I will live in-between for the rest of my life. Certain seasons of transition and waiting will pass and I will move into the next “big thing.” But there is one season that will never pass while I live and breathe on this earth. I will always live in-between losing my first two children and seeing them again in heaven.
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I’ve written other posts on this day in the past and each year I have have a general idea of what I want to share in order to hopefully shed some light on a fairly taboo subject. This year is no different. And I just have to say before I get to it , I really hate that this is one of those things society just doesn’t talk about. I hate that this topic makes people uncomfortable. It’s days like this that make change possible… for us all to stand up and share with courage.
So with that said, Hi, my name is Lauren, and I’ve lost two babies through miscarriages. I lost my first child, Asher Stephen, on September 16, 2006. I was 22 years old. I lost my second child, Cyrus John, on July 10, 2007. I was 23 years old. Today I am just a couple months from celebrating my 30th birthday. What I want you to know is that it still hurts. Every day.
It hurts every day that I don’t have them with me. I catch myself thinking about them often. I think about how old they’d be now and I wonder all sorts of things. I wonder what they’d look like, what their personalities would be like, what would be their favorite things? What would their laughs sound like? Would they have been the best of friends? Then I remind myself that all of those things will never be, it’s a longing and imagining that only exists in this mother’s heart.
So I switch gears and think about their reality. What is heaven like for them? What are they doing this very instant? Is Jesus holding them in his arms? Or are they playing together? What do they look like in heaven? Are they still babies or do they grow? I don’t know any of these things but I do know one thing… they are happy. Not just happy, but filled with joy that I can’t understand yet. And that comforts my mother’s heart. The only ones hurting in this wait are me and John. Not them.
But what I really want you to understand is that it still hurts and it doesn’t go away. I want you to know that losing them changed me forever. I want you to know that I am not the same person who walked into the hospital seven years ago. I left that maternity ward with empty arms and a broken heart. Yes, my heart has healed… stitched back together by a loving and compassionate Father. But I see things differently now, and that’s a good thing. I’ve grown and matured and become a more compassionate person myself.
Why do I want you to know all of these things? Because approximately one in three pregnancies end in miscarriage. Because my best friend’s daughter lived just four hours before she passed away 11 months ago. Because it’s happening every day all around us and most women are grieving silently and no one is talking about it. Because it wasn’t just the idea of a baby that was lost, it was a living beating heart that stopped. It wasn’t just a pregnancy lost — it’s a lifetime. Because I wish that I could talk about my pregnancies with stopping conversation in it’s tracks with uncomfortable glances. Because I wish when people asked I could say that I have four children without feeling silly or awkward. Because my children in heaven are treasured, cherished, important members of my little family.
But mostly I want you to know one important thing: it is entirely possible to live a rich, joy-filled, fruitful, and wonderful life while living with a broken heart. Because with God all things are possible. I live in-between, always looking forward to the day that we’re reunited in heaven and finally have all of our children in our arms.
For a great post with ideas on things to say and how to love better please read Sarah’s blog today. If you have lost a child there’s an incredible new online ministry for you. Please visit Mommies Grieving With Hope and consider sharing your story.