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.