Amid talking of schedules, sleeping, household issues, and pregnancy I think it’s important we are real about our own unique experiences. The ones of joy and pain. I’m so grateful my friend Kelly (who wrote this post on parenting through deployment) is sharing her heart with us today.
Preface: I now realize the unique mercy of a first trimester loss. To those of you who have carried farther, or delivered and faced the unimaginable, may my choice to be brave and share encourage you to do the same. When we speak, we give a voice to those who may not yet be able to share their stories- and encourage a conversation that is filled with compassion and love. Let us be kind to each other.
Our Story of Loss
As I recently unpacked our new home, I pulled out a nursery decoration that hung in my childhood room in the early 80s. It is a Precious Moments art print on old wood pallets- with the words Jesus loves me along the top. Three years ago, I stashed it away as tears of grief rolled down my cheeks. I had already started decorating the nursery and that special piece was the first thing I rushed to hang.
I was surprised how I once again felt the grief in my stomach- how raw the loss could still be after so much time. I found myself intensely remembering the baby we lost, the dreams that turned into mourning, and the darkness that followed for a year.
I thought I could handle it. First trimester losses are common and it was not to be. These words I told myself over and over again. That I should be over it, that I should move on, that I should be content with what He had already so graciously given, that this dark cloud of grief could be willed to leave and never return.
The Power of Words
The comments of others added to my distress- that I should be thankful for the children I did have, that we were young enough to try again, and that I was “just pregnant.” Something was probably wrong with the baby- so better now than later. My skin still crawls as I read these words. Why do people say such things?!
Let me just preach this one time, the only words appropriate in this situation: I am so sorry. Nothing else.
What I Wish I Knew Then
Years later, there is a piece of my heart that was lost that fall. A life that was not lived, a future that has been permanently altered by a baby never held, and a family that now has three precious littles instead of four. The due date still catches me and I find myself wondering what it would have been like to have a birthday to celebrate- instead of this day of remembrance that only I honor.
Looking back, I wish I would have given myself more grace to really grieve. I would not criticize myself for missing another baby shower or struggling through another happy Facebook announcement. I would remind myself to sincerely thank the good friends who did not trivialize what I was going through, to hug my husband more because he lost someone too, and to generously give myself time and rest.
Finally, in a gentle voice I would say, He is sovereign. His Word is true and He is faithful to His promises. Your mourning will once again be dancing. The future has so much joy because He has the whole world in His hands. Even yours.
Epilogue: We have not (yet) been pregnant again. We did, however, bring home a perfect little girl through the blessing of adoption. Our hearts are full and we are so, so grateful.
If telling your story helps in the healing process or you need encouragement today, a small part of your journey is safe with us here….
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