My heart has felt the weight of a great something lately; let’s call it a stone. A stone pressing down with immense weight and pressure on my lifesource so that every other piece of me has felt languid, heavy. I have lain awake at night, listening to its beat while thought and breath synchronised in a slow pas de deux.
You see, I lost my baby.
I was 12 weeks pregnant when my miscarriage happened, about six weeks ago. It’s still raw.
Why would I write about something so personal, you ask? Not for your sympathy. No. Rather, because I have learnt that miscarriage is a common sadness (about one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage), one that many women carry in silence, on their own.
Let’s not do that.
I didn’t meet my baby, didn’t know his or her personality, likes and dislikes, quirks and habits. I just knew there was life within me, life brimming with potential. Yet the grief has been deep and painful and suffocating. A mother’s love for her child is full-blown from conception – I can attest to that.
Yet, I assure you, never has my faith in God been stronger or of greater comfort.
He has fed us (meals delivered by friends).
He has nurtured us (long talks with confidants).
He has looked after my health (wonderful medical care).
He has shown us beauty (the perfume of flowers has filled our home).
God has whispered light into my heart.
The heaviness I spoke of has lessened because of this picture that unraveled in my mind one night as I was waiting for sleep: “…an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone” (Matthew 28:2).
God has rolled back the stone of grief on my spirit. Jesus rose again. There is life after death, hope after hardship.
I have lamented the fact I don’t know if our baby was a boy or girl, that we have not been able to definitively name them. Even to this sorrow, God gave an answer.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:3-5).
You might call it a creative interpretation, but from this verse I gain great assurance that if God knows the stars by name, he certainly knows our baby by name, and he has the company of our little person in heaven.
I will never know why our baby died.
But I do know this: just because our baby didn’t make it beyond the womb, doesn’t mean they were not life. Just because there was no funeral doesn’t mean we have no right to grieve. Just because I had no chance to rock them in my arms, doesn’t mean I did not love.
First published in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday December 10, 2012.