Why Nora Lived and Lucy Didn’t

I am so sorry I haven’t written any blog posts lately. I have a lot of posts written in my head, I’m just struggling to find time to get them typed out. This post was supposed to be published on October 25th, but I wasn’t able to finish it completely so I’m only just now posting it! Even though I’m frustrated that I don’t have time to blog like I want to, I am savoring the fact that I have a new little baby and my two big boys who are taking up all my time. I still can’t believe I get to have three kids on earth. Here is the post from October 25th…

Three years ago on this day I found out I was pregnant with my third child; my first daughter. How strange that I just gave birth to my “third child; my first daughter” as the world sees it. Every year from October to February I relive my pregnancy with Lucy and in February I relive her birth. It is traumatic. I wonder if I will ever get to a place in my life where I don’t notice these dates, where the 8th of every month isn’t a sharp reminder of my daughter who isn’t here. I wanted her so much. This is my journal entry from October 25th, 2012:

I’M PREGNANT!

I can’t believe it! I’m so excited. This never gets old. A new baby for me to love for eternity. It feels totally unreal. How can there be new life so recently created in me right now? I feel like there should be fireworks or at least some applause!

Thank you, my sweet Father,

You give me so many beautiful gifts. Thank you so much for this new baby. I can’t believe you’ve trusted me with another life to nourish. Another heart to teach about you. I don’t deserve any of your blessings, yet you lavish them on me continuously. I love you. Thank you for my new sweet baby. I wonder who she/he is, what will she be like? look like? I am ecstatic. (I also have a lot to do.)

Three years later and I still don’t know who she is, what she looks like now, how her voice sounds or what color her eyes are. I still feel completely broken over her absence in my life. This year, as I relive my pregnancy and the birth of my third child I know it will be harder because now I know that she probably could have survived. I have my living, breathing baby Nora here in front of me as a reminder that Lucy could have lived. Ever since Nora was born I have had a hard time with this knowledge and I often wake up at 2 or 3 am frantically thinking through how I could have saved Lucy. It is a devastating feeling. The doctors should have done many things differently. When I asked to try plasmapheresis and IVIG they should have said YES instead of brushing me off. I should have kept pushing for the treatment instead of trusting them. I had no idea that they weren’t well experienced in this type of pregnancy complication, I didn’t know how rare it was. I should have left the state and asked for a second or third opinion. Why did I stay here and trust the doctors? My daughter is dead because of it.

I know that regret is always a part of losing a child. It is such a natural instinct to NEED to protect our babies that when they die we can’t help but feel guilty and regretful. Deep down, though, I know when I look back at my pregnancy with Lucy that I was doing everything I knew how at the time to save her. I did my best, I just didn’t know what to do. With Nora, I knew what to do and she is alive.

Elisabeth Elliot shared part of a letter that her grandfather wrote to her grandmother after their son was blinded by a firecracker accident:

Surely we CANNOT guard against all the contingencies of this complex life, and no one who has poured out life as you have for each one of your children should let such regrets take hold. None of us could be alive to the pressing needs of today if we should carry along with us the dark heaviness of any past, whether real or imagined…I know how sickening remorse is, if anyone knows; yet I also know, as you do, the lift and relief of turning the whole matter over to Him.

Whether real or imagined…. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just blowing everything out of proportion- maybe Lucy never could have been saved? But whether my regret stems from things real or imagined, all of it needs to be handed over to Him. When I start getting swamped with regret I need to made a conscious effort to turn my eyes from the past to God. During both of my high risk pregnancies I would regularly envision myself holding my baby and reaching out and placing her into God’s strong hands. In the same way, I need to place the past and all the regret that comes with it back into His hands. It was always in His hands to begin with. Not one minute of Lucy’s time in my womb was out of His control and He could have saved her. I just have to choose to trust Him again, even though He decided to let my baby die.

It is hard to understand WHY God let Lucy die. I prayed constantly throughout my pregnancy with Lucy for God to show me how to help her, to give me wisdom, to save her, to do a miracle. I had great faith and I trusted Him to take care of my baby girl. He let Lucy die and He let Nora live. I will never understand His decisions until I’m in heaven. It is comforting to remember, though, that God had all of my girls’ days written down in His book before any of them came to be.

Because of Lucy, I have been able to help many women who are in the same place I was in when I was pregnant with her. So many women with anti-kell antibodies (or other antibodies) are searching for help since their doctors don’t really know how to treat them, they receive incorrect information or they aren’t given all of their treatment options. They just want to know how to keep their babies safe. Every time I’m able to help one of these babies it brings a little more meaning to Lucy’s life and death. I think the main reason that Nora is alive and Lucy is in heaven is because God had different purposes for their lives. Lucy is still helping many, many babies here on earth and her own little sister is alive because she died. Just because Lucy is in heaven it doesn’t mean she is done influencing this world. Perhaps some people’s purposes are meant to be fulfilled while they are here on earth and some are meant to be fulfilled after they have passed on to their real home. I am seeing Lucy’s life purpose slowly play out as other grieving Mamas are comforted and babies are helped by her story. I look forward to watching the rest of Nora’s life purpose emerge as she grows (we’ve already seen God’s amazing power at work in her life.) Both Nora and Lucy are going to leave a unique, lasting imprint on this world, regardless of how long they were here. I’m so proud of both of my girls and I’m thankful that I get to be their Mama.

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4 thoughts on “Why Nora Lived and Lucy Didn’t

  1. I hate that your knowledge has come by such a hard road but I thank God that you are sharing it and advocating for other mamas so that they know sooner rather than later how to care for their babies. My heart rejoices that you have Nora to hold.

  2. Friend, I totally know what you are saying about all the things you now know that you wish you could go back and do differently. I wished so much that I had accepted my ob’s plan to induce Luke that Sat before he died. But I think if our life and death are already written in His book, those dates are set, despite our actions. I have to try to let go of any regrets about what I chose with Luke. I don’t think I could have saved him, no matter what I do or did. I don’t think you could have saved Lucy either. It is all in God’s plan even though it doesn’t make sense and it’s SO hard we both know that He knows best. There are perfect reasons and it will be set right in heaven.

  3. I remember laying on the hospital bed, waiting to deliver our still daughter, and I knew in that moment that I could choose to be bitter or I could choose joy and trust God’s love and plan for me. I am sure it seems like weakness of mind to some, but I think choosing faith in a time when faith seems impossible or even foolish is the greatest test of strength. I look at the transformation God has brought about in my life as a result of losing our precious daughter and I feel grateful. Not for her loss, obviously, but for this second saving of my life.

    I am glad that you have found healing as well in the After of losing a child. It is such a hard path to walk.

    • It is SO hard to choose to trust God when you know He could have prevented the heartbreak and it doesn’t FEEL like He loves you. but He is always faithful and good and thankfully His love always wins.

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