Un-telling is the Hardest Part

“Mommy, why is the baby in trouble?”

I glanced in the rearview mirror at my three-year old daughter as we pulled out of the hospital parking lot.  Tears silently fell as I choked back stifled sobs.

A puzzled look fell over her face.  “Is the baby in trouble because it hurt you?” she whispered.

“Did daddy tell you the baby was having trouble?”

Kolby nodded yes.

It was a conversation I wasn’t equipped for.  How was I going to explain to Kolby that the baby brother (or sister) she wished for with a penny and a prayer in the fountain at Starbucks was gone? 

How do you translate an ectopic miscarriage to a toddler?

“Sweetheart, the baby isn’t in mommy’s tummy anymore.  Now he is in heaven.”

Kolby scrunched up her face and gulped.  “My baby is with Jesus in heaven? But that’s so far away and I won’t see him.”

“Someday you will.  Someday we’ll meet him.”

Kolby sighed in sadness and closed her eyes.  Within minutes she fell asleep.

I breathed a sigh of relief.  The first of many tough conversations was over.  It’s the un-telling I dread the most.  The reason we hide our pregnancies for the first three months is for this exact moment.

Because it freaking sucks to un-tell the good news we were just starting to tentatively share.

This isn’t my first miscarriage.  I’ve had six over the last fifteen years with one well into my second trimester.  And just because I pass a “pregnancy milestone,” I know there are no guarantees. 

Life is a gift and it is sacred.  My three children are miracles.

Death and loss are never easy.  It always hurts, always feels unnatural and it ALWAYS rips apart the fabric of a mother’s heart.

So when I un-tell…yet again, please give me a hug.  Grab my hand and don’t feel like you have to say anything of relevance.  I don’t need to hear a scripture verse or a platitude.  At this point, I’ve pretty much heard them all. 

Sometimes the comfort and solace of Christ is best experienced in the un-said.  It’s in the flowers sent, the bread on my door for PB & J’s, the notes and texts and fingers squeezed.  It’s the family picnic in my bedroom on a scary Saturday night where all five of us laughed and prayed and hoped for the best in the worst of times. 

So here is my un-tell…

I lost a baby.  It didn’t work out this time.  I’m a little raw.  I cry easily.  I might avoid you but only because I don’t trust myself yet to have a normal conversation.  I’m also feeling tremendously blessed and loved.  I’m sad and I’m happy.

And just so you know, the baby’s not in ANY trouble.  He’s at a party right now in heaven.

Preach the Gospel at all times… and when necessary, use words. – Saint Francis of Assisi

Punching Puppies

I normally write about churchy stuff, funny things, or sex (which I take a lot of heat for) but today I can’t get past what God is laying on my heart.  And I’m sorry to say it’s not the usual satire that makes you fall off your chair in convulsions at the office.  This might make you cry and maybe that’s funny, or maybe it’s not –so here is my apology up front.

I had a tough day yesterday –an out of the ordinary overwhelming day.  Usually, I’m a pretty chipper bird but this weekend was a doozy emotionally.  We have been trying to get pregnant.  And it looked like this month was a go, until it wasn’t.  Not to go into details, but it didn’t work out –an early miscarriage, a few days of whacked out hormones that took me to the edge, and then the disappointment set in like a dense fog. 

I wanted to punch puppies.  Curl up in a ball and hide under the covers until the pain subsided.  I couldn’t look at my husband without crying.  He was baffled and we battled all morning until I could find the words to communicate that I just needed him to be with me, to be my friend and listen. And even though he’s a man and I’m a woman, he figured out how to love me in the moment and to simply be present. 

We took a walk.  We got a cup of coffee.  We watched our toddler chase birds.  And at some point we prayed. 

And it was a prayer of surrender.  I needed help to believe.  I needed strength in my faith and the ability to trust when I can’t understand. 

I am fortunate.  I have three beautiful children.  But I’ve also had numerous miscarriages –one painfully far into my second trimester.  I wish I could say it gets easier to deal with disappointment but it doesn’t.  They all suck. 

If you are pregnant for a day or pregnant for six months –something happens to your spirit and bonds you with life.  It’s what women are uniquely designed for.  We have a gift to connect with the unseen –with the very breath of creation.

But life isn’t easy.  God’s Kingdom is here and still yet to come and we live in this awkward middle ground of beauty juxtaposed with sin, of pain and heartbreak and love and laughter. 

I’m better today.  By the end of the day I pulled out of my funk.  I took Faith on a special Taco Bell run.  I played Just Dance with my son.  I relished in a frothy lavender bubble bath with Kolby.  And I snuggled deep into my husband’s arms, burrowing in like a scared bunny rabbit. 

And eventually hope floated to the surface.

I don’t understand God.  But I surrender.  I trust his plan is better than mine even though the cup might be bitter to swallow.  And ultimately I believe one day he will lift me up in His time.

And I wait for that day with anticipation.

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