Hi Friends. I wrote this post on Saturday night, August 17. It’s a little raw but I decided to leave it un-edited and instead write a fresh open and close for it.
A story of loss is one that most of all of us can relate to. I so wish that I didn’t have this story to tell – but now I do. As of 4:30 yesterday morning, I do. I am not writing this for any other purpose than the fact that something inside of me needs to. Perhaps it will give language to someone else’s loss and therefore some degree of healing. I think it’s a part of my healing at the very least.
Tomorrow, I would have been twelve weeks pregnant with our second baby. I am one of many many many hopeful mommies who get told that their little one is no longer with them. Experiencing this makes me shocked at how emotionally unattached I have been when friends went through this in the past. I don’t think that I had a point of reference that allowed me to identify with their pain. No longer.
There is no point in relaying details of what happened but when I woke up at 4:30 AM yesterday, there was very little question of what was happening. Unless you have experienced that before, I don’t think that any pregnant mom would be even thinking about the possibility of that happening to her or to her baby. It was instant shock and instant sadness. Everything inside of you wants to scream and pull at any piece of control you have to will the situation into reverse. To anyone who alleges that a baby is not a baby until some undetermined point in pregnancy, I defy you to walk through a miscarriage with a woman even early in pregnancy. Explain the grief over something that is not human or alive and instead deemed a fetus.
Even though it was very clear what was happening – every mom and dad holds onto hope until you have official word from the doctor. As Zion and I held hands during the ultrasound, we both cried as what we already knew became official. We cried as we prayed over our sweet baby. We cried as we both said that somehow we knew he was a boy. I tell you what, daddies grieve babies just as much as mommies do. It’s surreal how much you can physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally miss someone that had only been in your hearts for twelve weeks and never been in your arms. It’s astonishing.
This is obviously fresh and raw for us. I don’t know if I will regret writing about this. I do not do it to garner response, comments, or to get you to share this post with others. If that happens, then I trust God will use it. But I suppose I am more of a writer than I give myself credit for because writing the story and the truth seems to be the only option for me tonight.
There is more to the story. There is Him. There is the oddest experience of my life: how is it possible to feel so pained and so protected at the very same time? It’s honestly a first. We have experienced loss before and all I can say is that this is different. God has been doing so much in our hearts; He has made Himself so real and so known as our protector over the past months. From the very start of the experience, He has been intimately with us. From waking both of my parents up right at 4:30 to pray, to sending us truly dear medical staff to take care of us, to showering us with love and care from friends, to covering us with His presence and His peace from the very start, He’s been Emanuel – God with us. Truly with us. In the midst of pain, truth is undeniable: our baby is protected and we are protected. I don’t know what you believe about God, but I would be so remiss to leave out that part of this story.
You know, being a control freak is something that God is so gracious to allow me to let go of more and more. Man alive. This one is the pits. I’m not saying that I think God let this happen so that I could lessen my grips on control. I am saying that this particular loss offends every desire for control that I have. I loved the idea of a late February/early March baby. I loved the idea of babies two and a half years apart. I love(d) this baby. But this time, I have zero control. None. Who knows how far apart our children will be? Certainly not I.
I don’t know about you, but as the Lord continues to help me see my control-freak ways more and more, I realize that I am a picture person. I picture everything. I picture what seems right and good and fun and desirable. Sometimes I realize that I’m doing it and other times the picture is embedded so deeply in me that it’s barely detectable. When something disrupts the picture, mercy, it’s unsettling. I think that’s putting it nicely, actually. But He’s also showing me that when life hasn’t lined up with my pictures, it has always had a delightful result in my heart. He truly always brings joy in the morning. I can trust Him. I can trust His character. I can let go. It will be okay. It’s the way to freedom and joy.
I know that the pain of this story doesn’t begin to compare to some people’s loss at the moment. Just tonight I heard a story of a precious couple that had SEVEN miscarriages before conceiving and birthing two healthy children. Seven. Or perhaps it’s not a matter of carrying a child for you – it’s even getting pregnant in the first place. Or perhaps tonight it has nothing to do with baring children but instead deals with another deep desire of your heart that is on hold until further notice. The options are endless. I wish we could have coffee and cry together. But all I know is that in this loss, I have found another side of God that I adore. He’s true and He’s near. I pray that you feel that tonight, whoever you are, wherever you are.
Well, that was it. As I re-read it before posting, I wondered if I should edit/re-word/soften/intensify what I wrote. Just going to let it be though. We are now a week and a half past saying goodbye to a precious baby. I maintain that it is still one of the oddest experiences – to feel so truly pained and so absolutely protected at the same time. There’s no way to deny the pain and no way to escape His faithfulness and nearness. It’s almost beautiful how the two can co-exist. So many parents experience this and so many stories have come out of the woodwork and I have loved hearing each one.
You know one thing that really blows me away? I have more pregnant friends (close friends at that!) than I can count right now. It was a fun club to be in because there was so much shared joy. A few of my pregnant friends have really been the face of maturity and fearless love in relationship and I only hope that I can respond as they have responded someday. Instead of allowing awkwardness over me suddenly not being pregnant and the stark change of not sharing the journey side-by-side anymore, they jumped right into my world almost as soon as it happened. They were great friends to me when we were pregnant together and they have been precious friends to me now by simply sharing my space and pursuing me still. I will remember their particular kindness for a long time and how I’ve seen the love of God through them. Doesn’t that inspire you? It inspires me.
I guess in closing I’d just like to say thanks for reading. We really are experiencing the faithfulness of God. This week I’ve been thinking about other losses we have encountered over the years. Frankly, they have been lesser losses but with yuckier impact. Yuck in the sense that they stirred questions about God and His character that took me a lot longer than I’d like to admit to get over or deal with or allow Him to deal with. This time is different. The impact of loss is far more personal than ever before but this time, there is no questioning His goodness or His intention toward us. There’s just no questioning who He is. By the grace of God, He’s started settling that question within me and it makes a beautiful difference. Though I am pained, I am protected. Thankful.
The next post will have to be light-hearted for us all to bounce back from this one right?!