Just a short week ago my heart was filled with joy for what was to be. Joy in longing to soon hold our 3rd child that was due January 5th, 2011. Joy in trying to figure out how to tell Anna and Eli they were going to have a baby brother or sister. Joy in surprising our moms (and family and friends) on Mother’s Day with the news they’d be getting a new grandchild. But today is a different story and as I type this, my heart is heavy. My joy has been replaced with sorrow and pain. My heart hurts. It longs for what could have been.
I don’t understand why God allowed us to lose this baby but what I do know is that He is a God of mercy and I take refuge in knowing that.
Truth be told, yesterday, merciful is the last thing I thought God was. After receiving the call that I had lost the baby, I thought the worst was over. The pain (the physical part anyway) was behind me and all I had to do was make it through the day, and the next, and the next. But as 11 hours of pain began to consumed me, I clearly was wrong. It wasn’t over and I didn’t understand why God continued to allow me to suffer, physically and emotionally. Was it not enough that we lost our child, but now I had to spend 3 of the 11 hours in such pain that I was balled up in the floor crying after having already suffered pain earlier in the week? Where is the mercy in that?
I’ll tell you where. I got a phone call this morning from my doctor’s nurse checking on how I was doing since the on-call doctor we ended up calling last night had told them of the pain I had been experiencing. I was told that I most likely had a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy and that the pain I was in last night was it rupturing. I immediately understood where God’s mercy is. It’s in my body remedying something abnormal so that I didn’t have to make a conscious decision to end my pregnancy on behalf of my own health. I don’t know that I could have done that and been able to live with myself. So where was God’s mercy? It was with me all along and that is some kind of merciful.
It was a hard decision to decide whether or not to even disclose that I had been pregnant, much less that I miscarried our baby. Part of me wanted to keep it to myself and a close few. But the larger part of me wanted to acknowledge and honor the life that had been, despite the brevity of his/her life.
As I woke up this morning from a mostly sleepless night, there was a brief moment of regret. Regret that I even shared our pain. I feared that people would do one of two things: look at me with pity or wonder why I was making ‘much adieu about nothing’. Then I realized something. This isn’t much adieu about nothing!
There is a mindset in our country that ending pregnancies (rather intentional or not) are of no consequence and this is a blatant lie. If you get nothing else from this post, please understand this: Life is life regardless of how far along in the pregnancy you are. The life you are carrying should be treasured, not disregarded and discarded.
Why even mention abortion in the same context as miscarriage? Because I think in both instances that people often fail to see and value life in its earliest form. When people are considering abortion they’re not thinking of a blob of tissues and cells. They’re thinking of a baby. A baby that requires constant attention, sleepless nights, diapers, food, clothes. They’re thinking of how much this little life is going to change and affect their life. It’s society that tries to get them to see their baby as nothing more than a mass of cells. Last time I checked, I never thought about rocking a blob of cells, but I did dream of dream of holding our baby and rocking him/her to sleep as I sat there staring at her, in complete and total awe of God’s craftsmanship. I did dream of that. So if nothing else results from our losing our baby to miscarriage but one person coming to the understanding of the importance and value of life, then our baby’s brief life and our overwhelming pain will not have been in vain and will have served a greater purpose. And honestly, that is my truest hope. That not only will I learn something from this, but that someone else will as well.
Until then, despite the sadness I can still look back through this situation and see God's merciful hand upon us and say "I will praise you in this storm."