It's March. For the past 13 years now this month has come and gone with a painful memory in my rear view mirror. I can still glance up into it with tears brimming in my eyeballs. I can still blink away those tears pretending that after all this time, they don't still sting just a little bit. Those words. "I'm sorry. I can't find a heartbeat."
I was just a few days short of being 18 weeks pregnant. Just days short of finding out the sex of our baby. My pregnancy was an unexpected surprise. A nauseating, tiresome, but happy surprise nevertheless. I was the only one I knew that was pregnant at that time and I never expected anything would ever go wrong. The thought never even crossed my mind once.
By the following morning, she was in our hands. Not our arms, but our hands. Her tiny 6 inches so fearfully and wonderfully made. Back with Jesus is where she really was. And every year around this time, I count another year come and gone that our Naomi would have been that much older. A teenager this year.
Five years ago, I saw her.
All I can really say to describe it is that I had a vision of Jesus carrying me through some of the scariest and heartbreaking moments of my life. I saw Him holding me as I was tossing and turning night after night in tears after losing our first baby. I saw Him hugging me as I sat on my bathroom floor desperately trying to break the chains of depression years later. I saw him protecting me as a child when our family had gotten in a car accident on a snowy wintery day. Then I saw Jesus was walking with me on streets of gold. And she ran up to me. Naomi ran up to me. She looked so much like my 9 year old Jada does now. She had a french braid in her hair...
and that's all I remember. That's all I know about her.
I've lost two more babies since Naomi.
And I have 4 children with me here on earth.
And I am in awe of each of them. The incredible joy I know because of who they are.
So, how are we supposed to feel when we've endured this kind of pain? This pain that no mother ever should have to encounter, yet our lives are still so full of beautiful bits of chaos and good things every single day?
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no perfect length of time to mourn. It's not wrong to be miss what would have been even when we have so much to be thankful for now. I don't think there is ever a time to 'just forget and get over it.'
We can move on in joy. We can be abundantly blessed with so many good things from our Heavenly Father. We can be filled with gratitude. And we can still think of our babies. We can still blink away those tears. And it's okay.
And it's okay to let the tears run now and then. (Even after 13 years and 4 living children.)
And somebody has to tell you this...it's really okay for you to long for your arms to be filled.
It's not a betrayal to the babies you have lost.
I used to feel guilty. I used to feel like I wanted a baby so badly. I was obsessed with pregnancy after I lost Naomi. Maybe you know the feeling. I. WAS. OBSESSED. But at the same time, I felt guilty. Like I would be replacing her. So guilty.
No child can ever be replaced. No human love can ever be exchanged for something better. But our hearts can be mended. Our broken spirits can be redeemed. Our joy can be full again.
And yet in those tender alone moments, we weep. We wonder. And it's still okay.
Weep. Wonder. Dream.
But let God heal you.
In just a few weeks, Heaven will be celebrating with our sweet Naomi 13 years back in eternity with Jesus.
Happy Birthday, Naomi.
For more posts about miscarriage and loss, click here.