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Full Circle

This time last year I was just a few weeks away from learning that I had a miscarriage. We would have a four month old right now. Instead, I am going into the doctor weekly for non-stress tests in anticipation of baby number two’s arrival. And it’s been a roller coaster of emotions.

When we learned that I was pregnant this time, I texted a group of my dear friends and asked for doctor recommendations. I absolutely love my doctor but I did not want to see that nurse again. I received several helpful recommendations, but one friend urged me to stay with my doctor and I’m really glad I did. She has been extremely proactive throughout my pregnancy. Having high blood pressure while pregnant makes me a little nervous. I already know of two women who recently delivered early due to preeclampsia and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the same. Instead, my blood pressure has leveled to a normal rate and, despite having hyperemesis gravidarum (a fancy term for severe morning sickness), our baby boy is growing ahead of schedule.

The moment I have been dreading most is coming face to face with the nurse that I dealt with a year ago, but every appointment had thankfully been with another nurse. I once stopped in the office to ask for a list of approved medications while I had a cold. I really just wanted to know how many cough drops I could pop without having CPS at my door. First time mom over here. Instead of handing me a list they said “Nurse will be out to speak with you.” I quickly said “That’s okay” and I left. I called my sister-in-law instead.

Patrick and I arrived for my first non-stress test a few weeks ago, just a month shy of the anniversary of the week from hell. When I checked in they said “Nurse will be right with you.” My face went white and I turned to Patrick (I’m sure within earshot of the front desk) and said “Crap, Patrick. It’s Nurse.”

She came to get us and was extremely nice, but her distinct voice reminded me of every prior conversation we’d had before. Every word came flooding back to mind. She led us to a room where she hooked me up to a series of wires to monitor the baby’s movement. She took my blood pressure, which was high, and said “Oh dear. We must make you nervous, huh?”

“You have no idea,” I said, looking directly at Patrick.

She brought me juice and crackers while I took the test. Had I already had children at home this twenty minutes of quiet time with snacks would have felt like a spa treatment. Instead, I spent those minutes worrying about our son and the fact that I wasn’t feeling him move at all. She came back in and said that he looked “perfect”. Not good. Not okay. Perfect. While I was not feeling him move, he was moving the entire time.

When I worry my blood pressure is high, it’s not.
When I worry the baby is not healthy, he’s ahead of schedule.
When I worry that my gallons upon gallons of ice cream intake have completely destroyed my pancreas, my glucose test comes back reading eighty.
When I try to control what is happening in our life, I realize that I never held control in the first place. And that’s okay.

We have come full circle in a year. All the moving parts of this particular year-long event taught us that we are not always in control, that people make mistakes, and that God is sovereign.  We still mourn the loss of our first baby but we rejoice in this new life. What initially felt like torture having to meet with the nurse again now feels like closure. The woman that crushed us last summer is a part of our new story. I can forgive, and I’m embarrassed to say it’s taken this long to do so. What began as a story of confusion and heartache less than a year ago closes as a story of celebration and a reminder that He is moving even when I don’t feel Him.

To God be the Glory.


Ashley Cooper

I strive to find joy in each ordinary day.

  • Pam Weesner

    Your gonna be a great Mom…im sorry your year has been so testing, but you have grown and look what is about to come into your arms. Love you Ashley

    August 11, 2017 at 10:18 am Reply
  • Sharon Ekenstedt

    It will be good to go back and read this when things are out of your/our control again ( yes, it happens again to all of us). I have learned because I have mastered this concept once doesn’t mean I will “get it” the next time. I also am learning not to beat myself up (I hope) but rest in the Lord’s care when I think I have “lost control” of a life situation. Thankfully, the Lord’s arms of rest are always there when I am ready and willing to release my attempt of control to Him. You and Patrick have all you need (in Him) to be the best parents of little miniCooper ever! Praying for all of us as you await his appearance!

    August 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm Reply
  • Michelle dahl

    Iam so very happy God has blessed you and Patrick with this awesome journey again…. we serve a very loving awesome God and I truly believe you and Patrick will be awesome parents to your little bundle, As they say God never gives us more than we can handle and it sounds like he wanted you to
    be able to put all the pain from a year ago behind you and to do that you had to come face to face with the person who caused you such pain, I pray his continued blessings upon you and Patrick through the rest of your journey and thank you both for the help and ministry you both have given to me and my family!! You both are truly servants of God.

    August 11, 2017 at 8:21 pm Reply
  • Sharon Drury

    I love your writing, Ashley! And your repeated/slightly edited phrase at the end “He is moving even when I don’t feel Him” was a winner 🙂 Praying your delivery and married life with a newborn will be kissed by God.

    August 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm Reply

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