Just when I think the pain and tears are over, it comes upon me again with such force. It might be a thought, a text, the flowers sitting on my counter, a note, and for some reason it hits where it hurts and the tears come again.
When I think about my unborn child… I can’t say I miss my baby. I didn’t even know him/her. So one might ask, why such grief. To tell you the truth… I don’t know… But as I’ve thought about it, I’ve seen the sorrow deepen. I think some of it might be because I’ve had time to process the current loss and the future loss.
I scheduled an ultrasound following several days of spotting. When I saw the image on the screen I knew; I knew there wasn’t any baby growing. I could see the sac but it was, by all appearances, empty. Maybe there had been a baby growing or maybe the baby had never grown beyond the size of a poppyseed. I’ll never know, but for 11 weeks I was pregnant… I felt pregnant. Although most of my symptoms weren’t as strong as in my previous pregnancy, I was exhausted and hungry and really really wanting everything carbs… I’d gained weight, more than I’d like to admit in that short time. My pants had started to become uncomfortably tight. I felt my stomach starting to blossom.
I had enough time to think about and plan my future with 2 babies. I was so excited that Thanksgiving would be filled with my thankful heart overflowing in love for my new little munchkin (I definitely wasn’t planning on him/her showing up late). I could see that little one snuggling in to nurse for the first time. I imagined introducing him/her to Lottie and seeing the amazement on her face. I couldn’t wait to see that little chubby bundle growing and changing. But most of all, I was excited to see my daughter learn to love her new little sibling. They would be such good friends. I could just picture them on the floor, Lottie leaning over and helping/teaching the little one everything she knew. I imagined the joy of having my two babies sitting on my lap as I read the same books over and over again. I imagined the hard times we would have adjusting to life with two kids. I also was so ready to meet that challenge. I wanted this so bad.
Since finding out our little one was never to walk this earth, the ache in my heart has grown much deeper as I’ve realized all that’s been lost. I’ll never see this little one running around and playing. (S)he won’t start school or graduate. (S)he’ll never get married or have children…
As much as I wish I could experience all those things, I’d give them all up in a heart beat if I knew my baby was safe from all earthly hardships. Isn’t that what every mother wants; to keep her children safe, healthy, happy, etc? As hard as it for me to bare the burden of loss, how could I say “no, stay with me and suffer through this broken life.” I feel like the story of my life over the past 2 years has been learning to hold the gifts I have been given in an open hand. I want to clutch them tight but God keeps reminding me they aren’t mine; they are his. And he can care for them much better than I ever could. From trusting God through my pregnancy with Lottie, to her surgery at 5 weeks old, to Ben’s cancer diagnosis last May, to losing 3 grandparents and an uncle and now my little baby in a years time… In some ways I feel so exhausted and ready for heaven and in other ways I know that my faith has been strengthen, even if, in the moment, I’m question God’s goodness and love.
The grief of losing a baby is so much stronger than I ever imagined it would be. I’m still waiting for the “joy that comes with the morning.” It felt pretty dark and I was questioning the truth of God’s promises but I think I’m starting to see a glimmer.
I’ve been so cared for by Ben, my family and many wonderful friends. I’ve received many comforting texts, letters, emails, flowers and meals, as well as time from family and friends. All these things are pointing me back to God’s love for me.
Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 30:5b –Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 – But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.