The Darkest Day

Thank you for dropping by! Since publishing the post below, I have finished adding the rest of our story in a separate post. I invite you to read it in its entirety by reading “There’s Been a Change of Plan”. Thanks!

~Michael

The hospital room felt unusually cold and impersonal. The dark cloud that now settled over us at the end of the maternity wing had all but extinguished the fire of excitement we felt earlier in the day.

As my wife and I sat together in stunned silence, I thought about the finished nursery that awaited us back at home. Heidi and I had put the final touches on it only a few days ago in eager anticipation of our long-awaited baby boy. I envisioned the crib sitting against the far wall decorated with new blue and brown sheets and plush, comfy blankets. I could hear the mobile softly playing its lullaby as the matching blue and brown stars danced slowly in circles. The changing table and dresser sat against the opposite wall filled with new clothes, toys, and diapers that our friends and family gave us as shower gifts.

When I considered the possibility that the two of us may be returning home to an empty nursery, a lump began to form in my throat.

Heidi just stared out the window, her face expressionless. The emotional capital we had spent throughout this process seemingly rendered both of us unable to cry.

Like many other couples, Heidi and I started our marriage with the ideal plan for having children. We knew when we wanted to start trying, how many we wanted, how far apart we wanted them, and what we would call them once we had them. We wistfully imagined having the perfect mix of boys and girls and decided it would be best to try and avoid having any two children in diapers at the same time. By our standards, we had the perfect family plan in place.

But God had a different plan.

As a young and healthy married couple, the thought of having to fight a battle against infertility was one of the furthest things from our minds. Somewhere in the midst of five years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive children (and all the medication, anticipation, and frustration that goes along with infertility), we had come to realize that we were a bit naïve to think that we really had control over our family plan.

Prayer quickly became a regular hallmark in our struggle to start a family. Eventually, we realized that the only thing we could realistically control is whether or not we put our trust completely in God and accept the fact the His plan is more perfect than ours. We decided that we would be patient and wait for God’s timing – and we definitely waited.

Back in the hospital room, I tried to ignore the growing sense of despair that I felt welling up inside me. A few hours earlier we were certain that our thousands of prayers had been answered, but now we were forced to confront the unsettling possibility that we may lose the very child who we were sure was our long-awaited answer.

I tried my best to stay positive and I kept reminding Heidi that we put this entire situation in God’s hands long ago and that he wasn’t going to bring us this far just to take everything away.

Just then, a woman walked through the door with a bleak look on her face and gave us the news we had been dreading.

To be continued…



read to be read at yeahwrite.me

  • http://www.mayorgia.blogspot.com/ Mayor Gia

    Holy cliffhanger! I’m kind of dreading part II… :(

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Part II was not fun…I learned a lot during that time. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Carriemomville Carrie Sieffert

    Oh gawd! I’m freaking out! I need a part 2!!! Please tell me everything was okay?!

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      :) Part II is not going to be much better…but the story does have a happy ending.

  • http://www.5thingsaboutnothingimportant.com/ Vanessa

    Please tell me we don’t have to wait until next week for part 2.

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Hahaha. Sorry, Vanessa, but I’m slammed with work right now and I probably can’t manage to pound out part 2 until week’s end. :) But I will continue the story, I promise…

  • http://kerstinauer.tumblr.com/ Kerstin Auer

    I have a chill going through me, can’t even imagine what it must have felt like for you guys.

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      For me, watching my wife was the toughest part of the entire ordeal. :( I’ll never forget it.

  • DelilahLove

    Oh no. I can’t wait. I need to know more! We had a few of those moments too in our journey to become parents. Except ours came from social workers and judges who were too busy putting out forest fires to see that one little tree was in danger. I still mourn the little one that should be a member of our family but isn’t.

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      I’ll have to tell you sometime about our experience with the Arizona foster care system. Your “can’t see the forest for the trees” analogy is a perfect description. The same thing happened to us.

      • DelilahLove

        Ugh. I’m sorry. I couldn’t include the details b/c I got caught once by a tattle tale social worker when I posted it on my other blog. We had a special needs baby in our home from birth until he was 10 months old. We filed intent to adopt papers. His parents relinquished. We thought it was all a done deal. One day the crooked social worker showed up and yanked him out of our house with NO warning, no explanation, nothing. Turns out one of her good friends had gotten her foster license and wanted to adopt a baby so the social worker took him there. When we made a stink about it to the judge, the social worker decided to cover her own ass and accused us of child abuse. Fortunately, she had been under investigation for some shady practices and the judge saw through her lies. But the baby was gone. There was no way we were getting him back. The irony of it is that the new home couldn’t handle his complex medical needs and had him moved within 2 weeks. Last I heard he had been in 7 other homes in the past 5 years and had at least one failed adoption.

        That was our last foster placement. I was done after that.

        • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

          Yikes. That is awful. Our situation wasn’t nearly that bizarre, but the incompetence of CPS showed through about as much. I know that there are many GREAT social workers, but isn’t it appalling that the very people who are charged with the welfare of our children are so often unable to do so?

          Like you, we will never be involved in governmental child services again.

