// From the Archives //
It’s 10:47 pm, and I can’t sleep. The 39th week of pregnancy insomnia has kicked in, if that’s a thing. I am constantly hot (something I blame on this pregnancy and New Orleans endless summer weather), but I can’t help but curl up in my office with a cup of hot chocolate.
It’s been a really long time since I actually have written a personal blog, and it tends to happen most when I am in pain. It’s much easier for me to grab a pen and pour it out in my journal, a place only I see. Well, and God.
But sometimes something just needs to be shared. Not for my personal gain or attention, but because usually there is just one, at least, who needs to hear it. Maybe so that they feel normal or understood or even heard. Maybe so that they can be healed or at least come closer to that point. Or maybe simply for me to feel those things. I don’t know. But all I know is that after I read a post an old friend wrote the other day, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about writing. So here goes.
My courageous friend has gone through more miscarriages than you can count, and that’s one too many if you ask me. She has shared the pain of those losses with the world and has helped me not feel so alone in the complex web of emotion that accompanies that sort of grief. So this one is for you, Sarah.
After a mother loses a child, whether in the womb or out, a fear takes root in her heart that seems to shape so much of what she does. She makes it her mission to keep her kids safe. She wakes up in sweat after nightmares of her children dying or being kidnapped or sexually abused. Any hint of serious illness and her mind goes to the worst-case scenario. A positive pregnancy test brings a wave of excitement and dread at the same time.
Sometimes she is able to fight it and live like a semi-normal human being. Sometimes she is able to live in each moment and be extremely grateful for that.
But not this mom. And not this moment.
This is one of those “I’m afraid again” moments. Being pregnant is one of the most anxiety-provoking of all the things for me. After so much loss in the womb, having a baby in there for 9 months means 9 months of wondering…
Is he or she ok?
Is there a heartbeat?
Why don’t I feel like this or that? Something must be wrong.
Why isn’t the baby moving right now? What if her heart has stopped, and there is nothing I can do to save her? Or protect her?
Even in labor, every time the heart monitor doesn’t pick up a baby heartbeat for whatever reason, my heart drops. And I panic.
Get her out! Something is wrong!
This is constant.
And for me, this miracle pregnancy that is still (at the moment) in full bloom has been difficult especially. It follows my third miscarriage and a promise from God that I am holding onto… “You are going to have another baby, and it’s going to be ok.”
But this little girl has been different. She has not moved as much in the womb as my first two. Sometimes I laugh about that, say something like, “Maybe she will be really chill.” But my insides feel like they are in knots. And all the fear floods back in.
What if that means something is wrong?
God please please please let her move. I just need to know she is ok.
This is constant. Deafening. Deadening. Paralyzing.
Tonight I admitted it out loud to my husband. I told him that the real reason I am anxious for her to come out (and have been for weeks now) is not only because my body is ready and just DONE… but also because I fear things I cannot see. I fear the hours I cannot feel her movements. I fear not being able to see her breathe, hold her, protect her. I somehow think that it will all be better when she is out and finally safe with me.
Maybe that is because after miscarriage one can’t help but think in a deep part of her mind that some part of the loss was her fault, that it is a mother’s job to protect her kids and keep them safe… And she couldn’t do it that time. Maybe I am just trying to make up for that in some twisted way.
What is crazy is that even when I finally get to meet my babies outside of the womb for the first time, the fear does not go away because mommy is here now. Baby is safe with mommy. No, then the fear becomes SIDS, or some crazy illness, or a car wreck at 16.
And it eats away at my soul. Day after day.
And I have realized so many times over that the only way to overcome this fear is to give my children back to the Lord, like Hannah in 1 Samuel. To release them into His hands. To trust Him with each of them for all of their days. To know He will never leave me even if I lost them. To know that I can’t shield them from all pain because pain is a part of life. To know that He is a good father, our true refuge and hiding place.
I don’t have to know what life will bring.
I don’t have to be the savior for my kids.
I don’t have to constantly live in the fear of the unknown, of the things I cannot see. I can choose trust. I can choose hope. I can choose right now.
I am not sure why the fear is rooted so deeply in me. I know in my head that suffering is a part of life and that grief and loss will come. But tell that to my heart, a heart that felt completely crushed in a million pieces when hearing silent ultrasounds. When saying goodbye to little ones whom I loved but never met.
You know what is beautiful about following Jesus though? I may be crushed and broken, but I am not destroyed. I have hope. I have hope in eternity. I have hope now. My God is with me through it all. He has never abandoned me, and He never will.
I may have felt crushed, but my feelings do not reign. He does.
He brought me out of darkness, out of the pit of grief. I fear losing my kids so much because honestly, I don’t think I could emotionally survive if I did. And maybe I wouldn’t be able to, but He would. He would hold me up when I couldn’t stand anymore. He would whisper hope when I had none left. He would carry me to the next thing when my legs gave out.
So what am I afraid of? Feeling too weak to live if I lost one of my girls? Missing them so much I could barely breathe? Well, thankfully I serve a God who will do it for me. And when I lay my fear at his feet, I know he knows just what to do with it. He will fill me with strength to live and breathe life into my soul.
And so that’s what I choose right now. To lie back against Him and breathe, feel his heartbeat. Let His life carry me through my darkest fears. And embrace each precious moment. Because after all, not one is guaranteed anyway.
And even laugh a little in this moment because that cozy cup of Hot Chocolate made me sweat like a pregnant girl. :)