Part 5

I woke up the morning of the 18th and was filled with joy and anticipation. Today was ultrasound day!  As I continued to get ready, the anxiousness set in and the battle in my mind began.
Do not be anxious about anything,

(not even for bad news about this baby)

but in everything by prayer and petition

(Oh Jesus, please let this baby be healthy and well and whole. Let the placenta be in a weird place)

with thanksgiving

(thank you God for allowing us to be interrupted by this sweet miracle)

present your requests to God

(would you please allow this baby to be okay? Please calm my racing heart. Be with me even now.)

And the peace of God

(yes! Jesus, I need this peace. Its the only one that is going to work)

which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

(Jesus, guard me now.  My mind is wandering to all the dark places.  Get it back, Jesus.  Even if we hear the worst today, I know you are good.  You didn’t cause this to happen.  You may allow it, but you didn’t cause it.  I can trust you.  I can trust you. Guard my heart. Go before me. Prepare the way. Please help this baby to be okay.)

Before we left, I remember standing in front of the mirror looking closely at my tummy.  I wondered who was in my tummy.  We were planning on doing a big gender reveal party with our kids.  I was going to take an envelope containing the answer -boy or girl?!?- to Party City so that they could fill up a big box with pink or blue balloons.  The anticipation was so exciting.  But, I also was wondering why my tummy didn’t seem so big.  I have always had a bigger than usual tummy when pregnant.  I wondered, had I finally started getting my weight under control?  But, as much as I wished that was the answer, I wondered if something was wrong.  I just pushed that thought over into Jesus’ hands.  I did voice my concern to Chris.


We drove in morning traffic.  Mostly in silence.  I had the same green shirt on that I wore to my sister’s baby shower along with black maternity shorts on loan from a friend.  Chris and I held hands and we listened to worship music.  It was the same road we had driven to deliver all of our other babies.  It was a sweet drive.  As we got closer to the exit, we prayed.  I remember just praying that God go before us.  I was nervous and could picture the ultrasound going both ways.  I could remember what it was like to see all my other healthy babies wiggly and moving.  Tiny hearts pounding away. Joy and tears colliding and exhaled relief literally heard by all in the room.

Almost within the same moment, I also wondered what would it be like to receive bad news.  What if…I couldn’t even form the what if because I could get really worked up thinking them through.  But what if?  Oh Jesus, be there if the what if is.

We pulled into the medical building where the ultrasound office was located.  We walked inside to the elevators and pushed the button.  Opening the glass door, we were greeted by my precious friend Bryce.  Now, let me tell you about Bryce.  We met a few years ago, but recently formed a sweet friendship with 8 other girls.  We are fierce friends.  We call ourselves the Blue Stocking Ladies (BSL for short).  We began as a book club, but through laughter, dinner, babies, heartache, and life we have forged an amazing friendship.

Bryce and her husband Clint have tried to have a baby for several years before being told that wasn’t an option for them.  I know that deeply grieved their hearts.  I know they have wept over this countless times.  But to us, while we knew they were sad, they looked at the next option for them – they wanted a family.  Adoption was the answer.  They bravely walked forward in this.  Bryce and Clint finalized their paper work, and moved into waiting for their baby right around the time we found out we were expecting.  She was so gracious and kind when we told her about our surprise pregnancy (anyone who has tried to get pregnant and has trouble NEVER wants to hear about a ‘surprise’ pregnancy).  Yet, she was so kind and gracious and excited.

I had this crazy idea to invite her to our ultrasound.  I knew she probably wouldn’t experience an ultrasound of her own, but maybe together she could share in this experience.  We could hope for her own little one that she will hold one day.  She was honored and excited to go with us.  I had warned her about my weird little side effects and told her she could opt out of not going if she wanted to.  However, I told her I would still love for her to go with us even if we found out bad news.  (Do you see how God was preparing me even though I didn’t know?!  He is faithful, y’all!)

