Sorrow for today, hope for tomorrow.

March 31, 2011

Thank you all for your encouraging comments on my last post.
I don't write for affirmation from my readers,
but it sure is nice to know people have your back. :)

The end of one reader's comment almost brought me to tears.
Without even realizing it,
she paved the way for
today's post,
and gave encouragement that has been very much needed.
This is what Diane said:


Chelsea, you don't know me and I've never commented on your blog before. I've looked at your darling outfits and marveled at your creativity many ti
mes since the first time I visited.

I'm so very sorry you had to encounter this person and such a vicious attack. How courageous for you to share those accusations, and your response...which was full of grace.

Your godly character is apparent through your pos
ts, through the choices you are making as a mother, and through your gracious response. The character of your guest is also very apparent through what was written. I'm sorry you had to encounter that, yet sometimes we are refined through opposition.

I am already praying for you, praying for your he
art, and your family. And I'm praying for your enemy...one who chooses to tear you down. May God's spirit lift you, encourage you, strengthen and uphold you. May you be blessed, may your church friends surround you.

Thank you for sharing your creativity with us, thank you for your transparency, and thank you for your coura
ge.

Just wanted you to know that someone you don't even know is praying for you.

**************

Last Monday (the 21st)
I had a regularly scheduled prenatal appointme
nt and sonogram.
I was 19 weeks so this would be the sonogram
that would determine baby's gender
but as most of you know, we were wanting a surprise at delivery.

I was nervous for my sonogram,
something inside of me had bee
n telling me something was wrong.
In fact, my whole pregnancy had seemed...off.
That's the only word I can think of to describe it.
And for the last couple of weeks I had been getting con
cerned about the lack of movement that I should be feeling and the lack of growth in my belly.
I had even started to voice these concerns to my husband but didn't want to be paranoid.
A few days before my appointment
I felt the need to ask God for strength and c
ourage,
feeling I would need it but not knowing why...

I walked into my sonogram with an up-beat attitude
reminding the sonographer to keep the baby's gender a secret.
As soon as she put the wand on my belly I knew something was wrong.
The baby didn't look right and ther
e was no movement.
I looked at her face and said "its not good".
Not a question, a statement.
Her face was grim and she said "there's no heartbeat".


I was numb for a minute or two, asking questions while she took measurements.
Then was hit by a wave of grief.
My baby, my sweet baby was gone.
We were half way there, and now everythin
g stopped.
The sonographer asked if we could find out the gender as that might help with the diagnosis.
A girl. A baby girl.
She estimated by her growth that she had been gone for about a week and a half.
About the time that I had started to voic
e my concerns to Jeff.

Next was discussing options with Jeane, my midwife.
We needed to act fairly quickly as she h
ad been gone so long.
Our choices were a D&E (dilation & evacuation - often used as abortion) or delivery.
We chose delivery.


*Just a little disclaimer*
I am very open with labor and delivery details and am not easily grossed out. Nothing I have to say today is gory, just honest. But I am going to shar
e all aspects of this experience.

I was checked into the hospital the next morning and began doses of Cytotec to dilate my cervix. I was thankful they wouldn't be using pitocin, I've heard that is not a fun drug.
I received a dose every 3 hours.
Jeff and I spent the day talking about our sweet girl, life
and all of the options the hospital staff had given us.
Around 8pm my water
broke.
And it hit me.
This is really happening.
I'm going to deliver my dead baby.
Usually your water breaking is such an exciting step in the process of preparing to meet your child. This time, it was just a reminder of what I would NOT have.

Shortly after Jeane came in to check on me and stayed to chat for a bit. She stepped out to take a phone call and I was getting really uncomfortable in the bed - a lot of low pressure. So I stood for a bit and started rocking side to side. Jeane came back in and after seeing what I was doing said "I've seen you do this before - I think I'll stick around."
A lot of people have asked what it felt like and I've been describing it as a mini labor.
It was not nearly as intense or painful as full blown labor bu
t the contractions felt the same - they were just concentrated deep in my uterus rather than spanning my whole body like with regular birth. After a bit Jeane checked me and she said she was starting to feel the baby work it's way down. When she took her hand out I looked down and the baby's little arm was sticking out of me.
Purple, tiny, and absolutely perfect.
After that, the question of whether or not we wante
d to see her was answered.
This was my BABY, I needed to see her.
The OB that had been working with us came and checked me and said she'd like me to open a little more so the bulk of the baby (like head and torso) could come through as well.
I only had to dilate to about 3 or 4 instead of 10 since she was so little.
At around 10:45pm I was sitting in the bed chatting with Jean
e and Jeff when I felt a warm rush.
I lifted the covers to check the fluid and ins
tead found my baby.
No pushing at all. She came on her own.
Jeane called in the OB.
I sat there staring, afraid to move, afraid of w
hat I was looking at.
The OB came in, cut the tiniest umbilical cord you've ever seen and
started to layout and examine our sweet baby.
She was actually in pretty good shape - we were all concerned because of how long she had been gone. She was perfectly formed, 10 fingers and toes and
the tin
iest most perfect ears we had ever seen.
Shortly after, I began bleeding pretty heavily without the place
nta coming so they took me down to the OR for a D&C. I woke up feeling great but apparently had lost about 2 1/2 units of blood.
We were moved to Women's Recovery,
spent the night and were discharged late Wednesday morning.


