(mom)Life

Lay it Down

Something beautifully awful happened about a month ago. It was all consuming. And horrific. And wonderful. And life changing. It put me in an uninspired funk yet uplifting mood all at the same time. I prayed and searched for the way to put it into words but they never came. It’s like the writing side of my brain forgot what it’s purpose was. But the words needed to come out. So I waited. And prayed.

I attended MomCon in late September and had the privilege of hearing the amazing Amena Brown speak. And then the words starting flowing like rain water. Trickles at first, then a sudden downpour, ending with a God given, promise filled rainbow. It took me a while to get it on paper and when I did, it came out in a free verse poem type narrative:

January 1st, 2017

It was supposed to be my Year of No.

My year to stop over planning life and start enjoying it.

No to over committing.

No to volunteering.

No to over attempting.

No to the distractions and toxic voices that fill my head.

No to things that steal time away from me.

That was supposed to include No to more babies.

But we knew three wasn’t enough. Our family isn’t complete. I drive a mini van. I’m supposed to fill it, right?

Summer 2017

Just one more. Please. Let’s try for a boy. Thomas. Please, he pleaded.

Ok. We’ll try through the summer. And then we’re done. I’m 37. The term “geriatric pregnancy” is not appealing to me. I don’t know if my body can handle another pregnancy. Another complicated birth. But we’ll try.

Heavenly Father, Holy Mary, Mother of God, if it’s your will, let it be done.

August 4th

Post wedding reception, vodka infused fun.

Cheers to the happy couple.

Cheers to old friends.

Recollections of the glory days that have passed and the promising futures that lie ahead.

A light conversation quickly turned heart wrenching with the mention of children.

The ones they lost.

We’ve had 2 miscarriages, he said. The first one was hard, but the second one broke us. It was so hard. It was supposed to be ok, but it wasn’t. It’s still not.  I’m not sure that we’ll try again.

My wife had one just a few months ago, another replied. It was terrible. I know how upset I was, so I can’t imagine the pain my wife was going through. We’ll try again, but it’s scary. So scary. It’s a fear that won’t go away.

Have you ever had a miscarriage? they asked.

No, I reply. I have not. But my heart aches for you and your wives whom I love.

Heavenly Father, please ease their suffering. Please help my heart heal their hearts, and please place happiness in their souls that are hurting. I don’t know the suffering they are experiencing, but I know they are hurting.

August 9th

Holy smokes. It’s positive. Positive. There are 2 blue lines.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Four kids.

You can do this.

You get to wear maternity jeans again!! YES!

What’s one more when you have three, right?

Thank you, dear Lord, for this gift. For this precious gift we prayed for.

Don’t get too excited just yet, the voice said.

What? But why? This is a new life.

This is to be cherished.

And celebrated.

Starting now.

Not yet, it repeated.

I hushed the powerful voice. Told it to settle down. Ignored it.

My mind filled with 4 weeks pregnant thoughts.

What if it’s a boy? We’ll have the Thomas we named long ago.

What if it’s another girl? Watch it be another girl.

Lucas only makes girls.

Her name will be Lucy.

Lucy Claire.

We love you already, Lucy Claire. Which I will only call you when your daddy isn’t around. Because he really wants a Thomas.

Thomas Evan Smith.

So I looked at bedding for boys, because it’s fun to dream when new lives are being dreamed about.

Navy.

I chose navy as the color for the room.

But I never chose beyond that because life was calling in the form of carpool and laundry, and endless laughter and needs from the three blessing we have here on Earth.

August 18th

Blood.

So much blood.

Wait. What?

This can’t be happening.

Why does there have to be so much blood?

Why is my husband in Nashville?

What am I supposed to do?

It’s the middle of the night.

Who do I call?

I’m so scared.

Heavenly Father, please help me. Help me. Help me. I don’t know what to do. Lord, I need you.

My child, you’ve got this. You are strong enough. Lean on me.

But I’ve never needed you like this before. I need more help than you can give me.

I’m all you need. Lean on me.

But I need someone here. I need to talk to someone.

I am here. Talk to me. Lean on me. Listen to me.

Ok. I’m listening. I hear you. Lord, I need you. Please give me strength.

The chorus of Lay it Down repeating through my head, reminding me to give it up. Lay it Down. At his feet. Release my burden. Release my fears. Release my sadness.

So I did.

I laid the loss at his feet.

You are my child. I will give you strength. Let me show you.

And then I felt Him. All of Him. Wrapped around my soul. My heart. My mind.

The hands of God are warm.

And comforting.

And stronger than I could have ever imagined.

He picked up my sorrow and carried it for me.

Because I couldn’t.

My family and friends came rushing to my side. Their hands are kind and gentle.

How are you doing? Are you ok? What do you need? they asked.

I’m ok. I’m strangely ok.

I feel a lightness I can’t describe, I told them.

It’s as though my heart knows it should be grieving.

But there’s so much love in my heart.

There’s no room for sorrow. The man who once slept in a stable because there was no room at the inn has made sure there is no room in my heart for sorrow.

Only love.

And peace.

I’ve known God all my life. But this was different. This was powerful. This was tangible. This was a love only he can give.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your gifts of sorrow and humility. For your gift of strength. For your gift of unwavering love when I doubted you. Thank you for carrying me through darkness and filling me with a light brighter than I’ve ever known.

My heart is yours.

My soul is yours.

Now and always.

Amen.

 

I shared my miscarriage poem at my MOPS meeting last week as a way of opening the door for fellow MOPS moms to share their story with others. And although writing this poem was healing in itself, I felt little pieces of my heart mend when other moms shared their heartbreak with me.  It was beautiful and sad, but I saw the face of God in all of their faces as they recalled memories of DNCs, lingering despair, and rainbow babies. He’s there. In all of it. The pain, the loss, and the nights of weeping about the loss of what could have been.

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. For all of the moms who are grieving from the loss of a pregnancy or infant, my prayer for you is that God will take your broken heart and give it back to you repaired and whole. Lean on him. Lean on others. Talk to someone. Share your story. You never know who you’ll heal with the power of your voice.