Last Thursday I was pretty sure I hadn’t felt Tres moving around for a couple of hours. Once I started thinking about it, I wasn’t sure if I’d noticed any movement since I had gotten up in the morning. I began poking and prodding around, trying to provoke him into fighting back. 30 minutes later, I still felt nothing.
I was about 80% convinced that I’d lost this baby, too. (I hate that expression, by the way, but don’t have one that I like any better.) I was disappointed in the expectations I’d begun (timidly) to form for this baby’s future with our family. I despaired at the idea of having to tell Abby that we wouldn’t be bringing a baby home after her birthday any more. I wondered how I would ever be able to be brave enough to try to carry another child, but how I would ever be satisfied to have only one.
Every expectant mother fears for the safety and health of her baby, but the fears are usually foggy and dim…she wonders what it would feel like, how she would respond, how she would be able to bear it. But I know the path of loss, and I had hoped and prayed not to have to walk it again, at least not like this: the eerily silent delivery room, the baby funeral, the aching breasts, the awkward silences of well-meaning but fearful acquaintances. As a friend recently acknowledged, sometimes it takes more courage to face the known than the unknown.
A little while later, I felt a kick…and then another. I think I could have passed out with relief, but since I was driving at the time, I had to be content with some happy tears. Tres woke up from whatever long nap he’d been enjoying and soon resumed his usual frantic acrobatics. They kept me awake that night, and I didn’t mind at all.
There are certainly days when hope comes easy, and when I am assured that even if we do have to give up Tres to Heaven, too, that God is still good and that we will be okay–blessed for it, even. But that does not mean that I am not afraid; it does not mean every day is tranquil surrender.
I feel like it’s important to tell you this, just as I tell you about the days when I feel confident and secure. I don’t want to give the impression that grief–or faith, for that matter– is something you move through like levels on a Mario Brothers game. Maybe you’ve had a day (or even a string of days) where you feel like you’ve mastered fear or complaining or a desire to control. But it doesn’t mean you will never struggle again. Over time, maybe (I hope!), progress is made, but the day-to-day walking feels an awful lot like one step forward, two steps back.
I just thought you should know.