{I asked Bryce to share a bit from her point of view.  I’m going to intersperse it where it fits.  Her writing will be italicized}

I am not sure I can adequately express the touch on my heart when Mary Lindsey asked if I wanted to go with her and Chris to their next ultrasound appointment. As a woman longing to be a mom and waiting, going through the stages of being pregnant is probably not going to be the road God has for me. And that’s ok because God has not taken the joy out of my heart that I will be a mom, just on the road He has for me, not my own. That is also why He gives us incredible friends to allow us to walk their journey beside.  Leading up to their appointment I wasn’t sure what I was feeling, excitement to be in an ultrasound room, seeing what the whole process was like and being with a friend to celebrate what God was doing in her life. Following Chris and Mary Lindsey to the appointment I prayed to God that the appointment would be peaceful, that His presence would fill all of us as we celebrated Baby Blanton.

So, we walk in and Bryce is there.  We hug and small talk.  I feel peaceful just seeing her.  I check in and then we wait.  We chat about the Oscars and how we are old women who need their sleep way more than finding out about who won what.  Then my name is called –

“Mrs. Blanton.”

A sweet girl who is in sonography school takes me back to my room.  She introduces me to the ultrasound tech.  We shake hands. This time I don’t have to get undressed. The room is dimly lit.  I some what feel like I’m in a spa – aside from all the medical equipment placed around the room. I hop up onto the table.  She has me tuck a towel into the top of my black shorts, and she squirts warm blue jelly all over my abdomen.

Walking into the room I was just filled with peace. Looking at the screen and waiting to see that little image appear, looking in awe of seeing Baby Blanton in that first moment.

“Mrs. Blanton, is this your 2nd or 3rd child?” the ultrasound tech asked.

“No ma’am, it’s my sixth.”

“Your sixth?!”

And, then I proceed to tell them how we have a 7 year old, identical triplet boys that are almost 6, and a 3 year old.  They stand there for a moment and look at each other.  We all have a laugh.

“Well then, lets see what this one is!!  Do y’all want to find out?”

“Um, I think so, but maybe if you could write it in an envelope.  We want to find out as a family.”

She scans and the baby, who is perfectly formed, comes in and out of focus.  I have seen many ultrasounds and I know with in a few seconds.  I look at her and say I don’t see a heartbeat.  She says, hold on and let me check.  She turns on the color part that checks blood flow.  She looks at me with tears in her eyes and says, “sweety, I don’t see one either.  I’m so so sorry.”  Chris jumps to my side to hold my hand.

“Would you like for me to tell you if it is a boy or a girl?”

“Yes, please.”

“It’s a boy.” (Chris declared it was a boy from the beginning.  My heart aches for him).

“Do you want any pictures?”

“Yes, please I would love some.”

“Okay.  I’m just so sorry.”

I don’t remember exactly what I said in that moment, but I remember talking to them about the peace of God.  I remember saying something about how I wondered if something was wrong with the baby, and how we had asked God to go before us.  I told them that God prepared me for this moment and that I am okay because I know he, our boy, is with Jesus.

They proceeded to tell me that he measured to be about 16 weeks.  I cleaned the gel off my tummy.  And tears had yet to reach my eyes.  I didn’t even feel numb, I felt peaceful.  I knew God was with me and would carry me.  I knew the tears would come, but for now I wouldn’t force them.  I got up off the table and hugged Chris.  I hugged Bryce and the ultrasound tech.  A lot of embracing after finding out news like that.  People can be so kind.

We walked out of the office.  I saw another pregnant woman walking into her ultrasound appointment and thought she has no idea the news we just found out.  I wondered how many time I had seen other women and I had no idea.

We stood in the parking lot and all just stated how we were in shock and sad and surprised.  And then I said I was scared because we have to get this baby out somehow, and I really really didn’t want to do that.  We had a midwife appointment following the ultrasound.  We hugged Bryce and got into our 4Runner.

I remember hearing Mary Lindsey ask if the nurse could find the heartbeat and a moment later seeing the nurse look at Chris and Mary Lindsey to have to tell there was no heartbeat.  In that moment there was this overwhelming peace that I felt just fill the room. I know it’s was God’s presence there to hold everyone in that moment of having no answers to why? That is when you realize what your reliance on God truly is; being in such a vulnerable hard place, knowing you will not get the questions answered but knowing God will carry you through those times. Words cannot be said in those moments.

