This morning in those few minutes of laying awake before getting out of bed, listening to Mark sleep and listening via baby monitor to John sleep too I was thinking about the words that I have heard since we found out that we were told 'you have miscarriage, it happen, 20% women, so sorry, go wait in lobby'. A few of those words have been well worth remembering, reminders that our baby is real, that our grief is real, that we should take the time not only to grieve but also that I should be resting and taking the time to heal physically too. Unlike the death of a born loved one an early miscarriage brings with it more lack of understanding than sympathy, and in a world where gift certificates to Planned Parenthood can be purchased that's not surprising at all, the value of life is this country and indeed in this world is pretty low, the value of unborn life lower yet, after all at the developmental stage that our precious child stopped growing many don't even recognize a human life, let alone one that is loved, anticipated with joy and now grieved more deeply than I realized grief could go. Many things stand out as comforting at this point, two particularly this morning.
Our friends who learned from friends that it was okay to name their unborn child, seems silly to need permission to do so, but it helps that even though our baby was too early in development for us to know whether she was a boy or girl, we felt like girl and so went with it and named her Katherine. In a world where the nurses still use the words 'product of conception' until you use the word 'baby' enough for them to be comfortable in using it, a name is a nice thing to hold onto and there is just know way that I could use the word 'it' for a precious life given by God even if taken so early. One other thing stands out this morning, a poem in a card sent by a friend:
Sometimes a lifetime is lived
in the space of a single breath
or a thought in the mind of God.
No matter how long your unborn child
nestled beneath your heart,
it's brief life was no less precious
than one whose span is measured in years,
and the pain of your loss no less real.
May your heart find comfort in the promise
that you will be together again someday,
for the bond of your love is everlasting.
You are enfolded in prayer.
In side this card is tucked the ultrasound picture in which we can see Katherine's little 1cm long body, her heart had already stopped, and though I didn't get to hold her in my arms here I will treasure her picture, the memory of the joy of knowing that she was here, and the knowledge that she is safe, perfect, happy and in heaven praising God. I still can't sing the Sanctus without thinking of a little curly haired girl singing her heart out with those same words, but through the tears it always makes me smile to think that she probably carries a tune better than her mommy ever did.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
A very good friend of mine called miscarriage a bitter pill to swallow. I find that her statement is not only true, but that it is not only bitter but that it is a pill that doesn't stay swallowed. Christmas Eve a very concerned and caring mommy took me aside to talk with me, she miscarried three children, the most recent 16 years ago, and as she talked to me and comforted me I could see the pain in her eyes and hear it in her voice. I am only weeks from finding out that our baby died before I could even hear it's heart beat, and I will admit that my feelings are pretty raw even though today with the hormones straightening themselves out I find that they aren't as raw as they were yesterday. I'm not so sure what my goal is here, or that I have one, I know that losing this baby has changed me and just as I have never been the same since I met and married my true love, just as life has never been the same since we adopted our precious boy, just as life has never returned to be like it was before either my dad or Mark's mom died, life now is changed forever and there is nothing I can do to make it go back to what it was before I found out I was pregnant and before we received the news that we wouldn't hold our child this side of heaven. I know other families have suffered through this, I know that other women have survived and I'm sure that I too will someday talk to another mommy who lost their precious child without getting to hold them in her arms and she will be able to see the pain in my eyes and hear the pain in my voice as I comfort her. There have been many people who have helped me through this thus far, and then there have been those who can't figure out what to say so avoid the subject or me and then of course there are those whose words hurt even though I'm sure they didn't mean for that to be the case. Having someone to talk to about all this has helped me immensely and I find that now I have come to the point where I need to talk/write and so that is my plan to do here. It may be several posts, it may be just this one, it might come and go for years, at this point I can't imagine how I will make it through the 9th of July, our calculated due date, but by God's grace I know that I will and somehow I will swallow this bitter pill and if my ramblings help anyone else maybe that will take the edge off the bitterness as time goes by.