Journal Entry: March 16, 2018
When you lose your baby, you lose a lot. Losing your baby is the worst loss, but you lose so much more than you could ever imagine. Each day seems to be a discovery of yet another loss, another loss that comes with losing your baby. The losses just keep piling up.
You lose all of the obvious things. You lose watching your child open his eyes, hearing his cries, and feeling his tiny fingers grab your face. You lose hearing his giggles and the pitter patter of his feet, the sweetest sounds, your ears will never hear.
You lose yourself and the entire future you had envisioned. The smile is robbed from your face, you’re lightheartedness eludes you and the ability to fully live in the moments of joy and happiness is gone for a long while, because you know that the sadness will return. It is just a matter of time. You lose holidays with your first born son and you lose spending your first mother’s day, as a mom, with your child in your arms. You lose celebrating your third decade worth of trips around the sun, as a family of three. You often, literally, lose the ability to breathe and, sometime, you feel certain, you will lose the beating of your own heart.
Then there are the many, less obvious things you lose. You lose the experience of taking your toddler to church and watching him curiously look up at the pastor as he offers him God’s blessings, during communion. You lose picking out birthday cards for your first born child. You lose the stories of the funny and sometimes seemingly profound things he would have said to his dad, on Saturday afternoon fishing adventures. You lose the ability to simply be happy for other pregnant women and new moms, not because you don’t want to be anything but happy for them, but because it brings all of your pain back to the surface.
The real kicker are the losses that you actually have to spend time sorting your feeling out, to realize that the reason something is making you so upset, is because it is yet another loss. There is the loss of the shared experience of your first pregnancy, with a friend. You also lose the shared experience of parenting children of the same age, with that same friend.
Going back to work for the first day after maternity leave, all the while feeling anxious, but slightly relieved when you get a text with a snap shot of your soundly sleeping babe, you lose that too. You lose the interest of others wanting to see pictures of him, or wanting to hear about your birthing experience; after they were so willing to share theirs with you, during your pregnancy. That last one kind of cuts deep – because you did give birth, and you have a lot of pride in that. It was the last thing you were able to do for your baby.
“MY COMFORT IN MY SUFFERING IS THIS: YOUR PROMISE PRESERVES MY LIFE” PSALM 119:50
It takes a while, but eventually you start to see a lot of things you’ve also gained. Things that only a loss mom or dad can gain. You lose sight of those things easily, and often, but they are there.
Again, there are the obvious things. You gain a unique, deeper appreciation for the delicacy of life. You feel a deeper appreciation for your medical care providers. And the ability to take fewer things for granted; a deeper sense for seeing past the little things, in order to appreciate the bigger, far more important things in life.
Then, there are the less obvious things. After experiencing a whole new love with your husband, and so unexpectedly losing the life for which you’d built and reserved that new love for, you gain a deeper love and affection for your husband. You receive an overwhelming abundance of love and care from a whole lot of people, some of whom you didn’t necessarily expect it from. You gain the support of old and distant friends and of new friends too, other loss moms. And brand new, special bonds that can’t ever be lost or broken, are gained.
The real joy and growth is gained in the things you have to choose in this loss. I’ve gained a whole new reason to live, I mean actually L-I-V-E, life; because I want to live a life that my Marshall, my angel baby, will be proud of me for. I’ve gained a deeper desire than ever before, to walk through this life with the Lord Jesus, and a deeper desire to listen for and live out His plan for me. I have gained a deeper compassion then even before. I know that once I’ve healed enough, I will find a way to be there for other women, when they find themselves experiencing this life shattering, never ending loss. I have gained patience for people grieving in a way that I don’t understand, because I know that people do not, and will not, always understand how I am grieving.
This pain will never fully evade me. My heart is, forever, broken beyond repair. I can’t stop, or even find any semblance of control, over the waves of emotions as they come at me. But, I can try my damnedest to make the best of this life, and know that each day that passes might as well be lived with intention, because each day is one day closer to being reunited with my Marshall.