This is the 26th anniversary of the night that I really acknowledged the loss of mine and Tom's first conceived child, Phillip Andrew.
We were so excited to be expecting a baby! "He" was named Phillip Andrew- months before any test would be able to determine a sex. We "just knew".
I was due July 16th. My best friend Angie, and another good friend Crystal had also found out they were pregnant... we were all due the same day!
Such different results for each of us! (Crystal had Josh early... July 3rd or so... Angie had Michael 3 weeks late... in August. He was a whopper. 12 lbs. 14 oz!)
Tom and I had gone to a Steve Taylor concert on a college campus in Dallas that night. I remember the beautiful pink and blue sunset clouds... all the while I was cramping. I had actually miscarried late in the night of the 29th, though I suspect the baby had been gone for some time. ( I had been having contractions for almost a week.)
I was new to "The Faith Movement". Tom kept telling me that if I only had enough faith, the baby would be OK. I just had to Believe It.
It was a sore trial to my faith when the bleeding started.
We were at a laundromat doing laundry. I sent Tom next door to a 7-11 store for "pads". He came back with panty liners and was too embarassed to go back. Besides, there should only be spotting... I would not lose this baby, if I had enough faith.
There was so much blood, after we had gone to bed. I got up, used towel after towel. Tom slept on. I had wanted him to wake up and HELP ME. Help me believe this was not happening. Help me shore up the deficit of my faith, which must be... since I could not see how a baby could survive so much blood loss.
Eventually, the bleeding slowed to almost nothing. I put the towels into the washing machine and soaked them in cold water. I went back to bed.
The next day, I tried calling our Pastors, and was never able to reach them. I needed answers... where had my faith gone wrong?
Tom and I were invited to a new years party at my Aunts house. It was the regular Bible Study night, and the group had wanted to see in the new year... 1985!
We got to Aunt Jean's house. Tom went into my cousin Mike's room and started playing video games. I had tried all day to think of a way to talk to him about our... MY... loss. Every mention of bleeding brought out a quick "Just have FAITH!" from him.
I was put to work in party preparation.... peeling vegetables and making dips. Setting out chips, arranging tables. When the evangelist who taught at the Bible study (Johnnie Lou) arrived... I took her aside. I needed to find out what I had done wrong.
How could I have had more faith? How could not speaking of losing the baby reverse what had happened? I needed answers.
It took Johnnie Lou very few minutes to see I was devastated, and the baby was gone.
She called Tom out and made him listen to me.
I cannot remember now if we stayed until midnight or not. Within a few days, a big snowstorm struck. Out playing in the snow with Tom and the boys... the cramping began again. I went to the bathroom and passed all that remained in my uterus... a fist sized clump of hardened tissue.
It took me several months before daring to try again to conceive. We did, though... and the baby that came was Rebekah Rene.
Had Phillip survived... Becky would not be Becky.
God has his plans... and his restorations. I went on to have four more sons after Becky.
It took me a very long time to realize it was no lack of faith on my part that kept Phillip Andrew from sticking in my womb. It was all God's divine appointment. He has His plans... and one day I believe I will meet Phillip.
At the time, it was one of the greatest losses of my life.
Our momentary grief is nothing in God's grand scheme of things. But our grief is none the less, grief. We mourn our losses.
And a new year dawns.