Looking at Mary Lindsey and Chris in that moment of heartache, I saw an incredible picture. I saw Chris love his wife well, no words had to be said but to see the example he was in being by her side, loving her, truly knowing what she needed and putting that above himself. That’s why God gives us our husband and wives, to hold in the moments where words cannot be spoken to make the situation better, and hold each other knowing God will lead you out of the valley of that hard place.

Chris and I just sat for a minute in the car and prayed. I can’t remember if I started crying then, but I don’t think I did.  I think I started crying when I realized I would have to sit in the waiting room with other pregnant women.  Once the tears started, they didn’t stop.  I cried in the waiting room.  They were gracious and got me back to a room quickly.  I cried big time once back in the room.  Chris held me.  We waited.  My midwife walked in, she held me as I cried.  She told me she is just as shocked as we were.  We had just listened to his heart beat a few weeks ago.

We talked about how we probably won’t know a why.  We could get genetic testing, but that doesn’t always give answers.  We talked about how I would need to deliver this baby.  She said she wanted me to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday so we could tell our kids and get childcare lined up.  I had such a sickening feeling about delivering a baby that had died 6 weeks earlier.  We left that appointment and called family.

The next 24 hours were preparation and talking to loved ones.  A lot of prayers and walks around the neighborhood.  There was some kind of flower in bloom that made the air smell so sweet.  God’s peace was close even in the heavy shock and grief…

{Thank you, sweet Bryce for being there that day and for walking this road with us.  You were a comfort and joy to me that day and always will be.}  Would y’all pray for Bryce and Clint and their future baby to be?  The wait is long and hard, but it is so worth it.


Part 4

There were some gentle warnings along the way. I hesitate in sharing these because they are extremely gentle. One in and of itself is no reason to cause alarm. In fact, my midwife was completely surprised that we lost the baby. Since this is part of our story, I’m still going to write it, though.

Soon after we returned from the beach, I realized that I hadn’t felt the baby move consistently.  There was a point when I was about 16 weeks that I vividly remember feeling those first pop-pops of little kicks.  But, it was just one night.  And I never felt them again.  I was almost 20 weeks when we arrived home from the beach.  I got in touch with my midwife and she wasn’t concerned. She gave me many reasons for this – placenta placement, this being my 6th child, being very busy, etc. I definitely thought it was strange, though. She offered me to have an ultrasound that Friday, but I just had a peace about it. I didn’t want to come in because I would have to cancel my counseling appointment. It was also the Friday before Mother’s Day, and I knew I didn’t want that holiday to be marked by finding out anything bad – IF there was anything bad to find out. I seriously didn’t think there was ANYTHING bad.

Another thing I noticed was I had been gaining weight at warp speed. It was crazy. My midwife encouraged me by saying my body just knew what it was doing (pregnancy and weight gain) and embraced it. She told me how to eat (choosing better foods/ good water intake, lower carbs, but with a big cheat meal weekly), and I had been doing my best to follow her instructions. I thought it was working because I had stopped gaining weight. My belly wasn’t growing nearly as fast. But it did make me raise an eyebrow. “Chris, I think my belly hasn’t grown in a few weeks,” was one of the comments I told him before going into the ultrasound that morning.

Before you think I need to get another midwife, here is another amazing ‘God cushion.’  This precious midwife is apparently “THE” midwife in our practice. She has been in practice for over 30 years. Many women want her as their midwife, and can’t get in to see her. I just ‘happened’ to be paired with her after my first appointment was rescheduled due to the ice storms in February- I think God knew I would look back to find the holes, to place the blame. There was no blame to place.  And what good would that do anyway?

When I was about 16 weeks, the kids came down with a brutal stomach bug. This is the week I also remember feeling faint little pops/ beginning baby movement- or what I thought may have been little pops. Those first few movements are always so questionable. I was really busy taking care of all my people. Everyone got this bug except for me and my mom. Harper had it for like 6 days. I didn’t think it would ever go away. Chris was so kind because he really tried to protect me from getting it. He took care of a lot of the clean up so I could remain healthy. And I did. I’m so grateful for this.

We think this is the week the baby passed away.