I had such an amazing peace for those 3 days, knowing God was in control and that He not only loves me but has a plan for me. I knew that I was just delivering my baby's body, just her shell, and that SHE was actually in heaven, safe and sound, whole, and singing praises to His name. I am so thankful she is in the place we are all striving to get to, and that she didn't have to experience any pain, heartache, or suffering of any kind.
But once I was home from the
hospital,
the impact of what I had done and of the depth of my loss, started to hit me.
It has been a difficult week,
filled with ups & downs, praises & pleas, peace & confusion, hope & sorrow.

The things I've thought and felt in the past week could fill a book,
let alone a blog post.
But I will make it.
My heart will heal.
My God is sovereign.

Jemma Marie Hatfield
was 7 1/2 inches & 3 ounces.
Her name is Italian for gem or jewel.
It's the girl name I was mulling over while pregnant with her.
After this experience, I thought it was perfect for something
so small and precious.
Marie is from her mama.

She will not be forgotten.

33 comments:

Audrey said...

Oh Chels, I am so so sorry for your loss. I am thinking of you and praying for all of your family.

I am sure she is beautiful.

rachelok said...

I don't know the right words to offer to you and your family, except that I'm sorry and my heart is full of love and loss for you all.

Jemma is an absolutely beautiful name.

Felicia Yoakam said...

Chelsea,
You never cease to amaze me. You are truly a child of God. May He bless and watch over you all.

Bless you and your family.

Felicia

Chantel said...

Chelsea....my heart breaks with you. I pray the Spirit of peace and joy surrounds your every moment! Thank you for taking the courage to share this journey.....I am so inspired by your heart and how you're receiving the love of the Father through this!
Much love~Chantel

Chelsea said...

Chelsea, my heart is breaking for you. I wish I knew the right words to offer, but you are such an incredibly strong and brave woman and you are so right that she is where we all strive to be and one day you WILL be with her. Please let us know what we can do for you. You and your family are in my prayers. Jemma is such a beautiful name.

Mikayla Swart said...

I Love You, Chelsea! Jemma is the perfect name. I saw also that the Hebrew meaning of the name is "Little Dove"...very fitting.

Judy @ In His Grip said...

What a beautiful story and my prayers continue for you and your family as you walk this journey. All my love.

Fawn said...

This makes me sad all over again.You never want your kids to have to face these things.
Im so sorry you had to go through this.You have had a beautiful attitude even as you walk through this valley. Your faith was apparent in every stage of Jemma's little life.Im proud of you....I love you, mom.

Lizz said...

hey sweet friend. so happy you shared your story. still so much courage coming from your spirit and heart. you are a lady filled with so much love and grace. still always praying and thinking about you...... remember i am a walk across the yard. =) love to you.

Jami Nato said...

i'm so glad you wrote this out...i think it is therapeutic to put it all out there and tell the the story of your little girl's precious life.

i remember the pastor talking about suffering a while ago...he said that some lives are a sprint and some are a marathon. but both are equally important.

love you. praying for healing. time is your friend...

Craftaholic said...

Oh Chelsea, there really are no words. I am so sorry for your loss, you are an amazing woman, please know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

SaraBethJ said...

Thank you for sharing your story. My heart is broken for you and your family. You are truly a woman of courage, grace, and beauty. I will pray that you may rest in the peace that surpasses all understanding and that you will feel his presence in the emptiness. Her name is one of the most beautiful I've heard....perfect for a beautiful little girl! Love to you.....

Amy said...

Our families went to church together for years at FBC, and I saw Fawn's posting on FB and followed it to your incredible website. I am so sorry about the loss of your beautiful daughter. How right that she is where we want to be, but how much it hurts to say good bye for a time. You are filled with such grace and courage, it is apparent in your words, reactions, and decisions. May God hold you and yours in the palm of His hand, and I know He is now holding Jemma close to His heart. Our prayers are with you. In God's Love...

Jamie Flanders Schneider said...

May God bless you and hold you and your family... sending a big HUG

Allyson C. said...

her little prints are AMAZING. just so awesome. i'm so glad you have those. love you....

Keri Janda said...

Chelsea,
I have written and erased three times now, so I guess I am at a loss for the 'right' words. Is there such thing as the right words when it comes to a loss, a loss of a little baby girl? I am so sorry for you and your family and I am amazed at your strength.

Mrs. Legris said...

