Non habemus hic manentem civitatem–here we have no lasting city.
St. Josemaría Escrivá
The other night, as we were lying in bed and talking, I apologized to you via my husband for this roller coaster ride that my blog has taken you on.
“That’s the nature of a blog,” my husband said simply. “That’s life. There are ups and downs.”
He’s right, I know, but still it’s hard. It’s hard to want to share bad news—hard to say, “Well, here’s my cross. Can you help bear it?”
You’ve been my Simon, dear on-line friend, and I thank you. The past couple of days have not been easy.
You know me. I like to be happy! (“Um, Margaret?” you’re thinking. “Who doesn’t?)
Joy and suffering are not incompatible, though, as I am finding out. For one thing, your support is so amazing and so welcome. As I said on this thread from the Real Learning forum, if a child can inspire this much goodness and grace upon his or her passing, imagine the good that will be done from heaven.
We’ll have a shower of roses, times two! (This was our second miscarriage in a row.)
The particulars this time around were slightly different. I had experienced no spotting, like before, but at my first OB appointment the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat for all her trying. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried,” she said, and told me to go for an ultrasound the next morning.
I cried all the way home, of course.
And I waited and prayed and wished away the hours until that ultrasound.
The technician was a lovely woman who could have been an older sister. She nodded sympathetically when I told her, “Look, I’m going to be up front with you. My doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat yesterday and I’m concerned. If there’s a problem with the baby then just tell me. Don’t make me wait until you’ve finished.”
“I’m an old fart in my field,” she said. “I’m more than willing to be honest.”
The verdict wasn’t long in coming.
“There’s the baby,” said the technician, and my heart leapt, “But there’s no heartbeat.
“I’m so sorry.”
She continued to murmur her apologies throughout the remainder of the exam, and on my way out said, “May I hug you?” I smiled through my tears and said, “Your job can’t be easy some days.”
“No,” she replied in agreement, “There are nights when I go home and cry.”
So that’s the story. We don’t know why we lost the baby, only that the little heart appears to have stopped beating around the 8-week mark.
I am waiting to deliver her or him.
You know, I joke in my lighter moments that it’s these darn old eggs of mine! The doctor did say that after the age of 35 the risk of miscarriage increases. A woman’s eggs just lose their oomph.
Not very scientific in my musings, am I.
The fact is, we don’t know. We probably won’t know, either, until (and if) God reveals it. For now we must trust in His will, ever mysterious.
And yes, there came a point at which I grew quite angry with Him. I told Him so outright and in response He showed me His wounds.
There have been bittersweet pleasures since the miscarriage: a second (or third) cup of coffee taken without guilt; the delicious white russian that I sipped on Saturday evening.
But I would trade these in in an instant if it meant having back my infant.
And there are many more sad reminders that our little 7th wonder has passed.
my two-year-old singing her happy song to “Baby X” (our nickname for the baby during prayers);
or my 6-year-old bringing me a book to cheer up: Your Labor of Love;
or the arrival of this month’s issue of Good Housekeeping, with a very pregnant woman on the cover;
or finally, the sad packing away of all my just-laundered maternity apparel…
and the look on my son’s face when I walked by with it.
Yet for every sad reminder there have been a dozen consolations. Indeed, your prayers & your encouragement & your posts have been the most beautiful of bouquets.
(A tangible bouquet, by the way, was delivered on Saturday afternoon. Thank you, dearest Kristen. You are so very, very thoughtful and the roses are absolutely beautiful.)
I’d like to close with a little poem, entitled
I do not know the hour of your passing,
Or the moment at which you breathed your last.
All I have is the knowledge that it happened,
And a black and white photo of your still, sweet frame
Little one, I loved you so.
I loved you tenderly.
I loved you fervantly.
I loved you with trust and yes, anxiety.
I am a mother, after all.
And now my mother’s love is mixed with sorrow.
It was not my wish to wait to hold you,
but wait I will and hope I must.
May your unexpected passing be for me
A chance to grow each hour…
and in every way the Father knows I should.
Little one, I love you so.