I'm Expecting... But Wasn't Expecting This.
I was born to be a mom.
Of all the roles I have, of all the positions I’ve held – there is no experience quite like being a mom. It fulfills something within me that I’ve always longed for and dreamed of. The Lord blessed my husband and I, three years ago with my daughter, Rinelle, and I am forever grateful… She is ridiculously awesome. I knew she wouldn’t be my only child because I also have a desire to have a large immediate family. Although so much is going on in my world, being a mom will continue to take precedence.
My husband and I always agreed to depend on the Lord to be our Provider in all ways, including contraception. We leave Him in control of when He chooses to breathe life into my womb and bless us with more children and we continue to depend on Him for this. I’ve always said, people can bring their bodies together all they want, but it is the Lord who gives life.
I was experiencing continuous abnormal bleeding for weeks and thought I might be having a miscarriage, but I was praying for a miracle. My doctor told me to take a pregnancy test and there it was, on August 6th - confirmation that I’m expecting! I felt all warm and filled with joy. I was sent for repetitive bloodwork on separate days and the results showed HCG levels and progesterone levels on the rise! I started getting excited because all signs were showing the baby was growing despite the bleeding! My little Rockstar was strong!
On August 17, 2020, my OBGYN had me scheduled for what I expected to be my first sonogram appointment for my second child, but it gradually turned into quite the nightmare. I went into the appointment a little nervous but more so filled with excitement. I laid on the table in anticipation of hearing about this baby that I’ve been tracking and should be the size of a blueberry by now. I remember how my first sono appointment went with my last child and this one wasn’t going the same way. Due to safeguards put in place for the pandemic, my husband was unable to be in the room with me, so I was alone. The tech didn’t turn the screens to me. She didn’t start explaining anything (because these techs know no one can read the white noise screenshots). She wasn’t all giddy. No pictures were printed… Then after what felt like an hour, she says “I don’t see anything in your uterus.” My heart dropped and I thought well… it’s pretty early. Maybe I need to come back next week. Then she tried to assure me not to worry and that she would show the radiologist her findings and return. The radiologist then had her return and take more images for clarity. They contacted my OBGYN and got on the phone with me letting me know that the scans show that I have a live ectopic pregnancy and I need to go to the emergency room immediately.
“Gabrielle, your baby is growing on the outside of your uterus.”
What?! Can’t it just be put back inside? How did it get out there? How does this even happen? I guess this explains the bleeding. What is going on, Lord? All types of questions and emotions came over me. Mostly, I felt a wave of sadness and disappointment, but I still didn’t have a full grasp on what this meant for me.
My husband drops me off at the entrance of the emergency triage area. Another step of this process I needed to face on my own. They got me into a gown, hooked me up to IV, took tubes of blood, then I waited. Waited for hours then I was taken for the second sono of the day. During this sono my OBGYN called. She started to explain what everything meant and what would need to be done. Now it all began to sink in… Gabby, your blueberry-sized baby is 7 weeks and 1 day old. It is growing in your fallopian tube, right at the entrance of your uterus. If it continues to grow in that location, your fallopian tube will rupture, causing a ton of internal bleeding, which will be fatal for you both. It will have to be removed surgically because it has a heartbeat of 114 bpm and will not respond to medicine. Surgeons will need to remove the tube along with a small piece of your uterus in order to clear the ectopic. All I really heard was… My blueberry baby has life, it almost made it to my uterus, but it didn’t and soon it will die.
All I could do is cry. I tried to pray, but in my mind I could only say “Oh God…” and would burst into tears. I know the Holy Spirit was doing the translating but at the moment I wasn’t able to encourage myself that way. I was grateful for family and friends who were concerned for me and called, praying for me and trying to keep a smile on my face. But I was devastated and I had no distractions. When my mom passed away over 3 years ago, I had people around me constantly. I was broken then, but the constant influx of friends and family (along with the baby growing inside me) helped keep me together. But here, I was alone. Not allowed any visitors in the ER, I had to sit alone with my feelings. I had time to marinate in it and my heart broke. Broke for the blueberry baby I couldn’t save. Broke for the little heartbeat that would be silenced. Broke for the rising hormone levels that I now need to watch drop to zero. Broke for the void I’d feel within me. Broke for my daughter who was really excited to share her room. Broke for the faith in a miracle that I wanted to grow but felt it slipping away. Broke for the friends whose pregnancies would progress but mine would be taken away. Broke because I didn’t understand why it had to be this way. Why ectopic? Why couldn’t my body just expel the pregnancy naturally early on so it wouldn’t be alive and growing daily with a strong heartbeat. I was hurt. I am hurt.
Around 4:30am on August 18, 2020, they moved me into my private room. I kept thinking, how am I supposed to sleep? This is the day my baby dies. My emotions flew up and down randomly like a roller coaster. I got as comfortable as I could (trying to remember not to bend my arm and cut off my IV drip to avoid the annoying beeping) and I thought of what could distract me from the events that were to come, so I continued my Blacklist binge until I fell asleep. A few hours later, a team of doctors visited me and gave me the run down of the procedure and let me know they would come for me at some point later on in the day. I know there were many people praying for me. I could feel it. I took a few phone calls and answered several text messages then I had a call from my Mother-In-Law that really lifted my Spirit. She said, “Gabby, what do you want? What do you want to happen? Ask God. Tell Him! You pray, then I’ll pray.” Ashamed to admit, but this was the first time I worded a prayer to God out loud during this whole ordeal. I felt such heartache that I didn’t have the strength. But I started talking to Him and just telling Him what I wanted and how I felt. I spoke loudly and honestly about how devastated I am and how I know He could perform a miracle. I know He is all-powerful. I know He can move this baby in the right position if He wanted to. He would make it so that the surgeons went in to remove the baby and it was no longer where they initially saw it. All glory would go to Him because that is an impossible situation but what is impossible with man, is possible with God. But I admitted that doubt exists because over 3 years ago I had faith that the Lord would save my mom and not take her from me, especially while I was pregnant. I believed. I prayed and fasted and He still chose to take her to Heaven. Ultimately, it’s always His will that I want done. So though I believed He COULD do it, there was a little concern if he WOULD do it. But I thanked Him in advance for answered prayer. I thanked Him for my Blueberry Baby and I thanked Him because I knew He cared and He loved me. As I continued to pray, that doubt lessened and lessened. So much so, that when the doctor came in to give me the final run down, I begged them to run one more sono. To check for final placement exercising my faith. Though my doctors wanted to do it, insurance and management did not.
