Grief and Life

It has been just about three weeks since the day I took the positive pregnancy test which has led to the roller coaster of the past few weeks. I wore the same pair of sweatpants for four days. I cried…a lot. On Friday, as husband drove me home from the hospital, I felt empty. Literally, emotionally, spiritually. 

Saturday I decided to “rejoin the human race”. We went to the Zoo, which was fun, distracting, and sad at the same time. It was a beautiful day, and many of the animals were visible (including my favorites, the lions and bears). But there were so many families with babies, strollers full of smiling children and happy (if somewhat harried) parents, and there were a few times when I thought, “That is supposed to be me.” or, “I wonder if our baby would have looked like that.” 

Overall, it was a fun day, and then husband and I had a date night dinner, and discussed goals and reflections on our first three months of marriage, and just had time together out of the house. I did my hair and put on makeup for the first time in over a week; it felt good to do those things. 

I’m not any kind of counselor or expert on grief (though Lord knows, enough people in my life have died), but I do know that for me, it comes slowly. The feeling of ‘being ok’, and that I am one of the people for whom the phrase “fake it till you make it” is completely apt. Every part of me wants to wear sweatpants and not wash my face, and cry and scream “My child died before he even had a chance to live!”. 

BUT, life has to go on. I have work, I have commitments. I have a husband who needs me to be the woman he married, who needs me to give him time to grieve, to hold his hand and say it will be ok, who needs me to not need him for comfort all the time. I have a closet full of beautiful clothes that I have taken pride in buying (on fabulous sales) and it’s not really me to avoid those things that make me feel like a woman (like getting dressed and putting on makeup). 

The best memorial I can leave to my precious child is to live well; to keep his memory in my heart, and continue to live. 

I have started praying each day for all those women who have miscarried or lost their children as infants. I’ve often prayer for healing for women who have had abortions, but it never occurred to me to pray for those women who have involuntarily lost their babies. Until I became one of those women. Pregnancy books don’t have many words for us, and medical books are full of scary terms like “blighted ovum”, “missed abortion”, or “stillbirth”. Doctors refer to our babies as “fetuses”, “tissue”, “contents of the uterus”, because that is what they are trained to do, and they believe it will lessen the pain of our loss. It doesn’t; I know what my baby is. So much more than just the “contents of my uterus”. 

So I pray for all of us, for our healing, for healthy pregnancies and babies in the future, for the souls of our beautiful children. Maybe this is a special grace God has given me, to know the pain of women who lose a pregnancy, and to use that pain to advocate on behalf of them in prayer. Only God knows the reason that this happened to me, and the reason that another women who has a positive test on March 3, has a growing belly and a baby with a heartbeat. But God does know, and that’s what matters. That’s what I trust. He knows what He is about. 

“God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good. When I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should, but I do it anyway.”

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