Eight months have come and gone, but the pain hasn't gone with them. Even so, I am now ready to post what I wrote the day after losing my baby:
May 14, 2013
It's my birthday and the birthday wishes are pouring in. I was looking forward to the big two-five, but now it seems insignificant, so much so that, though I remembered this morning that it was my birthday, I forgot that that means that I'm twenty-five now. Who cares?
"I hope you have a great day!" Not a great day. Horrible day. Painful day. This was destined to be the worst birthday ever from the moment I woke up in pain at 3:00 A.M. yesterday morning.
But let's backtrack two days. Mother's Day was sweet this year because a few weeks ago, I saw, clear as day, two pink lines on a home pregnancy test telling me I was pregnant. It was terror, happiness, and excitement. My husband, Ethan, and I hadn't planned it, but we were over the moon. We were making plans, researching everything, shifting our life in preparation for the day we couldn't wait for, the day when we could finally hold our little baby in our arms. On Mother's Day morning, Ethan gave me flowers and a sweet card. All the talk about mamas got me even more excited about being one.
And yet, I was uneasy. Ever since my pregnancy-induced hypersensitivity to smells abandoned me about a week earlier, I'd been expecting a miscarriage – and praying that it wouldn’t happen. Then, very early on the morning after Mother's Day, I was woken by severe cramping and bleeding. Ethan took me to the emergency room. We heard the word ‘miscarriage’ officially spoken.
After we went home from the hospital, we just laid on our bed holding each other and crying. We were lost and didn't know what to do. We wanted to run far, far away. We wanted a peaceful, beautiful, and isolated place to be alone with each other and our grief. A long drive to a cabin in the woods would have been ideal, but remote cabins are impractical. So we chose a (secret) place close to home. We curled up together, talked, cried, and let ourselves be silent. Ethan said to me that there's no time limit for me to grieve. That's good because it's hard to imagine a day anytime soon when I will not wish I could have my baby back, when I won't miss him. I asked Ethan how long he thinks he'll grieve and he said, "Forever."
I'm a writer, so I have to write about it; writers bleed words. But I don't want to talk about it, at least not with anyone but Ethan. I was able to write a few text messages – short ones – but to actually voice the words…it feels like that would blast me to pieces. My sweet man called my doctor's office to make an appointment for me, and went outside the house to do it so I wouldn't have to hear. To have to explain to the receptionist, to have to say the word ‘miscarriage’ would've been to twist the dagger lodged in my heart.
No, only Ethan gets to hear my voice on this. And that is fitting. This miscarriage is an island of grief, and we're the only two on it. Normally when you lose a loved one, you aren't the only one grieving. There are family and friends. Others knew that person and loved them too. But Luke was only ours. We loved him. We wanted him. All anyone else can be is sad for us and disappointed that they didn't get to know him. We're the only ones truly grieving.
Yesterday, I was angry at women who get abortions. Though I am adamantly against abortion, I normally have compassion for women who do this. I was so angry though. They can keep their babies, but they choose to throw them away. I don’t get to keep my baby. I would give so much to be able to hold him in my arms, but I can't. There was so much that scared me about having a baby, mostly that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which would make raising a child very difficult. But I would rather endure all that difficulty and more than lose my Luke.
I keep thinking about how God knows first hand what it is to suffer. I've written about it before and it's even more important to me now. My Father knows what it's like to lose a child, an even bigger, more brutal loss than mine. I keep thinking about this verse: "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried" (Isaiah 53:4). Jesus carried and carries all my grief and sorrow, and that load is not at all light. More than that, I need Him to carry me. I am broken and small, and I am one big gaping wound. That is why the company of other people is mostly intolerable to me right now. They are too rough, loud, happy, carefree, or careless to keep company with my pain. Let me be with Ethan – my gentle, loving, understanding, thoughtful, quiet, grieving husband – or let me be alone. Alone would be terrifying if God wasn't so clearly with me in my solitude. And grieving would be a dark pit, if I didn't have Ethan to hold me and for me to comfort in return.
Even though this has been a heartbreaking birthday, there's something still sweet in it. Ethan and I are in this together. We are constantly helping and comforting each other. We are always physically affectionate, but we are more so today. We’re continually letting each other know with the slightest touch that we are loved, that we're not alone, that we will be okay. And, somehow, God is in this.
I know that He is making something good and beautiful from the ashes and pain. I have a deeper awareness of who He is than I have in a while. He is good, kind, loving, and strong – strong enough to carry His broken daughter. As John Piper said:
God is enough. He is good. He will take care of us, He will satisfy us, He will get us through this.
I am so grateful to have had my little Luke, if it was only for a few weeks. I worried over my child and nurtured him. I loved carrying him. I will always remember my baby and long to have him in my arms. One day I'll get to. I was a mother for a short time, and that changed me. I will always be a mother.