Its been one week. Almost to the hour. One week. How much can change. How life can be completely altered. But the story doesn’t begin one week ago. Our story has been set out longer than we were ever aware. Before conception. God had a plan. Unknown to us. A perfect plan. A plan that altered our life as we know it but ultimately brought glory to Him. God had us in the palm of His hand every second and it wasn’t until one week ago, that we realized it.
Here is our story….
Conception. I don’t need to go into detail, but it happened. A life. A life that had a purpose beyond what we could fathom in our own heads. We dream, we plan, we expect. But there was another plan. A good one. A difficult one. One that even now, if I knew the whole plan from the beginning, I would still allow to happen. Probably not something a grieving mother would normally say or think but His plan was SO much better than ours.
With any story, there is an introduction. Our introduction began when we learned we were unexpectedly pregnant last September. Five kids….five. How were we going to do this? This changed a lot. While the shock never seemed to settle, we were excited. Our children were thrilled. We were soon introduced to our new son. We decided on a name. Macklin August. He was perfect. He grew and grew and the weeks went by with much excitement. The kids prayed for him every night by name and had many kisses and “I love you, Macklins” for my belly daily. Our plans had begun. Plans for a new vehicle, plans to repurchase everything we had previously given away, plans to bring our new little man home to his brothers and sister who couldn’t wait to meet him. There were nights of feeling baby kicks and hiccups, watching mommy’s belly grow bigger and bigger and the joy from the latest ultrasound picture where we got a little glimpse of this little life growing so beautifully. Things were perfect. While my body was clearly exhausted from having now, 5 babies in 6 years, I pushed through. I pushed through the constant pain of carrying my boy. My body was not feeling the greatest, but it was doing its job. He was healthy and growing, so I kept on, telling myself that every ache, pain and early contraction would all be worth it. I knew it would. I’ve done this before. There was nothing different about this pregnancy than the others. Every test and ultrasound revealed perfection. And so we planned some more.
God’s plan, I now see, started to reveal itself about two weeks ago. Just after I hit the 30 week mark, I started getting this feeling that I needed to be ready. I needed to get my home ready, my supplies ready. I searched for all of the “stuff” we still needed, started organizing, started cleaning and preparing my home. There was a small chance that my body may begin labor sooner than full term so I wanted to be ready if that came. I washed baby clothes. I unpacked diapers. I prepared my nest. I wasn’t expecting to go into labor anytime soon, but I was ready if I did. I was coming up on 32 weeks when things got concerning. After lots of early contractions, I had a test come back saying that it was possible I could go into labor in the next two weeks. After a fetal monitoring test and a quick ultrasound on Tuesday, we were relieved that everything was fine and nothing was concerning. I got a quick glimpse of Macklin’s face during the ultrasound and was thrilled to see his chubby little face. He was SO cute. As cute as you could look immersed in fluid, but still adorable. My heart filled and my excitement grew to meet him. My friend and doula Emily awaited good news that baby would stay put a little longer. She was headed to Phoenix for the weekend and I jokingly promised that I wouldn’t have a baby while she was gone.
May 9th, 2015. That Saturday will forever be seared in my mind. I woke that morning to the kids in my room asking for the usual breakfast items and tv shows turned on. Chris had left early that morning for church. He was due back around 9. I made it through the morning and was anxiously awaiting my husband’s arrival so that our day could begin. He walked in the door that morning with a beautiful bouquet of brightly colored daisies. My favorite. Along with a beautiful card that professed his love and appreciation for me as the mother of his children. Mother’s Day was tomorrow. An early surprise was appreciated and loved. We started the day. Daddy headed outside to mow the lawn. I headed to the back yard with the kids to play. Midway through the morning I received a text from a friend. Ironically, I hadn’t saved this number in my phone so I was little embarrassed to ask the person who they were. It was Mandy. Ah yes, Mandy, the lovely soul whom we had met the day Chris and I got married. Who made me so beautiful the day I married my love. She was my hair stylist. I still blame her for my husband’s desire to see me with long, curled blonde hair. Mandy has been my friend since. I knew her story.