It is well with my soul
by Marrisa & Tyler Kenworthy - May 15, 2020
April 23rd, 2019. I pulled that familiar white and purple stick out of a loud, crinkly package, took the test, and waited for results. Three minutes went by; my heart was pounding as I flipped the pregnancy test over to see two pink lines in that tiny little window. My eyes filled with tears of joy and thanksgiving to God; He had entrusted us again with another little life. You see, I had prayed for that baby. Prayed for another little one to join our family; little did I know that God had great plans for that tiny life and that precious baby growing inside of me would grow Tyler and I’s relationship with God in ways we could not even fathom.
Tyler and I chose not to announce the new member of our family with the entire world like we had previously done with our first two children; we look back now and see that as God working. Although we decided not to shout our wonderful news from the rooftops, we began to share with our family and a few close friends. We all rejoiced together over this precious life, began dreaming about what this child may be like, and began preparing ourselves for the next few weeks that early pregnancy brings.
Fast forward to six and a half weeks into my pregnancy, we were vacationing as a family in California when I began experiencing lower abdominal pain. Thinking it was a muscle strain from a workout or round ligament pain, we continued to adventure and wrap up our vacation. The pain did not go away and that small voice inside of me urged me to call my midwife. She immediately ordered an ultrasound in fear of an ectopic pregnancy. Waiting in that familiar ultrasound room where I previously saw our first two babies full of life and movement, I found myself again with my heart pounding, praying that I would see a heartbeat on the monitor for the third time and also telling God “it is well with my soul” no matter the outcome. The technician found the heartbeat and it was as strong and healthy as it could be. I praised God in that moment. The cyst had ruptured causing the unfamiliar pain I was experiencing. All was normal, baby looked wonderfully, and I was able to see our child’s strong, healthy heartbeat before I was supposed to. That pain, the unscheduled ultrasound, and being able to see the heartbeat sooner than I was supposed to, was a gift from God. I was to have a follow up with my midwife at my first appointment.
The day of the first appointment arrived, the day we were going to announce with everyone a new baby was going to be born into this world in nine months. We had been waiting for May 28th, 2019 to arrive for eight and a half weeks. Tyler was home from shift that day hanging out with our other two children; this too was God’s hand at work, because as a firefighter, his schedule can be unpredictable at times. I kissed and hugged everyone goodbye and was off. I could not wait to hear the heartbeat of our baby, see the growth that had taken place from the last ultrasound, take home the pictures of our thriving growing baby, and begin documenting this adventure of growing our third tiny human. I was all checked-in, my name was called, and the nurse began documenting stats and information from the first few weeks of this pregnancy. The nurse left, my midwife came in. Let’s just say we were equally ecstatic to see each other. We chatted for a few minutes and then it was time to hear and see our baby. I saw our baby but did not hear our baby; neither did my midwife. Maybe the volume on the machine was turned off or maybe she was not checking for the heartbeat yet, I thought. That was not the case. My midwife looked at me and with her sweet, New Zealand accented voice said: “Marissa, I am not seeing the heartbeat, let me call to get you in with an ultrasound technician.” Tears began rolling down my face as I told her “it’s okay, I know God has a plan whether that heartbeat is hidden or that heartbeat has stopped.” All I knew is I wanted God to be praised in that situation for He had and has been so faithful to me, how could I not praise Him. The nurse and the midwife left the room. I called my husband, with tears rolling down my cheeks and a peace from God in my heart that He had a plan, to tell him the news and reassure him what he already knew; God is good, He is so faithful to us, and is still on the throne. Tyler’s mom, who was in town unexpectedly, was able to stay with our other two children while Tyler met me for the final ultrasound. Even that little timing detail of my mother-in law being able to watch our children was God working in the midst. I drove home telling God repeatedly, I will praise you all the days of my life even if our baby is gone.
Later that day, Tyler and I were reunited. We saw our lifeless babe on the ultrasound monitor that once displayed a strong healthy heartbeat. We took home pictures of our still, no longer thriving baby. We heard the words “I am so sorry, there is no longer a heartbeat.” Two weeks later, I delivered our baby at home. We wept together in that ultrasound room, we wept together in our car drive home, and we wept together in our home over the loss of our sweet child. We also rejoiced together in awe of the peace that God had filled our hearts with, we rejoiced in awe that we could see His hand from the beginning of the pregnancy until when He called the child He had entrusted us with home, and we rejoiced because God allowed this to be part of His story for us to further His kingdom and we were amazed. I, to this day, find myself crying and grieving the loss of our baby at times and that is okay. We miss our child deeply and did not ever believe this was going to be a part of God’s story for us but we can praise God for His faithfulness, His protection, His peace, His plan unfolding for our family, and that we can be used to further His kingdom now in ways we could not have fathomed before.