This is the year we’re grown our family. It sounds weird if you look at my car (no car seats) and house (no cribs) but I think of myself as the mom of three kids, and none of them are born yet. Only one will actually have the chance to be born, our little blackbird that requires so much paperwork and planning. Two of them are stardust babies, here for a few weeks and then they left us. It was a hard year.
I was familiar with miscarriage while I was growing up and I expected it at some point. Still, when the first one happened it rocked my world. Nothing can prepare you for the sadness and shame. Suddenly I was uncontrollably jealous and angry when there were babies or pregnant women around. The emotions were so raw and intense. Since I had waited so long to be married and had spent so much time trusting God to grant the desires of my heart, I thought I’d done a pretty good job learning how to be happy for people who had something I dreamed of. None of that mattered when the grieving hit in full force. It was a completely different emotion and it scared me. I did not want to be a mean person, but I couldn’t get a handle on this. Tissues and mascara were always ready, and sometimes I had to leave the building when there were babies around, born or unborn. In my head I knew it was normal to feel that way and I wasn’t a terrible person, but I hated being so vulnerable to my heart. A few days after the first miscarriage I saw a quote on Pinterest that said it so well. “It’s hard to say goodbye when we didn’t even have a chance to say hello.” Babies are not meant for goodbyes.
Then one day on the way to work three and a half months later, I realized I hadn’t cried in about a week. I was actually feeling hopeful. Nice weather was welcomed instead of feeling like a taunt. I could think about our baby without tears. I started to dream about other babies and eventually we started talking about adoption. It felt like the right time.
So, when we found out we were pregnant again just after we started filling out the paperwork, it seemed like the perfect timing. Our third-loved firstborn would help us work out the first-time parent nerves and prepare the way for the blackbird. We were ecstatic and so confident that this baby would be healthy and strong.
A few days later the baby left.
I was so surprised. It didn’t seem real. A week later, it’s very real and it’s hard to make sense of everything. When I realized we were going to say goodbye to this baby too, I was so terrified that I’d be sad for another three months, or longer. Thankfully, it’s really different this time. I’m still sad and there are unexpected tears during the day, but it’s nothing like the darkness of the first one. Good Cop and I are both surprised that we can enjoy life again so quickly. I’m grateful that God has answered those prayers for smiles.
So far parenthood is not what I imagined, but it has changed me in ways nothing else could. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned about life, death, and the people who love me. I’m grateful for a clearer perspective on what’s important. I’m glad to be a mom for our three kids and I hope we get to see the stardust babies in heaven. I hope our second-loved blackbird baby gets to know the first-loved and third-loved somehow. They have all shaped who I am. They’ve all shaped my relationship with God. I don’t know how he’ll make sense of these losses but I know he loves us immensely and he’s sad with us. I don’t think they were part of his “plan” – miscarriage is just the evidence of the fallen world and things that are not working perfectly – but I trust him to love me through it. I trust him to put babies in our arms. We are so ready.