It was a Sunday night. We had just said prayers with M and laid him down to dream sweet dreams. It was always on my mind, being that it was "that time of the month". The time every "trying" couple is acutely aware of--positive test time or period time. One way or another something would greet me in the bathroom over the next few days. I felt a wave of dizziness wash over me followed by nausea so, unbeknownst to T, I went straight to my box of pink tests and threw caution to the wind.
"You should take a test in the morning with your first pee so it's the most accurate."
"You told yourself you would wait until a day after your missed period so you don't waste anymore tests."
"It's going to be negative. They're always negative."
Then it happened. I looked down and saw two lines. I couldn't believe my eyes. That sucker registered within 30 seconds--"wait 2 minutes" my butt. I ran out the door, tears streaming down my face, and flashed it in front of T's face while trying to form words between sobs.
And then came the wave. The wave of fear every newly expecting mother fights with white knuckles.
"What if I lose the baby?"
The weeks that would follow were some of the most anxiety-ridden ones of my entire life. I truly can say that there has not been a time that I have come face to face with my unbelief in God's goodness as I did in that time. To see that I didn't truly believe that He could be that good was humbling, heart-breaking and confusing. But He was good.
He is good.
I took this newly realized state of my heart before the Lord with abandon. I wept on my mat, I sought prayer from others, I meditated on scripture. One morning while getting ready for the day I, very plainly and clearly, heard from Him.
"What I give you is yours until there's a time that I decide to take it away, if I even decide that for you."
A glimpse of peace.
Two weeks later, in a beautiful time of worship on my mat alongside a room full of sisters, He shared His heart with me through the words of a sweet and beautiful soul. She whispered in my ear, "He has placed this miracle inside of you. For the second time. Because He loves you."
Overwhelming peace. Grace-filled reassurance of the goodness of my Father.
The next two weeks continued the dreaming, the planning and the changing. That's what happens when you see two lines on a pee stick--you plan. Immediately.
There's this "rule", which I think is dumb, that says you shouldn't announce your pregnancy until you're "in the clear" and through your first trimester. This is because the risk is higher of losing your baby and, well, who wants to go back and tell everyone that news?
We tell people when we lose a job. Or a marriage. Or a relative. Or really anything. But we don't talk about this. This is the private loss. The one that we don't know how to talk about and are told would be better left to ourselves and those closest to us.
We excitedly walked into our Dr's office for our first ultrasound, anxious to see that little heart we had been praying over beat on that black and white screen. After a few moments of seeing a lot we didn't understand on the screen she stopped and said the words that haven't ceased to hover in my mind since.
"So from what I can see, there is no heart beat."
This is the moment an expecting mother dreads. It's almost like you stop breathing the moment you see that little bean on the screen and your lungs refuse to rise and fall again until your eyes see the flash of that little beat.
I sort of don't feel like mine have started rising and falling again since. My heart is stuck in that window-less room, waiting to hear any other words come out of that woman's mouth. She said many different things, most of which I didn't fully understand, but I knew the gist. T, on the other hand, did not. She explained it by saying, "It is not a viable pregnancy."
I can't get those words out of my head.
I know viable does not mean valuable, but isn't that what the silence of this loss means? It's not as valuable as if I had lost this little one 7 months later. Or 2 years. Or 18.
So I share this story because our second blessing is so incredibly valuable. And not just to us, but to Jesus. To it's big brother. To it's grandma's and grandpa's and uncles and aunts and everyone who began dreaming beautiful, big, full dreams for this little one.
And so here we sit. Waiting. Knowing God is good. Proclaiming and believing and receiving that He is very good.
The theme of this story is like countless others. And what's beautiful is that the babes that went Home are not countless but are named. They are valued and loved and missed and cherished.
In our story, we are still in the middle. While our little ones heart stopped beating weeks ago, my body doesn't seem to want to let him or her go. It has caused a deeper ache than words can describe to enter into this loss slowly. "How is this possible when I still feel so pregnant?" The leaving of the symptoms that filled me with such peace at the experiencing of them is, well, miserable. First it was the sickness. Then the appetite. Now slowly the tenderness of the breasts that would have nourished the babe they were aching in preparation for. And eventually the passing of the physical form he or she never would inhabit in this temporal place.
I only yesterday found out that the 15th was a day of recognition for women who have experienced this loss. While I was comforted to see so many posts being shared and stories laid bare, I found myself feeling frustrated.
This can't be something we just keep for October 15th.
Why can't we share the news at week 5 or 6 with joy at the gift we've been given in that moment and with the expectation and knowledge of God's goodness regardless of what happens, even if it's only ours for a few more weeks? Because His word to me was not wrong. It was not in sympathy to sustain me until the loss He knew was coming.
It was truth.
"For everything God made is good. That means nothing should be rejected as long as it's received with a grateful heart, for by God's word and prayer it is made holy." -1 Timothy 4:4
Our babe was and still is a gift. He or she always will be. He gave this babe to us because He loves us. He or she still is ours.
Will you do something for me? While I can't seem to do much but let my heart and body process this loss and the grief that accompanies it, can you make me a promise? Don't not talk about this. To the woman you know in your life who has lost a babe, at any stage, ask questions. Let her tell you her story. And listen. Listen with ears that care to hear. Because while there may be a lot of these stories, each of them is special, unique, important and worth hearing and receiving. You might feel uncomfortable bringing it up. You might not know what to say. But please, oh please, don't give into the voice in your head that says to just forget it. Absolutely go completely against that. She needs to talk about it. She needs to know that it doesn't have to be lonely and that her loss matters. And remember also that this is a loss for many, not just one. Dad needs comfort. He needs reassurance of the nearness of Christ and the Sovereignty of the Lord. It's real and deep and hard for both.
Their loss is a big deal.
Prayerfully consider how you can tangibly be Christ to the people in your life who have had a lifetime of dreams, plans and joys dashed with just a few words and an image on a screen. I will never stop seeing that picture of our sweet little bean on that monitor. Ever. Even in its six week measurement he or she was perfect.
And is Home with the Savior and some beautiful relatives and friends all awaiting our arrival.
So share our story. Share your story. Let your mouths open and hearts pour out because if we can't endure loss together then we must ask if we are really living in a true community of believers. Listen, cry, embrace, lift up, proclaim truth, and wait out the pain alongside one another. That is truly living and loving in the Spirit of the Risen King.