His huge outstretched arms protect you—under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. – Psalms 91:4
I was about fourteen weeks pregnant with Audrey when Abigail asked me, “Is this baby going to die to?” for the first time.The question hit me like a tonne of bricks. Responding quickly with “Of course not!”, I began to really think about the question I had just been asked. It hurt me. In a way it had even made me angry. A question from an innocent six year old girl put me face to face with a fear I had been trying to avoid myself.
In fact it had too crossed my own mind a few times. I was scared about my pregnancy. Having already had a baby girl pass away in my belly made me face the reality that a pregnancy did not mean I would be holding a healthy infant in my arms at the end of it…….but…a piece of me felt this time, this time I would be safe. After all, there was no way that I could lose two babies in a row. I felt like God owed me that. I truly felt like I had already trusted him through such a devastation, so in a way I was now entitled to a healthy baby.
As my pregnancy continued, and each obstacle I had faced with my previous pregnancy was overcome with positive results….I became more certain that things were going to be just fine. As that same question was asked over and over throughout the remainder of my pregnancy, I became more and more confident in my answer.
I promised Abigail over and over again that Audrey was going to live. That soon she would be out of my scary tummy and into my safe arms. I remember thinking that I had no control over what could happen to her while she was in there, but that once she was out…I could keep her safe from harm.
On April sixteenth that promise came true when Abigail walked into my hospital room and I gently placed her healthy, chubby, nine pound sister into her arms…..but it was quickly broken only two and a half months later when she woke up the morning of July sixth to find her sister had indeed gone to Heaven. In fact her precious sister had died in the very “safe” arms I had told her she would be okay in.
The guilt from that promise has stayed with me as the months continue to go by. Even though I am aware that there was no reason for me to ever expect my baby to die, I let my plan of how life was going to go…about how Audreys life was going to be, blind me from the very real possibilities of the world. I let my expectations of God saving me from more heartache…..of him owing me something, from not being able to trust anything but my own plans this time around.
When my baby left this world I was faced with the fact that God has never owed me anything, but instead it is I that owes him everything. That everything that I am given in this world, whether my children, family, or home is a gift, not something I am entitled to.
This time my womb feels more secure then my arms. This time I know that no matter how much I attempt to protect my children that they are never truly safe from the world. That Gods arms are the only ones that are truly safe. To trust anyone but yourself, especially when it involves the lives of your children is terrifying. That old ” mother knows best” is something we truly believe, when in fact it is God. It is scary to try and prepare yourself to be ready for whatever someone else has planned for you, especially when it could mean another empty car seat.
This new pregnancy has been indescribable, and as I am faced with that dreadful question once again..I am not so quick to answer. Truth is I don’t know that answer. Only God does. It breaks my heart to not be able to give Abigail the security she needs, in fact it has been heart wrenching to listen to my eight year old child expect the death of a sibling because it has been nothing but the norm in her life. I trust him….I do. After all he has been the one that has carried and continues to carry me through the unimaginable. Our family takes comfort in knowing Alexis and Audrey is safe in his arms….but as a mother I can’t help but desperately pray that this time a baby is placed in my arms….and that this time they get to stay.