Two years ago today, we lost our first baby.
When I think about it, those long two years seem not so long ago after all. The pain and emotion of that day two years ago will stick with me forever.
Though I've lost three babies, the first has been the one I grieved the most. With that pregnancy, I had complete hope and almost no fear. I was excited and happy. With the others, what I'd experienced plagued the back of my brain. Every semi-abnormal thing became a point of alarm, to the point where Carson found me weeping on the floor one afternoon, terrified of what might happen. Crying again, when it did. It's been a good two years, but also difficult. Marked with more sadness than I've ever experienced in my admittedly easy life.
I never got to hold any of those babies, or even see them in an ultrasound. I wonder all the time, what would that have been like? How would I have felt at the first listen of a heartbeat, the first glimpse on a blurry screen, feeling those first kicks?
It's that way though, I think. When we grieve, we grieve the memories, the tangible. When an unborn child is lost, there isn't much to hold onto. It's the grieving of what might have been, memories that could have been made: first birthdays, first steps, loose teeth. All I've experienced of motherhood has been nausea, food aversion and sleeplessness, and still, I long for that again. Amidst those not-fun experiences was something greater. There was the hope that one day, I would see a sweet little red-faced baby screaming as his lungs breathed on their own for the first time, hold him close and calm him. For someone who never heard so much as a heartbeat, I loved, and I longed for the day when I got to see that love face to face.
I can't stop there without talking about the hope that I really have. Because of miscarriage, I have become more aware of the grace of God in my life.
I know that we live in a broken world. Because of this, there is sin, there is pain, there is loss like we shouldn't have experienced. I know that there is more. I know that through the brokenness, God desires to make new. I know that He heals, and makes complete. Through the death of His own perfect Son Jesus, God not only experienced loss, but He also made new. Because of the cross, I can rest in the promise that God will restore all of creation. The world itself continues to be broken and full of pain. But there is more waiting. I know that I will one day spend my days in eternity, and I'll see Him face to face.
Despite the sadness and the brokenness I've become more aware of in the past two years, I've also been more convinced of the truth of the gospel. I am more aware that God is who He says He is. I know that I have a peace and a hope in Christ that I find nowhere else. Two years later, I find myself still struggling, still having difficult days, but ultimately more aware that I live for a future hope found in Christ.
No storm can shake our inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of Heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?