Thursday, January 29, 2015

Feeling the heartbeat of loss itself.

   Most people say, "I'll never forget the day...", but I have to achingly admit, I'll never remember; I'll never remember so many of the details of that whirlwind of a day. I'll never remember, though I try, the only time I saw baby #4 on that tiny screen down in the left hand corner. I had waited two full months to get to a doctor so I could hold paper evidence of what I knew was growing inside of me. This was not just another pregnancy, not that any is, this was a prayed for little child. We waited for this miracle for over a good year & a half; this baby was wanted. This baby was dreamed about, thought of, and would have been delivered into a room full of wide open arms, which included three siblings who had made big space in their hearts (and rooms).  And when I saw that fragile little life on that screen, I remember the doctor turning the monitor on, and here's when you're supposed to hear that loud, "thump thump thump", but instead only a deafening silence echoed back; you know that silence? The silence you sometimes get when you ask God why? Or the aching silence of being utterly alone.  That was me. On that sonogram table. I was thankful ultrasounds were done in dark rooms because light would have given me away; and somehow I knew by the way the nurse looked at me with pity and the doctor made his medical analysis, that I was just another girl with another miscarriage. And I don't honestly remember all the big words that doctor sputtered off, I just remember him talking, while I stared at that tiny screen, and mouthed to that little being, please wake up.  This was the last time I saw that baby...and for the record, it was beautiful. 

    The weekend following this doctor visit, I had done respite care for a two yr old boy & his three week old preemie sister.  I remember the night plainly when the miscarriage started, more so than the day of seeing my baby on that screen. I had been up hours in the night exchanging grins, feeding, & rocking this baby girl who was new to our painful, fallen world. Everything about her, down to her dainty little nose was capturing. Her brother had already experienced loss, fear, and that utter alone-ness before his third birthday. Loss has a way of doing crazy things to people. It adds awkwardness to our life; dealing with a massive hole in your life makes your people skills tough. Chit Chatter & your everyday cup of tea becomes frustrating, but sometimes we live with that, trying to make it work, trying to fit in where we are, to avoid the deafening silence that makes us hold our ears. But isn't this what God told me to do? In that cold office, the one in the ER that day, the one where my husband & I sat & listened to a new born cry while we registered for my d&c; yes, that very day, I turned to look at an empty desk across from where we sat that held a sign that read, 'BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.' Maybe the person who normally occupies that desk meant to have it there, but I know that day it was there for me. 

       I'll never forget, it was a sunday night. I was lying on my back with this preemie asleep on my chest. It was the only way she wanted to sleep. Sometimes we just want to be held all through the night, and don't want to be left alone in the dark. Does anyone relate to this? My side began to give me almost intolerable pain & I needed to get off my back but did not want to wake the baby. I waited a little longer before shifting the babe & I, but before I did I remember feeling her heart beat. It was steady & peaceful, as if she felt perfectly safe sleeping to the pattern of my every breath. I did not know then, but I know now, it was the very moment the heartbeat of my own baby stopped. Here I was seeping into loss, yet feeling the heartbeat of one who was loss herself. I held life that night ( and a couple weekends after) that was desperately  trying to just stay alive. I got to nurture and cup a sacred heart beat that was a logo for loss. Because of her part in my story that weekend & the comfort she brought me & my kids,  in later weekends, she will always be special, and I will always make an effort to keep up with them. We will be an open door for the rest of their lives. 
The weekend my slow & painful loss began, is the weekend two babies came home with me with nothing but a diaper bag to their name, they knew nothing but loss, and somehow when loss meets loss, they're filled. Kind of like when deep calls out to deep. Even though it's loss, you're not alone anymore. And anytime there's a death doesn't God bring life through it, or anytime one of His children suffer, those nail scarred hands bring joy in the morning. Doesn't a God, who is love Himself, know the ultimate loss of a child? And doesn't He continue to experience loss through disobedient children and those who reject His loss of the ultimate sacrifice. Yes, I am convinced that love Himself knows what a painstakingly aching heart feels like. 

     From here is where my testimony to my health begins and our foster/adoption journey took off. May days of rain meet days of sunshine, may days of dark meet days of bright, may days of loss meet days of arm fulls, and if it doesn't, may we continue to be still and continue knowing (believing, trusting, finding out) He is God. And when loss meets loss, or pain meets pain, or abandonment abandonment, or fear fear, then may the one who conquered all these things through death, be the one and only who fills exactly what He understands. 

  And sometimes pain equips us for the calling ahead....if little ones come through my door and know nothing but loss, then may pain meet pain and slowly watch a beautiful garden grow in our hearts. A garden that bears fruit & seed of the rarest kind; whose Gardener has scarred hands and is skilled in tending scarred hearts. 

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