Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Learning to live with baby loss, and a prayer request (Project 365 Writing/Photography Challenge; Post #21)

This picture was taken (by hubby) of me and Small Boy the morning of August 23, 2012. We had just found out the previous day that I had miscarried our second child. I was a little over 11 weeks pregnant, and the ultrasound had revealed a baby a little over 8 weeks size with no heartbeat. The next day I had a D&C; not so painful, just absolutely heartrending. I still remember those two days as though they were occurring right now. Those hours of crying together in the doctor's office, the wondering why and the wishing I would just wake up from the horrible dream.
I am slowly learning to deal with it, some days I am fine, others I still just can't seem to cope with the reality that I would have a 5ish month old baby right now.  You wonder why I picked today to write about this; it is because it takes time. Time to think, process, and sort out your emotions after losing a baby. It is something you think about daily; I am just now getting to the point where I can think about it without bawling. And I don't always think about it daily anymore. This year on August 22nd I was going to write about my story; but that day was (mercifully) filled with many things to do, besides taking care of Small Boy who was having a rough day. I wrote a post that day, but it never dawned on me what the date was. Two days later, I realized; and I felt horrible for having forgotten. But then as I was talking to hubby about it that night, I knew that while I had forgotten the exact date, I was healing. Our very precious baby #2 was in heaven in the best of circumstances, while I was caring for our precious Small Boy here on earth. We will never forget our Angel Baby, but I am also learning that part of healing is knowing that Angel Baby is in the best place possible; sitting at the feet of Jesus, free from ever having to experience the cares, sorrows, and pains of the earth.
Strange as it may sound, me coming to fully trust in that fact, of my Baby being in heaven, was hard for me. I wanted to believe it, and I didn't think for a moment otherwise. But that was not how I was raised, so I needed some solid Biblical teaching to help my belief that God would protect our little one. Hubby bought a book on his Kindle, Safe in the Arms of Jesus, by John MacArthur, which was recommended by our pastor, and I finally brought myself to read it this spring. Mamas (and Papas), who have lost your little ones, please read that book; you may cry the whole way through, as I did, but it will bring healing encouragement. Even if the material in it is just review for you, it will strengthen your spirit just to be reminded that the One who is greater than all of us is caring for your child.
One very important, but very difficult thing I learned, is that in all of the stages you go through after babyloss, that healing is not forgetting. As you go through those weeks and possibly months of PPD with no little baby in your arms, and you wish you could just sleep for the next year so you wouldn't have to deal with all the pain, just remember that in time, the pain will lessen. It will not just go away one day, you will not just all of a sudden feel better in a couple weeks. I had no idea how hard it would be to learn to adjust to life again.
"Letting go", "moving on" and such phrases come to mind as we think of how to deal with tragedies. But I immediately knew that those phrases do not work when experiencing the loss of a child. I think the best way to describe it is that I am "learning to live with it". I don't mean that in a cavalier way, but in the truest sense of those words. One of the hardest things for me was the nagging feeling that I had to forget what happened if I was ever going to feel better, but knowing full well that I would never forget, that I did not want to ever forget. I have always had the "forget about it and move on" attitude with things in life that affected me negatively, but this was a new thing, one that I would never forget and did not want to forget. I am beginning to learn that learning to live with it means just that; I move through each day knowing that my little #2 is safe in the arms of Jesus, and holding dear the Small Boy that God has given us as a precious gift here on earth. Stopping to read to and snuggle him, and never take him for granted.
Because while he will some day know about Angel Baby, he doesn't now. He just knows that he is little and needs Mama and Papa to care for him. On those nights when I am so tired and he doesn't want to sleep and he just wants to be held, I have learned to stop and pray and thank God for this precious little treasure in my arms who is growing up so fast. I pray God will help me to be a better Mama and that we will raise him to know and love the God who created and cares for him. That is what I mean by living with it. Not that Small Boy or any future children we may be blessed with will replace the one we lost; the one we lost, however, reminds us to have a more eternal perspective on the day-to-day difficulties we encounter now. Contentment that God knows best, and really believing that He does, even when I don't want to.

Now for my prayer request; one of my very dearest friends had a very tragic week last week. She lost her baby girl after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This was to be her third little girl on earth; she has two beautiful little girls who keep her busy every day, and she has already had two early-term miscarriages. I have cried and cried and prayed for her, and still am...This precious mama has a long hard road of recovery ahead of her now; I hope you will all join me in praying for her, and her hubby and daughters, as they go through this tragedy. Pray that as they come through this, they will come through even stronger as a family, and firmer in their faith in God; that He will send his angels to comfort and strengthen them each day as they heal.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. Our pastor's family just lost twins at 7 weeks. I can't imagine if it was my own baby, crying for you
    Wholesome Joy