Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Only in our hearts

I had wondered whether Luke's birth would feel especially profound as he is our baby born soon after a miscarriage. Everything we will experience with Luke comes down a road we would never have found ourselves on without the sadness of the miscarriage.

I found that there has been no one profound moment, but many moments of deeper gratefulness during my pregnancy and, now, as we get to know this precious soul. 

The promise of him and now the reality of him has brought so much joy and healing into my heart.

My sister recently experienced her own pregnancy loss. Knowing what this feels like and the sadness you absolutely must W-A-L-K through, I feel such compassion and sadness for her. Not a blogger herself, she wanted to tell her story and asked me if I would share it for her here.

As I've seen the healing that has happened for me (and for so many other women), the happiness in all of this is seeing how strong she's been through this experience and knowing that through sadness comes new, deeper, and unexpected blessings.

Kristen Owen Hardaway 

When things first seemed to be off in my second pregnancy, I went in for an ultrasound. They called me back pretty quickly, so William wasn’t able to be with me. God gave me a blessing that day. I met my baby - just me. I saw the little flickering heartbeat - I met my child. What a gift that was. I’m very sorry that William wasn’t there with me, but I’m so thankful that I received good news. If it had been bad news that day, I don’t know how I could have handled it alone.

We received the bad news together a few days later. We lost you on a Wednesday. I could tolerate the physical pain, but my heart was shattered. As they woke me up from the procedure, I experienced an immediate sense of emptiness that I’ll never be able to fully explain. You were gone.

Nighttime is the hardest time for me - I think it’s because it’s the only time of day that I’m really alone with my thoughts. Not focusing on the next thing.. it’s when I’m the most vulnerable. I like to take a shower most nights before bed and that’s usually when I think of the child we lost. Were you a boy or a girl? What would my body look like right now? What plans would William and I be making - would we have cleared out his office to make room for the nursery? And then I instantly feel guilty, because I like my body right now. I want to wear a two-piece this summer. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been - a pregnancy would have disrupted that a little.

I slipped into bed the other night and asked William if he was sad that I wasn’t 5 months pregnant. He said he wasn’t sad. The fear rushed over me that he’d forgotten what happened - he wasn’t sad?? As I cried, he tried to explain that he meant he was okay with the way things are at the moment, that it wasn’t the right time for our family to grow - it wasn’t meant to happen right now. And I fully believe all of this. I’m at peace with God’s will here - I’m not angry. I find comfort that He is in control (not me). But that doesn’t mean we can’t be sad that this life was lost. This life that mattered to me. Am I the only person who cares about this child now? Is this life forgotten?

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share my miscarriage with other people. But as days turned into weeks, then into months, I’ve started to feel almost eager to tell. But it’s not exactly something that can be casually inserted into conversations. I feel a responsibility to share this little flickering heartbeat with others because it meant so much to me. It made me look at my little boy as the most wonderful and precious of miracles. It made me surrender to God’s will, which in turn has brought me tremendous peace. It made me absolutely sure that there was love in my heart for another child. It brought me closer to my sister and to other women who’ve miscarried. It made me pray harder for women expecting babies, which has been truly therapeutic for me. I don’t want to forget you because it has made me a stronger person, a more caring friend, a better mother.

And by sharing you with others, you won’t ever be forgotten.

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