One thing a miscarriage can do, I believe, is to soften you, open you. Maybe the heart mimics what the body is doing as it releases — whether you like it or not — the baby-that-would-have-been into the hands of God.

I had a[nother] miscarriage this weekend. It feels so surreal to name it, particularly in public like I am now. I didn’t know I was pregnant, had not sought to be, had in fact tried not to become so. My only clue was an uncharacteristic acne break-out, which I dismissed by way of other explanations.

Gus is so small still and I so overwhelmed by the task of caring for two, that I have not felt at all ready for babe #3. But it turns out that he would have become a big brother this coming august, had things turned out differently.

There was sudden and severe bleeding and consequent light-headedness. A trip to the ER where my blood pressure bottomed out and for several terrifying moments I feared I would leave my children motherless. There was the rather tactless delivery of the pregnancy test results, described in present tense and yet already in past tense. There was an ambulance ride to the main hospital downtown Madison, during which I sang worship to my Jesus, who was so near. There was lots of monitoring and an ultrasound to “rule out fetal activity” or ectopic pregnancy. There was so much blood, and so also a blood transfusion. There was waiting. Finally there was prayer-evoked miracle as we rounded a corner and came out of the woods, elated with relief that at least I was no longer in serious danger.

The same night I was back at my in-laws house, tucked in with my living babies, depleted, weak and exhausted but alive and grateful.

This was an unusual miscarriage. Such extreme blood loss isn’t typical. And it is certainly a complicated grief to be told about your baby in the same moment you are losing them.

But the softening… It has left me tender. It has put things into perspective, shrinking small dramas to their appropriate sizes, and making room on my heart to love another which, I believe, every pregnancy must do. We grow new spaces in our heart for each little person we carry. And if that space isn’t to ultimately be filled by a born and hold-able baby, we will share it with someone else who needs it. We will not be able to turn back or close off that new addition. So perhaps we move toward a future pregnancy with surprising new resolve and urgency, or we realize how much we do in fact want to become a mother (as was the case after my first miscarriage in 2010), or we cling tighter to the loved ones we already have…

… Or in some unusual case perhaps we are given an opportunity to open our arms and our home to a stranger, drawing on that deep reservoir of newly uncovered maternal tenderness to love them openly.

Which is the case for us. Because two days later we received a call about a pregnant teenage refugee who is giving birth today and needs a soft placed to land until a more permanent situation can be arranged when she turns 18. And against all worldly wisdom, only because Holy Spirit gave both of us a unity of peaceful Yes, we said yes to her, to them.

Today she us in a hospital in Michigan, laboring to give birth to her baby while I am packing up in Wisconsin for a return to our home where we will make room for these two (I have already arranged the furniture in mind ), so that when they are released from the hospital we can help to catch them with our love… A love I’m not actually sure I would have been able to access in this already crazy life season if I had not just suffered this loss and the scare that surrounded it.

I don’t know if that will make sense to many of you… But somehow I sense that these two events are a pair, by design.

Today I am thanking Papa and this little unknown child of ours for the gift of softening, opening.


7 thoughts on “Soften

  1. weeping, wondering, and worshipping in response to your vulnerability to share your life with us. blessing God for the gift that your babe received in being carried by you, even if only for a short while. you are a sweet soul, designed for opening your heart so freely, that Papa may usher in and shower You with His love and kindness. praying for you and tim as you welcome these new beloveds into your home.

    the lord gives and takes away, but blessed be the name of the Lord.

  2. My heart breaks for you in this.

    i had one loss before my first son, and another loss only 1 month before my daughter was conceived.

    i am pregnant for the 8th time, and expecting our 6th child (and my little guy is not quite 11 months) and have been SO TERRIFIED that i will lose this little one.

    so you hit me close to home in this and i wept for this baby and for your family. but also got a little giddy that there is another baby and mama who need you. and who you can care for!!!

    i’ve always wanted to take in pregnant teens and walk w/ them through the terrifying yet sanctifying event that is pregnancy. and i want to love others and their babies when there’s a shortage of that support. but God has not opened that up for us, but instead keeps bypassing our attempts to avoid pregnancy and i have 3 complete (and statistically unlikely) surprises instead.

    holding you close and your little one and praying for your recovery and healing. Cassi

    Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2014 04:47:14 +0000 To:

  3. Thank you for sharing your story, Brooke. We women are so often united in our losses, and it brings tears of solidarity to my eyes to hear about yours. I pray that this next chapter of opening your home will be filled with God’s presence.

  4. Tears for you, my friend, but am excited for your new opportunity to love! Thankful for the opportunity to read this and be reminded of God’s goodness and workings in our lives!

    Love and prayers, Kristin

    Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2014 04:47:14 +0000 To:

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