I am so sorry for you loss. I read something just last night that had me in tears. I had a miscarriage as well, and I didn't feel true peace with it till last night. I am reading a book called "Heaven is for real" a true story. There the 4 year old boy has gone to heaven during a surgery and met his unborn sister. His parents had never told him about a sister that had died by miscarriage, but he was able to tell them all about her. Truly amazing. Your baby is with god, and so is mine. God bless you, and thanks for sharing.

Heidi Maggio said...

Thank you for sharing this intimate and painful experience. Your spirit of peace and surrender is so inspiring, Chelsea. Your entire family is deeply set in my prayers, Friend. What a beautiful picture of sweet Jemma waiting for you in heaven. Christ's love flows from your life!

Sara said...

Hi Chelsea,
You don't know me, but I'm a friend of your friend Chelsea. I am so sorry for the loss of your baby girl. I pray our Lord holds you close right now in the palm of His hand and brings you comfort right now. It's hard to know what to say at a time like this, but I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you.

So sorry,
Sara

amy said...

oh chelsea, i am so sorry for your loss. praying for peace and healing for you and your family. jemma, what a beautiful, perfect name for such a sweet little baby girl.

KayJackson said...

Prayers are being lifted up for you and your family. Thank you for letting Jemma minister to my heart today and for sharing your story with us.

Lisa said...

I haven’t read your blog in a while, but after reading your post today I wanted you to know I’m praying for you. I’m so sorry about the loss of your precious little girl. My heart hurts for you and I’m praying God covers you with His love and peace. Thank you for sharing your story. Jemma is such a beautiful name, and I can’t wait to meet her one day in heaven.

Lisa Peterson

Laura Riffel said...

Dear Chelsea,
My heart aches for your loss and swells with pride for the grace you share with others. Hugs- Laura Riffel

kim hamilton said...

Chelsea: I woke up in the early am hours and prayed for you and your family. I will continue to pray. I cannot imagine fully the heartache of this loss. Jemma is a beautiful name for a beautiful sweet girl and I know she is in the arms of Jesus, but I know you miss her so and the heartbreak is excruciating. I have been on an emotional roller coaster as a mom and I found God to be faithful to me, even when I was spewing forth a lot to him.....anger/sadness/ confusion and the like. I will pray that God will lift you up and carry you and pour over you peace and grace and comfort during this time. Please do not hesitate to call if you need anything. It helped me a lot to have someone pray over me when I was not able to pray and I would like to extend that to you if need it. May God be with you in a supernatural way. love kim hamilton

Jennifer said...

Chelsea, Jodi told me about what you and Jeff were going through. I am so very sorry and my heart breaks with you. You have been so instrumental in turning the hearts of your friends and your family to the heart of Father. Know your trails and trbulations are not in vain; but will produce the results God desires. His desire is you. I love you, hon!

Little Momma said...

praying for you...thank you for sharing jemma's story.

Anonymous said...

I cried and cried wishing it did not have to be so. When she came home she also told me about your hateful reader. She sent me the link to your blog, but I did not read it until today. I've never read a blog. Your are an amazing writer and a beautiful person. I am so glad that Jeff has you, that your boys have you, that Nancy and John have you in their lives,and because of all them, so do I! All my love to you. Lucy Amundson

Muffin said...

I went through a very similar experience just 3 months ago. I found out at 13 weeks that my baby girl had cystic hygroma causing lymphedema and that there was only a 10% chance of my baby living. I carried her for 13 more weeks. It was a very difficult time, but how thankful I am to know that God loves us and that my baby Girl, Cathann, is with Him now. Thank you for sharing this.

Laura said...

Chelsea,

I'm so sorry for your loss, I had not heard of your news until today. Our family has been through a round of illnesses and haven't been at church much. You are such a courageous woman and I know writing about your experience will touch other people's lives in a way you can't imagine. Praying for you and Jeff.

audrey said...

hey, i love your blog! that photo of your baby's hands made me ugly cry...really, ugly cry. i'm so sorry! you're so brave for blogging about this. thank you for showing me that we can do all things through christ who strengthens us. what a great testimony you have!

Katie said...

I'm so so so sorry for your loss. Her little fingers and toes ARE perfect. *hugs and prayers* for you and your family

Sarah said...

I am sitting here at work reading your latest posts. Thank you so much for sharing with such openness and honesty. I have honestly no idea what you are going through, since I am not a mother. I hope you know you are an incredibly strong and graceful woman and a great example of Christ's love to the world. So grateful you will get to rejoice with sweet Jemma one day. Peace and love to you ma'am. Thank you for your story.

Kimmie @ Sugar and Dots said...

A shop owner that I adore posted your "Dear John" post on her Facebook wall today and said to click "newer posts" at the end. We have the same story. Well, not exactly the same, but I can relate to this so well. I'm attaching links in case you'd like to read my story- I blogged about it in two parts:

http://www.sugaranddots.com/2010/02/worst-day.html

and

http://www.sugaranddots.com/2010/02/riley.html

Praying for your heart- I've learned that it will never fully be whole again, but the cracks the pain creates leads you to friends and prayers that you never knew you were seeking. xo

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan