Baby Addison.

August 25, 2009

It is with a lot of hesitation and mixed feelings that I begin this post. I must choose my words carefully. How to describe what has happened and what we have learned in the past week and a half…?

I never thought it would happen to me. I’m young, I’m healthy. I’ve never gone to the ER, I’ve never had any surgeries, I’ve never had any diseases, I’ve never even had any allergies. Surely my pregnancy would be smooth and problem-free, just like everyone else’s. However, after some progressive bleeding and cramping throughout the week, we suffered an early miscarriage in the middle of the night on Saturday, August 15, 2009. It was a crazy weekend of being in and out of the ER, praying with fervency against our greatest fears, crying until no tears would come anymore, and simply just being exhausted physically and emotionally. Though it has been a traumatic time for me and Steven, the Lord has graciously sustained us and even granted us so much peace and comfort through it all. Surely He knows our needs and our limitations better than we do and orchestrates every event of our lives in His perfect goodness and sovereignty to not only give us what is good, but to give us what is best. Do we see those things perfectly now? No. But already we have seen so much good come out of this tragedy and have found much to be thankful for.

The night that we lost our baby was a most surreal night. It happened around 4am, after which we sobbed together as we’ve never done, and then spent the remaining hours of the night with our pillows propped up against our iron-framed headboard, reflecting on the events of the night and the mysterious ways of our great God. That has probably been the sweetest moment of our marriage thus far. Not that our marriage has been long. But that night, as we talked through so many things, I felt such a unique bond with my husband, this man that I loved so much. He was truly closer to me than anyone else, had been with  me through my darkest moment, and could feel everything as acutely as I could. He was the father of my baby, my best friend, the one who had cared for me and held me up when I was broken, and the one who had bared his soul vulnerably to me by crying with me and for me and for our child. After calling our baby s/he for so long, we decided to name our baby Addison. That was the name that Steven had liked from the very beginning (I had other ones I liked better), and it just so happened to be a unisex name. Perfect for our little one. Baby Addison was here and gone in such a short amount of time, but we loved baby Addison dearly. Addison was our child, our precious and beloved child. We were so eager to hold our baby, to see what s/he might look like, what kind of personality s/he would have. This baby, still so young and not fully developed, had changed our lives completely.

The Lord used our little one to strengthen our young marriage, bringing us closer together than we had ever been before, allowing us to see the depth of our own love for each other in a way that we couldn’t see before. It’s so hard to see that love in the day-to-day, the mundane working and cooking and cleaning and working out and watching TV. But in moments like these, when our hearts are wrenched from within, our love is clear as day. What an incredible blessing to have each other through this difficult time, and more so, what incredible blessings to have our salvation, to have Christ to cling to. How much sweeter it will be the next time around–if God grants us a baby that comes to term–how much more we will appreciate this gift of life that God graciously gives to us. We are so thankful for the love and support we have received from family, and also from our church families–both at Lighthouse and Cornerstone. Even though it might seem awkward to share such intimate things with people we might not know as well, what a privilege to be able to develop these relationships on such personal ground. What an awesome chance to minister to people in the future, and just to be able to understand what it feels like to experience grief and heartache. And what a beautiful privilege it was to be a parent, even though it may not have been long! We got to experience the joys of parenthood, of caring for and protecting this child as best as we could, of delighting in this little miracle that we had created by God’s grace! What a joy… and this baby that we so longed to raise and to protect, had the privilege of going to be with the Lord earlier than most. Baby Addison will never have to experience pain, suffering, and the burden of sin. Baby Addison is free from sin and able to worship the Lord for eternity, and we look forward to the day we get to meet our baby in Heaven. Surely our loving Father can care for our little one better than we could ever have hoped to do here on earth.

This passage has been a soothing balm for my soul:

“Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth… For the LORD will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” {Lamentations 3:19-33}

Thank you to all the loving brothers and sisters who have come alongside us this past week… We have been so overwhelmed and encouraged by the love of Christ tangibly extended to us through you. So thankful for my dear Julie, who urged me to think on what is true. I’m reminded of it often when I am tempted to dwell on the horrible lie that I failed to protect my baby. Thankful for my dear Joan, who sent me Aunt Jane’s Hero at the most opportune time. It’s a lovely and uplifting fiction novel about a faithful Christian couple who loved the Lord through all circumstances of life–I so love the way Elizabeth Prentiss writes. Thankful to everyone for their love… one sister wrote that she knew God’s grace would be “mysteriously sufficient” for us, and surely it has been just that! Mysteriously sufficient.


5 Responses to “Baby Addison.”

  1. tia Says:

    “Oh,” said the gardener, as he passed down the gardenwalk, “who plucked that flower? Who gathered that plant?” His fellow-servants answered, “THE MASTER!” And the gardener held his peace.
    (George L. Prentiss, The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss)

    i love you, cathie…

  2. Jules Says:

    What a sweet, God-honoring reflection upon what the world would call a tragedy. Clearly, our Lord allowed for you guys to share a little bit in His suffering, as you gave your little one back to the Giver of all life. Love you!

  3. court Says:

    Honestly, as I’ve told you before…I’m soooo soo so encouraged by your writing. Thanks for sharing a little window into your heart that I too may learn to praise God in all circumstances.


  4. Ji Young Says:

    So completely blessed and encouraged by this, Cathie…God is good.

  5. Joyce Lee Says:

    hi cathie,

    i haven’t had a chance to talk to you in a long time, but reading this has made me remember some of the encouraging convos we had way back when. it is a blessing to see all the faith i saw in you be put into practice.

    miss you, and love you.

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