This was originally posted elsewhere in October of 2010
Seven years ago I was newly pregnant and excited that we would have our third child. Maybe a girl this time? I was leading a ministry to women and it had been a tough few months with the team. I decided not to tell them about the baby until the December meeting when we made those kinds of announcements. What a fun surprise!
The Monday before Thanksgiving I started to spot. We packed up the kiddos and ran into the doctor’s office. A good friend watched my boys. I had an ultrasound right away and we found out that we had lost the baby. Eight weeks and this child was gone. A blighted ovum they called it.
No. It as a person from the moment of conception.
We had no insurance and decided to wait for my body to ‘deliver’ naturally. It took four weeks. Four weeks of knowing I carried within me the death of a child and all the dreams that die with it. Only a handful of people even knew I was pregnant. How do you tell people you have miscarried when they didn’t even know you were expecting?
I finally told my gals on the team through an article in our newsletter for our meetings. Cowardly? Maybe. Heading into our final Christmas meeting I got a disturbing call from my church. We were to reschedule the meeting. Seriously? Find a new place in five days to move 40 women and about 80 kids? Impossible. I ended up on the phone with my pastor. I respect him greatly and on that day I let loose. All the grief and sorrow of this baby combined with the holidays and stress of a difficult season in leadership and now this? I let him have it and then quickly apologized. Then I shared that we had lost a baby and hormones and grief might be amplifying my anger.
We worked things out for that meeting to everyone’s satisfaction. It was a tough meeting with great strains and heavy demands on me personally. One perceptive woman came up to me and asked me if I was okay. Bless her heart. I shared about the miscarriage. Seven years later I still remember her kindness to me. She sent me a huge bouquet of flowers. Extravagantly beautiful lilies with bright colors. Not the kind of flowers you find in Wisconsin in December.
Every day I looked at those flowers in my kitchen and felt God’s extravagant love – to me.
I was scolded by some for not sharing my pain. “How dare you not tell me you lost your baby!” Really? This was a team member who had not made the last few months easy. I then called a friend who I knew had miscarried to whine. “Am I wrong to expect some compassion from people?” Her response: “Yes, you are.” Needless to say I never called her again for support in my grief process.
Still there were the flowers. As I reflect back on seven years ago and all the grief and pain and loss and the lack of support from so many people, even my husband. (“It wasn’t really a baby,” was his comment. He’s lucky he’s still alive today himself.) I try to focus instead on the flowers. One person, who barely knew me, extended such amazing love to me in my time of grief. I think I’m going to send her a note today to thank her again.
It’s a reminder to us all. Sometimes it is simply a kind word. Or a letter. Or maybe flowers to someone you hardly know, that might make all the difference in someone’s pain and grief and the trials and struggles in life, even years later. In this day and age we often forget the power of those simple expressions of care.
My baby is in heaven. We call it our “Glory Baby.” He or she is safe in the arms of Jesus. Free from a sinful world that reared its ugly head in my time of loss. Yet God still shone through in the understanding of my pastor when I melted down (we still work together and it’s great!), and in my memory of that one woman who I have not seen in years, who loved me right where I was at.
My heart goes out to any of you who are remembering lost loved ones during this holiday season. May you have good memories and even if you have tears, may you experience the love and kindness of God in amazing ways.