Five weeks ago, I wrote this letter on my lunch break with no intention of ever publishing it.
It tells a story that isn’t mine to tell.
It was the day before her appointment. The appointment. The appointment that would tell my sweet friend if her baby still had a heartbeat.
After multiple losses, deep heartache and a long, painful road, there was a lot of fear heading into the doctor’s office that day.
So many prayers.
So many tears.
So much heartache leading up to that morning.
And then Baby’s heartbeat was 175. Loud and Strong.
God is good.
I didn’t give Sami this letter until days after her appointment. I was planning to give it to her either way, but the nature of news dictated when I thought it would be appropriate to have her read it.
I was hoping she would tuck it away and years down the road share it with her child as a testament to God’s faithfulness and love.
She didn’t know I was fasting that day. That is also part of the reason I didn’t want to publish this letter; I didn’t want to draw attention to what I did and deflect attention from her beautiful story. But the story itself is too beautiful not to share, and when Sami told me I should publish the letter, I chewed on it for awhile.
Should I tell her story?
What would I call it?
What if something happens to the baby?
After weeks of thinking about publishing it, I was on a run tonight praying about it and trying to think of a title for the post.
The baby’s heartbeat kept coming to mind.
I kept thinking: “Your heartbeat is my favorite sound.”
This was frustrating because at that point, I hadn’t actually heard the baby’s heartbeat.
I had smothered her stomach with my face and hands. I had prayed over her belly. I had forgotten where I was and rubbed it in socially inappropriate situations, but I hadn’t heard the heartbeat. I couldn’t name it that.
I got back from my run and I looked down at my phone.
Sami had just then sent me a video of her new Pocket Doppler heart rate monitor picking up the baby’s heartbeat. She was able to hear it at home for the first time and was sending it to me to hear for the first time, too.
What incredible timing.
That was about an hour ago. It was my favorite sound.
I hope, if anything, this letter points you to a Creator who is bigger than our pain, greater than our circumstances, and faithful through every valley.
There were many times I questioned God’s goodness as I watched my friend go through heartache after heartache, but He is faithful. Although we don’t understand His plan in the present, my heart is full of peace knowing someday we will. And it is good.
Here is the letter to Baby DuVal:
I am fasting for you today. When my stomach starts to pang with hunger, or my head feels light, I pray for you. I pray for your heartbeat. I pray for your little body and your little legs and your little arms. I remember the first, second, and third time your mom told me she was pregnant.
Each time it was equal parts incredible and terrifying. She thought she lost you, too, but you held on longer. I felt you yesterday; it is just the tiniest of bulges, but enough where your mom had her pants unzipped on the sides for most of the day. #dramatic
Tomorrow your mom has a really important appointment. She will get to see you and hear you. So today I fast.
Today I am relying on God to sustain my body and to save your life. Because I love you.
I have caught your mom’s tears in my hands, and cried along with her over the past year. I have questioned God’s goodness and His plan as I watched your parents walk a painful, confusing journey.
They want you so badly.
It has been an emotional 12 weeks. Trying not to get excited at the possibility of meeting you, but at the same time not being able to help it.
I think you are a boy. If you’re not, I’m really sorry, but me and your mom already have a tour circuit planned to tell our stories across the country; (we may be getting ahead of ourselves.)
I’ve walked with your mom on this journey, and she does the same for me. We have different circumstances, but both live a life full of hope for the future of God finally fulfilling the deepest desires of our hearts.
You are your mom’s deepest desire.
Your mom is a funny one. You will have your hands full, but you are going to love her. She will be obsessed with you, but that’s okay because I will be, too.
She sometimes thinks the parking garages are going to collapse onto her head, she has an irrational fear of condiments and other people’s dishes, and she is the biggest homebody I know.
I am sure you are going to teach her to relax about some things, but other things she will get even more stressed about. I hope your favorite food is ketchup just to stretch her boundaries a little. She hates ketchup.
Your mom has a huge heart. And a huge mouth- which I mostly love her for. Sometimes it gets her into trouble, but most of the time she uses it to uplift and love and encourage. She is an incredible friend.
I’m scared, baby. I am scared we are going to lose you. (No, I am not your father, but please get used to the pronoun “we” referring to your mother and I).
I am scared I won’t ever meet you.
But God is in control.
When I don’t understand His ways, He is in control.
When I worry about your little life, He is in control.
You are loved. Loved by me and your parents and by a great God who formed you perfectly. No matter what happens, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
I cling to the faith that I will hold you in my arms in 6 months. That one day you will read this letter and know how very special you are.
So today, in honor of you, I pray instead of eat. I might be cheating because I am drinking some protein smoothies, but one day when you meet me and know just how important hourly snacking and occasional binge eating is to my life, you will know the sacrifice I am making with a liquids only diet.
I love you.
Your parents are adorable.