So I relaxed and surrendered everything into God’s Hands and around 4:15pm, transport was waiting at my door. I shed a few more tears as I held my lower belly over where the baby was for the last time. I waited in holding and met all the doctors and nurses to be in the Operating Room, signed all of the consent forms then off I went… Down the maze of corridors to a completely sterile room (that smelled incredibly clean) where they called the time (17:25) and got me on the slender OR table, positioned my arms and let me pray. When I was finished, I felt a cold liquid flow into my arm… Then I woke up in recovery completely drowsy, tugging at the tubes in my nostrils, glanced over at the clock (20:50) and I thought, ‘Wow. That took long.’ At this point, since I was in my own room, I was allowed one visitor. So as soon as I got back to my room, hubby was there to see me.
There was a peace that I felt covering me after the surgery and honestly I expected to feel something different. I thought I would feel empty and depressed but I didn’t. I then remembered the scripture, Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpassed all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I realized that through this situation I got to learn and make this incredibly popular verse, more real to me. I got to see what each piece of that verse meant and how incredibly true the Word of God is. I spent my time in the ER being anxious…but God said instead of doing that, “pray in supplication”. Supplication is the action of asking or begging for something earnestly and humbly. I certainly did that. “With thanksgiving” which is really a symbol of your faith because you thank God in advance for something. “Let your requests be made known to God…” because He cares. He wants us to ask. In His sovereignty, the ultimate decision is up to Him and we need to trust that He makes the best decisions, but we need to be honest with Him. Let it all out and surrender. What He then promises is His “peace”, which I did not understand in such a time as this, but I really felt it cover me and I was able to smile. I didn’t even cry that night. I slept well and the time alone in the room felt like a mini break which I desperately needed.
My emotions were less like a roller coaster and I felt much more stable. I still have my moments where I think about it all… especially while writing this… and I cry again. I know this is normal and I will be triggered like that from time to time going forward. But that’s just it… I feel like I can move forward. I have a hope. I have my joy. I have my peace and I am very blessed.
I now have a deeper appreciation for new life, pregnancy, labor and birth because the process is nothing short of a miraculous supernatural event! The Lord not only has a woman’s body prepare for this process monthly, but He breathes life into her womb, He has ovaries produce follicles which send out an egg or few. When released, He has the egg travel into the fallopian tube to hang out for a day waiting for one sperm to fertilize it. He then makes sure that egg hardens so no other sperm can get in then it divides and travels for about 3 or 4 more days doing an immense amount of work along the way until it enters the uterus. He then has it complete its next job, which is to attach to the lining of the uterus, completing implantation. He then thickens the lining of the uterus, seals off the cervix and baby’s home for the next several months is all in place. An absolute miracle. If this was something people controlled, we would mess it up every time. God is completely amazing and His work is unfathomable. When the Lord blesses me with my Rainbow Baby, I will remember the amount of work it takes to make everything go right and praise Him for getting me through each step of that process.
If you have suffered an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, my prayer is only of encouragement. You have no reason to be ashamed, although I understand the sentiment. Grieve as you see fit, but do so healthily. Feel the feelings but don’t stay there too long as depression can trap you. The Lord does not promise to answer every single request in the way we want Him to. He allows hurt for various reasons, some of which, we will never know or understand. But He is sovereign, all-powerful and all-knowing. He does not withhold good gifts from His children but His ways are not our ways. What makes sense to us, is often times not what’s best for us. But pray, in supplication. Surrender to Him. Let His peace hug you and comfort you. You will be able to move forward in a life that He intends to grant you success and prosperity in Him.
If you’ve had the blessing of never experiencing this type of loss, praise God. So many things we do daily and we take it for granted as if nothing could go wrong. I could have never imagined this situation happening to me before it did so I encourage you to count your blessings. Realize that we breathe involuntarily. Our hearts beat on its own for as long as the Lord allows. We do nothing to contribute to this so we can easily forget the walking miracles we are.
Thank you for reading and sharing in this experience with me. Many would wonder why I would want to write about such a sad experience but I feel like people need and can relate to my transparency. This is also very therapeutic for me as I need this outlet in order to healthily move forward. I also wanted to document and remember this time in my life. A time I worried. A time I cried. A time of sadness. A time to pray. A time of supplication. A time to have faith. A time to grieve. A time to feel peace. A time to commemorate my 7 week and 1 day old Blueberry Baby with the 114 bpm heartbeat. This baby came into my life and literally took a piece of me with it. I’ll never look at a blueberry the same way again. I guess it’s all part of what it takes to be a mom. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. I was born for this.
Blueberry Baby Gilbert
July 12, 2020 – August 18, 2020
Gone But Never Forgotten