I have written this story countless times in my head over the last year, long before thinking of beginning a blog. I narrate silently, as if some unknown reader will someday unfold my inner mind and care to see my thoughts. My memory is fallible, I well know, so now I write with physical hands.
Adam. Our son. We knew his name before we knew he was a boy. It was so Right. No other name could fit our firstborn so solidly, so perfectly. We watched his heartbeat on the ultrasound with such joy. He was real! He was inside me. He was growing.
We were nervous when we first decided to start trying for a child. Would we make good parents, would we know what to do? Wisdom is a precious thing. But then, so soon, we were pregnant and these questions became all the more immediate. We took the quick timing as a good sign. This pregnancy was blessed and all would go well.
Two weeks before Christmas, 2012, a specialist gave us bad news. Adam’s bladder was enlarged due to a blockage, little or nothing was passing through. Later tests revealed his kidneys were suffering from the back flow. They would have little or no function by time he would be born. His lungs would be underdeveloped from the lack of amniotic fluid his bladder was hoarding. If he somehow survived, he would need a transplant when he turned one. He wouldn’t be big enough for surgery until then. There was no chance. Yet we Hoped. We prayed. Our family prayed. Our friends prayed. I don’t think we did any Christmas shopping. I don’t even remember Christmas.
The next four months was a blur of doctors appointments and needles, some I knew would be so absurdly long, I couldn’t even glance toward the sterile prep tray (I asked Brandon later). The only bright spot was that we got an ultrasound at every appointment, so we got to see our son many, many times before birth.
Well-meaning people, unaware of our situation, said and asked the most normal things, and it hurt. A lot. As I got larger, and more obviously pregnant, it was “Is it a boy or girl?!?!” “Boy.” (polite smile) “Are you excited?!” “Yeah.” (fake smile) “Have you finished the nursery?” “No.” How do you tell an acquaintance you don’t want to prepare a nursery that the doctors say you won’t need? You can’t. You’d rather not breakdown in public. You keep it in. You go home and cry. And you wait for the next questions you try to politely answer. Striving to keep Grace in mind, knowing they don’t Know.
One of the hardest decisions was to stay pregnant. I felt like a bad person, a bad mother, to even consider of taking the doctor’s option of terminating the pregnancy. But then, Peace, I would hold on. We would hold on. Just in case. It didn’t feel right to close the door on a life who hadn’t had a chance to live. We wanted to meet him and still hoped for a miracle, knowing God could. Knowing God Loves us. Loves Adam.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Adam Branson Babb was born Friday, March 29, 2013. He was more than 6 weeks early for his May 15 due date. I had woken up from pain in the early morning. That very evening was supposed to be our first birthing class (which Brandon called to cancel once we were admitted to L&D). Googling “breathing techniques” during my first 2am contractions would have to do.
Our family stayed with us all day at the hospital. A friend read scripture and prayed next to me for hours. We are so blessed by the support. Adam was born that night, and we got to see his dark, shiny eyes open. I held him for his hour of life, surrounded by people who love us. The nurse called him a fighter for staying with us so long. It was Good Friday. And our 5-year wedding anniversary. We left the hospital on Easter, and took with us a unshakable sense of loss. It felt so Wrong leaving that maternity ward empty-handed.
I don’t know “Why.” I don’t. But I still trust Him. No, I’m not happy about happened but I can tell you this: God is Good. He Loves us. I know we will see our son again. God gave his own son on Good Friday to restore relationship with us. He understands and proves that good can come out of the worst.
I have been amazed at how many women have now shared with me similar stories of loss. I had no idea of how common is tragedy in pregnancy, lack of pregnancy and childbirth. I feel a bond with them. I begin to understand them and they, me. I know how to love them better now. My eyes have been opened to how much I can grow in my love of all people. I have a long way to go, but I also know where I’ve come from. I have learned how true is the quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” because I have been there. I have fought a brutal, unseen battle. And most likely, so have you.
May the Lord’s astonishing joy fill you to the utmost. May you feel His comforting presence and over-the-top, overflowing Love.
Grace and Peace,
July 29, 2014 at 8:34 PM Thank you mo for your bravery in sharing your families journey over the past year. The Lord has used your words to speak to my own heart. And congrats on this new life you are carrying. Your family will be in our families prayers!
July 30, 2014 at 6:26 AM Thank you for opening your heart such a gift revealing his light his strength in you both praying love miss annette
That Babb Family
April 2, 2015 at 5:19 PM […] Sunday we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. It was a bittersweet day as it would have been Adam’s 2nd birthday. I’m not sure that having Zachary made the day any easier than last year. If […]
May 23, 2015 at 1:54 PM Thank you for writing, and sharing, this beautiful story of Adam’s life!