On Friday evening, our church family hosted a baby shower to bless us as we anticipate the soon-arrival of our Baby Nine. Besides numerous women & girls from our church family, I had my sweet Gabriel, mama, sister-in-law, and one of my nieces there with me. It was nerve-wracking, honestly, for me ahead of time, thinking about attending a baby shower. For someone who has experienced infertility and/or loss, baby showers are extremely difficult things, almost regardless of the circumstances (if you’ve worn those shoes, you likely know what I mean). So I was very thankful when God gave me showers of blessings there and wiped away many of my nerves replacing them with joy.
Of course, my best friend offered a beautiful prayer of thanks and blessing, and included all nine of my children in the prayer by name (except Baby Nine… she doesn’t know his name yet…) and that got the waterworks started… and then my mom did the “word of encouragement” (basically a 5 minute time of encouragement for a mom, tailored for me and my life) where she used Hebrews 12:1-13 as her springboard, talking about my journey, my children, my grief & pain, and the strength God has given me to run the race thus far along with an exhortation to continue resting in His strength to continue running the race He has set before me , which got the waterworks going again… and then it was my turn to read some Scriptures & prepared words of thanks. By the time it got to my turn to speak, I was already crying (and so were plenty of other ladies ) so it wasn’t such a big deal to just keep dabbing my eyes and sniffling a wee bit.
I had half a dozen ladies come up to me later thanking me for what I said, and telling me they are so glad God is so honored in our family’s story, and such. I’m thankful that my words were a blessing, and that God enabled me to thank a small portion of people who have walked alongside us and upheld us over the last couple years of grief. God is good, and His mercy endures forever!
As I thought about it, I realized, though, that I need to share my words here as well. So many hundreds (in fact, probably thousands) of families have prayed with us over the last few years of suffering God has brought into our journey, and only a handful of them were present at the shower. But these words need to go far beyond the circle of saints that were with me at Friday’s shower. If you have walked any steps with us on this journey, these words of thanks are for you. If you have prayed with us and for us, this is for you, with sincere and utter thankfulness.
My Thank You Words for Baby Nine’s Shower
Read Psalm 77:1-14
Read Psalm 78:4, 6, 7
A year plus a few days ago our son Hosanna was our seventh baby born to heaven. A few days later, many of you gathered in the frost on our front lawn for a prayer vigil (and some gathered via distance in their homes to pray). At that time, I never thought I would be HERE—especially not just a year later.
So many of you have walked this long, hard road of grief alongside us. For over four years, actually—but especially for the last 2 ½ solid. THANK YOU.
Grief is so isolating—infertility and miscarriage and death are so isolating—being a bereaved mother is so isolating—so thank you for coming alongside of us, alongside of ME, in recent months and years to weep and mourn and grieve with us. Thank you for praying with us through so many ups and downs, hopes and griefs. And now—I can’t believe I get to thank you for REJOICING with us!
It honestly feels so different to rejoice now after grieving for so long. It feels so different to hope now after despairing. It feels so different to carry life inside of me after having deaths occur inside of me. Thank you for wanting to celebrate and rejoice and glorify God with us because of our youngest son, this little boy, this brother of yours. THANK YOU.
It’s been such a long journey to get to this place (and it certainly isn’t over yet).
Four and a half years of marriage. Nine children—seven of them who live in heaven. Countless medical consultations and ultrasounds and other diagnostic procedures, many hundreds of vials of blood drawn, iv infusions every other week in 2010, four trips to Mexico for medical treatments that aren’t even FDA approved, sixteen+ months of daily injections (as many as three injections every day, but currently just two), a minimum of half a dozen oral medications and supplements every day, billions of tears, prayers, hopes, fears, doubts… One experimental medication cleared for use in treating recurrent miscarriages in the United States in January, which God allowed me to actually start using in January—and one nearly miraculous little life that finally took root in March that God has continued to nurture and grow and bless and prosper ever since.
How many people have prayed for us to have another living child? How many prayers have those countless people each offered on our behalf? The gates of heaven have literally been hammered and bashed by these prayers. God has heard. And He has extended extreme mercies. To us. And to you. He has made us blessed. He has made us happy.
Thank you for being the arms of Christ to us in so many varied situations. Thank you for being warriors with us in prayer. Thank you for seeking to hone your skills of weeping with those who weep. Thank you for jubilantly rejoicing with those who rejoice.
Your efforts in all of these things have not gone unnoticed. We appreciate each of you, and we are confident that your reward in heaven will be great.
This isn’t the end of our journey by any means. But it is a beautiful, even balming, chapter in the midst of what God is speaking in the story of our family’s life. We are thankful—so very thankful—to have you upholding us as we continue seeking God’s wisdom day by day, pursuing His greatest glory in the story He is speaking for us.
We were blessed by many church families in the form of a wonderful carseat for our new baby boy, and I also came home with a couple bags full of new things for Baby Nine: some super darling clothes, blankets, homemade bibs, stuffed animals, organic bath stuff for baby and pampering bath stuff for me, puzzles, a book… it was so surreal to sit there opening presents. I really felt like an imposter, a fake, definitely like I didn’t belong. Even between opening gifts, I kept thinking, “why am I opening these gifts? shouldn’t someone else be doing this?!” It was surreal and odd, but in a good way.
It was so great to see Gabriel participating in the anticipation of his newest baby brother at the shower, and to see just a small portion of people there who have been with us (or at least watching us) on our journey thus far. So while it was nerve-wracking to go to my own shower, it really was a great blessing on so many levels. It blessed me, it blessed others, and the gifts people bestowed on us will certainly bless Baby Nine. God is kind, and I am so thankful for His abundant blessings.