seven weeks and one day
We were pregnant with our first little baby. It would come in April. And I started dreaming of spring months filled with three people in our family, a part of us out in the world growing and learning, all changes we welcomed and prayed for. All day I spoke to the little life inside me saying silly things and telling it how much I loved it already.
About a month ago we went to the doctor to hear the heart beat.
And we didn’t hear anything. It had stopped growing. In the same hour I went from the happiest I’ve ever felt to the lowest moment of my life. I heard all about how normal miscarriage is. The whole experience left me shocked, confused and in the most grief I’ve ever felt.
Moving on feels impossible. So many casual conversations seem to be filled with talk of things I'm still mourning. Things that feel tender and raw. Every baby, every laugh, every small talk inquiry of our family future. One second I'm sitting alone or standing in a room filled with people and the next second grief is right beside me, so close to me I can't breathe. It's hard to have things taken from you, and even harder to realize that it was never even yours to begin with. This child was never mine, and while I don't understand why I was chosen to only steward it's life for just 7 weeks and 1 day, I'll always think of it, always dream, always know there's one who's not here.
The loss of the life inside of me, it's marked me.
I think the thing that has made me the most sad, and brought me the most ache is the lack of acknowledgement of the life that was in me. People's language is so sterile. When is my appointment, how do I feel physically, what's my recovery timeline. People are praying for me. It's going to be ok. Miscarriages are normal. I'm learning that it's hard for people to sit in the hard, in the raw emotions and just acknowledge the pain. We like happy endings. We feel uncomfortable when the end of a conversation isn't resolved with a pretty bow on top.
And it's hard to succumb to the happy simple messages people say to me. I want to fight to protect the profound worth and the space of little one that no longer is. It makes me so angry that the only babies that get to be celebrated and acknowledged are the ones who are successfully born. My baby was small and teeny tiny, just the size of a blue berry, but it had a soul, and I loved it with all of my heart. I feel a burden for all the babies and humans. That their lives would be celebrated no matter how they have entered this world and no matter when or how they went to be with Jesus. Life is sacred.
I've learned that the title mother applies to more women than just ones with biological babies in their arms. There are mamas with lots of babies, there are those who don't have any, mothers who have longed to be one, there are those who have babies that aren't with us anymore, and those that care for ones as their own. To all of you, you're all mothers. No matter how unconventionally or how long you cared for a sweet life- you are a mother.
I'm a mother. To a sweet baby that only lived inside me for seven weeks and one day. And even though selfishly I wanted to cuddle it, to hear its laugh, and to see its eyes, I know the little one I got to carry is in the best home I could have dreamt for it.