Our Story Continues On

It seems like we are in the exact same place that we have been since grief first entered our lives nearly five years ago but that’s not entirely true. It is similar but different because with each new life is a person – an unrepeatable, unique person – with a story to share.

Similar to my struggle to write about Marian Grace, I found myself uninspired and unable to write about latest beloved little one, Dominic Michael. I can only wish this post was my announcement that I have a healthy baby due in November but rather it is a recount of my son’s short life so it is not forgotten. This is about Dominic Michael and his life – his irreplaceable, beautiful, eternal life.

Almost to the exact day, only a year later, I was pregnant again for the ninth time. Lent had just begun and we had just bought our first home. #adulting

And for months, I had wondered if I would ever be pregnant again. A year doesn’t seem like a long time but when you are in the midst of yearning this deep desire it can feel like an eternity.

Dominic’s story may be similar to his siblings but in many ways is different. My inner dialogue didn’t change much and I quickly felt guilty because I had gotten laxed on taking my prenatal vitamins and other meds my doctor had prescribed. With so many prenatal losses, hopelessness began to creep its way into my heart despite having most tests came back ‘normal’ and no solid explanations as to why there has been recurrent miscarriage. It felt like the odds were stacked against us but from the moment I saw those two pink lines, things were different – new life had begun and became a family of eleven.

For this pregnancy I enlisted a few more prayer warriors, especially from other young mothers whose friendship has brought about healing in ways I am eternally grateful. Their love and compassion for me as a person, a friend and a mother has healed the hurt done by many others.

While many complain about morning sickness and fatigue, I hoped and prayed for it. In my twisted logic, I thought if I had overwhelming morning sickness and/or fatigue then it meant that everything was just fine. The morning sickness never came and things didn’t turn out just fine but I know it’s not because I didn’t have morning sickness.

Also, I opted to not have my blood drawn every other day like all my other pregnancies. My doctor said we have done the blood work so many times before that we know what is ‘normal’ for you. I was hesitant but agreed it would be less stressful to go in once a week and just let it be. This took a lot of patience and trust.

Before every blood draw, I received the Sacrament of Anointing. So much peace and relief followed. It was all in God’s hands. I always knew that but after being anointed the grace was overwhelming. Little doubt could penetrate the mantel of grace. All my draws were beautifully increasing – thank you, Jesus! At the moment when we would begin to hear bad news, we got good news. My hormone levels reached record high numbers for me. I was blown away and overjoyed.

A friend brought flowers to our children’s gravesite on Mother’s Day

Many who were praying and even my doctor and her receptionist shared that they just had a ‘feeling’ that things were going to work out this time. I found myself beginning to share in the same sentiment.

I began wondering what the following months would be like and how different our lives would be to finally have a baby to hold and raise.

I thought about creative ways to ‘announce’ our rainbow baby. I thought about which room in our new house would be the nursery. I thought about how my pregnant belly would look for my 30th birthday this summer. I thought about Dominic and my niece, Michaela, being only a month apart and growing up together with Gabriel. I thought about what this baby would look like. If he would have Rex’s cute nose or my eyes. I thought about finally being the parents standing before our church seeking baptism for our child.

Easter Vigil 2017

But just as quickly as my thoughts of the future came, things took a turn when we had an early ultra sound appointment during Easter week. We were hopeful and excitedly waited for my doctor to come into the room. I was almost nine weeks pregnant, still super early but should have been able to hear or see a heartbeat. Sadly, there was no heartbeat. My doctor compassionately touched my hand and said I’m so sorry. She gave Rex and I a few minutes to be alone.

I wept. It doesn’t get any easier hearing this news, even though we’re all too familiar. Rex led us in a prayer of thanksgiving for our little one. As we walked out the doctor’s office all of our hopes and dreams of raising our sweet Dominic diminished knowing that he has joined his siblings.

Again God has broken my heart open. Through my grief, God reveals Himself and calls me into a deeper relationship in Him. This is the Year of Trust and I know all too well that, “God’s ways are higher than my ways.”

Yet, despite all the loss and grief, I haven’t lost hope. I believe that, God-willing one day, we will be holding and raising a beloved little one. Call me naive or unrealistic but my God is the God of the impossible. And no matter what life brings, we have nine personal intercessors… for now and we will open heartily welcome however many God blesses us with, yet still hope to raise at least one here on earth.

“For nothing will be impossible for God” Luke 1:37

Praying for you,

Rachel

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12 thoughts on “Our Story Continues On

  1. Katrina Lewis

    Your path of love, surrender, hope and faith is indeed so beautiful! I’m so very heartbroken that you will not get to raise Dominic here on Earth, but what a crowded and joyful mansion you will have in Heaven for all of eternity because of your openness to God’s plan…Nice precious children! Your testimony is beautiful and inspirational, while exceedingly heartbreaking. We continue to pray for you to be blessed with little ones to raise for His kingdom on Earth! Congratulations on the bittersweet birth of perfect little Dominic Michael into the arms of Jesus and congratulations on buying your home!

    Reply
  2. Margie

    Oh my dear Rachel,
    I must admit to crying as I read your note. I feel your incredible pain. My heart aches for you and Rex. We are praying and we KNOW that one day you will be holding your baby in your arms. I know it will happen. Please continue to be strong, as I know you will be. I know how hard this is for you. We are praying for you.

    With love and prayers,
    Margie, Lee and Nora

    Reply
    1. R&R

      Margie, thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. It means a lot to us. Hope you’re having a great summer!

      Reply
  3. Kateri Neal

    Rachel and Rex …. I just over you both so much …. keep living in the light of HOPE and not in the darkness of despair!!!! Your story inspires all of us to trust in God’s unending love and mercy! God bless you!!! So blessed to call you friends!

    Reply
    1. R&R

      Thank you so much, Kateri. We are incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such a loving and supportive church community that has help shape us into who we are today. Much love to you and your family!

      Reply
  4. Terri

    Heartbreaking once again, but I’m always praying. That He will lead you and guide you, and bless you with His Grace. We love you both so much!

    Reply
  5. Marian Ravelo

    Thanks for sharing. My daughter Mady told me about this so I searched and read and cried…..
    God bless u and Rex!

    Reply
  6. Jered & Jenni

    Rex and Rachel,
    We’re so very sorry for your loss – I can’t think of anything else more heartbreaking than your words today. We love you so much and continue to pray for you & your family! I know God has a plan in all this, but I truly struggle to see what it is (as I’m sure you do, too, sometimes). You two are one of the most Godly couples we know, and you inspire the rest of us to be better people. You’re beautiful – inside and out – and your witness encourages us to face the truth of the struggles behind your ever-present smiles. Thank you for your stories, and your faith & endurance. Today your story makes me long for heaven, when we will meet all your precious children face to face!

    Reply
    1. R&R

      Thank you so much for your kind and beautiful words! Sometimes I struggle because it seems unusual to be shrouded with profound grief yet be joyful and smiling. But it reminds me of the saying, “Joy isn’t the absence of suffering but the presence of God” and God continues to do incredible things in our lives. I pray God continues to use us as His instrument for His glory. We love you and appreciate your prayers, know that we hold your family in ours too.

      Reply

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