My Baby Died…And Taught Me to Believe
That little voice within me is always right but, it’s taken me a long time to learn that. I tend to drown her out with the noise of my mind.
She knew, when I first found out I was pregnant, on my daughter’s birthday, May of 2009, that it was the beginning of an end.
She tried to tell me something was wrong. Every time I uttered those two simple words, “I’m pregnant,” she’d given me that kick in the shin within – it said, “Not yet, wait.” But I didn’t listen.
My Aunt Debbie, 51, had just passed away in March, after a long battle with lung cancer, and the pay cuts for Kory and I both had hit in January, and again in May, decimating our income.
When we found out we were pregnant again, with our second child, JOY wasn’t even the word for it. It was like we were climbing a sheer cliff, scrambling at slippery rock walls with bare fingers, and someone had just tossed us a rope from above.
The day we found out we were pregnant with our angel baby.
In many ways, that baby was the only good thing happening for us.
We were already picking out names and planning the nursery, when I woke up – on Kory’s birthday – to find the end had come.
My baby died, and with it, a little piece of me died, too.
The miscarriage was the most physically and emotionally painful, personal experience of grief I’ve experienced yet, out of ten more deaths since.
I felt like my body betrayed me, and I had so many questions my Doctor could never answer – why did this happen? Was something wrong with me? Would I ever be able to conceive again? Had I passed some invisible age barrier in the short two years since I’d last given birth, and now I’d unknowingly become an infertile maid? Was it a fluke? Was something wrong with the baby?
My mind could torment with these questions ‘til I reached my death bed, and never find answers.
I needed to find peace – not necessarily a definitive answer on how or why this had happened – just peace. And for me, that was maybe just accepting NOT knowing, NOT being able to understand.
This is something I’ve struggled with repeatedly since – because loss doesn’t make sense. There never is a good reason why. It simply is as it is, and there’s nothing we can do to change it.
But we can find peace, if we trust the voice within.
I have learned that peace is accepting this moment as it is, whatever it brings. That doesn’t mean I have to say, “YIPPEE! I’m so happy my baby died! I can’t wait to find the gifts in this!”
It means, it’s ok to feel angry, sad, scared, betrayed, and bruised. It’s ok to feel the pain, and acknowledge it. Facing the pain is how we create a path to peace.
I highly recommend journal-ing if you are going through any sort of transition. It's a place to dump all our raw feelings, then in re-reading, it gives us self-empathy.
So, I bought a journal, and I ripped my pain out onto those pages in large scribbles and scrawls.
The day I went back to the doctor to have an ultrasound that would show an empty womb, no longer bearing the beauty of my would-be baby, I took my journal and my pen to the creek, and reminded myself of the beauty around the pain. Simply surrounding myself in beauty completely changed my perspective. Life was no longer just the pain of the loss, life had beauty, too.
I closed my eyes, listened to the quiet whispers of the creek beside me, and asked for my peace and answers from within. I wanted to understand why this baby had come in, then gone. Why? Why did it come at all then? What gifts did it have for me? I believe, “All things work for good in my life,” so what good could possibly come from this?
The answers I found in my quiet reflection were this…
That baby didn’t come for nothing.
I thought maybe she’d come to teach me how to be a Mom to two, or how to give empathy to a three year old, or how to play catch with my first little boy.
Instead, she taught me FAITH.
I’m not talking faith like pick a religion, believe it and preach it. I’m talking FAITH…believing in the unseen, believing in me, believing in that little inner voice within.
Just a few days after the miscarriage had begun, I wrote in my journal.
No one could have prepared me for this experience. I have been completely caught off guard by how deeply it has affected me, and how far reaching the pangs of utter devastation and loss have spread into my heart. But what comforts me is this intrinsic knowing within that this experience has led me directly to…not away from…the beautiful, wonderful little being that is coming my way. Suddenly, I do feel a strong connection to a baby boy coming – I can almost see him! I can feel him, hear him (a little giggle), and sense him. He is playful and joyful and ready to come and play. He’s excited to meet us and know us as his parents. He’s already connected to Kayta and experiencing her as his big sis. He’s-a comin’ and he’s right on time.
I named that baby “Faith,” for what she’d taught me, and moved forward believing another baby was coming soon.
Just a few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant again.
I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in Spring of 2010.
A few minutes after my son was born...
After a whirlwind natural delivery, I hemorrhaged and lost over a third of my blood. My parents said they thought they were going to lose me, as they watched my Doctor fight to find the source of the bleed and stop it. In the end, I made it through, but spent the first month of my son’s life not being able to stand up for more then ten minutes because I was so weak.
He was worth it though! He was a dream come true in so many ways. See, I had lost the first baby boy in my life – my nephew, when he died just two months before his third birthday. And I had lost “Faith” with the miscarriage.
But, in the end, that voice within was right again.
My son, Kanon
I now have the bubbly, cuddly, giggly little boy who adores his big sister (he’s sitting here kissing me repeatedly as I write this!). He is everything I knew he would be, and I treasure him more every day now, for the battle I fought to reach him. I always knew I would make it to him, somehow, I just had to have a little “Faith” along the way.
Not every story has a happy ending like this one, but every story can have that peace that comes from within – that “accepting the not knowing.” It’s hard to believe, but I’ve seen it again and again in my life. Change, death, pain are all a part of this world. But if we have a little faith, we can find the beauty around the pain. We can remember that every end is also a beginning.
As I was writing this, I kept hearing one line of a song in my head, “Trust the voice with…innnnn.” I went looking and realized it was an old Christina Aguilera song, “The Voice Within”. Listening to it again now, the words took on new meaning. My gift for you: The Voice Within
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