The only time I ever heard Hazel’s heartbeat was two years ago today. It had been beating the weeks leading up to that day, but I hadn’t gotten to hear it. I was laying in the ultrasound room at the hospital staring up at the ceiling, with its faded poster, (a beach scene with a palm tree and white sand) and fluorescent lights. I heard Hazel’s heartbeat as the technician moved the ultrasound over my abdomen. We had been bantering just moments before, my awkward attempt at diffusing a difficult situation. But she had gotten serious and quiet. Her eyes darted from the machine to me and back to her screen. I couldn’t see the monitor, but I could see her face. I could hear her typing. I glanced from her to Tim. No one was smiling. The intense pain that had brought me to my knees earlier in the morning had been replaced by a strong ache that never seemed to subside, and a growing feeling of fatigue and weakness and dread.
Tim held my hand as they wheeled me back to the emergency room, but he didn’t look at me. I saw a tear on his face. When I was back in the room, he crawled into the hospital bed beside me and held me. We both cried. Ten minutes later the doctor came in and told me the news I had read off Tim’s face.
You’re pregnant and there’s a strong heartbeat, but unfortunately your pregnancy is ectopic and it has ruptured. Your abdomen is filling with blood. You have significant internal bleeding. This is an emergency. We are calling in a team to do surgery as soon as possible.
God cradled me during the weeks and months that followed that horrible day. Friends, family, and church members rallied around us as we began to rebuild our lives. Countless meals were delivered. People watched our kids. One of my sisters in law came and sat with me for a few days, just so I wouldn’t be alone when Tim went back to work. Two weeks after it happened, I was back to work too.
The loss of Hazel was our catalyst moment.
In the absence of Hazel, God had planted a desire for change. During my recovery I would watch my children and ache to spend more time with them, to be more involved, and to live life beside them instead an hour commute away. Tim and I, no longer content to live the status quo we had become accustomed to, talked and prayed about our next step. When we were approached about moving closer to my family and closer to Tim’s job, our need for change overrode the fears we had of such a huge upheaval. A plan was set into motion that, little by little, has led us here.
Two years later and I see God’s handiwork woven perfectly through our story and I continue to see it lived out daily, especially in the past two months with my father. He was there all along, guiding our path with his perfect timing, providing for our needs and preparing us for the challenges He knew were coming.
I know I’ll always miss Hazel. I’ll mourn her until the day I die, but will rejoice with her in heaven when we finally meet face to face.
Until then, my sweet girl, know that you are loved. We miss you each day and we long to see you. We are braver, stronger, and more dependent on our Father in heaven because of you, and for that we are grateful. You changed us. Your life mattered. Your death mattered. You mattered. I love you! Mommy
To Christ be all glory!
If you want to read Hazel’s story, here it is.
A year ago I had a the privilege of sharing with our previous church family how God had shown me joy through our journey.
Thank you all for your continued prayers. Our big week starts tomorrow with Dad’s first day of radiation. Please pray all goes well. Thank you.