december 28, 2009 — we get pregnant while home in michigan for christmas.
january 16, 2010 — we find out that we are pregnant, in our bathroom, in the morning.
march 2, 2010 — i endure a miscarriage, in our bathroom, in the evening, when i am 11 weeks along.
this is not a long time-line, but it doesn’t require a very long time at all to start to love a life, no matter how tiny and incomplete, once it has been planted in you.
we named our unborn baby “Cake,” as in “babycakes!”, an expression we often use. besides, everyone loves Cake.
deciding to conceive a baby was a response to an invitation that we sensed God was offering, through the tugs on our heart-strings, a few prophetic words, and a desire to throw ourselves on Him for provision. so, when we got pregnant after only one “try,” i wasn’t surprised. it seemed so consistent with the speedy way God has worked in our shared life thus far; and such quick conception seemed like confirmation that we had discerned rightly in deciding to make a baby.
so, naturally we started to plan, and to work out health care concerns and save for maternity leave. we found a midwife and decided on a home birth. we told our nearest friends and family that we were expecting and enjoyed the genuine celebration that ensued. i ordered and faithfully took prenatal vitamins. i even bought a couple small items of baby wear. my mom sent a Belly Book for me to keep a chronicle of my pregnancy. i ate more than usual, and more protein, even when i didn’t feel like it, to feed Cake. and many nights we would lay our hands on my womb and pray for our baby. at some point, i started to write letters to Cake, too, about what was going on, about what i hoped for her life, about how much i wanted for her to know jesus. i started being a mama.
i guess that part of the reason it is so painful to lose a baby, even this early, is precisely because you’ve already started to be a mommy to that baby. you change your diet, cut off certain commitments in order to get rest, and begin to plan out a life that will be safe and warm for that little one when she enters the world. you start to make all your decisions based around how she will be effected. so you fight for her. from day one.
which makes you pretty invested.
so we grieve. yes, we grieve for the lost life of a would-be baby, even as we grieve for the loss of one who has breathed. and this is not silly or irrational. it is very real.
and that grief, for me, has swallowed my entire body. in fact, it was physical before it was emotional or cognitive. a weariness, an aching emptiness, and a lack of interest in eating or doing much of anything else. and some days i keep repeating silently, “i am not pregnant. i am not going to have a baby. my baby has died.” and this feels more miserable than i know how to say.
i have lots of unanswered questions, about the physical and spiritual aspects of why such a sad thing happens. there is a high level of mystery around this that i deeply want to unravel, but never can. this will have to be okay.
but here is what i know: the Father is very, very near. it’s hard to say things like this without them sounding trite, but in all sincerity, He has let me FEEL His nearness in this in a very special way. even at the worst moments of the miscarriage process, i simply knew that He was there. i was not alone. and this has made more difference that i even suspected that it could.
and t… he has been perfect in comfort, companionship, and co-grieving. i love him approximately 3x more than i did before all of this. and that is a lot. Cake, in her fleeting existence, made us into a mother and a father, knitted our hearts even closer together, and turned our eyes to jesus.
and we are so grateful.