          • DelilahLove

            I was a social worker. I know there are good ones. Unfortunately they get overshadowed by the bad and/or burned out ones. I know how easy it is to get burned out. In our state, each social worker is supposed to have no more than 15 kids on their caseload at any one time. In 4 years I don’t think my caseload ever dipped below 28. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. I will never ever go back to social work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1027655659 Joseph Cereola

    I’m hoping that the photo in the upper right corner of your blog means that this story has a happy ending.

    (Kellie’s World)

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Thanks, Joseph. Sometimes the greatest victories are won after the toughest battles. I’ll just say that we were fortunate. :)

  • http://www.happinesscubed.net/ Dawn

    I’m also waiting for part two!

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Thanks, Dawn. I’m hoping to have it done next week.

  • http://twitter.com/momma23monkeys Robbie K

    wow..way to leave us hanging…..

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Sorry about that… :)

  • http://msannomalley.com/ Kathy Kramer

    I’m not sure if I should be mad at you for the cliffhanger. I will be back to read the rest of the story. :)

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      We’ve known each other for such a short time, and you’re mad at me already? I feel like a politician. Or a mother-in-law. :)

      Thanks for posting a comment. I haven’t made it down to your post yet, but I will. I learned this week that the top of the grid is the ones who post last. I should have read from the bottom up.

      50 blogs is tough.

  • Ashley Taylor

    Coming over from Yeah Write, and I am now going to be on pins & needles until Part 2. Oh God, I can tell it is going to be really hard to read, right?

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Yes, Part 2 was difficult for us. It was one of the toughest times in my life. But good things come out of difficult times, so stay tuned for the rest of the story…

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • http://twitter.com/chosenchaos Jamie Walker

    I am only looking forward to part deux because of that sweet picture of you with your son. There must be a happy ending somewhere I hope.

    Infertility is a struggle that all too many of us deal with. We should all share our stories whenever possible I think. Good for you for starting.

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Thanks, Jamie. It may sound odd, but the infertility that we agonized over for so long is something I now see as a blessing. It’s funny how time and living life can change one’s perspective.

      Thanks for your comment.

  • TreadingWaterintheKiddiePool

    Whoa! Way to leave me hanging! I can’t wait to read more and I really hope it all turns out okay.

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Keep treading water…part 2 is in the works! :)

      Thanks for the comment.

  • http://twitter.com/SouthMainMuse Jamie Miles

    Well, as an adoptive mom I always say — it might not have been our plan but it was God’s. Of course, we can’t imagine life any other way at present, but there were moments when I felt terribly lost. A beautiful written piece.

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Thanks, Jamie. I can totally relate to what you say about plans not turning out like we — well — plan. :) I don’t think you were in last week’s challenge grid, but I posted something that dealt specifically with our Plan A vs. God’s Plans B-Z: http://dearharrison.com/a-sperm-story/

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • http://tri-ingtobeathletic.com/ TriGirl

    Compelling writing, but I’m worried about part 2. I have a friend who just had her first baby and well, I’m nervous your story will end like hers did :(

    • http://DearHarrison.com/ Michael Gray

      Don’t be nervous. :)

  • Mel

    Oh my goodness. My heart is in my throat. I’ll be back for Part 2.

  • http://www.sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms.com/ SisterhoodoftheSensibleMoms

    This is a powerful piece. I am impressed by your strength to write about this and by your faith in God. Beautiful. Ellen

  • http://www.raising-humans.com/ Tricia

    Oh I am so sorry. Even without part II, I am sorry for what you had to go through even in Part I. Though sad, you tell the story so beautifully.

  • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

    Oh wow. I know the infertility struggle well. I was lucky to conceive twins through our 2nd round of in vitro after going through all the other methods first without any luck. I do hope this story has a happy ending, and I’m sad you left us hanging!

    here from #yeahwrite and sad b/c my blog is down today
    :-(

    thanks for sharing your story. so many people think creating a family is all smiles and sunshine and so, so easy, but it’s not for everyone.

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Ok, you hooked me. Now I want to know what happens.

  • Kerry Daley

    Oh goodness! I’m on the edge of my seat! I need to know!

  • http://www.themomalog.com/ Ado

    Oh no, you can’t leave me hanging like this!
    So well-written.
    So – so well written. (-:

  • Tara_pohlkottepress

    oh, my heart was aching right along side yours…

  • Michelle Longo

    Oh my. I don’t like where this is going… But it sounds like your faith helped you though this time, so I am glad to hear you had that.

  • Shiftless Mommie

    Well, this is killing me. Can’t wait to read Part II, although I feel like I’m going to have to reserve some emotional resources.

  • http://www.alittlesomethingforme.com/ Kristen

    AAAAAKKK! cliffhanger! I’m dreading part 2. I’ve been in that hospital room (and NICU) and but for the grace of god brought children home. I pray you did also.

  • amberpagewrites

    Oh. Oh man. Great job of drawing the scene, but way to leave us hanging!

  • http://dudeofthehouse.blogspot.com/ Jay – Dude of the House

    Wow, powerful start. When do we get to find out the rest?