It was a miracle, just as every birth of a baby is. The difference was, this time I really knew that. Joy. Joy. Joy. That’s what we felt.
In February of 2005, I went to the OB for a regular 10 week check up. She couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat and an ultrasound confirmed it -a loss. I remember those days following were a fog for me. I remember waiting for surgery, the nurse asking me about SHARE burial. I remember walking into the OR, lying on the table, the doctor’s last words I heard as I faded into that numbing bliss, “embryonic demise.”
My hope was that we could put this behind us as quickly as possible, get pregnant, have a baby, sprint through the pain. But, it didn’t happen that way. It was the slow walk of grief. Sadness, anger, deeeeeeeeeeepression. Clearly, things were more complicated than before and that baby I was longing for…it remained a longing. We had two healthy, amazing, children, so people seemed to think I should just be fine. But, I was NOT fine. I was a mom who had lost a baby. I was deeply sad. Life was clearly not in my control. I could not bring life forth. I could not keep a baby from slipping away. Life was a gift and it was to be held loosely.
Time happened. Felt like a long, long, long, time.
But, a year and a half later we found out we were pregnant again. I was terrified. My anxiety went through the roof. I tried so hard to protect my heart, knowing how little I was in control. But once again, life happened. A baby was born.
A big (10 lb) beautiful baby boy screamed his way into this world, delivered by his father’s hands. He captured our hearts at first glance. Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is the tree of life. And that, my friends, had never been more true.
I often think about that time of loss and hope deferred. My heart had never been more sick. The longing and hope felt like it was tearing me apart. Looking back, I still wouldn’t choose that experience. Barbara Kingsolver, in her book Animal Dreams, said this
. A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven’t. Most don’t mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn’t happened, and so people imagine that a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had. But ask her sometime: how old would your child be now? And she’ll know.
So we lost someone. It really hurt. But that small person who finally joined our crazy family was the person I had been longing for. Will Harrison. One big bundle of joy and fire- all in one. He makes my heart sing. He made our family complete. So the pain, it was there and it was part of it. It’s part of me. But I couldn’t outrun it, so I had to wade through it. And though not every story has a happy ending, this one does.
No, not an ending. A happy beginning.