This is going to be a little emotional, friends.
If you’ve done any poking around this blog or know me well, you probably already know that I had a miscarriage several months ago. My due date for that baby was mid January – very close to my own birthday. I’ve been waiting for that to really sink in for me and I guess it has. I wrote this letter in response to that onslaught of emotion. And I share it publicly here in hopes that perhaps it will help others who have struggled or are struggling with grief of their own.
It’s officially late January. Had you survived, you would surely have been born by now. And if your journey into this world was anything like your brother’s, I would probably still be limping around the house, telling your daddy to not even think about touching me for another six weeks. I’d probably be crabby, exhausted from lack of sleep, covered in breastmilk and projectile vomit and those fleece sweatpants your father hates, and desperately trying to figure out this new stage of life where I am responsible 24 / 7 / 365 for not one child, but two.
But as all mothers know– the gift of you, your tiny life, would be worth every second of my discomfort.
For whatever reason that is far beyond my ability to comprehend – and believe me, Baby, I’ve tried – that was not to be. Not for you. Not for us. The joy you brought to our lives was short lived. I’ve survived a lot of truly terrible things, Baby, but never in my life have I felt such a dreadful shock as the moment they told me you were gone. Lying there on the table, watching the ultrasound tech slip from cheerful chatter to total silence as she took pictures of nothing I could understand. I thought we were out of the woods – the first trimester nearly over. I couldn’t wait to hear your little heartbeat. And when it wasn’t there, when they told me you’d stopped growing weeks ago… there are no words to describe that kind of pain. I’ve never cried so hard in all my life. They gave me a little white stone. I can’t imagine why. As if anything so small and worthless could ever fill the void you left. (I did keep it though. It’s on my window ledge. I didn’t know what else to do with it. Somehow, hiding it or throwing it away just felt wrong.)
I can’t stop blaming myself. I know it isn’t my fault, even the doctors said so, but there are still so many what-ifs in my head. I’m convinced that even the most passionate Calvinist couldn’t dismiss the what-ifs of a mother who’s lost her child. I’m kind of a stickler for sound doctrine, Baby. But even my favorite verse (Romans 8:28) is still a bit hard to swallow after losing you. Ironic that it was written permanently on my wrist long before your time.
For weeks now, I’ve been trying to push away these thoughts and more. Like how round my belly would be, how hard we’d be working to finish making space for you, how soon you’d be joining us, and how none of my clothes would fit, but for very different reasons than they are now. I didn’t want to start grieving again. Now that it’s started, I don’t really want to stop. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on, letting myself go to pieces over the stories of others who’ve lost little ones too. I even dug out those little books they gave me at the clinic – the ones with the dramatic titles that were written by a woman who’s lost three of her own. (They didn’t really help. I’m probably several months too far into this grieving process to find much in them that I haven’t already figured out by now.)
Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I haven’t forgotten you. I think of you often. And I still feel the pain of your loss so keenly. I hope you like my new tattoo — old words which have meant so much to me for so long and now mean even more because of you. A daily reminder, as often as I see my own face in the mirror: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” There was so much darkness in your wake. Months with hardly an inch of sunlight in my world. But not forever. That’s not my fate. So much grief and sorrow and pain and suffering and death to be endured in this world– but one day, no more. One day He will wipe every tear from my eyes. And death shall be no more.
You have forever changed me, little one. You are the reason I am fighting so hard to be healthy and strong. For your sake and for the sake of future brothers and sisters that may yet be.
I will never, ever stop loving you.