Today I wish I had amazing photography skills. I would make a documentary about the loss of babies through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. I feel like there is so much inside of me I need to show, even if only to myself.
The images of the emotions I have:
- A woman in Babies R Us or the baby section of Target. The woman would be crying, maybe clutching a stuffed animal to her chest. The background would be a swirled blur around her. I know the first time I went to Target after we lost our baby girl I lost it. I had spent hours there picking out the items for her room and for the registry. Walking by the items I had dreamed of buying for my baby and knowing that the baby section was off-limits to me was awful. I have only bought one gift for a pregnant friend since (my friend Jennifer, who I was lucky to share my pregnancy with . Her baby is due any day now). In fact, I have skipped several showers in my efforts to avoid other people's babies.
- An image of the ceremony/ funeral. We were blessed to bury our sweet baby in the country on Lee's family's land. There is a big rock under a tree overlooking a pond. I have images in my head of the ceremony- of the flowers on her grave, of the dirt mounded up, of my husband kneeling and telling our daughter goodbye. I got fairly hysterical at the end and couldn't leave her.
- An image of the beauty of the spot now. Maybe an open Bible on the rock? The sun rising in the morning and reflecting off the pond? In the past I have wanted to go out there and decorate the spot. But that would be holding on to an earthly wish, and my baby is in Heaven praising God right now. Instead, I want to go out and place a wooden cross at the spot. How beautiful would that be? The sun and the cross and the pond? Gorgeous.
- A woman at a baby shower, obviously not pregnant, surrounded by her pregnant friends. Maybe she has a hand on her flat stomach and looks lost. Perhaps the pregnant woman are only talking to each other, leaving her out. I am overjoyed for my pregnant friends, because I know the delight of motherhood. And they have been nothing but kind to me. But sometimes it is hard to look up and see all the swelling bellies and be reminded of my loss. God is good and brings comfort, but there have been many hard moments of slipping off the bathroom to cry.
- An unfinished nursery. Perhaps it looks like the workers simply walked away, with paint brushes and oepn cans of paint still out? Since I was only 13 weeks when we lost Nora, I hadn't begun to paint her room (also because we didn't actually know her gender). But I do have two shelves in that room that are full of baby items. Some were gifts from incredible friends and family who were so excited when we shared the news and wanted to celebrate with us. Some were a few things I had picked up in my excitement. There are pregnancy and parenting books. I had begun to stock up on diapers so that the financial strain wouldn't be too much when she came. And I have a box of maternity clothes in my coat closet.
- A woman crying on her husband's shoulder. My husband has been so amazing through this process. He casts no blame or shame. He prays for me. He points me towards scripture and the LORD. He doesn't discount my worth. He reminds me that we've always wanted to adopt and that it will be okay if we don't have biological children. He holds me when I have bad days and can't deal with my grief.
- The bills from the doctor's office. Maybe in black and white? These are a harsh thing. Having to pay for the medicine to cause my body to miscarry was a terrible thing. It's not a fair thing, or a right thing. I clutched those pills in my hand for at least twenty minutes before working up the strength to take them.
These are just a few of the images in my mind. I know other women who have many other images haunting them. The statistics say that 1 in 4 women will miscarry. I have two other close friends who also lost babies this summer. We each had different experiences, and we are grieving differently, but we all have the same loss. But we are blessed beyond measure to have the same God, the God who heals, the God who comforts, the God who loves, the God who is in control.