Madeline Grace: Madeline, a French varient of Magdalene, after Mary Magdalene, the first person to see the resurrected Savior. Grace, the divine help and strength we recieve through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
They started at 11:00 p.m. Wednesday night on December 10th. Contractions, just a few minutes apart, all night long. There would be no sleeping that night for me. As I tossed and turned to get comfortable, all I felt was worry, pain, fear. I heard my telephone beep upstairs. A missed call? It was 4:00 a.m. My mom had called. Did Missy have her baby? I called back- it was an accident. I broke down on the phone with my mom,Â terrified of what was happening. I called the doctor in Montana, and while waiting to get a call back, woke Aaron up and told him what was going on with me. And how scared I was. He gave me a Priesthood Blessing. He told me my body would heal.
For 14 1/2 weeks, we’ve known and loved this little girl inside of me, growing, touching our lives already. We knew she was a girl, both intuitively, and on a spiritual level. We talk about our dreams for her, both of us looking forward to the Daddy’s girl she was destined to be, wanting and dreaming of braiding her hair, wondering how on earth would we learn to play with “girl toys,” big brothers protecting (and perhaps teasing, but definetely loving) her… Just days earlier, orÂ maybe just the day before, I told Aaron, “Did I tell you I’ve felt Maddie moving a couple times these past few days?” He replied that he had wondered… he thought he had felt her too. It was the earliest I had ever, we had ever feltÂ one of ourÂ babies move. She must have been trying to tell us something, to let us know she loved us, to let us know she knew we were there.
Once we talked to the doctor on the phone, we determined to go to the ER. So we packed up the kids and had The Mistress lead the way. Ironic how, just days earlier, I had pointed out how close the hospital was, just in case. We certainly didn’t ever imagine we would end up there. Aaron stayed with the boys in the waiting room as I went in, got an IV, and then an ultrasound. Something wasn’t right. I saw the tech look for a heartbeat, and all I saw was a flat line. She only said something was wrong with my cervix.
Then the doctor came in, and with as much compassion as she could muster (she didn’t have much, and wasn’t too personable) she told me we had lost the baby and that I was miscarrying.
The world fell apart around me, and my heart shattered into a million pieces, coming down with the tears on my cheek.
Aaron came in, and we cried, we sobbed. He said he had known in the blessing we were going to lose her, but he just couldn’t say the words. Our poor little boys just knew something was wrong.
Numbly, we left the hospital with some pills, “for the pain.” The pills they gave me wouldn’t even touch the real pain I felt, that Aaron felt. We packed, took a short but restless nap, and we left our vacation, with plans to drive all night to get home.
The drive home was quiet. Our hearts ached for the little baby girl we knew we would never hold. My water broke on the drive home, and we lost the baby along the way as well. A perfect, tiny baby that we loved so much already. Needless to say, falling asleep at the wheel was never an issue. We were too grief-stricken to sleep, even after the 24 (Aaron) or 48 hours (me) we had been mostly awake.
We got home at 5:00 a.m., put the kids to bed, and Aaron gave me the most beautiful, comforting blessing I have ever had. We were given a little bit of understanding why this had to be. She is one special little spirit who has a lot of work to do; work she couldn’t do here. We were told that the people we had done sealings for earlier in the vacation, Aaron’s ancestors, were people she had helped to teach and bring into the gospel, and that she had much more work like that to do. We were reminded that she loves us.
We took turns sleeping and watching the boys once they got up until their grandparents could take them for the rest of the day.
The next couple of days are a haze. We made it through. That’s about all we could do.
Monday it started again. The pain. The contractions. Worse than I have ever had them. This time, they came with a lot of bleeding. We were scared.
Wasn’t it enough to have to lose our girl? Why more pain?
We went to the ER again, this time leaving the kids with a friend. They checked things out, told us that things would be OK, I wasn’t in danger, and we went home.
I know we’re not the only ones who’ve gone through this, nor will we be the last. We know it’s not our fault, and that there was nothing we could do to prevent us from losing our daughter (as much as those thoughts may enter our minds…) And perhaps, if we could see the grand picture, we wouldn’t want to have her back, because we would understand better the domino effect this will have on us, and on those spirits on the other side who need her more than we need her right now. It hasÂ been comforting to know that we’re not alone in our grief, mourning a child we don’t get to hold for a long time, our daughter who already meant so much to us, whom we had so many dreams for already.Â There has been so much love poured out upon us, some from complete strangers and people we barely know, and someday we will return that sameÂ love, the comfort, the tears. We know that in some ways, things will get better, they will get easier. TheÂ heartache we feel most right now will eventually soften. And we know that our family is forever, sealed together for time and eternity within the sacred, holy walls of the temple. But she has, and will always hold a piece of our hearts in her hands, never to be completely whole until we see her again.
We know that our Heavenly Father loves us, that He knows us, that He understands the challenges and heartbreaks we go through from time to time in our lives. He hears our prayers, and He comforts us in those darkest hours of our lives, lifting us us, carrying us, and helping us to if not understand, at least know that He understands why we are going through our trials. This experience, if anything, has helped us feel more of His love, of His compassion, of His heartaches, and of His mercy and grace. We are given our trials, our heartaches, our sorrows for a reason that perhaps for now only He knows why. But He knows. And I have faith that we will be able to use this loss as a strength someday, and that there are reasons far beyond our understanding as to why it had to happen.
I thought it was fitting that she was to be Madeline Grace, although we had no idea when we chose the name that this was the mission she was to have. She is indeed with our Resurrected Savior already, the first to see Him, and she has and will continue to teach us about the Grace we have been offered through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. She has much to teach us, and much work to do. And because of her, we have new motivation, and a deeper yearning to get back home to be with our Savior and with her and the rest of our eternally sealed family.
Maddie- we love you and miss you so much already! Help us be worthy to embrace you once again, forever to hold you in our loving arms.