I’ve spent the last two months processing the loss of our third child. The pregnancy wasn’t planned, actually that’s an understatement, the pregnancy was a big ole surprise! We had a week of terrified bliss imagining what our life was going to be like with three kids UNDER three years old. Seriously, who does that? Us apparently.
And then what I had been nervous about since I got that positive pregnancy test happened. We lost the baby. An impromptu trip to see the new Star Wars movie on the day after Christmas ended with me collapsed on the stairs crying as one of my worst fears came true. In the first week or so afterwards I put on a brave face, and began telling the few people who actually knew we were pregnant in the first place. I said, “It is what it is, I’m really doing fine.” A lot.
But then we had a week of crazy cold weather (for Houston at least) that kept us home bound for the better part of four days straight and all the things I’d been running to as a distraction from the loss we suffered came to a screeching halt. It was then that the grief hit me like a ton of bricks. My poor husband who had believed me over the previous three weeks when I said “I’m really doing fine”, was at a loss for how to comfort me. I also was at a loss, and as caught off guard as he was at the intensity of the emotions overwhelming me.
While mourning the loss of the sweet baby we will never meet this side of Heaven, I was also battling fierce guilt that I even ended up pregnant in the first place. Some of my nearest and dearest friends have been trying to get pregnant for a while now and there I was holding my third positive pregnancy test in three years feeling overwhelmed by the blessing. While I was very quickly celebrating and planning what our life would look like come August 20th, I also had a pit in my stomach thinking about sharing our happy news with some of our closest friends. So when we lost the baby I kept reminding myself how much I have to be thankful for (which is true), and how much harder loosing a baby might be for someone who didn’t already have children, or had actually been trying to get pregnant and then lost a baby (might be true). But all I was really doing was making myself feel guilty for feeling sad about what happened.
It’s been two months now and I’ve learned a lot.
I’ve learned that life is messy and complicated.
I’ve learned that pain and suffering comes in many different forms, and has a way of uniting people even when their pain and suffering is the result of different circumstances.
I’ve learned that God has purpose for our suffering, and that He mourns along side us, understanding our unique pain better than any other person can.
I’ve learned that joy through suffering doesn’t mean I have to be happy all the time, but that in the midst of the tears I know in my heart of hearts that God is in control, and I trust Him still.
I’ve learned that letting people see my pain is more healing to my heart than putting on a brave face.
I’ve learned that my connection to my children really did start at conception (I’ve always believed this but now I know it to be true). The baby I lost was a part of me that I will mourn and miss for the rest of my time here on Earth. I’ll think about what he/she would have looked like at each age, and how having a third child so soon would have shaped our family. I’ll wonder what her (I believe the baby was a girl) favorite color would have been and think about the little hands I’ll never get to hold. Most of all I’ll yearn a little more intensely for Heaven, because a precious little babe is waiting for me there.
I’m still on this journey, and some days getting out of bed feels like being at the starting line of a marathon that I didn’t sign up for but am being forced to run anyway. Some days completing every day tasks is overwhelming, and I opt for a lazy day on the couch, stealing snuggles with my littles while we watch Sing for the hundredth time. But every day the Lord is teaching me more about His character and His promises. He is teaching me about authenticity and the complexity of human relationships. He is teaching me how to trust Him in the midst of the storm. He is teaching me how to be humble and ask for help when I need it (which has been a lot lately). He is building endurance and perseverance in me that I know will serve me well in the future. Every day he is showing me how he is faithfully using our suffering for good.
I’ve struggled with the thought of writing this post a lot over the last two months. Feeling torn between not knowing how or when to share and wanting to be open and vulnerable in the moment. I am still very much in the midst of this trial, but I wanted to be open with all of you. Will you pray for me and for my family? I have taken it the hardest no doubt, but the struggle has been felt by all of us. Pray for my husband that he will continue to have compassion and understanding, that God will give him the eyes to see and understand my pain (he has done a wonderful job of this so far). Pray for me as a mom, that I’ll have patience with our toddler especially, who despite being a sweet snuggly mamma’s boy, knows exactly how to drive me crazy. Pray for endurance for all of us, that we will run this race well and trust that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:16-18