Well it’s been exactly two months since my last post. A lot of the usual life stuff has happened and there have been so many times I wanted to write a blog post sharing about the latest … or some random, profound thought I had … or maybe post a new recipe? I felt like I needed to log on and write for some reason. But I didn’t.
The truth is, amidst everything that’s been going on in our daily lives, the best thing that has happened for me has been the slow days; laughing with friends; painting at my desk; winter turning into spring. I think after losing five babies a part of my heart will always, always be missing — but I am as whole as I can possibly be in this moment and for that I am so grateful.
When I found out I was pregnant last November, I immediately told Niall it was a girl. I had a deep, DEEP sense of peace that everything was going to be okay this time. I mean, I just knew it. I let myself get really excited. I imagined my big belly in the dead heat of a Georgia summer and smiled. And I did something I never did before with any of our other losses — I named our baby. Hope. That was her name, she was mine, and somehow I was over the moon in love already.
We were being monitored closely and I had more ultrasounds than your average pregnant woman. When our third one revealed that there was no heartbeat, my Hope died. Not just my Hope … my baby … but my HOPE. It cut me to the core and for several weeks I felt like something in my heart was beyond bringing back to life. I was so, so gutted. Why? What are you trying to teach me, God? And why do I have to keep re-learning this painful lesson? How many times are you going to knock me down with this?!?
The genetic testing after my D&C revealed that our baby was indeed a girl. Oh, how that made me miss her all the more. My emotions took another nosedive and I felt Hopeless … literally and figuratively. I wanted her back so bad it hurt. Over the next few weeks, I began to contemplate this name I had chosen. Where is my Hope? She is in heaven. In HEAVEN … where my HOPE should ultimately be. Not in a future baby, or my children, not in anything on this earth. Okay, God. Okay.
Oh, how hard it is sometimes! To ‘let go and let God’. Easier said than done, right? I started asking myself tough questions about my faith that I had never considered when everything was going my way. Is God good? Does He have a plan for me, even at times when I am hurting and broken? Is my faith based on my feelings or His word? I began reading a book called ‘It’s Not Supposed to be This Way’ — probably not the title I would have chosen if I had a baby in my arms, or one still growing in my belly. Every sermon at church seemed to speak to me in a way that I had never experienced before. God was teaching me things through my struggle and I was growing in ways that just wouldn’t have been possible without tears and disappointment.
I’ve got a looooong way to go — I still have moments (lots and lots of moments!) where I pity myself and let feelings of jealousy and bitterness brew. But today, this is my story, this is the path I am on. I would have never, ever chosen the pain of miscarriage for myself but pregnancy loss has taught me just as much as bringing a baby into this world has. I told my husband recently that since our first miscarriage, I feel like a different person in many ways. And though it has not been easy, I say that in a positive light.
I’ve wondered to myself if, should I have the privilege of having another daughter one day, I could ever use the name Hope again. But honestly, I don’t think I could. It was meant for her and only her. My Hope, my baby girl who inspires me daily to place my hope in heaven.
I love you forever.