It’s Difficult to Breathe

It’s been a very tough weekend for us. We appreciate the extensions of love and care. But it is painful to tell the story over and over again so we thought we’d share it here and invite you to read it.

While Randall was in Guatemala, Kelley made an exciting discovery. Something to the tune of six pregnancy tests confirmed that we were having a baby. I came home from Guatemala and found a wrapped gift waiting for me that contained a tiny baby onesie that read, “3 is for quitters!”. We were thrilled. Shocked, but thrilled. And, after a few days of secret keeping, we decided we were just too excited to keep quiet and shared the news with the kids (who were ecstatic) and our families.

The week went on. We immersed ourselves in baby prep – apps, websites, magazines, etc. – started talking about names, discussing where we’d deliver. Weird cravings, nausea, newly-pregnant-mommy stuff… The kids would kiss the baby goodnight and tell everybody how they weren’t supposed to tell anybody about the baby yet. Rosie’s famous line was, “I can’t tell you that my mommy’s gonna have a baby.” She’s not great at keeping secrets, but then again… no female in this family is.

The last couple of pregnancies have started with scares. Spotting. Emergency room visits fearful of tragedy. Both Grady and Rosie are here despite those moments. They were able to fight through to become healthy babies. Eli too. His life was in peril before he came into this world, as most of you know. We are so grateful for the health of all of them.

Midway through the week this week, the spotting started. We kind of expected this. But it continued to get heavier. And on Thursday it became concerning. We had friends coming in town. As soon as they arrived, we left our kids with them and met the doctor at the hospital to see if we could get some insight into what was happening. The ultrasound showed a little blood in places there shouldn’t be blood. But really, it didn’t show what we were looking for. Which was a tiny little baby. Kelley had some bloodwork to check her levels of pregnancy hormones. The doctor called us later and said her level was 33, which was low. Very low. We knew we were losing the baby.

Our amazing friends stayed the weekend. They cooked dinner. They played with our kids. We sat around a fire, listened to music, drank beer and soaked up the time spent with our dear friends. Kelley was sick all weekend. Friday night was the worst of it. She had intense labor like pains (I guess it was labor). But we held out hope that the follow up bloodwork would show a miracle.

We went to church this morning, which was difficult to say the least. Not many people knew what was going on but it was obvious that we were sad about something. We weren’t ready to say anything until we had gotten the results from the follow up labs. But Kelley knew this morning when she woke up that things had changed. She recalled not feeling pregnant anymore. And this afternoon, the test results confirmed it… we’d lost the baby.

We told the kids that sometimes babies are sick. So very sick that it’s better for them to go on to Heaven. And even though it’s sad for us now, because we wanted to meet this baby and to hold this baby, we get eternity together in Heaven, reunited with our Father.

Eli took it the hardest. We wondered if we should’ve told them about the baby. But, here’s the thing. This baby is a part of our family story. We can’t ignore it. Life is joy and sorrow. Today our family was reminded that our Father is the great comforter. That he is able to reach into our darkness and pull us from the depths.

I’m not real sure where we go from here. We don’t know how to feel. Overwhelmed, for sure. Feels a bit like drowning. Like in ‘How He Loves’… if grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. It’s difficult to keep breathing some moments. Partly due to the pain and mostly under the influence of the love of our Father.

Over the next few days we’ll be taking some time as a family to begin healing. If you find yourself in a moment where God brings us to your mind, take a second to pray for peace and that Kelley’s body heals without the need for surgery.

We love you very much. We are thankful for your concern and care for us and for your sacrificial love for us, especially to Jeff, Jodi, Beth, the Grove Elders, Dr. and Mindy Castor, Kari and Mitch, the band and our families. You are special to us and we are grateful.

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15 thoughts on “It’s Difficult to Breathe

  1. Although there are no words that really help at this time, I am so sorry. I do know how you feel – this has happened to us twice. Kelley (and Randall), I so know the hurt and in reading this, it brings back so much of it. Victoria would have been 4 when our second daughter would have been born and 6 with the third. Something I would suggest, go ahead and name “him”. I had to have a D&C w/ the first, so we know it was a girl. So we have Heather. The other one we do not know, I passed that one naturally, so “he ” has a name that could go either way, Ronnie.
    We, too, contemplated to tell Victoria or not, but so glad that we did. She was able to understand a little more why we were so sad and me, crying so much. It is so sweet now though, because she will talk about them by name at times. We can be driving along, and all of a sudden, she will say “Look Mama, I see Heather and Ronnie in the clouds!” (And again, I start crying!) The sad part is, she does want to know why God didn’t let at least one of them stay with us so that she could be a big sister with someone to play with. And all I can reply is that God”s plan is always the best. Maybe it was so that I could minister to you guys as you go through this.
    I know it has been a while since we saw you or spoke with you, but I think of you often and I pray for you guys. And of course, try to keep up with you on FB! I love you guys, and will continue to pray for you. Let yourself grieve – it is ok. Please call me, Kelley, if you need to talk to someone who has gone through it. But I know, too, you have a wonderful support group around you up there. Please keep me updated. Love you, both.

  2. I am praying for you right now, for peace and understanding and comfort, that only God can give:
    A God that knows what it feels like to loose a child.
    I am so sorry,

  3. My heart is full of saddness for you! I have been in your shoes and I know the hurt you are experiencing. Please let me know if there is anything I can do besides pray for you. I have already and will continue to do that! You have an amazing family and I thank God for letting me have you in my life! You are a blessing to me and to others! We will continue to lift you all up in prayer.

  4. As i’m sure you no , Only time and God’s love lessons this pain , My prayer’s are sent for all of you.Try to hold to the present ,He was in your past and will be in your future . The only place the holy spirit can be is right now with you

  5. Randall & Kelley, I am so sorry to hear this news. I just want you to know that I am thinking of you and praying that God’s unending love for you and the love of friends and family will comfort you and your family and help you through this very sad and difficult time. We miss you guys a lot and think of you often. God bless you always.

    Patti Keith

  6. Randall & Kelley, We are sorry to hear the news and just wanted to let you know that we will be praying for you. We know that it is hard but we also know that God’s love will carry you through. God bless you in this difficult time.

    Mike & Kim

  7. Randall and Kelley, I am lifting you all up in prayer and asking God for his precious love to start Healing. In Christ Love,
    Bev Sessoms, Todd Sessoms Mom.

  8. Kelley & Randall, Our hearts go out to you and your family. You are all in our prayers and thoughts. I know you have many surrounding you right now but please know that if you ever need a moment for yourselves to grieve that we would be happy to have your children come visit the park and the elk here at our home. Anything you need…please do not hesitate for one moment. May the Lords arms be wrapped around you and there be only one set of footprints while you heal….let Him carry you. With love, Mindy & Tim

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