We aren’t completely sure of the exact day – however, I do know I heard the baby’s heart beat at the midwife’s office at 16 weeks. I will always remember and treasure hearing it on April 14.  On April 17 (our 11 year anniversary) was when the stomach bug came to visit.

One of the last warning signs happened the weekend before we went in for our ultrasound when I began to faintly spot and have very mild cramps.  Nothing heart-stopping or dramatic.  I called the midwife, and since I was coming in the next morning, we agreed that I would just rest and take it easy that day.

That day (Sunday) proved to be one of the sweetest days.  Chris took all the kids to church.  I had some precious time with Jesus.  I prayed, I read my Bible, I worshiped Him – and during this time I was able to surrender my plans for this sweet baby.  I am not a theologian by any means, but I know prayer is a two way street.  I believe God prepared my heart in the best way possible by bringing me to a place of surrender through prayer.  I was willing to come to that place and offer my desires for this baby up to Him.  It was us working together through the Holy Spirit – Him reshaping and reforming, me handing over and releasing.  All of this worked to prepare my heart for loss (even though I didn’t know that was what He was doing).  God’s miracles are intangible.  Now, I did not know I would get the news I would get the next morning.  But He knew.  And He went before me, He ushered me to and through this very difficult season that would begin the next day, Monday, May 18.

Part 3

March brought on the second trimester – which I welcomed with my whole being. We were literally leaving the winter behind and it was so wonderful.


The sickness days would trade off with the okay-feeling days (I never feel 100% during pregnancy). And before I knew it okay-feeling days were coming more frequently than the sick days. I was feeling better!  I was able to function again.  I loved being in the kitchen again.  I loved putting my kids to bed again.  I loved dreaming about how we would fit this baby into our home.


I bought some new and fun maternity clothes.  We celebrated Easter and all Christ had done for us.  It was a full season with much expectation.

Easter family Image

During this sweet season, I was able to travel to celebrate my sister and the arrival of her baby!  I was so happy to be throw her a baby shower along with Emily!


We traveled to Alabama for a student ministry girls’ retreat and made it a family camping night (in a cabin with a bed – amen)!  I was also privileged to traveled to Denver, Colorado right after finding out I was expecting.  This sweet baby visited several states!

One of my most favorite memories from this time was traveling to North Carolina.  At 19 weeks, we took a family vacation to Oak Island. We went to celebrate my cousin getting married. During this time my sister and I were able to be together and pregnant! It was one of the sweetest times. We had always wanted to be pregnant together.

We bumped bellies and wore bikinis on the beach. We baby-talked cousin talk – ya know, like the babies were talking to each other- haha! We ate pizza and then about died of heartburn together. We whoa-ed together about how we had to sit up while we slept because of said heartburn. We talked about all of our pregnancy symptoms.  We bought our very own Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that only the two preggers could eat.  Everyone else better WATCH OUT if they even tried to sneak a bite.

One night, we went on the beach and took pictures – along with about 1,000,000 gnats. We laughed our heads off. We truly soaked in how miraculous and special was this night.  That night will be treasured in my heart forever.nancyray-oakisland-1010







These pictures obviously hold bittersweetness.  This time, this season captured forever. I didn’t know it, but our sweet baby was already with Jesus at this point.  I almost wish I could see the supernatural.  The angles that walked with me through this time.  The Father carrying me as He knew what was about to be revealed to us.  On our last day at the beach, I went for a walk alone.  I wept and prayed that the Lord would prepare us for what lay ahead.  I vividly remember praying those words.  I thought I was praying for our future in welcoming our 6th child.  Little did I know how much I would need Jesus to prepare me for what was to come.

The first time I was able to see these pictures I held Milly – who was about 6 weeks old. I wept for the baby that wasn’t in my arms. But I thanked God for this gift of these pictures. He knew all along what would happen. And looking back, I saw ways that he cushioned my heart for this news – the gifts He brought us even though there was great sadness.  Only that can happen when we know Jesus.  While the loss of our baby still hurts at time, I know it could hurt so much more with out Him.  Do you truly know Jesus?


Part 2

Morning sickness did not delay. Just as I was wrapping my brain around the fact that I was pregnant, the first wave of sickness knocked me to my knees again.

