Chapter One

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The aircraft landed with a thundering jolt, our little family had just arrived back in Australia after spending almost three years in Malaysia on an international posting with the Australian Defence Force. While there, we had lived on Penang Island also known as the Pearl of the Orient.*

Life had been so full & interesting there with new cultural experiences, which I had absolutely loved. However, seasons come and go in life we need to embrace each new season with expectation…

beach birds calm clouds

On landing at Sydney airport, we were instructed to wait in our seats, as a procedure was to take place before we could disembark from the aircraft.

Two men in overalls and masks boarded the aircraft and proceeded down the aisle spraying a mist throughout the aircraft as we sat in our seats!

We were not informed as to what this mist was or the purpose of this action other then it was a biosecurity measure. Nor were we asked about health issues or the risk of pregnancies  on board!

Although, I put my initial concerns behind me as we all appeared to be fine after the experience…

A few weeks later I discovered I was pregnant with my third child, which meant I was already pregnant when we arrived back in Australia. 

We were delighted at this exciting news. Life for us at that time had become very busy. As a young family moving and settling into new surroundings with a new defence force posting, pregnant and taking care of two beautiful but very active little girls who kept me on my toes!

And I thought my pregnancy was progressing quite normally and without complication… Until…

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May 17, 1982, my daughter Candy was born…

I had been experiencing very strong contractions that were slightly early for my due date, thinking they were Branxton-Hicks I was not overly concerned. However I had my first child at 38 weeks and my second at 36 weeks gestation. So I thought it wise to contact my obstetrician just in case this was another earlier onset of labor.

He urgently booked me in for a new procedure called an ultrasound, which he was to do in his consulting rooms. This Ultrasound scan took a while but it was the first I had experienced with this technology having just arrived here, so I had no idea what to expect and wasn’t too concerned.

However, when my obstetrician turned the equipment off and looked at me with very sad eyes, I knew all was not well…

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My world as I knew it was forever changed in that moment. 

That evening I was admitted into the Obstetrics unit as labor progressed, two hours after being admitted and the monitors attached, I heard my little baby’s heartbeat cease…she couldn’t cope as labor progressed, she died in utero.

The midwife turned the sound down on the fetal heart monitor… my heart broke…I was absolutely devastated. After a further eighteen hours of labor, my third daughter Candy was delivered, stillborn…

When I saw my little one born sleeping…I found she had a severe Neutral Tube defect…

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I cried out to God for understanding because I didn’t have any at that point.

My perceptions of God and His wisdom at that time were very naive. My thoughts that night were confused and questioning;

Hadn’t I been a good Christian women, Lord!...Hadn’t He promised…a life full of love and blessings!

However, even in my confusion and agony of heart, I made the choice there and then to totally and wholly lean on my God. For I knew He was the only One who I could rely on for the support I needed in my life. I would continue to trust Him no matter how many unanswered questions remained…

A peace that passed all understanding entered my soul there and then. I knew even though I had no understanding, God’s Spirit of peace was physically, spiritually and emotionally comforting me.

I clung to the belief that He had a purpose for this experience, even though I had no idea at the time what purpose could possibly entail such tragedy and heartache.

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* © I go to prepare a place for you…  Jennifer M. Ross, 2017, excerpt taken from pp.7-11, All Rights Reserved. No part of this chapter is to be reproduced without the express permission of the author. 

© 2020 Jennifer M. Ross teawithjennifer.blog Photo on pexels.com 

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