ONLY thing that sustains them, and the ONLY thing that really truly matters. Because man will fail them. Not all man, but, as a rule, we do fail others, we fall short.
OR,, they can wait on friends, family , and others to fill a spot that they cannot. These expectations will only allow for anger, and bitterness to fill those spots saved.
Sometimes we do not know were are making the second choice. We may be making a fine balance of both.
Problem.. There is no room for bitterness when it comes to healing.
***Give others unconditional love. They may not see your actions, attempts, and love, and they may never see it. God knows.
Love with expecting nothing in return. Because it may not happen.

A very special friend of mine offered to help me shop for a special blanket, gown, and pretty cap for our Elisabeth. I put her off, and put her off. She gently pushed me to make these decisions.
Being my first baby, I had no idea what to expect.
These offers were so helpful to me. I had another friend who drove me to appointments, and she sat with me and even asked all of the important questions that I didn't/couldn't think to ask.
There were prayer chains set up all over the country for this little baby of ours.
God's people were doing there work. I was numb to much of it.
That's how it is sometimes.

***Learned- Practice what God allows others to minister to you. When God brings you through a difficult time, ALWAYS remember what HE has done. HELP those that come to you in the future, and do not turn them away. Feeling as if you cannot bare to remember those moments, or thinking you do not know what to tell people because there is so much to tell, is turning your back on a gift that God gave you. Ministering to others.
Almost every morning that I wake up - I think this:

"To Whom much is given, Much will be expected!!"

God not only has since blessed me with many children, but more importantly, He carried me thru those trials. THAT was what HE gave ME!"

Elisabeth's birth was very, very difficult. I delivered her breech, with no fluid, and as she was placed in my arms I remember saying, "Oh, thank you Jesus!"
My husband and I spent that precious hour with her. Together. With family. With His Angels around us.
I knew the Holy Spirit's presence that day. Real. By my side. With Comfort and Peace.
A Peace that I could never explain.
A Peace that Passes all understanding.

It was the days to come that were painful. Recovery. Emptiness. Struggling to trust.

***Learned- Let people heal. Don't force the issue. Give them God's Words. Let them know you are there. At all times. Remember that they may shun you. Be there.
Talk. Visit. Be there. Do not turn away from them. We do not always see the healing process as it is that- healing. It is usually felt as a survival mode.
That's ok. The body of believers are meant to uphold one another.

Today was a good day. How can I say that? Because I am able to look back on all that I learned.

A memorial Stone is important to me 19 years later. But, more importantly is the place in my life that she was meant to fill.
That place is filled with grace, mercy, and love- for My Heavenly Father - Who NEVER failed me, and Who Kept me in His Grip- even when I wasn't paying attention.


  • At October 12, 2009 at 8:31 PM , Blogger April said...

    What a precious post today September. Reading your testimony, especially what Elisabeth has taught, is very helpful- to know how to be there for someone in need. It is so hard to know that what you say and do IS actually helping. Because making them hurt more, is last thing anyone intends to do. It's so hard to feel the extent of the pain.

    Thank you for sharing your story of Elisabeth with us today. Beautiful to see that her memories are still very vivid for you.

  • At October 12, 2009 at 8:50 PM , Anonymous peter farrell said...

    Sep, just thought I'd leave a note telling you what a great blog you have. You live a life that is about as close to a 180 from mine as anyone out there and still I stop by to glance from time to time. I thinks that's a sign of a pretty good writer(not that I'm an expert or something) :-D


    Peter Farrell

  • At October 12, 2009 at 8:59 PM , Blogger Kami said...

    Oh September my heart just hurts for you. I couldn't keep a dry eye as I read this post. Having had a miscarriage myself, I know the pain of losing a child, but I can't even fathom what it must be like to carry that sweet baby girl to term knowing that you would face a loss. I believe fully that you are as wonderful of a woman as you are entirely because of experiences like this, and because of the love of our Father. I'm happy to call you a blogging friend and I'm happy to know that God is continuing to heal the pain of losing Elisabeth and replace that with sweet memories of your time with her.

    *Hugs, sweet friend.

