Tag Archiv: miscarriage
Yesterday was Palm Sunday. The bittersweet of love and death. The hope of deliverance and the painful roads we walk to get there.
Palm Sunday 2012, we carried a tiny box to church. I had miscarried 13 week old, Francis Xavier. He fit in the palm of my hand. I had spent the night on the couch, not wanting him and the box with the angels on the cover more than a foot from my head. We said prayers at church. The choir sang, “can a mother forget her baby, or a woman, the child within her womb.” Tears splashed my fingers as I played the piano.
Palm Sunday, 2013, we went to church hollow. The choir sang the same song. We had learned the day before that the baby who was healthy inside me at 9 weeks, was now dead, also at 13 weeks. My miscarriage of Baby Grace was a nightmare I try to forget. Nothing beautiful except her and her name.
Sometimes the babies I have lost are far away, not somebodys as much as something that happened and I remember I was sad about it at the time. Other times, Grace and Francis especially, are so close we almost touch. Like I can see a tiny finger reaching out to mine and I put my finger out to meet it. Only the thinnest of cloudy glass barriers separates us. For tiny bits of time we see each other, albeit dimly from my end.
Leading up to Palm Sunday this year, I ached a bit. For the hope that was them. The reality that is me. A nameless grief sang softly. But a sweetness too. I sensed their love. Their prayers. My lost little ones are a secret army fighting unseen on my side. I feel them smiling, hoping for me this week. Little fingers poking out to lift my grumpy chin.
I forget that love is stronger than death. I panic regularly about losing the people I love. But they don’t seem to.
Somewhere in the heavens it was decreed one day, that for me, Palm Sunday would be everything it ever was and more. That it would hold something especially for me. Hidden. Quiet. But very, very real. A persistent cry of Love. Like the daffodils pushing up through ice cold mud, year after year.
I have never been a baby person. My own babies were the only exception. I’m in a strange phase now. I physically ache when I see a baby. I want to run because it hurts. The chances of a baby from me surviving pregnancy are too tiny to risk the battering of my body. It has had enough, and so has the rest of me. I dream about more children anyway.
My brain has informed my heart about reality. I am working to get rid of every single baby thing we own. It is over. Time to move on says my brain.
In May, I called the public adoption agency. I asked if they would even read the paperwork or were we a write off with four kids already in the family. “Definitely not a write off. I like what you bring to the table,” she said. By the time we hung up I was so excited about the possibility of adding a few siblings to our tribe I was dancing.
We filled out forms and more forms. I drove them in so the mail couldn’t slow them down. The next step was an introductory meeting, followed by a course. I waited for a call. I started figuring out our fall schedule so we could attend the course. I called for a date so we could plan our vacation around it. No answer. I drove in to ask. “Don’t worry. We’ll let you know.” I called in again anyway. “Sometime in August. Don’t worry. We’ll let you know.”
We got back from a long weekend and opened an invitation to an introductory meeting that had already happened. I tried not to panic. I called. I left messages with the lady. I drove in to talk to someone. They wrote everything down and said they were sure something would work out. I called again and left a message with the lady’s boss. Then I didn’t call. If God could part the Red Sea, surely He could get a phone call returned.
Every month or so, I want to drive in and make her tell me why. Then I let it go again.
It isn’t meant to be. I try to accept this. Then I hear about a pregnant girl not ready to be a mother and I’m gone. Dreaming. Wondering if maybe this is the child I couldn’t let go of.
I started out to write about forgiving the adoption worker, but I guess this isn’t really about her.
This aching. I hate it. I can’t figure out how to resolve it. I like my life tidy. Dreams exist to be realized, not to gnaw at your insides like a tape worm. Down here, we take medicines to kill tape worms. I want the ache realized or gone. Nothing in between
I am waiting for peace, but it is taking a long time. If you were running a business, you would get hammered on wait times.
I hope the answers and the peace are so good that I forget about everything else once they come. I forgive you for having a different schedule, and not keeping me in the loop on everything. Sometimes it has to be that way with my kids too.
I am sorry to be bringing up a very, very bad day again. Blame the forgiveness project. After the whole miscarriage, pass out repeatedly, call 911 incident in the spring, I ended up at the hospital of my not-choice. The paramedics were wonderful. They acted at all times as if something was wrong with me and I needed help. Given my state, I found their attitude encouraging.
Once at the ER, I was left in the hallway for more than an hour. This did not feel nice, but at least I got to keep the paramedics. After that, they rolled me into an empty room and shut the door. Here, I inherited nurse primary and nurse other. For another couple of hours they did as little as possible to assist me. By request of my husband, I received oxygen and an IV drip. Otherwise, I was told to walk to the bathroom and sighed at when it was explained that I couldn’t go two steps without passing out. Help bells were rung and ignored when my husband was worried about how long I had passed out for, or about me having a seizure. Nurse primary was rather uncomfortable with the sight of blood. (It made it hard for us to develop a positive relationship as my entire condition was all about continual bleeding.)
