Declan 

I didn’t set out to blog about pregnancy loss, but it appears to be my story.   This time seems so much harder.  I have been angry and despairing.  Though I am still very much in the thick of grief and I recognize the need for time and healing.

Declan, you were a good surprise.   We rejoiced in your fast little heartbeat, and had so many plans for you.  So many people rejoiced with us and prayed for you.  Strangers were praying!  People offered masses, the due date was the feast of St. Gerard.  It all seemed meant to be.  I was heartbroken a month later to see your still, little profile on the ultrasound as if lying at rest.  When you came I was both comforted and haunted that you were perfect; with 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes.  What went wrong?

I want to trust God, accept His will and plans for us.  But typical of mothers in this situation, I still blame myself.  It must be my fault.  I must have worried too much or done something wrong. Sometimes it feels painful to breathe, and I don’t care what happens to me now.

But given the choice, I would still go through this. This child was a gift from God, a miracle.  Even if only here for 3 months.  A soul that now will only know love of his heavenly Father and not the pain of this world…….How awesome is it to get to participate in that?

Losing a child during Holy Week gives a person ample opportunity to reflect on the Passion and Resurrection.  My compassionate Doctor encouraged me to participate in the special liturgies of the week and now I understand his suggestion.   Bishop’s homily about how we all carry around a little tomb, and how we all also hope in the resurrection was so timely for me. Literally and spiritually.  I wish I had a recording of it. Declan will be buried in Resurrection Cemetery.   Hope.

Though struggling I recognize many blessings.  And I am blessed with the only husband in this world for me.  Even in his own grief, so loving, so attentive, so PATIENT.  The best smile & hugs.

❤  M, you are home to me.

I thank God for you, and our family, friends and all those known and anonymous prayer warriors. I have much to be thankful for.

Be patient with me, I forget that sometimes.

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Seamus

August 6th will always be a part of me. Even though we lost the baby in the first trimester, the all important due date is indelible as a tattoo.   We don’t know how many early miscarriages I’ve had, but I carried Seamus the longest. Every second I carried was a blessing.  And even knowing the outcome, I would willingly suffer the pain for him again. My Doctors did everything they could, even when things didn’t look hopeful.  

I’ve never in my life experienced peace and calm as I did when pregnant with Seamus. Maybe it was all the progesterone?  But I prefer to think it was because he was with me. At the end, when I knew he was gone, but they kept me on shots for a week just in case, the peace was gone too.  

In the past year and a half, I have experienced it all.  Grief.  Guilt.  Depression.  Anger.  Jealousy.  Self-hatred.  Acceptance.  Over and over.  Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy in my own skin, like I need to change my life, run away, but I can’t get away from myself.  And, I haven’t been taking care of myself.  

At times I can unite my suffering to Jesus.  Then at other times all I can do is say, “I’m here, God”, because I feel so dry and lost.  I try to remember what Mary went through watching her innocent Son suffer and die for the world.  In that sense, I cannot feel sorry for myself. 

And I’m not alone. To anyone experiencing this, I’m truly sorry for your loss and you are regularly in my prayers. Please know that it’s okay to grieve, even though your child wasn’t born. Life begins at conception.  The first person to recognize Jesus, was an unborn child.  (See Luke 1:41)  God loves us all enough to send his only Son to save us, so we have reason to believe He would save the innocent and the children are alive in heaven.  I believe it’s God’s will that these children are born to fulfill a specific purpose, not to die before birth.  But we live in a broken and sinful world, which has unintended consequences sometimes. 

Things I’ve learned on my own or in talking with others,

  1. Talk about it when you feel you need to, don’t hold it in.
  2. Your husband will not grieve on the same schedule as you.  Just because he seems to have bounced back doesn’t mean that he does not care. 
  3. People with good intentions are going to say horrible things.  You won’t believe what you are hearing.
  4. It will seem that pregnant women are following you, everywhere.  
  5. You may meet some women who struggle with spacing babies, this is a cross too but it isn’t easy to understand in our position.  

  I’ve had to protect myself at times, trust yourself. Reach out for help if you need it, don’t think you have to just move on or get over it. Like all grief its a process.  There are so many miscarriage ministries, counselors and support groups.  I’ve found quite a few resources online.  You should name your child.  We found this beautiful ministry,  http://www.innocents.com/shrine.asp and enrolled our child’s name.  

Since my earliest memories I’ve wanted to be a mom, but I’m at the end of childbearing age.  I know all things are possible with God. I’ve been trying to reframe my thinking into acceptance.  After 9 years of trying, it isn’t easy to switch from Someday-Mom, to Childless.  What do I do with myself now?  Im writing, working on health, exploring how I can be involved in foster care, and volunteer opportunities.  I feel drawn to pro-life causes.  I’m thinking of taking a class or trip.  I’m trying to be a better wife, and to improve my other relationships. I’m trying to find a new path, to figure out who I’m supposed to be now.