  • At October 12, 2009 at 9:01 PM , Blogger Emily said...

    Wow! That was a remarkable post - and God is clearly in your writing. Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm bookmarking it. :)

  • At October 12, 2009 at 9:08 PM , Anonymous Katrina S said...

    writing through my own tears as I am touched by the way these very hard experiences have become ways that you learn things - thanks for sharing. ((hugs)) to you friend-

  • At October 12, 2009 at 9:34 PM , Blogger Kate said...

    So touching! Thank you for sharing your sweet daughter with us. However long it took you all, I am glad you have a wonderful husband to do this with you. Prayers for you and your family! Sending you hugs!

  • At October 12, 2009 at 10:21 PM , Blogger Kari @ p.s. said...

    What a beautiful and endearing post. Thank you for sharing your daughter with all of us. What a special thing for me this evening. As I sit here and try to think of what to say, because there are so many thoughts going on in my head, just know that so many people out in this cyber world as we know it are giving you hugs and admiring your strength. At least I am. Thank you for writing this.

  • At October 13, 2009 at 10:51 AM , Blogger Angela said...

    Thank you for sharing this, September. Praise God for the promise that you will one day meet your babies in Heaven.

    In Christ,

  • At October 13, 2009 at 12:39 PM , Blogger Raisingarrows said...

    What a beautiful post and what a tough day, I am sure. However, I am comforted because Emmy's grave has no stone...a year and a half after her death. Getting one feels so final, yet I desperately want one. DH's grandmother took 40 years to get a stone for her little boy. Seems to be one of those difficult things for all grieving parents.

  • At October 13, 2009 at 9:26 PM , Blogger Marni's Organized Mess said...

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • At October 14, 2009 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Holly said...

    This is a wonderful post and I thank you for sharing this with us. Even though I am a few days behind I am thinking of your sweet Elisabeth. You have a lot of experience and wisdom to share with so many of us.

    I know the memorial stone will be beautiful.

  • At October 14, 2009 at 11:09 AM , Blogger Lynnette Kraft said...

    I just read this post and am so glad you wrote it. I just have to say - PRAISE GOD for what he teaches us through our trials, how he comforts us through our pain, how he increases our joy through our heartache. How is that? Beats me - but it happens.

    I love you friend. Thank you for sharing about your sweet baby Elisabeth. I wish I could have met her and look forward to the day that I do meet her - and your twins. (and you and the rest of your family)

  • At October 15, 2009 at 11:22 PM , Anonymous Grandma said...

    This is Grandma, Elisabeth. Grandma is calling. I held you in my arms before you went to the Lord. I felt your breath and saw your eyes. I think of you often, darling. No words to anyone else, but to you, dear one, my first grandchild, I loved you dearly and still do, honey. You accomplished so much in your 35 minutes. I KNOW you did not suffer; I felt your calm, almost as if you knew why you came. Thank you for staring into my eyes, thank you sweetheart for the privilege of knowing you. I'm really funny, Elisabeth and you would have liked me, honey. I think of you often, very often. My blessed one - THANK YOU. I have to go wipe my eyes, now, honey. I never told Mommy how much it hurt to lose you, but I think she knew. I LOVE you so much. See you later, darling.

    Love Grandma

  • At October 17, 2009 at 8:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    September, I have read your blog (coming over from Caring for Carleigh) but I have never commented. This is the sweetest story I have ever read! I know it hurts tremendously to lose beautiful Elisabeth, but I was so encouraged by your words of lessons learned.The lesson learned about how others treat you is one I really need to embrace. Our baby Meredith died 35 tears ago of prematurity. I find myself still holding little grudges about some things people did that was hurtful to me.I have been asking the Lord to help me forgive and forget these old hurts. It is hard. I believe I have forgiven, but if I could only forget and see that these people did not act in a malicious manner.I have had a really hard time letting go of the hurt caused by the doctors who never let me hold her,even after she died, and I want to let that go so badly. We will hold our babies in Heaven one day - what a glorious day to meet Jesus and our children! September, please pray for me as I try to really forgive
    and forget.
    Blessings, Sarita


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