In the past, I sometimes wondered how I would react in this situation. I’m not sure anything can prepare you for it.
From the moment you get that positive pregnancy test, that baby starts to change your world.
I immediately started taking my health extremely serious. Plans and dreams began to take shape.
Every week our family would read on Pinterest about the baby’s size (compared to a fruit) and stage of development. All week long it’s name be “baby raspberry”, then “baby lime”, etc.
Psalm 127:3 became deeply meaningful to me:
“Behold, children are a heritage and gift from the Lord. The fruit of the womb, a reward.”
We started collecting name ideas and a few tiny clothes. All gray and white, this time.
We decided the baby would sleep in the pretty, little alcove in our bedroom. I found some wallpaper with tiny deer on it.
We interviewed midwives.
I signed up for the nursery for next year’s homeschool co-op.
It is amazing how many things are set in motion, in expectation. . . . and you begin to fall in love.
It was going to be our “do over” baby. Not in a terrible way, just a “now we know what to do better” way. My youngest is almost twelve.
I kept detailed journals on the first three pregnancies, births and baby years. Reading them now is a little sobering. I see how much of what was important to me really didn’t matter.
I wish I hadn’t stressed over all the material items and the milestones. I wish I could have enjoyed my children even more than I did.
My husband and I decided right away that we would purpose to enjoy every moment of this baby’s life.
And so we did.
Those three months were probably the happiest days of our lives.
But, on a Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago, there was cramping and bleeding. Not a good combination, according to my midwife. I stayed in bed all day and worked on the blog.
After lunch, things quieted down and I thought maybe we would be OK.
But, by four o’clock I was in labor.
Here is a photo my friend took (through the stair railing) of my two daughters around me while I was in the tub.
At 6:55 PM, I birthed my tiny baby.
Too soon. Too soon for this world.
There was wailing at my house.
Below is my announcement on Instagram, click on the image to read the full announcement.
At first I wasn’t going to share my story with the world.
But, I am learning that vulnerability can be a beautiful thing.
Taking the time and space for grief is healthy. So many women feel tremendous loss after miscarriage and are confused by the power of these feelings.
They do not know how to heal. They keep busy and try to forget.
And so I took a chance and hit the publish button, because maybe I could help another woman.
What happened next, I will never forget.
People started sending me peonies, my house was filled with them.
Over 400 women have reached out to me with their stories and sympathy. I’m talking -most of these women are total strangers!
Women were crying, grieving with me. Sending me gifts. Some of them saying they are finally able to grieve their miscarriages after reading my story.
A reader from Indiana even planted a garden for me and my baby! Are you kidding me? She called it her “She Holds Dearly garden”. I was speechless.
Never in my entire life have I felt so loved by so many women. I actually believe that people can help carry one another’s grief and that is what it was like. People surrounded me and brought me so much comfort.
Five different things have happened that tell me the baby was a girl. So we are going with that. I had six little girl names picked out, all with the middle name Wren.
We named her “Wren”, our little bird who flew away too soon.
My husband said we could do the funeral on Father’s Day.
It would be just the five of us. So tiny and intimate, but still honoring.
I had the grave marker carved in marble.
My husband I had walked our property and chosen a spot. Under the Italian plum tree, next to the strawberries. The kids and I made strawberry cupcakes for after the ceremony. The one with the strawberry would have been for Wren.
Watching my husband carefully dig that tiny, perfect grave pierced my heart.
It felt like something a pioneer father would do.
For an hour and half, we just prayed, shared our dreams and listened to all each other’s questions and stories.
We shared what we have learned, we read the Bible and worshipped God for being sovereign and merciful through it all.
Here are the songs we chose:
Then, we each took turns shoveling the earth back,
over all that we had left of her.
The physical act of burying was tremendously hard for me. I had to pray to get through it.
My son spent some time saying good- bye to a little sister he has yet to meet.
Our final step was to release balloons, one for each family member.
We played Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which was my favorite song when I was a little girl.
When it was my turn, I started crying and said, “I don’t want to let go.”
The irony was not lost on us.
Again, I prayed to get through it.
Every year when the peonies bloom and the strawberries turn red, I will remember. I will remember our little Wren.