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**Trigger Warning: This post contains content including: miscarriage, infant death, infant loss, etc. Please be aware of your triggers and don’t read on if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.**
During my marriage, I suffered two miscarriages. One at 13 weeks and one at 5 (I think). Even now, almost 3 years since I lost my second, with a soon to be adopted baby on the way, my heart does not stop yearning for my angels.
Meaning free flowing and spirited. A name I picked out especially for this child, a child whom will always have my heart. A child, to the rest of the world, who doesn’t exist.
Emerson Caoimhe (pronounced Keevah) means precious. At the beginning of the most difficult time in my life I lost her and what a precious gift she was for such a short amount of time.
Now that I’m nearing 30, and some people still think I’m married…I’m not sure why, I get the question often. At church, in the grocery store, whenever I meet someone new.
“How many children do you have?”
I pause. Every time.
I pause because I have to make a split decision: do I hit the uncomfortable and acknowledge the existence of my children? Or do I pretend that that part of my life never happened? People who know me have either tensed behind me or jump in to answer for me.
“I have two children, River and Emerson, but both of them live in Heaven.”
Their faces drop, every time. “Oh I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.” Well of course you didn’t, we’ve just met. Duh.
It’s awkward, but as awkward as it is, I can never bring myself to deny the existence of my children. They are my gifts, that are waiting for me in eternity along with my Savior.
But with the acknowledgement of my child comes the whispers behind my back.
She wasn’t that far along, why does it bother her so much?
Why did she name them? That’s just weird.
How does she know it’s a boy or a girl?
The stares, the whispers, they’ve become a familiar part of my existence. Some people think I’m crazy, others just feel sorry for me. But, I know, that despite the fact that my child is not with me, they do exist, and they are waiting in Heaven with Jesus. And I am so thankful for a Savior who loved the little children.
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 19:14
And as their birthdays passed by (they would have been 3 and 2 now), and other expecting mothers have given birth to their little ones, happy and healthy, I can’t help but feel numb to the world around me. To the calloused judgments that fly by my ever hearing ears. As another childless Mother’s Day approaches for me, I can’t help but feel such a sadness that brings me to my knees. And if you’ve lost a little one, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
The empty feeling you get when you’re surrounded by new mothers in church. That despair that slams you in the gut when another woman announces her pregnancy. The moment your heart drops as you take yet another pregnancy test, and the disappointment when you see it’s negative…again. That pain you feel as you pray to the Lord, for another child. A rainbow baby.
And while you pray for this child, you know that no matter how many more children you have, none can or will replace the child you lost. The hole you feel can never be filled, and you will forever think about it.
And while all of this continues to go on around you, the world expects you to go on, to be happy for those who are having children. And while you really desire to…you can’t. Not yet. Not now.
And I want you to know: that’s okay.
It’s okay that you aren’t ready to celebrate the birth of your friend’s baby. It’s okay that you’re not ready to try again. It’s okay that you talk about your baby. It’s okay to mourn your baby. And it’s okay, to not be okay.
Because life is real, and raw and painful. And it’s messy, and sad, terribly sad, and filled with the worst of days.
But I want you to know, that you won’t always feel this way. Because there is hope in Jesus.
Because of Jesus, you will see your child again in Heaven. Because of Jesus, we can have good days to balance the bad. Because of Jesus, we are able to see our children for who they are: children. Not a cell that didn’t form, not a fetus that didn’t make it, but as a child that is loved and cared for by the same Creator who made the stars in the sky and the mountains that reach up to them.
So when Mother’s Day comes around this year, I want you to know four things:
1 | You are a mother. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently.
2 | When you’re ready to face the pain, He will be there.
3 | When you’re not sure if you can move forward, He will guide you.
4 | When all seems lost, He will find and comfort you.
You are not alone. Not now, not then, not ever. And you will always have a place in Heaven with your child and your God.