Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Six Loves Lost

Life-size replica of his feet
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Month. In any typical year, I'd post those reminders/memes on my fb page without a thought. I'd do it because it would be my way of remembering the five babies I've lost in the past 15 years due to early pregnancy miscarriages. But all those babies, though their loss saddened me, were vague notions of a human being to me. I never saw their face, I never held them, I never even officially named them. I knew they existed in eternity as much as I did in this world. I knew one day I would know them and know their name. But to me, it was the loss of their future in my arms and in our family that saddened me, not so much the grief over their physical death. And then this year, everything changed.

 I found out I was pregnant again not long after the New Year. Just when I had signed up for a gym membership and even purchased extra personal training sessions (I would be getting back in shape this year, dangit!), I found out I was pregnant. Call it Murphy's Law, but every time I have committed to going on some diet or joining some gym or feeling like maybe there are new adventures or a new direction I can take, pregnancy hits me like a humorous, ironic and fateful force. A reminder that this life is not my own, and I am not in control. So a year and a half after my previous miscarriage, here I was again wondering what was in store for me and this little one.

 Week after week went by with no clue as to what was going on in there, what was going to happen. Finally, I had an ultrasound scheduled around 11 weeks. Pretty much right around the time I usually miscarried. I hadn't allowed myself to be emotional and even accept the pregnancy until I saw that little beating heart on the dark screen. Here was my child, still healthy, still moving around, still growing. I went out to my car holding the sonogram pictures in my hand and sat in my car and sobbed. I was going to have another baby! Finally acceptance. Finally hope. One month later, as I sat in bed early one morning unable to sleep, there was a pop and a gush. And just like that I lost him.

 Unlike every other miscarriage I'd had, this time I saw him. I saw his little face half covered by one perfect hand. I was struck by the details of him. His nose, his mouth, the little line across his chest that his diaphragm made. He was truly perfect in every way, and he was mine. But I would never hear his cry, never see his eyes open and never watch him grow. My heart shattered, and as I bled out the next few hours and days, it was if all my joy in life and hope in goodness flowed out as well. One week later when I could finally physically stand and walk again, we buried him in the pouring rain under our bleeding heart bush in the backyard. His coffin was a five inch box.

 My due date was in September two days after we closed on a new house. I was too busy to truly mourn, but I remembered. In the early days of October, probably about the time I would naturally have birthed him, my body remembered by dredging up nightmares of babies born and unborn. I awoke knowing deep down that this is when I would have had him. It was as if the very tissues and blood and genetic material in the depths of my body and mind remembered him and knew this would have been his time. I would have had another October baby.

 I will never be the same again. I will always carry around this sorrow that is a part of me now. And now that I've seen his face and held him, I know the love I have for him is the same love for all his brothers and sisters that have gone before him. When he entered eternity, they were there to welcome him. The first time he opened his eyes, he was able to view heaven. The arms that hold him now are Jesus' arms. And though my arms will always feel his void, he knows I know him and love him. And he knows his name.

Forever in my love, we miss you greatly, Matthias.

This is the one song that helped me get through this year. Most times, I sang it only able to mouth the words as tears streamed down, but my heart fully embraced, "Your Will be Done."  

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Sometimes it seems like God is a big, fat teaser. It's especially hardest when life hands you unexpected surprises (a pregnancy, a job, a move - something hopeful) which then fall apart. You end up sitting there wondering what happened. Wondering why these possibilities were snatched away. Wondering why they were even offered in the first place. Hopes you maybe never even asked for. Dreams you never thought were within arm's reach that get dangled in front of your nose and then removed. Maybe something you've worked so hard for which gets further away instead of closer. In those moments, there are always choices. Choices to yell and scream, to sink into depression, to push God away, to give up. Choices to move forward, pray for strength and hope, embrace God. Sometimes we choose all of these. But the ache in my soul can tempt me to walk away instead of walk beside Him. But the knowledge of Who He is overshadows my weak resolve. My broken heart knows my healing can only come from Him. So while I kick against the sorrows life hands me, my black and blue heart tells me to run to Him. To crawl up into His lap. To cry and complain to Him. Because at the end of the day, no matter what happens, I know Who He is. He is not a teaser. He is not a bully. He is my Father, my Abba. And I am loved by Him.

Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

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