Lord, do what only You can do. May those who read this hear from You..
You know that scene in the movie where the “bad guys” beat the guy up and leave him for dead and just as they are walking away another turns around and gives the poor guy one last swift kick?
That’s exactly how I felt.
Milk and no baby was the swift kick that left me down for the count.
The days and weeks that followed were hard.
People were kind and meant well.
The gifts, kind gestures, visits, money.. it was all very thoughtful
The girls from work gave us money and told us to enjoy a getaway. So we did. The trip was nice but the pain remained.
I went back to work and did my best to smile. Some days were okay others were not.
Like the day, during reading class a little girl got up from her desk and said, “Mrs. Smith, I want to give you this…”
I thought I would die.
Seriously, it was a picture of a newborn baby girl wrapped in a pink blanket that had been cut out of a magazine.
I had not discussed the details of our loss with my students. I couldn’t yet speak of her without crying so I just didn’t speak of her.
I didn’t know if I should have been encouraged by the picture thinking, maybe that was the Lord’s way of letting me know our baby girl was okay or if I should be mad because the picture was a harsh, vivid reminder of the baby that I didn’t have.
Nonetheless I graciously grinned at the little girl who had innocently given it to me, thanked her with a nod and a side hug unable to open my mouth for fear that I would start crying and be unable to stop.
When people would brave the question and ask, “How are you?” with their head at the sympathetic, side-tilt….
I’d grin, swallow the lump in my throat and say, “I’m fine.”
I wasn’t fine. If fact, I wasn’t anywhere close to being fine, so I began practicing living numb.
That particular choice catapulted me into an intense, secret season of rebellion.
Days when the pain was more than I could stand I’d go shopping to get my mind off things.
At night when the hurt would spur me unexpectedly I’d have a glass of wine or a couple of beers or both.
My numbing efforts were subtle, or so I thought.
Though my thoughts and prayers and questions for God were reckless and uncensored, I continued journaling.
Almost as if I were shaking my fist at God as I wrote. The emotions and words were raw.
Some days I tore the page I pressed down so hard.
This journal entry was written almost 6 weeks post delivery:
February 13, 2005
Father, I’ve been away emotionally. I don’t like it and I know you don’ but I’m SO MAD! This hurt is almost too much….are you sure I can take this? Forgive me and help me to get back to a better place. Is it bitterness or anger or grief that has such a strong hold on me?! The pain is so strong I can barely BREATHE……Help me decide what it is that has such a hold on me. I don’t have the strength or the want to Lord…YOU have to do this…..YOU- because I just can’t….. Thank you Lord for Lily and the bond we share. Draw her near as we both endure the present. Amen
Lest we forget, my sister, Lily and I were pregnant together when I lost our son Samuel at 17 weeks.
My sister is a mercy. (meaning—> she has the spiritual gift of mercy)
If I cried, she cried. When I couldn’t find the words to describe how I felt, she always knew. She sent cards, flowers, she cleaned my house, our vehicles, gave us money.
Some days the sadness in her eyes was harder to bear than the loss.
With all of my heart, I believe she wanted us to have a baby more than we did.
Sometimes I would shout my prayers at God,
“Lord! Survivor’s guilt and postpartum depression! Wasn’t that enough for Lily? For all of us! And now we have another loss? Do you even care? Where are you in all of this?”
When I wasn’t wrestling with the Lord, I was shopping online or from a catalog.
I drank at home for the most part so others wouldn’t know. When the drinks, dresses, shoes or jewelry stopped satisfying me …..we bought a king-cab-super-duty-loaded-to-the-gills-truck.
Um, no. I’m not kidding.
Because by golly, if I couldn’t have the baby I’d begged God for, I was going to be sure that I got the rest of what I wanted from this life.
The problem with more is that it’s never enough.
The secret shopping began to show up and surpass our monthly income.
Drinking a couple turned into outings or nights that I couldn’t remember. I was spiraling full throttle into my most rebellious, self-destructive season when I discovered I was pregnant for a third time.