Goodbye to an Unborn One
Although I pray in hope, I am not surprised when the doctor can find no heartbeat. A few minutes later in the ultrasound room, the lights are turned down and the doctor peers at the grainy images on the screen. Inside the dark shape of my uterus where there should be a kicking, flapping little being, there is only a tiny quiet fuzzy blur. The doctor leans closer, squinting and blinking, readjusting the angle.
Darkness. Stillness. Emptiness.
The doctor finally leans back in his chair to give me his speech and I try to concentrate on his words. I am not surprised and yet shocked to my core. I can be stone-faced with his solemn serious manner, but afterward when the nurse gives me a hug I crumble.
In the days and weeks that follow, the weight of my loss is in constant painful focus. This little one has left me. I have lost a child, my second child is already gone.
In the initial raw shock and grief, simple things like an empty shoe box in my closet cause me to break into tears, even though I am holding the shoes in my other hand.
It is so hard to get my mind around the fact that there's been a death inside my body.
I feel so tainted by this failure.
I have a constant stream of theories stream of theories going through my head of what made this happen. Was it something I ate? Did I do something wrong? (That must be it.) Or is it just my turn to have some rain in my life?
I know God doesn't have "oops" moments, but the like the Sesame Street character, "I WANNA KNOW Y!"
In the beginning I had a passing thought that maybe this little person had so much wrong with it--and that's why it couldn't develop--that it really wasn't a person, just a little hunk of tissue that was inside me for awhile.
But that's so wrong. It was a little living human being, and as such it had a soul. She was alive and grew for approximately seven weeks and then for some incomprehensible reason died. Like the story of the workers who were paid the same wages whether they worked in the vineyard all day or only for an hour, this little one had a soul as unique and treasured as an eighty year old's. She just didn't get to stay in the "vineyard" very long.
I so long for this little one and wish I could I have her back. Instead, I have to learn to say goodbye. "Give us grace, we beseech thee, to entrust the soul of this child to thy never-failing care and love . . ." from The Book of Common Prayer.
As one so tiny, helpless and wordless, I commend her to Jesus' arms. I know she is safe there and not crying and lost, wandering among the stars. I look forward to someday meeting this lovely one. And as much as it hurts, I do not regret that she lived. It was a privilege to be her mother, though for such a short time. I know her life has something to teach me though the lesson is beyond me now. I know my life is forever changed because of her, insignificant she may have seemed. Even though I never met her, her absence makes a lasting hole in my life. I will always miss this little one.
Goodbye for now, my baby. How I look forward to meeting you someday.