Friday, April 4, 2014

I Just Haven't Met You Yet

In dealing with life and loss, I have often thought about what I would say to people when they ask me how many children I have. The truth is that I do not currently have any, but I have had pregnancies and am, in some sense of the word, a mother.

The truth is that it hurts quite a bit when people say "You've been married almost four years? And you have no kids? Why IS that?" because of two things. One, it's not their business. And two, I would like children very much, thank you, and I don't need the reminder. They don't know, couldn't, that in reality it is a very hurtful thing to bring up. That there are lots of people with perfectly good health with seemingly nothing wrong who for some reason that isn't explained, lose their pregnancies. They couldn't understand how "You need to get on that" or even, "You're quite young; it probably wouldn't hurt to wait a little" actually does hurt. 

The truth is that I hear of friends' pregnancies in cute Facebook announcements and get a little catch in my throat. That I mentally calculate how old my babies might be, and what it might be like to tell people you're pregnant and not "I lost another baby". That I get nervous when one of those public announcements goes out before the first trimester is over. 

The truth is that it hurts that not a day goes by that I don't think of the babies I've lost. I would have thought that I'd get to the place where it was a distant memory, but it isn't. It's not fresh, but I never forget what I have lost. 

I wear a necklace with a January birthstone on it and it isn't a superstitious thing. I know that my due-in-January baby is not with me when I wear it (which is every day) but it is my small way of saying "I loved this little one and this is the way I choose to honor that". I have nothing else tangible as a reminder. I cannot pick up and look at a favorite blanket or a first outfit to remind me that I was, for a short time, pregnant. I have no idea who my babies might have been or what they looked like. I never felt a kick or even a flutter of life. 

I still love. I still miss. I still think about what might have been. 

The past, what I know of pregnancy, has not been full of happy memories. I have always looked forward to pregnancy. Not that it would be rosy and wonderful, but there would be the promise of life. There would be an end to pregnancy and a beginning to a huge chapter of life. Mine began and ended in a matter of a few short weeks. 

Naive as it may sound, I still look forward. Not innocently as before, as I wish it were. I look forward with the hope that one day I will know what that little flutter feels like. That I will know what it's like to have a belly so huge you can't see your feet. That I will hear that first healthy cry. I hope for these things. I hurt because I want them but I don't know what the future holds. I might always hope, and never get what I want. 

In addition to that hope, I look forward to one day knowing the babies I have never seen. I believe, fully, that that WILL happen. I believe that having a healthy pregnancy is not a promise that I have, but that seeing my children one day definitely is. 

I can't imagine what that might be like. I really cannot fathom seeing the ones over whom I have grieved. How can I? I don't know what they look like. I don't have faces or names to go by so I really can't process what the moment might be like. 

But I do look forward. I look forward to seeing my little ones one day in heaven. I look forward to hearing them tell me what it's like to have been with Jesus from before birth, to have never known pain or grief or loss themselves. They have the fullness of glory which I cannot even imagine. They have the one who knit them in my womb. They have God Himself. 

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