I took another test after I got home from work, which was a darker (positive) shade of pink and knew I was finally pregnant. I literally fell to my knees in tears. I have never felt the love of Christ as much as I did in that moment. It's like I was on that bathroom floor with His arms wrapped around me whispering, "I've had this planned for you all along Ashley. Just trust Me."
I knew I wanted to surprise Benjie in some special way. The next day I went to a local gift shop during my lunch break and wanted to get something 'gender -neutral' for the baby. I couldn't find anything but cheezy frames and a sweet bear. I got the bear, along with a card and put them where Benjie would find them when he got home from work. I also took my digital pregnancy test that I'd been saving for months. I wanted so bad to see the word "PREGNANT" on that stick and didn't want to take it until I knew for sure. In less than a minute I saw that beautiful word. I put the test in a box and put it with the bear.
I took a nap until he got home a few hours later and woke me up with the BIGGEST smile on his face. I wrote "Happy Easter" on the card, so he had no idea until he opened the box. It was such a happy and joyous time for us both.
And because of my miscarriage I spent the next 9 months of my pregnancy with Lily Kate completely scared to death. I felt like every little move that I made was going to jeopardize my pregnancy. Every doctor's visit was so stressful -- yet a complete relief when we left knowing everything was okay... for now.
About two months ago I was rocking Lily Kate to sleep. I looked down and she had both of her little arms around me, sound asleep. I began to tear up and knew at that moment that this was God's perfect plan. I realized for the first time -- If I hadn't experienced this storm in my life I wouldn't be rocking my little angel right now. I can't imagine my life without her... and if God had let things go according to MY PLANS, my Lily Kate wouldn't exist.
To any friends or family reading this, I apologize if I wasn't myself during (and months after) my miscarriage. Or, if I turned down any plans with you, or was rude to you, or never called you back. I can't go back and change anything, but I do apologize for my actions and I just hope you understand.
I also completely realize that there are situations much more complicated than mine. I know that my story is so minute compared to others. I know of couples that have suffered through 30+ miscarriages and still don't have a child of their own. I know couples that have been trying 10+ years. I know couples that will never have a biological child of their own. I know couples that have lost a living child. To anyone that's ever been through a situation like this, I have prayed for you. To anyone that may experience a situation like this in the future, I have prayed for you too. I never thought anything of miscarriage until it happened to me. Everyone thinks, "Oh, it was only a few months old... you never met it... it was only an inch long... and you can't always get pregnant with 'another'." No. That's definitely not the case. Those "its" were my precious precious babies, knitted together and created by God. I know they are in Heaven right now playing at the feet of Jesus and watching me as I type this post.
If you don't remember anything else from this post, know that God loves you and that He has a perfect plan for you -- even if it's not what you expect or what you want at the time. Our tiny little brains are incapable of understanding His "big picture." His plan for our lives is the only plan that will give us the maximum joy and happiness we can possibly experience while we are on this earth. How cool that we have Heavenly Father that we can trust like that!? Whether we think so or not, His plans are not to harm us, but to give us "hope and a future"*. We go through storms to see the rainbows... and my little rainbow is named Lily Kate. :)
* "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)
I heard this song while we were trying to get pregnant and it just totally hit every emotion in my being. I still cry to this day when I hear this song -- Especially watching this video. It's a reminder to me that the Lord loves us more than we can ever love our own children -- How amazing is that!?