For Sarah

Instead of writing a 22 week pregnancy update, I am going to dedicate this post to Sarah, my FertilityCare practitioner, who tragically delivered her stillborn son, Malachi, and then passed away soon after due to complications. She leaves behind her husband, her daughter and her son who is only two weeks older than Ryan. I can't imagine how broken their hearts are.

Sarah was the perfect practitioner for us even though she was still an intern and my body is kind of a frustrating case to track while nursing. We became as close as you can be with someone who helps you monitor your fertility. We never saw each other outside of the office, but our sessions would normally go long purely because she and I would go off on tangents and talk and laugh and talk and laugh. We really hit it off even though she was ten years older than I am. She even offered to give me some of her frozen breast milk when I was unsure if I would be able to pump enough before Chris and I left for Ireland.

I never once felt uncomfortable discussing my chart with her or answering questions even though all of it is very personal material. Sarah worked extra hard for me (her mentor said that my chart was one of the more difficult breastfeeding ones that she had seen in her decades of experience); she would do research and come back with tidbits that helped explain my body. Our case called for a frequent follow-up sessions, but she was conscious of our budget and worked with us to create consults that wouldn't be at the full charge.

Her patience never ended. Sarah was such a gift to the natural family planning and women knowing their bodies movements. I know that she loved working with all of the women and couples that were assigned to her, regardless of their religious beliefs. I felt so respected that she always let us know the Creighton recommendations, but always, always stressed that we had to make the choices that were right for Chris and me as a couple and for us as a family.

The midwife practice that I go to shares their office with the FertilityCare practitioners. I know that whenever I pass the kitchen, I will think back to our last full session in there when I opened my chart on the table and happily let her know that there was a pretty good chance I was pregnant with our second baby. When I did test later that week, she was the first person to know besides Chris and Ryan. We wouldn't be needing a follow-up session, after all. A few weeks later, she called me to let me know that she, too, was pregnant and only a few weeks ahead of me.

I never met her children, but I know how much she loved and adored them just from the way she spoke about them. I can practically hear her smiling as she says their names, Anne and Joey.  She just was so thrilled every day to be their mother. She was elated to be living out her vocation. Please pray for her husband, Ray, and her two children as they try to find peace and grieve for their wife and mother and also their son and brother.

Thank you, Sarah. Thank you for truly helping me to be empowered by the my new found knowledge about my body. Thank you for taking the time to teach a method that will always help us to strengthen our marriage.

Thank you for everything.