"These past 3 weeks have been difficult and heartbreaking. There have been times we have been crushed with grief, wondering how we could ever go on. There have been times when God has comforted us and given us a peace that surpasses all understanding. We have struggled with understanding why – why would we have to struggle so much with infertility? Why would God allow us to get pregnant, only to take her away so early? Why would I have to go through hours of painful labor for a child we knew we would never take care of? I have experienced every emotion possible. And I still have no answers. But I do know I am forever grateful for the hours we had with Reagan.
I found out I was pregnant on July 3, 2012. I laid eyes on her for the first time on July 18. She looked like a blob. A blob with a steady heartbeat. And we fell in love. Over the next several months, we watched as our blob developed into a beautiful little girl. Each ultrasound brought us so much joy; I could have watched her for hours. I still remember the first time we saw her dancing in my belly, bobbing her head side to side and kicking her legs. At only 9 weeks she had so much energy! Each time we saw Reagan after that, she was always dancing. So very happy.
I felt her kick for the first time at 15 weeks. Tiny little butterflies in my stomach. It was such a wonderful feeling. And she kept getting stronger. Andrew was able to feel her a few weeks later – and his face just lit up, so proud of his little girl. It was such a blessing for me to be able to watch him get so excited, knowing he would be such a wonderful father. And so we started dreaming of our future together – picked out purple for her nursery color and started painting color samples, registered for a ridiculous amount of stuff, bought and received an assortment of adorable pink and ruffled tiny clothes. We dreamed of Barbie dolls and tea parties, dress up and dance recitals, skinned knees and butterfly kisses.
And then, something happened. And God decided to take her home. Reagan was born on October 31, 2012. She weighted only 7 ounces. And she was perfect
We got to spend some time with her before we said goodbye. As we are sitting in the hospital holding Reagan, I am overwhelmed with how much I love her already. When you are dating someone, you almost have to earn their love. When you are married, you chose to love each other. But when you have a child, it just happens. Here is our beautiful daughter who has done nothing to earn our love – she was expensive, made me sick every second of the day for 14 weeks, made me tired, made my whole body swell, and caused us countless hours of worry and stress. And yet, we love her so completely.
It brought me so much joy to hold her and study her face, her tiny, little face. She had the most delicate features. She has Andrew’s eyes and long eyelashes – closed and peaceful. She had my lips and chin, and we decided in that instant she would have been an amazing pouter. She was a perfect blend of each of us.
When I first heard I was going to have to go through labor to deliver her, I thought it was some sort of cruel joke. Surely there must be an easier way. But it gave us those precious hours with her. And I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. It gave me a chance to see my baby girl, to hold her. I will forever cherish that time together.
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans for you, Declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.
God is in control. And right now, it is his plan that we walk this very difficult road. That we learn to rely on Him for strength and healing. It was his plan that I struggled with infertility. And it was his plan that I got pregnant and delivered her very early. And even though I cannot see it now, his plan is good. His plan is not to harm me. His plan is to give me a hope and a future. I don’t know why this happened to us, and I don’t think I ever will this side of heaven. But I don’t have to, because God does.
On the other hand, this was God’s perfect plan for Reagan. His plan for her was also to give her a hope and a future, not to harm her. Even when it’s not the way I would have chosen. From the moment He knit her together, this has been his plan. It is not my plan – my plan involved her here with me. But my plan is selfish and revolves around me and what I want. And I know deep in my heart that this was absolutely what was best for Reagan. As a parent, you have to think about your child’s needs before your own. And even though it breaks my heart, I know she is happier in heaven with Jesus than she would ever have been here on Earth.
Isaiah 57:1-2 says "The righteous pass away; the Godly often die before their time. And no one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the Godly who die will rest in peace"
Our daughter knows 2 things: the love of her parents and the love of Christ. She never had to experience the pain and heartbreak of this world. She will never have a moment where she feels left out and lonely, never have to worry about not fitting in or go through the awkward middle school years, never have tears running down her tiny little face. What a blessing, for a parent to know their child will only know joy. She will know the fruit of the spirit. She is worshiping her Savior who loves her even more than we do. And until we can join her, she is taking care of her twin brother or sister.
2 Peter 3:8 states With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. If I take this literally, and we live another 60 years, it will seem to Reagan as if we are joining her in just 41 minutes and 40 seconds. Hardly any time at all for her. Still a long time for us, but I just love the thought of her not having to be in heaven without her parents for a long time. Less than 1 hour. And then we’ll be there with her, loving her perfectly and worshiping our creator.
We get a picture of heaven from Isaiah 65. “"See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.”
And so I can cling to this as a promise from God, of what our future will be like once He returns. Although I won’t get to see Reagan grow up on this Earth, I will be with her for eternity…an eternity filled with joy and wonder, with Christ. There will be no weeping or crying. Infants will not die. And I will be reunited with the daughter I lost when she was just too young. We will get to see her laugh and smile. We’ll watch her dancing on streets of gold. And as we walk through the pearly gates into heaven, she can run to us with her tiny feet and embrace us for the first time."