It's been a weird past few months. I'd be lying if I said that the miscarriage didn't mess me up at all. I think it would be safe to assume that it kind of tilted my whole world on edge....and it's hard to talk about that. Since this wasn't our first miscarriage, I feel like there's a general consensus out there amongst our friends and family that I should be "over" it. That we should be moving on with our lives, and not still thinking about our angel baby.
Maybe they're right. Maybe I am "dwelling" on it too much, too long. I don't know. Maybe I should be popping some happy pills to stuff the quiet ache in my heart deep down where it can't come out. Maybe I should stop talking about it. Maybe they're right and I'm really in need of professional help.
But I can't help feeling that they're wrong. That I'm supposed to be still thinking about my little baby, knowing that right about now, we'd have seen him on an ultrasound, we'd be getting ready to welcome him home in a few short months, that I'd be falling asleep at night to the kick-kick-kick of new life.
I think people out there are worried about my mental and emotional state, and I think that's perfectly normal. I'm usually the giggling one. The happy one. The one who doesn't bring her complaints and sadness and suffering to the forefront, and I think that's why everyone seems to be so worried about my random moments of sadness.
I ran from it before - I would stuff it deep down and pretend it didn't happen. I think that's why with this miscarriage, I ended up reliving my first one. I'd never processed what had happened before - I'd never talked about it. We weren't actively practicing our faith then, either, so I definitely didn't pray through it, the first time around.
This time around is different. I'm still happy....and I still feel gratitude for my blessings and joy in my daily life. It's still there. But at any given moment, I could respond that I'm just "okay" when you ask me how I am. And there's no need to worry about that "okay-ness, " I promise. I'm still sad about the fact that we lost a baby.....and that's okay. I'm not too sad to get out of bed, and I've definitely not lost my joy in everyday things/activities. But it's okay (I'd dare to say that it's healthy) to still be sad over the loss of our child.
There will be some days that are better than others - some days where the old, happy-giggly Heidi will be prominently displayed. And there will be days - like this past Tuesday - where I'm just plain sad. The days where I get asked, multiple times, if I'm pregnant again yet (the answer is no, and please, oh please, if I say no, DO NOT respond with "Are you sure?" I can guarantee you that I'm sure). The days where I wake up thinking about my baby and missing him, knowing full well that there will come a day when I do get to meet him, hold him, love on him as his mother. I hope for that moment - but some days I am sad that I am not already in it.
I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is a reason that God allowed our Jonathan to go ahead of us into Heaven. I hope that I will join him there someday, but until then, I find my joy in knowing that He has a plan for me, for my baby, and I trust that it is a brilliant plan filled with love for me. This suffering, this sadness, this trial that I am currently in the midst of is not in vain - He is using it to purify me. I never understood, before now, how someone could seem so joyful in the midst of suffering, or be grateful for their suffering (I used to think they were crazy), but I understand a little bit now. Joy and happiness are not the same thing - happiness is creature/human comfort. Happiness is difficult to obtain if you are suffering......joy, however, is always present as long as there is hope. Hope in the suffering allows you to live a life of joy, even in the darkest, saddest moments.
My suffering pales in comparison to some of the great people we've come to know throughout our short lives so far. My suffering is definitely tiny compared to what He did for me. I have nothing to complain about, but instead, am grateful that He has only given me this tiny bit of pain to experience. I deserve so much more, considering what ways I have failed Him and still do on a daily basis.
I should be suffering so much more than I am right now, if it was based on my past (and present) sins. But in His great mercy, He's given me just a touch of that pain, just a small portion of what I deserve. For this, I am grateful. I find hope in experiencing this mercy, this love, that He has given me. Knowing this mercy, feeling His love through suffering, strengthens my hope in His promises.
I have hope and joy, because of this suffering. I know that He is leading me into a deeper relationship with Him - I experience that daily. He is there, guiding me through this experience, and teaching me so many things that I would not have been receptive to 10 years ago. He's allowing Jonathan to teach me a deeper love, a deeper joy, a deeper hope.
It may seem to you that I'm not "okay," that maybe I'm teetering on some big old scary cliff of depression. Maybe you're right - after all, the American way is to just swallow our emotions and keep barreling through. I should be back to "normal," or perhaps already pregnant again, moving on from our baby and pretending that the miscarriage never happened.
But I invite you to look at it from my point of view - that sadness, that longing for my baby, is a source of joy, love, and hope in my life. Consider that at times - no matter how counterintuitive this may seem - sadness and suffering is something to be grateful for.
I'm grateful for this sadness. There are days when my selfish human will seems to resist it - and I would venture that those are the moments of anger and "woe is me" sentiments - but this suffering, this sadness, is a gift.
It's a gift I want to accept completely. Please try to understand that.