We did not tell the children I was expecting yet. There were many days of me laying on the couch or in my bed. I told the kids I wasn’t feeling well. I had a very intense gag reflex, and would be spitting in sinks and potties all through the day.  Peanut butter pretzels saved me and also quickly brought on the weight.

About 2 weeks after finding out, I was laying in bed one day and just felt so alone. I was crying and just so afraid. I felt so overwhelmed and didn’t see relief or sleep in sight for about 4 years. (hormones make one dramatic) I felt like I had just finished a marathon of baby raising, but instead of enjoying the finish line, I had been told to run another marathon.  I was desperate and scared.  While I would like to say I held firmly to scripture and all the promises, I was also grasping for someone who understood my desperation.  I came across an online community of pregnant women and I wrote :

Hi there! I just joined this community today in hopes of some encouragement. I found out I am expecting baby #6 about 2 weeks ago. Morning sickness has kicked in & I am very emotional, too. I have 5 other kids ages 6, 5,5,5,& 3. I was so happy to be coming out of the baby years & now it looks like I’m headed right back. I feel guilty for not being excited about this one…I have no idea how this happened other than God wanted it to! But, I’m still struggling. Will the excitement come? Would love some encouragement from mamas who have many kids- we definitely have the biggest family in my group of friends. Anyway, hi new friends!!! And thank you in advance!!!

I received so much encouragement from the women in that forum. Just knowing that I wasn’t alone comforted me greatly. Many of those women did go on to have healthy babies, and they had the same thoughts as I had. { I have to say that right after we lost our baby, I struggled with wondering if this is why I lost the baby. Did I not love him enough?  Could he feel my despair in the beginning? That mean Enemy (Satan) will do whatever he can to place blame. My thoughts did not cause us to lose the baby. So, if you are struggling to accept a pregnancy, please know that you are not alone. Keep turning those thoughts over to God. There is a great purpose in this little life you are carrying.}

I think from the shock of the pregnancy followed by morning sickness, I just had a tough time connecting with this baby. My  heart was crazy guarded.  Around 9 weeks, we went in for our first ultrasound. Chris went with me. I went into the connecting bathroom to change. As I stood in that bathroom with my bare feet on the cold wood floor, I remember praying – God, your will be done. We had experienced an early miscarriage in 2010. I think my heart was braced for finding out news like that. Guarded and not connected. However, there is nothing like seeing and hearing a heart beating for the first time. A miracle took place that day. My heart was instantly changed. Love bloomed right then and there and melted away the armor that I had built around my heart. Within an instant this baby fit into our family. This baby was ours. This baby was meant to be in our family. This baby!!! Instant hope was sparked, and the morning sickness and exhaustion was worth it.


That night we went home and shared the news with the kids. Part of me wants to show you the video of that night, another part of me cannot even bare to watch it again.  I will probably keep that video tucked close to my heart, but here is how it went down from my memory. We were at the dinner table.  The kitchen was a mess.  I felt nauseous and served chilled strawberry banana soup in our little Anthro latte bowls.  Chris shared Psalm 139 – about how we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God.  He talked to the kids about knitting. We told them that God took the time to carefully knit each of them together when they were inside my tummy.  We told them we had something to show them, and we showed them this picture and told them to guess who was in the picture.  They all guessed themselves 😉 – to which we replied no.  They guessed me and Chris…nope. no.  They were so confused.  Chris and I were laughing our heads off.

I finally said THIS BABY IS IN MOMMY’S TUMMY!!!!

Harper and Crews got it first.  Are you serious?!  Really?!  There is a baby in your tummy?!?!?  They ran over to me and hugged me and lifted up my shirt kissing my tummy.  They asked why my tummy wasn’t big yet (bless them! haha!).  They asked when the baby would be here, and how big my tummy would get.  I think one of them even ran around screaming.  Oh and Crews begged and begged to please go to the hospital so he can see the baby be born.  (Can you even handle the cuteness?!)IMG_8394

Everyone was so so happy! So much was redeemed that night.  Every day they would pat my tummy and talk to the baby. They were more gentle,  more cuddly and definitely kinder to me – always asking what they could get me because I didn’t feel well. (I should have told them I was expecting sooner!! LOL)


I am so thankful that God broke through the veil of my thoughts. That day will still be one I remember fondly. The day my heart melted and love and life (from all the kids) overcame despair (that this baby would be too much for me to handle). This was the day we truly welcomed baby #6 into our hearts and lives. The day we became a family of 8 in our hearts forever.

