My head is brimming with questions. One question that regularly runs through my head is “I wonder what it’s like to…. (be in the circus, live in the midst of war, run a marathon, have a terminal illness)”… the list goes on.
So that’s why I’m starting this little experiment. A new series of “What it’s like to…” which will aim to give a snapshot of “what it’s like” to experience a particular emotion, event or situation. I’ve asked a few friends to make some contributions which will appear over the next few weeks. But I’m kicking off today with something I share from personal experience.
What it’s like to…. have a miscarriage
January 2007. It was the bleakest of months. Grief had already entangled us, choking us at points. A close friend had suddenly died and there was so much to wrestle with. I was in my early weeks of pregnancy and was tired, emotional and hormonal.
We left Josiah with some friends and headed to the hospital for our 12 week scan. Excited about what was to come, we went into the sonogropher’s room where my belly was plastered with jelly and the ultrasound began. Rich squeezed my hand and grinned. The sonogropher was quiet, studying the screen. A few moments later he uttered the words that would later echo round in my head “I’m sorry but your baby has died. I can’t find a heartbeat.” And he turned the screen to show us the picture. My heart went cold.
And then the tears began.
We were shown out of the room. Back through the waiting room filled with swollen-bellied-women I didn’t want to look at. We were informed of our 3 medical options. I didn’t want any of those options. They weren’t part of my plan.
We returned home to our energetic toddler full of smiles and mischief . He saw our tears and didn’t know what to do with himself. And neither did we.
People were so kind. Our living room filled up with cards and flowers. Hand written notes from others who’d experienced the same. We realised how many others had walked this path. Such a strange kind of grief. A grief of what was to come rather than what had been. We bought a small box and in it we put 2 premature baby-grows. We each wrote cards, telling our baby what we wanted him to know; what our hopes had been, what we’d dreamed of. And to honour his little life we held a small ceremony with a few friends who shared our sorrow. We prayed together, said a few words, and planted a beautiful Camellia in remembrance.
I remember shutting the curtains for long hours in the day. Knocks on the door were left unanswered. I didn’t know how to express all that was churning round. “You seem angry”, a precious friend remarked. “Of course I’m bl**dy angry” I snapped back “I’ve just lost a baby”.
In my card written to the baby I wrote:
“We have decided to call you “Asher”. It means “happy”. Asher, there is no place where you could be happier and no person that could love you more than Jesus. You will truly always be happy.”
And maybe those last two paragraphs sum up the double-edged nature of my grief. Anger, sadness, pain, sorrow. I cried some gut-wrenching sobs in those initial days. But on the other side of the coin was knowing that little Asher was in the most perfect place, with the most perfect Father.
And it was that same Father who walked with us through that journey. He heard our tears, our shouts of anger, our confusion, our doubt. He heard it all and He didn’t love us any less. He walked us though the valley and out the other side as our Good Shepherd.
Psalm 23 became particularly precious verses to us:
God is my Shepherd And I am his little lamb. He feeds me He guides me He looks after me. I have everything I need. Inside, my heart is very quiet. As quiet as lying still in soft green grass In a meadow By a little stream. Even when I walk through the dark, scary, lonely places I won’t be afraid Because my Shepherd knows where I am He is here with me He keeps me safe He rescues me He makes me strong And brave. He is getting wonderful things ready for me. Especially for me. Everything I ever dreamed of! He fills my heart so full of happiness.
I can’t hold it all inside. Wherever I go I know God’s never Stopping Never Giving Up Unbreaking Always and Forever Love Will go, too!
Posted by AnnaIf you have a story to add to the “What it’s like to….” series, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your thoughts.