Since the 2nd miscarriage I’ve been doing surprisingly okay, I thought.
As soon as the first baby passed, I cried instantly. It triggered a deep sobbing that lasted longer than I can remember ever crying. But with the 2nd I seemed to feel more resigned to what was happening – not a lot of bitterness, questioning of God, etc. After the first, God had spoken very clearly to me, “I am going to use this miscarriage for My glory.” And He has – in numerous ways. And I believe that is still true with this one.
But the grieving has felt different. Intense emotions have escaped based on seemingly unrelated things – a couple local groups not having space for me because of my newness, unmet expectations of support/help, feeling disregarded by the kids, arguments with Hubs over our usual issues, feeling unsettled in our transitional living situation, a stressful birthday planning day, etc. – but not a lot of emotion directly related to the loss of the second baby. I have not intentionally tried to stuff the feelings, but it seems I’m in a sort of survival mode that has carried over into this tragedy. (I deleted “circumstance” and wrote “tragedy” because that’s what it is.) And I haven’t had the energy to blog about anything – until now.
On the upside of life, the Lord has provided more spiritual resources and opportunities than I’ve ever experienced in my Christian walk. We have quickly and easily decided on a wonderful church – it looks like the Foursquare folks are going to have us for a while, so look out! =) And I just came from one of the best and most “spiritually efficient” (if I may) women’s retreats that I’ve ever been on. Also, two months before we came to SB, a group of spirit-filled folks started a local House of Prayer in the same vein as IHOP and children are welcome during the Friday evening worship/prayer service and it’s a great place to soak in God’s presence. As well, there’s also a new city-wide women’s ministry, called Believing Women, started by an AWESOME woman (and her friends) that I met who is just thrilled about Jesus. It’s going to focus on worship, prayer, and testimonies. And if that’s not enough, Luke’s dream of a city-wide men’s ministry has already been started by a group of men that he has loved being around. So we’re just putting ourselves in God’s way as much as possible and asking him to speak and move and touch us in new ways.
So this Friday at SBHOP, in one little corner of the church there was an advertisement for a ministry called Healing For the Heart that had one contact card left in the little plastic contact card holder. I put it in my wallet and promptly took it out this evening after Hubs and I came to a familiar impasse after another familiar disagreement. We’ve been threatening marital counseling for years now and have gotten input and help here and there, but after all this shake up, it seems like now would be an opportune time. So I read through the website (which sounds like water for my thirsty soul) and then followed the link to this couple’s personal blog of losing their daughter, Sarah, at nine months in utero. I skimmed until I got to the redeeming story of the birth of their second child, a son named River.
Reading this father’s account of their journey was my trigger. I sobbed again – that sob that may only be connected to the loss of life that was too young to go. The hot tears that protest the injustice of a death that too many people in our lives have experienced. And it was mixed with a compassion for those who have it worse than me: multiple miscarriages into the second trimester, a still-born child, a boy with a heart that could only sustain him for days, a swiftly fatal degenerative disease of a pretty remarkable kid, and the list goes on – too long. But what really got me was how this dad was able to communicate his grief.
“…Of course the journey has continued with Sarah, but was simply not written down. You could say my heart became the place where the writing went deeper and into secret places of my soul. I feel the effects of Sarah’s life ever taking me deeper in things – I’m so thankful.
The tide comes in and you write like mad and then it goes out and you put the pen down. My journey as a father never stopped when Sarah died, it was moving on into new things. “
And the weeping kept on at the wondering of what kind of new things God would provide for us. I found myself whimpering, “I wanted those babies! I wanted those babies!” Will another baby be the way God will redeem our story? Technically, He doesn’t have to provide that for us. His ways are above our ways. But I will log plenty of prayers requesting one more – just one more – child to carry in my womb and arms and heart. (And Baseball Boy is still ordering up a brother, of course.)
But if not, we surrender. We are open to foster and/or adoption, or any of the other creative ways that God gives each of us the pleasure and responsibility of nurturing his children.
So that’s what finally brought me a hard, relieving cry. A stranger sharing his story. And God leading me to it in such a gentle and timely way. And there may be more hard cries. And that’s okay.
And since this stranger has such a gift for saying what has been difficult for me to express, I’ll let him conclude.
“There’s so much to say, but for now I’ll just end with: There’s nothing like the love you feel for your child, especially after you’ve lost one. Maybe the love we feel for our children is one of closest ways to understand the Father’s Love for us. “
Anyone grieving who would like to share?
Thank you for sharing this, Melanie. My miscarriage was at a very different place in life– when I was expecting menopause and looking forward to teen years and before long an empty nest. The pregnancy wasn’t welcome, and after spending six weeks saying, “Be it unto me according to Thy will, O Lord,” I started warming up to the idea of a late-life lamb. After silently wishing for a miscarriage, when it actually came it took me by surprise. Seeing the too-still form, without a heartbeat, on the sonogram monitor left me heartbroken. And relieved. And ashamed to admit I felt kind of relieved. How can one feel two such opposite things at the same time? I miss the baby that’s already gone. And there won’t be another– I don’t want there to be. I have three beautiful children. I am satisfied, and grateful. And heartsick.
Just saw this, Maria. Isn’t that one of the mysteries of life? Feeling deeply opposite feelings at exactly the same time? Part of being human and real and complex. I’m sad and happy for you for all the reasons you mentioned. And I love you, dear friend.