Hope in the Grief

From FB, by Hubby:
When you announce that you’re pregnant, some people respond simply with “congrats”. Others ask more and pretty quickly the question comes up when the due date is. When you let them know that the date is still eight months away, roughly half of people (in our experience) say something to the tune of “wow, you’re telling people really early.”
Here’s why we told people about Kiddo really early. 1) We want people to share in our excitement, to be able to share our excitement and happiness. 2) If we were to lose Kiddo, we don’t want to have to go around pretending everything is okay when we’ve just suffered a death in the immediate family. If we need to grieve a death, our friends and family can grieve with us. Suck it up folks, grieving together is part of relationship.
Sadly, we are at that second place. We went in to the doctor Tuesday morning, found Kiddo easily on ultrasound, but there was no heartbeat. Such early deaths are not uncommon, but the loss is still devastating. Even if you’re not aware of who, you almost certainly known many others who have been through this same loss.
While it may seem inappropriate, don’t feel afraid to “like” this post. It lets us know that you’ve read the news. Moreover, we do not grieve as others do who have no hope, therefore our bottom line remains one of joy, even when happiness has fled.

When I was pregnant with Little Man, I was terrified of a miscarriage. I was pretty good at stuffing that terror for everyday life, but every now and then, I would feel my stomach tighten at the suggestion or thought. This time, I was/am still afraid of miscarriage. But it’s not terror. It’s softer and gentler. I’m not sure what all has affected this, perhaps the confidence that comes with carrying one child to term? Perhaps, it’s a confidence in the timing of God’s work in my life? I hope it is the second, but I honestly don’t know. There is work being done in my heart, though.

 I realized rather quickly something was wrong Tuesday morning. I remember that with Little Man, we heard that heartbeat before the doctor found him on the ultrasound. This time, it was just quiet. I remember seeing a spot of flutter in the picture of Little Man in that first ultrasound; it was his little heart beating away. This time, there was no spot of flutter. Our doctor very gently confirmed what I was thinking, and asked a second doctor to come and look over his shoulder to confirm that what he was seeing was actually correct. Doctor estimated that growth stopped at about 7 weeks, about one week before this. He said to expect a miscarriage sometime in the next few weeks and we discussed our various options.

 I felt this crushing sadness in those moments just after. I wanted to weep loudly and deeply, but, of course, we were still in the doctor’s office. (Don’t worry, I have wept loudly and deeply since.) At first it was a huge, but very general since of grief. As the day wore on, the grief became more well defined. It is my own loss that I’m grieving. I’m not grieving for Kiddo’s state, as I know he is now in the arms of God and, I think, in the arms of his grandmother, my mom. As I grieve our loss, I remember what my hope is based in. It’s not in my children, nor even in myself, but in the work of Christ in me and the eternal life he grants when we accept his work on the cross on our behalf. This hope prompts me to “put on my eternity colored glasses” (as sweet Janene said, who went to God’s arms years and years ago). As David said, in 2 Samuel 12:23 (later half of the verse), “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” It feels instinctual to grieve that “I never got know my child!”, but this isn’t true. Because of my confidence in Christ’s work on the cross, I know I will meet this child someday. I can morn with hope.

 Sometimes, we hope that the doctor is just wrong and there are times when that is the case. As I’ve grieved, I’ve reflected back over the past week and I’ve recognized how pregnancy symptoms faded and disappeared. From the start, my hips hurt, and that was my primary socially acceptable complaint. But in the past week, my hips stopped hurting. I wasn’t experiencing the egg roll cravings. My digestive tract seemed to be fairly normal without the help from ‘clearlax’. (sorry to get graphic, but feeling the need to really lay out the evidence). We don’t think that this is a goof on the part of the doctor.

 And, as of Thursday afternoon, I haven’t had a miscarriage yet.

 There are 9, possibly 10, instances where God raises someone from the dead. Elijah raises one boy, Elisha raises two people (one after he was dead himself!), Jesus raises the widow’s son, the little girl, and Lazarus; Jesus himself was raised from the dead; Peter raises Tabitha, Paul raises Eutycus and it’s possible that Paul was himself raised after being stoned and left for dead. This is not a miracle God performs all that often, but it feels appropriate to pray for that now. I don’t believe I can just tell God, claim it and he will do it. I don’t think God works that way. And I know that he desires to see me trust him, submit to him, and rest in his work. I am praying that God will resurrect this child from the dead and give him back to us, but I know that he is not about satisfying my own desires, but something much greater.

 

What will God do? I don’t know if he will return this child, bless us with another pregnancy, or bless us with children in other ways (adoption anyone?). I do know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. That good might be about making me more Christ-like. That good might be showing someone else his power, his grace, his comfort, his love or some other aspect of his character. I might never see, in this life, what that good is; though I’ll get to see it when I reach glory. I will weep again over this loss, I’m sure, but I will not weep without hope.

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3 comments

  1. You are so strong Rachael! I am broken with you but have the same hope in that I will see my little one in glory. Thank you for setting people straight in that we celebrate together and we grieve together… That is what having a relationship is all about.

    I love you and am praying

  2. Pingback: Turning 7 « Younger News


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