What Everleigh is Teaching Me

John 16:33 says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world." Knowing this I've always tried to prepare myself for hardship but I don't think anything could have prepared me for what was in store this year. It started off so well. We found out late January that we were pregnant and at our first OB appointment at the end of February, we found out we were pregnant with twins! We shared the news immediately with my in laws as my husband, Jason, was beyond excited and couldn't wait to share the news with his mom and dad. Around this time, Covid-19 began showing up in the news more frequently and by mid March we were told to work from home since someone in our workplace had tested positive for Covid-19. Like many others, this is where the terrible nightmare of 2020 began. Shortly after my father in law began showing symptoms of Covid-19 but because it was so new, no one knew what to do. We couldn't visit him because he was afraid he had Covid-19 and didn't want to infect us with the virus. By late April after a couple weeks of being quarantined and not feeling any better, my father-in-law decided to admit himself to the hospital. They immediately assumed he had Covid-19 even though it would take a few days to confirm this and within a day he was on the ventilator. This was so difficult on my husband because neither he nor his family could visit his father while in ICU as well as finding out that the mortality rate for being on a ventilator was very high. There were several conference calls and hectic days of scouring the internet for answers on how to approach Covid-19 and that took up most of our time leading up to May 6th, my birthday. 

My husband and I decided to get our minds away from the stress of all that was going on, we would celebrate with a nice dinner at home with ribeyes and crab legs, my favorite. We also had our ultrasound appointment the morning of my birthday. It was an early appointment so I woke up early and got ready while Jason stayed home with Zacharias. It wasn't necessary for him to accompany me because due to Covid regulations, only I was able to attend the appointment. We were getting used to this as it was a couple meetings in. As usual I Facetime chatted my husband and was showing my husband all that was going on while our ultrasound tech was checking on our twins. She quickly finished checking baby B and skipping over baby A and said for me to hang tight and the doctor will be in to see me. Immediately I felt my heart sink. My husband thought it was weird that the doctor was coming in to see me when previously before, because of the new Covid regulations, we didn't speak with the doctors face to face; instead they would just call me and I would talk to them on the phone while still there. When the doctor came in, she didn't say a word and quickly checked my stomach on the ultrasound and after what seemed to be an eternity, she turned to me and said she couldn't find the heartbeat to baby A, our little sweet baby Mila. I didn't know what to think, I was in disbelief. Time had slowed to a standstill and I was left feeling like I was in a free fall. Silence drowned out the doctor's voice and my vision blurred. I felt numb but a warm sensation along my face made me present and all I could remember were tears streaming down my face before I realized that I was crying hysterically. Our doctor said she was sorry and was very sympathetic. She said she would give me a hug if not for Covid. I heard a familiar voice, it was my husband. I looked at my phone and he was there, crying with me, asking me to come home. By the time I knew it I was home and my husband and I were in each other's arms, weeping and mourning the loss of our sweet little Mila. 

When I miscarried Mila, my world became very dark. Within a couple of weeks of my miscarriage, my father in law had passed away from Covid complications while in ICU. My husband was mourning the loss of his father, our miscarriage, and all the while planning a funeral service for his father. Days felt like months and months felt like years. All the color in the world had disappeared and all I could see were shades of grey. My little Zacharias could sense something was wrong and would cry and be upset often, sometimes comforting me just by laying by my side. My faith was hanging by a very thin thread and I felt like no one understood my pain, not even God. We were told by close friends and family to be happy that we still had Everleigh and we knew this to be true but for some reason, it was hard trying to mourn Mila yet still be thankful to have Everleigh. Towards the end of my pregnancy with Everleigh, the doctors were telling us that her head was measuring small and it could possibly be Microcephaly. They couldn't find anything that confirmed any abnormalities in the brain and as far as they could tell, her head was just measuring small. We tried to be optimistic but it seemed apparent that our baby Everleigh might have experienced some sort of brain injury when baby Mila had passed in utero. My husband and I prayed throughout the remainder of my pregnancy that our God would give us a normal and healthy baby and prayed that what the doctors had told us was false but when Everleigh was born my fears became a reality. They measured her head and it revealed that the measurements at birth are consistent with the measurements during our ultrasounds. In that moment, I felt like God had abandoned me. I just didn't understand why this was happening. Wasn't I faithful? Didn't I believe and pray enough? How could you forsaken me? These were the thoughts that ran on repeat in my mind.

The month following Everleigh's birth was so hard. I had so many thoughts of insecurity. Not knowing how my baby girl will live out her life. Will it be hard? What challenges will she face? Will she know who I am? Although I felt alone, all I knew was to lean on God and put faith in Jesus. I listened to worship music and slowly began placing my troubles at the feet of the cross. My heart began to thaw and a warmth began to  fill my heart. I started to feel the presence of God and the days slowly started turning into hope, hope into joy, and joy ultimately into trust in our Lord. God was showing up in unimaginable ways and speaking to me through the life of Everleigh. Glimmers of light and hope shined through the little eyes of Everleigh and I could feel that our Lord was with us. It was the little coos she would make when it was just her and me in the middle of the night. It was the way she stared at me when I was feeding her. It was in the way she fought to live while inside me after losing her twin and the way she was proving her diagnosis wrong when they said she might not be able to see or hear or eat on her own. Everleigh would do all of these things and I could hear my God say, I will do miraculous things through her and I will be glorified in her. It was in the comfort and love Everleigh had in her face when she looked at me and I could tell she knew that I was her mommy. It was the way that every time someone held her that she didn't recognize she would then cry but right when I took her, held her and whispered, "I love you, mommy is here" she would immediately stop crying. In the same way that she just TRUST me and my love for her is the same way that I should trust my heavenly Father, who loves me more than I will ever know. And that He will take care of me even when life is hard, even when it doesn't make sense or when I don't feel him near, He is with me.

So Lord,

"When I can't see, You lead me

When I can't hear, You show me

When I can't stand, You carry me

When I'm lost, You will find me

When I'm weak, You are mighty

You are everything I need" 

Photography by my lovely sister at NotesbyCheeia.com, Follow her IG at @notesbycheeia & @cheeiaphotography 


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