Today came. I've been dreading it. It's been lurking in my heart and mind like a scary shadow. My due date. I'll never forget two dates in 2019. The day I delivered my baby at home and my due date.
So many hopes and dreams were wrapped up in one tiny person. 12 years of infertility. At 43, it all seemed like an impossibility! I didn't even check for weeks because, well...it just wasn't possible. The symptoms grew stronger and my hopes did too. Could it really be? Yes. God is His goodness, gifted us with a little baby. We named her Elizabeth from the start because we were all sure she was a girl.
God gave us 9 weeks with her. I often wish I'd have tested sooner so we knew earlier and could have enjoyed more time with her. I had a hunch, but with the stress we were in after losing our foster baby, I was sure it was just that. Stress. After 12 years of no's you just don't check anymore. It's too much of a rollercoaster ride.
Months have passed. The first two months were especially hard. After that, another medical trial entered our lives and pain spread to other areas. Instead of just loss, physical pain and sickness have become front and center. Until September. Even in August I was thinking of my baby often. Would I have had her already? I had both of my boys 4 and 5 weeks early so I'm sure it was very much a possibility. Would she have looked like the boys? Would she have jaundice like they did? What did her little face look like? Lots of questions were welling up in my heart.
Today is hard. My heart aches for my baby. Just knowing I'll see her one day is a comfort, though some days it seems small, I know it's not. I held her her whole life and my whole life I will carry her in my heart. She won't be forgotten by me. I'm sad that I know most will forget about her. Unless you've lost a child, it's hard to have compassion or empathy towards a grieving parent. I'm sure that's one reason why God placed this trial in my life. I can now understand the heartbreak and deep pain of this type of loss. I pray it makes me compassionate in a much greater way to others suffering in loss too.
God is with me. His faithfulness to me throughout a year of hard suffering has been my comfort. Through many tears and hard days, I can still say that He is good. Sitting in His word has been a means to steady me when I'm not doing well. Knowing the suffering that Jesus took on for me, which is much worse than anything I will face on earth always points me back to Him. I have to keep pointing myself back to the Gospel..to the Cross. Though the hurt and pain seem so hard at times, I know God is using it all for my good. He is molding me to be more like Him.
On February 4th, 2019 I found out that our baby was dead. February 6th, 2019 she was delivered. I had 5 hours of hard contractions. Her life served a purpose. She glorified God even from the womb. She was fearfully and wonderfully made and created by God to live a short life that would create a lasting, deep impression on my life. Lesson after lesson comes from hard places in our journey. Our pain is never wasted.
One passage the Lord used in those first days was Psalm 73:21-28.
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
If you are reading this today and hurting from losing a child, I'm so sorry. I weep with you. I pray that you can cling to God and let Him be your strength, rock and comfort through the extremely hard days. Our pain is not wasted...not one tear. He captures them all in a bottle. Let His word comfort you today. Let it wash over you and sooth the ache. The pain doesn't ever completely go away, but God's comfort is there to get us through each day. One day at a time.