(Note: My hiatus has been caused by two things. First, the laptop on which I had been blogging died, and I had no replacement. Second, the same week my new laptop arrived, I suffered a miscarriage. Blogging, reading, writing–all hobbies have felt foreign and wholly impossible. But in the spirit of healing and a desire to allow this process to heal others, I will pick up the pen, as it were, and continue on a more personal bent for awhile. Thank you for reading.)
At my present moment, I feel hypocritical writing for this blog–where I have before written of being a woman of thought and godly character. The reason is this: I am angry. I have never before now been angry at God to the point where I was personally unable to pray, or worship, or read my Bible. But while the emotional side of me is speechless with anger, the rational side of me knows full well that God is not afraid of my anger, that he is good, loving, righteous, just, and compassionate. I know with certainty that he will draw me back to himself with love, that he will in righteousness say to me out of the storm, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” and he will also say to me, “come to me, you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Therefore, I will write of my journey from grief to joy, confident that “a bruised reed he will not crush”, and that each entry will hold more hope than the last. But my greatest hope is that this will serve as a tool of healing for others who struggle with the same journey of grief and anger. If that is you, let us bear one another up.
Today I will begin with a letter.
Two weeks later and the hormones, the initial grief and shock, the trauma of surgery and the hollowness of sudden change has faded, but instead of a lighter burden, the weight of tiny things begins to take over. I get that you’re gone, that I can’t start shopping for baby clothes and items for your nursery. I get that I won’t see you at Christmas, that I’ll never get to meet you. I’m reconciling slowly to these things. But what I now must begin to grieve are the tiny things.
My body will not change in the mirror each day. I will not see the veins through my skin getting darker as they take you nutrients. I won’t gain weight. I won’t crave anything. I won’t count the weeks or read how you’re growing and developing each week, each month, each trimester. I will never kiss your tiny fingers and toes, see your pretty little eyes or bright smile. I will never change your dirty diapers or clean your spit up. The body that betrayed us both won’t feel you on the outside, either nursing or being held in my arms, your warm, scented skin against mine.
What I will have to do is buy a new ovulation kit. I will have to see negative pregnancy tests again as we go through the long and horrible process of trying all over again. I will be wary of mosquitoes but less wary than I would have been. I will have to move forward outwardly normal and routine, while every moment of my day is actually layered with colors of you. I will have to see my friends with their sweet babies, tired, but so in love. I will have to see the months slip by that were supposed to bring me closer to you but which will actually take me further from you. I will have to face the holidays, Christmas, and your due date two days after Christmas, and just watch them slip by emptily and uneventfully. My arms will continue to be empty.
I will have to approach my 29th birthday, when my 28th year was supposed to be the year I gained you. Instead it was the year I lost you.
I am praying that I will be pregnant with your brother or sister soon. I am praying I will carry him or her to full term, and by my 29th birthday, feel I am in the clear at least. I am praying it will ease the ache of the loss of you. It will never take it away. But perhaps knowing the joy that ends a pregnancy will ease or counterbalance the grief that ended this one.
I loved you so much. I prayed for you every day. I am glad to know you are safe and you are loved. But I wanted to give you so much more love than I did and do. I wanted to know you. I wanted your first steps, your first birthday, your first words, your first books, your first time meeting your aunts and uncles and grandparents. I wanted you to look into my eyes and smile. I wanted you to scream all night because you needed me. I wanted to struggle with my purpose and lack of career. I wanted to question my contribution to society and wonder if I’d ever get to do things for myself and my career again. I wanted to resent you a little for making me a “mom” instead of a teacher, writer, church-worker. I wanted to struggle with your daddy over the fact that I didn’t make any money anymore. I wanted to fall to pieces in the middle of the night because I hated your first few months and I was so tired and I missed time with your daddy. I wanted to be depressed and alone in the middle of winter with you, in the long nights of cold and darkness, sleeping a half hour at a time.
I wanted you. For some reason God saw fit to take you from me. He and I are a little distant. Or rather, I am. I am angry with him. It is easier for me to believe he is angry with me too, and punishing me for something I did wrong, than it is for me to accept that he loves me deeply and still afflicted me. Perhaps that’s foolish. In fact, the rational side of me, the years-long student of theology side of me, knows exactly how foolish that is. God is good. God is just. God is love. God is sovereign. God afflicted Job. God afflicted all those he loved. He made them stronger and better. I know rationally that he is doing the same to me. That he is molding me into a better version of myself than I was. I was rather spiritually dead before you. I was self-sufficient, prideful, legalistic. My marriage was struggling because I was selfish and unyielding. Today I am broken into a thousand pieces, helpless and have no pride left. I cry in public, I had to accept help with meals and with cleaning my house. I turn to your daddy for comfort, I pick up after him without complaint, I no longer nitpick his behavior. I care for him and for his slow grief process. I am a better person, but I am still angry. The emotional side of me is so bitter to have lost time like this. It took us some time to get pregnant with you, and now we have lost you after almost three months. Soon it will be a year since we started trying to get pregnant. I thought by now I’d have a baby in my arms or nearly so. I don’t understand why God allowed it to take so long for us to get pregnant. I don’t understand why he allowed us to feel so much joy only to take it away. I don’t understand why a good God would do such a thing.
And yet I do. I have studied the problem of evil. I have used it to explain natural disasters, mass shootings, childhood cancer. But now that evil has afflicted me, I realize how the world struggles to understand how a good God can do such a thing. Perhaps I will begin to see how God is working in this. One day I may see his reasoning. One day I may think to myself, “ah–this here is exactly why he took my baby from me on June 7th, 2016.” But I also may not. I may never understand. I am not to the point where I can say, “though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” I am at the moment simply clinging to the hope that “a bruised reed he will not crush.” I am clinging to the hope that he will not do this to me again. But I don’t know. I don’t know if I trust him with your little brother or sister. I prayed for you daily, and he didn’t answer those prayers. How can I pray for the next baby? How can I ask for joy when he withheld it from me? How can I trust him to carry your sibling if he didn’t carry you?