Yesterday I was pregnant, and today I’m not. Yesterday I was planning and dreaming… but not today. Today I feel empty.
**I understand that this subject matter is sensitive, and isn’t for everybody. I write as a form of therapy for me, so that is what this is. If you cannot handle it, please skip this post.
I didn’t even know I was pregnant until Tuesday. I walked into work expecting a normal day, and one hour later I was staring at two pink lines in the hospital bathroom. I was on birth control, we were taking every precaution… how did this happen? We were not ready for a baby in ANY aspect of our lives. I don’t know why this surprised me, though, because my life has never gone according to plan… (not my plan, anyways). I am usually the exception, the 1%. The one who has to learn the hard way. So, on Tuesday I was crying because I wasn’t ready for a baby. Today, I’m crying because there isn’t one. That’s ironic, isn’t it?
It is not lost on me that other women, ones that I love and am friends with, long for life inside their womb. That knowledge added a heaping pile of guilt on top of the disappointment and fear that was already growing. I pride myself on being painfully transparent, so I cannot hide this fact: I did not want this baby. My first thought was “This isn’t fair. This shouldn’t have happened to me.” How distorted is that? It’s a baby, for crying out loud. Not cancer. It is LIFE, and I was actually devastated. Let me explain why.
Fear. That’s really what it was. Gatlin’s birth was traumatizing. I was not prepared, and my strength and faith were tested down to my very core for 7 days. Gatlin himself was a surprise, and Connor and I have experienced every major stressor imaginable in our early, fragile marriage. I didn’t think I could take another surprise baby. I didn’t think our marriage could survive another baby this soon. Generally, I carry my cross with pride. Yes, I have been known to shout “Why me?” at the heavens, and I don’t think I would be human if I hadn’t. But I have realized that walking through the valley is how I learn, and Jesus never fails to use each valley on the highest mountain tops of my life. Y’all he works ALL things for good. Even the messy stuff…even the worst valleys of your life.
It didn’t take long for my perspective to change. 24 hours of processing, and I was excited for this child. This baby was such an unexpected gift, but that’s how my life has gone thus far. It took this surprise to show Connor and I that, not only could we handle another child, but we celebrated the new life that we were gifted with.
Friday morning I felt off. Different, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. By Friday afternoon, I knew that I had lost the baby. Talk about a whirlwind of a week. I had accepted the unexpected, only to have it dangled in front of me… and then snatched away. And do you want to know what I shouted? You guessed it:
Why me, Jesus?
Haven’t I been through enough? I mean honestly, how many emotional rock bottoms are left to hit? That was self pity talking, by the way. I have a healthy family, beautiful home, and incredible support system surrounding me. So, I can handle more. Friends, we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9). Now hear me: I am not saying that you do not have permission to grieve. You absolutely do. Any pain or loss in your life is real. Let me validate that. What you do not have permission to do is stay in that grief, and let it turn to hopelessness. We are not guaranteed ANYTHING on this side of heaven. I wanted that baby, and I grieve for the loss of that life. It was only 6 weeks, but to me, I lost a child. However, I rest knowing that my second child never had to enter this broken world. He or she is in their true home, with their Father. What a gift!
There isn’t some grand lesson, or a checklist, in this post. I am still processing, but I wanted to get these words out while they wound is still fresh. I am able to find hope in this grief, because I firmly believe that my Savior has a plan that is far superior to my own. He works all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Connor and I are walking through a valley, but we aren’t going to stay here. He is still good.