Monday, August 29, 2011

A time to mourn

A dear friend will celebrate her son’s first birthday next month. And although her home will be full of joy as grandparents and friends gather to mark his first year, sorrow will also be a guest. Because his first birthday party was to be the day she announced she was pregnant with Will’s sister or brother. But last week she miscarried her 9 week old little one. And the homemade, “I’m going to be a Big Brother,” shirt will stay folded in the dresser.

This baby was truly a miracle. Before Will was born, they tried to get pregnant the old fashioned way, but after months and months, and because of her age, their doctor suggested IVF. They gave that a go, and nine months later, hello Will! They were anxious to try again, and the day she was to see her doctor to begin another round of IVF, she realized she was pregnant! Joy, joy!

But last week, she felt something was wrong. She saw the doctor who confirmed her fears; the heartbeat they’d heard just the week before was silent. They’d lost their baby.

The email I received that recounted the loss was heartbreaking. I cried as I read it; I know how much my friend loves being a mom and how she desires to add to her family. I would not have been at all surprised to hear anger in her email. Instead, she chose to thank God for His blessings: she has a son, she has a husband, she was able to conceive naturally. And she asked for prayers, that she would trust God’s plan was better than her own. And that she would conceive again.

Emotions flooded my mind as I prayed for her. We miscarried a baby who would be 13 today. And even though I don’t think of him or her daily like I used to, hearing of other’s lost little ones does bring the pain back and I’m surprised how quickly the tears flow.

My mom gave me an essay shortly after our miscarriage; I appreciated knowing I wasn't alone. I hope it will help my friend, and anyone else who may have experienced this loss:

They say it’s good for one who has lost a loved one to peer into the casket, even just briefly. The casket lies open to help the living close the lid on their relationship with the one who died, to help them accept with their hearts what they know in their minds – that the life in their loved one is gone.
With an early miscarriage there is no funeral, no viewing, no visual aid to bring closure to the heart. 
We know nothing about our baby. We have no memories to help us mourn. There’s nothing to let go of because there was nothing to hold on to, expect a dream. There were no features that we had fallen in love with, no fingers that tapered like his dad’s no smile like his grandma’s. No endearing ways about him, all his own. No laugh to ring in our minds when we think of him. Not even a memory of hearing his heart flutter through the Doppler; he died too young. 
We don’t know anything about him, except that he was loved. 
Julie Martin
A Time to Be Born

Even though we don't know anything about the lost little ones, we do know their forms were not hidden from God. He numbered their days and ordained them. And his plan, though sometimes painful, is always good.