I was staring up at the drop ceiling lights for some time. “Don’t worry,” she reassured me, “sometimes it takes a while to find it”. I knew that wasn’t true. At least it wasn’t true for me. I had gone through this exact same routine at least 20 times over the years. It doesn’t take this long to find a baby’s heartbeat. I lay there on my back for several minutes as the nurse slowly and systematically moved the doppler across my lower abdomen a few times. Then she called in another nurse who did the exact same thing. I continued staring up at the outdated ceiling tiles as the thought kept going through my head, “This can’t be happening. This isn’t happening.” I tried to hold on to any glimmer of hope that was within me.
I was ushered to the dark ultrasound room. I laid down and immediately fixed my eyes on the screen. My neck was craned in an awkward position but I couldn’t take my eyes off my baby. I just remember the tech honing in the baby’s heart and clicking on it. A flat line ran across the screen and no sound of the heart beat. She repositioned the doppler and tried again. Nothing. She did it one last time. She took the final measurements and she was done. She wiped off the gel and helped me sit up. The frantic part of me wanted her to try one more time. The rational part of me slapped myself across the face and I was overcome with emotion. My baby was dead, all hope was gone, and my heart broke in pieces.
You can never be prepared for sudden tragedy. It was supposed to be a routine OB visit. One that I’m usually in and out within 20 minutes. As I sat there in the little side room, I went into emotional shock. My body turned numb and my vision was foggy. I felt like I was going in and out of a dream. As my mind came back to focus, we were still there and the doctor was still talking to us and explaining our options. This was really happening. I held my belly that carried our lifeless son and wept.
That was Friday, February 21, 2014. We decided to have our son delivered on the following Monday. We could have scheduled it earlier, but we decided to wait. I needed time. I wanted these last few days, this last Sabbath, this last weekend with him. I wanted to carry him a little longer as I sorted through everything that was happening. I spent a lot of time in prayer and claiming promises in God’s Word. That dark weekend, I found renewed hope and courage in God. I knew He understood my heart and He gave me hope that this wouldn’t be the last time I’d be near my son. As I carried him for the final time, I asked our Almighty God to carry me. He drew very close. In my moment of deepest despair, I put my trust in Him and I found peace.
Our fourth son, Seth Aaron Ramos, was born on Monday, February 24, 2014. I carried him 19 weeks and he quietly passed away a few weeks prior. As a memorial, we made a small memory book for baby Seth. We included his ultrasound pictures from when he was alive among other things. Each of the boys made a special card for him. It is a little book that we, as a family, treasure.
By faith, I know I will get to hold our youngest son again. However, I recognize that getting there won’t be an easy road. It hasn’t been easy. Grief comes and goes. This life is filled with a myriad of trials and temptations. As we are nearing the end of time, Satan is attacking with full force and he will use anyone and anything to bring us down. But through this experience, I get a taste of God’s undying love, because He created us and we are His own. I understand a glimpse His desire to carry and protect us until we are made whole. And by faith I know Christ longs to be reunited with His children. It is a Love worth trading our selfish, sin-sickened lives for.
So, as I go on life’s sometimes difficult journey, it is my desire to ask God to carry me each step of the way. No matter what I lay at His feet, I know I will never be a burden to Him and I am confident He will never let me go. I believe His love is enough to take each of us through even the roughest, most painful trials of this life. In the end, it will be worth the wait.