Trigger warning – as the title says, I’m writing as I continue to process the loss we experienced in October. The writing isn’t graphic, but it does still feel raw at times. I’m sharing mostly because I’ve found reading other women’s stories helpful, and maybe this will resonate with someone else.
It’s been two months.
The highly emotional days were mostly back-to-back when things started going wrong. The first ultrasound without a heartbeat; the goodbye ultrasound; the week of waiting. Telling the kids – it was awful telling the kids. Having to take medication I’ve always thought of as having one heinous purpose, just to get my body to release me from this awful limbo and to keep from needing surgery. The long night following those pills, just me and God, dealing with all the physical aspects of the loss. And the terrible, horrible guilt of blessed freedom from the crippling nausea and weakness that comes with my pregnancies.
My first missed due date – for the child lost at 5 weeks in March – fell on Thanksgiving. We were hosting, and honestly, having a full house that day felt right. I love our family. I love feeding people, and I’m so grateful for the many ways in which we experience plenty. And the day wasn’t hard.
The arbitrary grief that’s come with the holiday season has been more of a surprise. I didn’t think I’d be feeling the absence of a newborn in our home – a tiny life that I only knew I carried for a handful of days. I have friends celebrating their first Christmases without a parent, and I know there are so many others missing loved ones. What’s this compared to that? Very different, I suppose is the only right answer.
I wrestle – with anxious thoughts, and big questions, and personal decisions that will eventually have to be made. I am so, deeply grateful that my humanness doesn’t trouble God; He plans to carry on working in me just the same. And I am so, deeply grateful that all of the brokenness of the world doesn’t faze Him; He’s got plans for that, too.
It occurred to me recently that I’ve been looking at things backwards, tripping over myself a bit when someone (or I myself) ask, “But how can the world look like this if there’s a good God?” I think what should strike me as more astounding, more often are the ways God redeems – in spite of the destructive power of sin in a fallen-apart world.
And the story isn’t over yet. If He can “give…beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3) even here and now, where we “see through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12), can I even imagine what creation will look like put to rights?
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.1 Corinthians 2:9-10