Part 1

If faith can move the mountains
Let the Mountains move
We come with expectation
We’re waiting here for You
I’m Waiting here for You

– Waiting Here For You Lyrics

Yes, Lord, we wait and ask for you to work through these words, this story, for your glory.

Saturday would have been my due date with our baby boy… Blanton Baby #6!  To celebrate this his little life, I will begin where I left off and tell you the story of Asa David. I pray your heart and life will be changed through his.  I know that mine has been.

Well, as you can see I last wrote in January with the idea I would post a weekly update on our family. Yay New Year’s resolutions! Another resolution of mine was to begin counseling – which I started on January 3.  I had planned on keeping up this blog even though my counselors had encouraged me to get off all social media to focus on God’s voice. (Best advice ever!) I did get off all social media – more on that to come, but wanted to keep a little history of our family this year. That is until I was halted in my tracks by some news.  I found out I was pregnant on January 21.

I don’t even know how to write this next part. I cannot even tell you the shock I felt when I realized I was ‘late.’ I grabbed a pregnancy test at Target while my heart was pounding out of my chest. I also grabbed other lady supplies because I was certain I was just late. We were preventing pregnancy. There were no ‘oopsies’! I think I calculated while standing in Target that Chris had the flu the week we could have gotten pregnant! TMI? I’m just letting you know how this was NOT on my radar AT ALL! We were saying goodbye to the baby phase (and when the baby phase was as intense as ours was, you happily wave it goodbye!!!) I was getting ready to start potty training Haven the next weekend! I was ready to grow WITH our family, not for it to grow bigger.  I had worked hard at losing the baby weight, and honestly I wasn’t ready for my body to go through all of those changes again.  Anyway, I think you get at least a tiny glimpse of the shock I was feeling.  I drove home and didn’t even unload the groceries. My kids were with my mom and I took the test. Yep. Pregnant.

I called Chris while shaking and crying and told him the news. He was so happy! I did NOT expect that. God’s grace. Another baby to add to our family!  Our kids would be so excited! Chris could see all the blessings!

My friend Christine called right when I hung up with Chris. She was so encouraging while listening to me hyperventilate and cry.  She,too, could see all the blessings this baby would bring!

I was still shaking thinking about all the difficulties that I thought we would have to pass through – morning sickness, taking care of 5 kids while pregnant, cooking, homeschool, a newborn, no sleep, exhaustion, etc etc etc. That was ALL I could see. The difficult completely had my head and heart in a fog. I was incredibly overwhelmed.

God certainly knew my heart – I openly voiced it to Him in prayer. I honestly was shocked at my own heart. The baby lover, the one who cried and begged and prayed for just one baby for her whole life (and really diligently for two years), did not want to be pregnant. Nope. I was done.

If you know our story, we have identical triplet boys that are 6.  I was delighted when I found out I was pregnant with triplets almost 7 years ago!  But after moving my heart out of the baby phase – wow, this was really different and very difficult.

Yet God was still so faithful through my ugly and uncontrollable feelings. I was overcome with all the emotions for many weeks. But God’s faithfulness didn’t change.

Counseling was such a gift. Just having started it two weeks before, He knew I would need Beth and Holly to walk me through this and to provide Biblical wisdom to guide me through these stormy seas.

This is just the beginning of this story. I decided to write it for a couple of reasons. I want my children to know that God is still a God Of miracles. I pray this story will glorify God and make His name great. I hope it encourages you in ways that are bigger than I can dream.  I hope it shows you when you know Jesus, there is NOTHING to fear.  I also hope it shows that every life makes an impact on this world- no matter the length.

And, last little note, if you have ever followed me before and my story series have bottomed out (ahem…5 children, survival.) Don’t worry- this entire series is already written and scheduled to be posted! 😉

Part two coming soon…