This morning I surprised myself. I was sitting in my bed working on my Beth Moore Bible Study during Samuel's morning nap. Suddenly I was overcome with tears and overwhelmed with grief.
How is this possible? A new mom of a healthy, beautiful 4-month-old overcome with grief and tears?
Next week is the two-year anniversary of the due date of our first baby and I can't seem to stop thinking about it. I have been wondering things like: what would it be like to have a 2-year-old in our home? Was it a boy or girl? Would he/she have looked like Ryan or I?
Even though it was 2 1/2 years ago that we experienced our first miscarriage, this time of year always brings to the surface the loss, the pain, the heartache of losing our first baby. As I approach this due date anniversary, it is the first time I have a second baby in heaven along with my first.
I can hardly write these words without tears flowing.
How does a mom ever forget the babies that she grew in her womb - even if for a short time? How does she ever forget the heart-wrenching grief associated with those losses?
I recognize that every miscarriage is different. Depending on your age, if you have other children, how long you have been trying for - all of these things impact how one responds to a miscarriage.
For me, we had the privilege of telling both sets of grandparents that they were just 7 months away from meeting their first grandchild. We had been married for five years and the anticipation of parenthood was so exhilarating. All of these things made our first loss so devastating.
Our second miscarriage was after two years of waiting and trying to conceive. That loss was just as deep and painful, although in a much different way.
This weekend Ryan and I were driving in the car discussing Samuel's name and the names of the babies we had chosen prior to his arrival in our lives. Years earlier we had decided on a boy and girl name (Samuel was not on our list of names). We never named the babies we miscarried, but there was an unspoken agreement that Ryan and I would not name our future children the names we had chosen prior to our miscarriages.
During our discussion in the car Ryan said to me, "When I get to heaven the first two names I will call out are Caleb and Hannah." Those were the names we had chosen so long ago for our babies. I could not hold back the tears.
The reality is that having two babies in heaven is hard. It has changed me. It has changed us. I now hold a miracle in my arms, but my heart will always long for the two babies that I never got to hold in my arms.
If this topic is uncomfortable for you, I am not going to apologize. Life is uncomfortable. Life is hard. Life is full of rejoicing and mourning. It is full of joy and pain. This week I will share what's on my heart as I approach the anniversary of our due date next week. I have always found that as a writer putting words to my thoughts and feelings brings healing to my heart.
Many people say that miscarriage is private. It's personal. And you know what? It is. Deeply personal and private. Yet, we need to talk about it. We need to acknowledge it. Holding pain, loss and grief inside hardens hearts and stuffs emotions.
Today, through my tears, I will praise God for the losses in my life that have made me who I am. I will praise Him for the gift of a baby from another woman's womb, when my womb could not carry a healthy baby. I will praise God that He binds up the brokenhearted...year, after year, after year. And I will praise Him that one day, I will see - and hold - my two whole, healthy and precious babies in the presence of Jesus.