Dear Rowan

DearRowan(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.


Dear Rowan,

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?

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9 thoughts on “Dear Rowan

  1. Thank you for your honest and heartfelt words. I too suffered a miscarriage this last October. May 17th, 2016 was to be our due date. These early weeks and months are brutal. Though it does “get better” in ways, it will always be part of you and your story. The pain will linger, but healing does come.
    I know that anger. Our stories may be as different as they can come, but I remember that anger… a lot of anger at myself for being “foolish” enough to hope. I know fear. Fear that this will happen again the next time. I still fear it sometimes…
    I wrote about it in two blogs (also on WordPress, whaddya know?) 🙂 The feedback and love I have received after “coming clean” about my experience has been overwhelming. I just hope you have a similar experience and that you know that you are loved and that you’re not alone.
    I’m not going to tell you not to be angry at God. Anger is part of grieving. I remember being angry or “distant” because I felt so alone. I felt like God was there, but more as an outside comforter and not as someone close to the problem. In my blog “Butterflies in May” I talk about part of my journey in healing. That’s really what it has been. I’m sorry that you’re still struggling at the beginning of yours.
    Heather, we may never meet in this life, but you have a friend and a new follower. Keep writing, don’t lose hope for the future. God bless.
    -RNM

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    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and encourage me. I’m so sorry for your loss too. I will be sure to check out your blog, as it sounds like I would be encouraged by it too. But I am glad to hear that you too call it a journey, as it is a reminder that it will take time. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much sharing these letters during such a deeply painful time. My husband and I lost our first baby June 16th and we were due right before Christmas too… My experience was similar to yours – I didn’t end up needing a d&c but I did have to take medication to induce the miscarriage since my body did not recognize it. I was supposed to be 14 weeks along the day I took that pill. I’ve never experienced anything so heartbreaking…

    Your posts bring me comfort. I’m sure it’s hard to write about the subject but thank you so much for doing so. I can relate to so many of the feelings you’ve discussed. I too have struggled with anger at God. I’ve always believed that His plan is working in my life but right now I just don’t see that. I can’t possibly imagine how this is part of His plan for me, for us as a family.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience. It’s nice to have someone to relate to.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. My husband and I lost our first baby around the same time as you… At 13.5 weeks, we found out he no longer had a heart beat. We were due right before Christmas as well. Although I did not have to undergo a D&C, I did have to take cytotec to induce the miscarriage since my body hadn’t recognized it. The pain, both physical and emotional, was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Needless to say, our hearts are completely shattered.

    I find comfort in your posts. I haven’t yet read them all – just found your blog this AM and plan to continue reading when I get home this evening 🙂 But it is so reassuring and comforting to me to know there are others out there who are grieving a similar pain. For me, the hardest part has been not having anyone to relate to (my close friends and family have been fortunate enough to have never lost a baby). I too have struggled with anger at God, something I’ve rarely felt. Similar to what you said, my faith isn’t completely shaken but I’m struggling to trust. So thank you for posting about your experience and greiving process. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to follow your blog. I admire your courage and strength to write about this.

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    • Jordan, I’m so sorry for your loss too. I hope time has helped you heal a little. I know I’ve still got a long way to go. Having people who can relate is enormously important so I hope you can find more too. I’m glad my posts help you feel less alone. If you want or need to talk with someone else some more I’d be happy to. Just let me know. Again, I’m so sorry. Praying a healthy happy baby for you soon!

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  4. Pingback: Dear Rowan: Part Nineteen | Philosophia Women

  5. Pingback: Dear Rowan: On Your Due Date | Philosophia Women

  6. Pingback: Dear Rowan: Part Twenty-One | Philosophia Women

  7. Pingback: Dear Rowan: Part Twenty | Philosophia Women

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