How 'miscarriage' seems like a dirty word.
No, not technically - but it's the kind of word that feels clumsy and awkward rolling off your tongue. It's the kind of word that makes people uncomfortable. When I use it, I immediately wonder if I've made the other person feel bad.
I try to force myself to say it when I'm talking about our experience. I even find myself referring to Lilia as 'the baby we lost' instead of 'my daughter, Lilia' It's incredibly hard to say her name out loud.
It's kind of a strange place to be in. I had a daughter. But she only survived for a little under 16 weeks in the womb. I never held her, never laid eyes on her. However, I know she was there and I know she was mine.
A friend on Facebook posted this recently and it speaks so well of how a woman who has suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss feels.
An Ugly Pair of Shoes
I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in the world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by
before they think of how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
My current pregnancy reminds me that even a new, well fitting pair of shoes doesn't erase or take away the memory and feelings of the ugly, uncomfortable shoes. A lot of days, I see my new shoes and feel bad about putting the ugly, uncomfortable shoes away. And some days I wear one ugly shoe, and one of my new shoes.
When I first immersed myself in the pregnancy loss community, there were a lot of people who welcomed me and said something to the effect of, "It's a club no one wants to join, but we welcome you with big hugs and lots of prayers"
A friend asked me the other day how I was processing this pregnancy. I told her, very honestly, that I wasn't processing it very well. How I thought my grieving was at a good place until I got pregnant again. How I'm struggling to understand things I thought I understood. How I'm anxious and scared, angry and sad, conflicted and happy.
Many of you know the background with my first two children. And then we found out last year while on a beach vacation that I was pregnant with Lilia. A pregnancy that wasn't planned OR unplanned - and one we found ourselves so excited for.
But this baby - this baby I prayed for. The first of my children that I actively prayed for BEFORE conception. And it's powerful to think that the Lord listened and gave me this baby - I think about that a lot, and wonder who he will be. What his personality will be like, what his presence in our family will mean. I have found more joy in being a mother than in anything else in my life, and I can't imagine our family without any of the children that are a part of it.
I know our little rainbow baby boy, currently kicking and growing inside of me, will bring some healing to my heart and to our family.
But it's hard to walk while wearing one new shoe and one uncomfortable one. It will be a journey that is different than any I've taken in the past but one I am grateful for. I know God is stretching me, encouraging me and gently pushing me to rely more on him. To trust Him more, to lean on Him and to use my pain for growth.
For this child I prayed; and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of him.
~1 Samuel 1:27