My heart has been heavy lately. Recently I learned that a friend of mine had given birth to her baby, only to have to say goodbye just hours later. We were due around the same time and had shared our news with one another before sharing it with most. Knowing that I have had such a hard pregnancy, she always made it a point to check in with me to see how I was doing and to provide me with words of encouragement.
There are no words for something like this. There is no way to describe how heartbreaking it must be to lose a child. I am no stranger to loss and yet, whether I experience it indirectly or directly, my ability to digest it never gets easier. I went to my car that afternoon and sobbed. I drove home, my cheeks sore from wiping the tears away, and curled into my bed and sobbed some more. I have wept for my friend several times since. Knowing her strong sense of faith, I know she will get through this and yet here I sit, struggling with the many emotions this event brought forth inside of me.
This could have easily been me. Throughout my pregnancy, I struggled with feelings of worry. I didn’t want to share the news until I made it “further along”, keeping my eyes and heart set on the “safe zone”. Once I made it into my second trimester, I still struggled to share the news. “What if something happened?” I would say to my husband. In his eyes, sharing the news meant we had more support and prayers being sent forth on behalf of our baby-to-be and our family. In my eyes, it meant possibly having to relive a tragedy over and over with each “I’m sorry” or “Everything happens for a reason.”
Then came my birthday. I had spent the day in bed and at one point got up to use the restroom. My heart stopped when I looked down and saw bright red blood. My husband, daughter and I got in the car and drive to ER. As I sat there, each person I handed my medical card to smiled and wished me a happy birthday. All I could do was pray that indeed it would be. Turned out it was, as an ultrasound and exam confirmed that our littlest was okay.
Throughout these 31 weeks, I have heard and read so many heart-wrenching stories told by mothers who will never get to hold their baby in their arms again. Earlier this week, during a conversation discussing our child birth experiences with a colleague, she mentioned how the fact that our children are even here is a miracle in itself. I pondered on that for awhile. I have talked to my husband several times about this, about the fact that each day our little one is with us, no matter how painful or agonizing pregnancy has been for me, is a blessing.
The fact that this little person has formed in my womb is nothing short of a miracle. And from the moment she was conceived, she has been with me living, growing, breathing and preparing for the day when she no longer has to rest in my womb and instead will rest in my arms. With each kick, wiggle and movement I find comfort. It is a reminder that she is still here with me; it is a reminder that my baby still has a chance and it is a reminder of what a gift it is to be able to be the vessel God has used to help get her here.
And so here I sit, my heart grieving for a friend and at the same time desperately hoping, praying and trusting God that weeks from now, I will hold my own tiny miracle in my arms, I will watch her chest rise and fall and find comfort in the sound of her cry.
In my head I imagine us driving home from the hospital, once a family of three now a family of four. And while I know that it will be an adjustment for all of us, having spent the past 31 weeks falling more deeply in love with our little lady, there is nothing we are looking forward to more.
So for now I am waiting. I am waiting for my miracle.
Featured image by Roberto Carlos Pecino on Flickr