Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our Little Baby

I want to share with you about an incredible experience. In the middle of January we found out we were expecting baby number five, and we were all very excited. Shortly after, I got an email about an Ignation retreat for women. I felt a real desire to go but was hesitant because I had never left GMAC overnight. Since I was pregnant I knew that unless I went now, I wouldn’t go on a retreat for at least 3-4 years. I tent to get really attached to our babies.

Fast-forward a few weeks we find out through an ultrasound the baby didn’t have a heartbeat. The baby should have been 8 ½ weeks but measured at 5 ½ weeks. It was not a total shock, as this was my fifth pregnancy and I tend to know my body pretty well. I just didn’t have any of the symptoms I usually had when I was pregnant. I was really tired at first, but a few weeks before I had stopped being so exhausted. Although it wasn’t a shock, the sorrow was still deep. It was bittersweet; this child was a gift from God, His child for us to bring up. My mom always said as a parent your job is to get your children to heaven. I found peace in having an intercessor in heaven.

The thought of going on the retreat was on the back burner at this point. I didn’t want to have a D & C; I didn’t want to deal with an invasive procedure unless I really had to; I wanted things to happen naturally. I was told by the medical professionals that since I was so early in the pregnancy, it would be like having a heavy period. As I patiently…well impatiently waited for the miscarriage to take place the thoughts of going to the retreat re-merged. Crucian Dad was very supportive so I finally decided to go on the retreat the day before it started. At the same time symptoms of the miscarriage had begun, I was a bit nervous about going away during this time, but the retreat center was only 30 minutes away.

I had never seen the women at the retreat before, I casually knew a couple of the nuns serving on the retreat, and I also meet one of the priests. He is a priest from the Minor Seminary that “U” is at and he had been told by “U” about our pregnancy and miscarriage. We meet him a year ago but he didn’t recognize me. When I told him that I was U’s mom, he immediately hugged me and said, “I am so sorry about the baby. “ Saturday evening, I was resting on a sofa waiting for the next talk when Father saw me and asked if I was doing okay. I said that I was fine but a bit tired. He placed his hand on my head and gave me a quick blessing. I was very pleased to receive it and thought to myself that was nice of him.

When I got up the next morning, I received a “gift”, the baby’s body came out intact, within the yolk sack, not as just shredded tissue. I was overjoyed yet so overwhelmed. It was 6:30 in the morning; I am at a silent retreat, among strangers. I placed the baby’s body in a Ziploc bag that I had in my purse. I didn’t know what else to do; I couldn’t bear the thought of flushing our baby down the toilet. I went to the Chapel, prayed for a couple of minutes. I was so overwhelmed; I walked out and wailed for some time, it was tears of sorrow and joy. I wasn’t sure what to do; I thought of asking Father if he would bless the baby’s body and maybe I would dig a hole somewhere…. Not sure of what to do, I asked God to figure it out for me. About an hour later I see Father outside the Chapel so I went to speak with him. He asked me “Did you sleep well?” I said “as well as could be expected.” Then he asked “Did anything exciting happen?” as if he knew. I told him what happened, he said he would bless the baby and we would bury the baby, and we were on holy grounds. I was so happy, God had it all planned.

Father made all the arrangements, the Lady who ran the retreat center (Dianne) found an amazing spot for the baby. During a period of rest Father came and got me and asked if one of the sisters and Dianne could join us. I was fine with that. Dianne picked the most amazing spot, in front of a huge statue of St. Mary with her arms open wide in front of a little lake. Father blessed the body with holy water, prayed, read from the Gospel. I was able to place the baby’s body into the ground. Dianne had a rose plant ready to be planted on top, so we would have it as a marker. Although it would have been wonderful to share this with the family, it might have been too much for GMAC. I was able to mourn in peace, and experience the joy of God’s love. What a blessing, what perfect timing, He had a plan, I just had to trust.

We want to thank all the family and friends for your prayers. The graces from the prayers is what is getting us through this so peacefully. Thank you for all the support and kindness you have shown to us.

*I just want to mention that I am not against having a D & C; this is just what I personally felt called to do