I’m finding the grieving process to be more complicated than I anticipated. What I want is to come to terms quickly with the loss we’ve experienced and wrap my heart around it and move on to happier days. That’s proving a bit difficult for a couple of reasons. First, it’s hard to grieve with a house full of kids and a life that doesn’t stop and wait for you to be sad. Pushing past emotions to get on with “life” has become the easiest way to get through the day. My kids need me. My husband needs me. My family needs me. And sitting on the couch reflecting on my feelings (as much as I think it might be good to do from time to time) just isn’t always high on the day’s priorities.
But, perhaps the biggest obstacle to the grieving process has been my body’s inability (or unwillingness) to let go. It has been 2 weeks since we found out the baby passed and 3 weeks since he or she actually passed away and still there is…nothing. Well, nothing except nausea and sore breasts and the heavy full feeling of early pregnancy. Every second. Every moment. I am distinctly aware of the loss that hangs heavy inside me.
Last night I went for a second ultrasound. I had no real reason to anticipate a different outcome. But, I wanted that final closure. I thought that perhaps seeing that nothing had changed would allow my body to let go. I saw the baby again. Same size. Same small little body. Same quiet vacuum of a womb. I think because I knew what to expect it was more therapeutic. I had gone to a crisis pregnancy center because our insurance wouldn’t cover another ultrasound and they offered free ones and the thought of going to one of those happy places where you see your baby in 4-D was too unbearable. The moments spent in there with women who prayed for me were so compassionate and kind. They sent me home with a picture of the baby which was something I had refused at my first ultrasound. But I am glad now to have it. It’s funny how you collect these things with each child. I’ve never been good at baby books, but I do keep a baby box full of ultrasound pictures and congratulations cards and the celebrations of the life that friends and family send. I have the same collection started for this baby. I have a couple of congratulations cards and a few keepsakes. And now condolence cards. And an ultrasound picture. But I realized yesterday I have these things saved and no one will ever see them. Who are they for? Why am I keeping them? I can’t throw them away. But each baby box I create I have always planned to give to my children. Not this one. This one I hold onto forever. It makes this process seem so lonely and makes me realize the loss we’ve really experienced.
I had this vision of what a miscarriage looks like based on my two previous ones. And it never included carrying around my baby for weeks before my body let go. And I want it to be over which makes me feel guilty. And I don’t want it to be over because this will be the last time I will be this close to my baby. And that makes me feel like I’m a bit crazy. The whole process is confusing and schizophrenic and hard. So very hard.
I’ve chosen a natural miscarriage. I’ve chosen to wait and see the process to the end. Not exactly the home birth I had always dreamed of but I guess it is a home birth of sorts. But that means waiting. And wondering. And lots and lots of praying.
The prevailing question from my children throughout all this continues to be “why?” And for days I had no answer.
Why would God create a baby and let us love it and then take it away? I don’t know. But, after attending a recent Bible study about the nature of God, Thomas had an answer that was a balm to all of our broken hearts. There are flowers that bloom in parts of the dessert that will never be seen by a single living person. Why? Because sometimes God creates something beautiful and wonderful for His own enjoyment. I am choosing to believe that this baby is one such thing. A special life that is cherished and loved and created for God’s own enjoyment. This wasn’t a lost baby. Or a forgotten baby. No, this was a baby fearfully and wonderfully made to be a part of God’s kingdom. Just not this side of His kingdom. As sad as we are not to know this child, thinking about him or her and how they were created for God’s joy gives me great comfort and peace. And in this situation, comfort and peace are almost as satisfying as happiness. Almost.