Dr. in charge, came by a couple of times, as in twice, possibly three times, for about 45 seconds each time. He was sure the worst was past and I’d be going home soon. It was difficult to see what he was basing his diagnosis on, as no one, nurse or doctor, ever did an assessment of me. In fact, oddly, until I was transferred to the angelic OB/GYN’s no one actually touched me, except to draw blood. They glanced briefly at my face, but mostly they looked at their charts or the machines that told them about me.
That was in March. This is December. I know. I should have forgiven them by now. I have tried not to think about them. They kind of popped out after I thought about vegetable man. Did I mention also that my disgust for them feels justified?
I too have treated people as interruptions rather than human beings. I have failed to see fear and vulnerability, and so failed to provide empathy or care. I have failed to see the people I am assigned to care for, bleeding to different kinds of death right in front of me.
To the nurses and doctor assigned to me that day, I forgive you. I have been you too. May we all have fresh eyes to recognize the very real needs around us. May we have to grace to respond with compassion, and the humility to say, I’m sorry. May you and your families be much blessed this Christmas and always.
photo compliments of morguefile.com
In the spring, I had a miscarriage that went beyond sad, straight past to scary. My then nine year old was home sick from school. Sick, but quite recovered enough to be enjoying his first Indiana Jones movie while I was passing out on the bathroom floor. Everything was trending with a distinct downward trajectory, so I eventually made him stop the movie and call his father, who could not be reached. Against boy’s strong wishes, but saving him from finding me unconscious and unable to be revived later, I made him call 911. (I would have gotten the phone myself, but the inability to stand and remain conscious was challenging me at the time.)
Son relayed when a police car arrived in the driveway. I had to argue him into answering the door. The ambulance came followed at last by my husband. I worried about my son, but there wasn’t anything to say other than please not to worry, and the ambulance people would make everything better.
In the days that followed, we said thank you. We told him we were proud of him. In the quiet spaces, I tried to check in.
“How are you doing about when you were home with me that day?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. I just didn’t want to talk to the 911 people.”
“So really, you’re ok?”
“Yeah. I really liked that movie.”
A check in a week or so later yielded similar results. I decided not to push the point. If he wasn’t traumatized because he didn’t understand how serious things has been, I didn’t see anything good about changing that. And if he was upset, he wasn’t ready to talk yet.
Last week, a little more than six months since that day, we were sorting through his clothes.
“What’s with these shorts?” I ask. “You never wear them.”
“Give them to charity. I hate them.”
“They don’t fit or you don’t like them? What’s wrong with them?”
“I hate them. They fit but I’ll never wear them. You were wearing shorts just like that the day the ambulance came.”
“You don’t wear these shorts because I was wearing shorts like this the day I went to the hospital?”
“Yeah. I’m never wearing those shorts. ”
“So you were scared that day?”
“I was so scared. I didn’t even know what would happen. And then they took you in the ambulance. It was a really bad day.”
“I’m sorry all that happened.”
“Are you ok now?”
“Yeah, but I hate those shorts. Give them to charity.”
“They sound like pretty lousy shorts. Maybe we should burn them.”
Boy slowly grins. The thought of the shorts on fire is in his eyes.
“Maybe, I’ll burn mine too,” I say. “I don’t really like the shorts I wore that day either.”
“Yeah, we can burn them both.” Boy laughs, then looks me in the eye. “We can just give them away. It’s ok, Mom.”
My heart lets go a little more, because finally, I believe him.
After two weeks of searching high and low, and following even the faintest of leads, a man is on his way with a trailer to pick up Shorty. Although I have been praying madly, beseeching, growling, and otherwise making a nuisance of myself at the gates of Heaven, I now feel like crying. The horse I thought might want to kill me now looks innocent and misunderstood. I am reminding myself that this is how he looked right before I let him out last week and he turned into Happy Days, Fonzie/Get away from my woman, in 3 seconds flat. But I feel sad anyway and my thank yous that he is going are softer and less festive than I had imagined.
This is what having children has done to me. They have squirmed in when I wasn’t looking and set about enlarging the chambers of this grinch’s heart. The living ones are obvious enough. Having been away last week, the hugs to prove how much I was missed have almost cracked bones (mine, not theirs). It’s the lost ones that teach me more quietly. Maybe because they can’t talk. Years I have prayed for the gift of tears on the outside. Some sort of acknowledgement that the tears on the inside are real too. I wouldn’t have known that lost babies who never saw the light of day would hold those keys. That they would know how to sit it out inside the depths of me, kneading with tiny fingers at the hardness of my heart until it softened.
So that is me now. All those years of lip biting and tough talk and I am ready to cry at the departure of a danger to hearth and home. Albeit hiding in the innards of a cute little 300 pounds of small horse. I am a shadow of my former strength. A whisper only now of togetherness.
Still wouldn’t trade those tiny fingers. For anything.