In October 2004, we were blessed with the news of a new pregnancy. I had miscarried a pregnancy two years prior, so we didn’t tell our older children right away. But when we did, their reactions were priceless. Connor’s eyes lit up like Christmas as he kept asking, “Really? Really?” Nate, always matter-of-fact said, “I knew it. I prayed for a baby.” At Christmas, we announced the news to our family. Life was good.
As 2005 rolled in, baby Hearron was growing perfectly. Nate and Connor LOVED the change in my belly. They would give it raspberries and tell it knock-knock jokes. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that when my belly shook after a joke, it was actually me laughing, not the baby. We spent a lot of time talking about what it will be like when we finally meet our baby. Will it be a boy or a girl? Of course, the house was equally divided on preference. Will it have freckles? A dimple? Will it like football or soccer? What color hair will it have? The baby furniture and toys came out of the attic and all the sweet little outfits were washed and folded neatly.
At the beginning of March, I started noticing small contractions. Never the one to panic, I breathed through them and waited until my OB appointment at the end of the month to mention them to my doctor. Despite the fact that the contractions had become stronger and more frequent, at this point, he wasn’t concerned but ran a fetal fibronectin test to be on the safe side. The next day, his nurse called me on my cell phone and told me to come in ASAP and to pick up steroid injections for the baby’s lungs. You are at risk for delivery in the next couple of weeks. What?! OK, now I was panicking. I was only 29 weeks. What is wrong? Why is this happening? There weren’t any answers to those questions, just yet. In the meantime, I was put on strict bed-rest for 5 weeks and given medication to help relax my uterus and stop the contractions. Looking back, those five weeks were a gift from God. My wonderful friends and church family rallied to help take care of the household and getting Connor and Nate to and from school. I got to focus on the baby growing inside me. I watched my belly jolt and felt every flutter. A dear friend gave me knitting lessons and had me well on my way to having a blanket knit by the time the baby arrived. I also had a lot of time to focus on the Lord during those 5 weeks of confinement. He and I talked a lot and, having all daily distractions removed, I saw His hand on my life and noticed every provision. I just knew he’d get us through this hurdle. And He did. At 35 weeks, my doctor gave me the OK to resume normal activities. Free at last, but everyday seemed like an eternity. I was convinced that the contractions, which returned promptly, would start labor and we’d be cooing over our new little bundle as soon as my feet hit the floor. Well, at my 39 week appointment, that obviously hadn’t happened and my doctor was pleading with me to induce. No thanks. I love the mystery of labor and the miracle of delivery. The baby will come when the Lord says it will come.
Two days later, as I walked toward the baseball field to watch Connor and Nate play, I felt my baby let go. Something was protruding from my stomach and, as I pushed it back in, I felt nothing. No resistance, no fight. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my husband. I thought that everything would be fine after a good night of rest. The next morning, though, I still didn’t feel the baby move. I convinced myself that once I stopped moving around, the contractions would stop and I’d feel movement again. Not the case. What if I eat something sweet? Nope, no kicks. I went to my OB for a sonogram. As I waited for my turn, I poked and prodded every inch of my stomach, praying for a response. By the time I saw my baby on the sonogram, I knew. The usually snippy sonographer took measurements without saying a word and then said, “Sweety, I’ll be right back.” Sweety? Did she just call me Sweety? She came back in, my doctor right behind her. He took my hand and the tears started flowing. I didn’t need to hear it, but he said it anyway. You have comforted your baby as much as you’ll be able to here on earth. Then they turned on the fetal heartbeat monitor and there was silence with a flat line on the monitor. Oh, the pain was too much for a mother’s heart. My husband was missing in action. The nursed called every number, even co-workers but couldn’t get him. I sat in an examination room, the same one I sat in the first time I heard this baby’s heartbeat, alone and heartbroken. Almost 2 hours later, Bryan called my cell phone. He apparently went to pick Connor and Nate up for their game that night but was greeted by my dear friend with a devastating look. I told him over the phone that our baby was gone.
Our pastor, my friend’s husband, drove Bryan to the office and came in to pray with us. I was struck by the absence of a miracle in his petitions. The Lord led him to pray for comfort and nothing more. Our baby was gone and no miracles were coming. Labor was induced that evening around 9pm. At 10pm, Bryan and I gave the most heartwrenching news to Connor and Nate. I remember Bryan’s anticipation beforehand, as he read the Word and prayed incessantly that the Lord would give him the right words. When Connor walked in to the delivery room he exclaimed, “This is so exciting!” Bless his heart. He had no idea. Those words were like daggers in Bryan’s heart and he broke down. I don’t remember anything but those sweet little faces after that. It was a week later that Bryan told me that the Lord spoke through me that night, not him.
We sent the boys home and Lincoln Charles Hearron was born shortly after midnight. He was so beautiful. Bryan and I held him for hours, crying over his sweet face and delicate limbs. The next morning, Connor, Nate, and some of our extended family came to the hospital. No one thought twice about holding Lincoln, counting his toes, and stroking his cheeks. He was and will always be a part of our family and an important part of our lives. We left the hospital without him, the same day we held him for the first time, but Lincoln has richly impacted our lives for eternity. We can’t be who we were before those fateful days. The Lord has shown us too much to deny the change. He has loved us through the most unlikely sources and provided for us in unimaginable ways. Oh, how great is His love and care. I am so thankful for all He has given me, even the sorrow, for sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better Eccl. 7:3 Amen!
– Jennifer Hearron
Glory Babies Group: Tyler