Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Frankie and Charlie

I think of them every day, throughout the day. Frances and Charles. Frankie and Charlie. Our children. In heaven.

It was mid November last year, and something wasn't right. I did a tele-doc appointment, and the diagnosis came back quickly, easily: Shingles. Only the doctor wouldn't prescribe me any "hard" medicines because my period was late. Could you be pregnant?, the doctor asked. I grimaced, and explained that I was 40... and childless.

How wrong we all were. The "Shingles" was a pregnancy rash. I was pregnant.

I found out the week of Thanksgiving and told Matthew Thanksgiving day. It was a day I'll never forget. We joyfully celebrated the holidays-  we were giddy, in fact- and I started knitting a baby blanket. We told immediate family selectively, knowing the risks associated with our geriatric pregnancy, and asked them to pray with us for this tiny miracle. 

Mid-January. Sonogram appointment. I started worrying when the sono tech grew quiet, then stopped talking. I started shaking when she wouldn't look me in the face. My world fell out from under me when the doctor walked in the room and quietly shut the door behind her.

We lost baby Frances on a cold winter's night, at home. 

- - - - -

Fast forward to spring. In the height of the Covid-19 quarantine, I got another rash. Not as severe as last time, but this time around, I knew it wasn't Shingles.

I heard a heartbeat in June. Due to the pandemic, Matthew wasn't allowed to come with me to my appointments, so I watched the screens alone as the tiny baby with its perfect heart beat developed. Your rainbow baby, a dear friend said. Everything was good, the baby seemed strong - a miracle at my 41 years old. The week we planned to tell the world, I woke up and instantly knew something was wrong.

Same sonogram room. Same doctor. This time she told us and then left the exam room, quietly closing the door behind her.

We lost baby Charlie on a blistering hot summer's night, at home.

- - - - -

I'm going to write, in the coming days, about my experience with loss and how I believe we can respond when loved ones are going through it. Things we can do (and should not do). Things we can say (and should never say). But right now it's still too recent and still too... hard. 

For now I simply needed to tell you about our sweet babies. I needed you to know the things that have happened FOR us, not TO us. And I hoped you would rejoice with us in the precious lives that I can't wait to see on the other side of all of this.

- - - - -

Revelation 5 talks about heaven - as a literal place, of course - and how every created being in heaven and on earth will vocally praise God. I truly believe I will stand with my children one day and hear their sweet voices as we all praise God, together, fully knowing and fully known (1 Corinthians 13). 

What a day that will be.


joanne said...

I haven't been here in ages and yet today I was drawn to blogger. Now I know why. This hit me in my weakest place, my mom heart. It is also my strongest place as I have had to bury my first born son. He died shortly after birth, full term, after a mishap during delivery. It is a heatache like no other. I send my heart love and strength to you and Matthew. Also the name of my son. I look forward to seeing your post and hearing your story of strength and survival. Honestly, I lost my faith that day and all these years later I am searching. My best to you. J

jtobias said...

God chose you and Matthew to be the parents of those two sweet precious children. Although your time together was all too brief, I am sure your children felt the love you have for them. So sorry for your loss, I have never experienced what you have gone through and you are in my prayers. My mother suffered the loss of two of her adult sons and she said recently that in all of her 94 years it was the hardest thing she ever went through. Know that there are others who know your pain and those of us that don’t know it personally, but we are all praying for your family.

KDub said...

I'm so sorry for your losses. I've also had 2 miscarriages (also over age 40) - it's heart-breaking and can feel so isolating. Thank you for sharing your story.

Betty said...

Sad and sweet. Those precious babies. Hugs.💕