We thought we were done having children and ready to pursue adoption and/or fostering. But then, in August 2013, we found that God had something else in mind. Julie was pregnant and we were completely thrilled. In January 2014, we found out our newest addition was a girl- another surprise as Julie was positive she was carrying another boy. The pregnancy continued on; the picture of health and excitement.
We moved into our new home (we had been renovating since January) on Saturday, April 5th- just 19 days before Macy’s due date. Julie had her weekly midwife appointment the following Monday. Everything looked good and Macy’s heart rate was a strong, steady 136 bpm. Julie was 38 weeks gestation (full term) on April 10th and dealing with a minor stomach bug. She had noticed that Macy’s movements had slowed but attributed it to being so close to the end of pregnancy and the illness she was fighting off. By the 11th Macy still wasn’t moving much and Julie decided to lie down and do a kick count. After 4 hours and only 3 movements,our amazing midwife sent us to the hospital with her confidence that most likely all was fine, for some monitoring. Once we arrived, a nurse came in to hook Julie and Macy up to a fetal heart monitor. She searched and searched and could not find a heartbeat. She blamed it on potentially faulty equipment and went out to call the midwife to perform a quick ultrasound. In the meantime, she flagged down a doctor who is a part of the same practice as our midwife. He came in with an ultrasound machine and again, searched and searched. We will never forget his words- “You aren’t going to like what I am about to tell you….I can’t find a heartbeat…We will call for better ultrasound machine but we need a miracle…If there were even a tiny chance that she were still alive, we would be rushing down the hall for a c-section…I’m so, so sorry…” The floor dropped out from underneath us. The world stood still.
We called our parents and best friends to come be with us right away. We formulated a plan in how to tell our other children in a way that wouldn’t scare them. It was important to us that they be as involved as possible. They had a lot of questions and a lot of tears. They understood a lot more than we thought they would. We sent them with my sister for the night and made a plan for delivery. Julie previously had 3 unmedicated, complication-free deliveries. We felt terribly unprepared to be talking about induction and medication but felt it was in our best interest to get the process started.
Our baby girl, Macyn Jolene Lehman, was born silent but perfect on April 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm at 38 weeks, 2 days. She was 7 lbs. 14.4 oz. and 20.5 in. Our beautiful Macy was immediately placed on Julie’s chest. What we would have given to hear her cry or see her sweet little eyes look into her momma’s! No miracle. No breath. Nothing. Just her perfection and beauty. We counted her fingers and toes, covered her in kisses and washed her with our tears. We introduced her to our family and passed her precious little body around. We took photos, gave her a bath, painted her toenails, dressed her and tried to cram a lifetime worth of memories into 24 hours. We slept with her on our chests and whispered our love into her tiny ear. We handed her over to the funeral director and returned to our home to try to make some sort of a life for ourselves. Macy was buried on April 18th, 2014- Good Friday- but she had already experienced the awesome power of Easter morning! She is being held in His tender, nail-scarred hands.
We trust The Lord and His plan for our life and Macy’s too. We rejoice in the fact that she is safe, in His arms, made whole and waiting for the rest of our family to join her. But no amount of faith takes away the pain and sadness and aching we are left with. The Lord is gracious and faithful, He is kind. He met us there on that dark night in a cold hospital room and He continues to meet us in the cold, dark places of our hearts. He helps us to smile and laugh and He has given us a new sense of longing for Home. Easter will never be the same. Hallelujah!
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