The stabbing pain of grief lessens.
Through it all, I am whole. Broken, yet still whole.
Awe and Joy overwhelm me as I see the two pink lines on the pregnancy test. I quietly slip back into bed, holding on to my secret for a few more hours before Lennox wakes. I can’t think of how to tell him without blurting it out. We’re awake for 2 hours when I put a lentil in his hand as he’s getting ready to head out the door. He’s confused. I start laughing. I tell him it’s the size of our baby. Baby Lentil. Due mid-April.
I tell my closest friends first. Chani sends me the cutest pictures of baby pandas. She and I lovingly refer to this baby as “Baby Panda” because it’s black, white, and Asian.
Baby Lentil grows to be the size of a raspberry.
I notice spotting, then bleeding. I text friends about my concerns. I’m not cramping so I should be okay. Right?
Ireland and I travel to Texas with Winter and baby Christopher. We leave on a Friday. That night as I lie down I turn to Ireland and tell her, “I’m going to cry. Please don’t be alarmed. I’m concerned about the life of this baby.”
I cry. I sleep. I wake in the morning knowing he was gone, but wondering if I was just giving into fear. I call Lennox. I tell him, “The baby isn’t alive anymore. I can feel it.” He says that until we know for sure we’ll pray as if he’s still alive. So I do, but I know.
We make it to Texas. It’s so hot, but the house is air conditioned. My Christopher has the air conditioner turned so low that I tell him I’m freezing at night. I use his army sleeping bags, but I shouldn’t need to. He laughs. I laugh. I love this grown man boy of mine.
Tuesday, September 20 I write:
My bleeding has gotten progressively heavier and the blood changed from pink to a deep red. I’m downstairs and I tell Winter that I’m going to stay home when she goes to get Chris for lunch. I could feel myself bleeding. I go to the bathroom and there’s a large red clump in the bottom of the toilet. I start saying, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh” repeatedly. Winter knocks on the door. I can’t remember what I said. I then reached in the toilet to see if it is merely a clot. It wasn’t. It felt, well, a placenta. I snapped a picture of it in my hand and started weeping. I get cleaned up as Winter knocks again. I tell her I miscarried. She hugs me and strokes my head as I cry.
I knew Lennox was with someone. I called twice and texted. He called back. I told him our baby died. I can’t remember what he said. Then I hear Christopher come home. I get off the phone as he comes into my room. He rushes to my bed and holds me as I sob. Deep, heart wrenching, loud sobbing. My firstborn comforts me.
I begin to tell friends. Lennox had begun telling people. Texts, messages, and phone calls pour in. I speak only to Lennox.
Still, I get up to eat quesadillas for lunch. Then I sleep before we go to Popeye’s and the park. Then I sleep more.
I cry. A lot.
I sleep. I cry. I get up. I’m in Texas with my first born, his family, and my youngest child. I’m aware that I can’t lie in bed all day. I’m here to experience life and make memories with the living.
Lennox asked me if I felt the arms of God holding me? Did I feel Him with me in this? I didn’t, but I knew. Knowing is different. It’s more permanent. It’s real. I never felt alone or abandoned. I knew He was with me in all the love being poured out on me through text messages, facebook, and phone calls. It was no coincidence that I was in Texas and Lennox back home in Oregon. It was God’s grace and care for us.
The next day I write:
Today is harder. I announced it on fb. “It”. The thing I can’t say aloud. It hurts too much. I’m crying more. I’m thinking about going home. It feels so safe here where nobody knows me. My people here love me, know me, and grieve with me.
I was safe. Neither Ireland or Sage are very good at handling sadness and grief. It scares them. They, in turn, antagonize one another. Here we are thousands of miles away. Each of us can grieve in our way. Ireland could be sad then go play with the baby or hang out with Winter and Christopher. Sage could be home in his normal routine and quietly deal with it at home. We are grateful for all of this.
We get back to Oregon late Friday night.
Saturday I write:
We got home late last night.
It was a relief to see the faces of Sage and Lennox. Ireland spied them first. She, too, was looking for our men to take care of us.
We went to Salt & Straw for ice cream on the way home. It’s all about making memories. I don’t want our loss and my sadness to color everything. Yet, I think it does. I’m trying to engage while also giving me room to heal.
I stayed home all day today. It was good. Lennox protected me from even the kids. This morning we prayed together and he read my words of affirmations reminding me who I am.
Krystal brought me ice cream.
We ended the day with chicken & rice, cheetos, and ice cream while watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
I feel like our family has bonded. It’s strange that we were apart, yet now are so much closer. I think we care more.
There still has been a level of tenderness and care that wasn’t there before. Kids still shirk on doing jobs and rages break out. Yet, I still feel something different in the atmosphere.
For me, I love more deeply. I’m more focused. I’m also more introverted and being in social situations drain me in ways I couldn’t even imagine before.
Something beautiful has happened in all this. I found myself letting Lennox care for me. I entrusted myself to him in a deeper way. Not just him, but also to God. It was this deep knowing of their love for me. Nothing can harm me. I may hurt, but I am not destroyed.
I look at my husband and see my champion. I look into his eyes and see his incredible love for me. A lump forms in my throat. I am grateful.
Lennox and I are closer than we were before. I thought we were close then, but it has grown. He is tender and strong. He knows when to let me cry and when to make me get out of bed. We are unstoppable together. He is so good to me.
Monday morning we began our daily walks together. It was slow going at first, but then faster as my body healed. We talked about this loss and our hope. Our joy over that fact that I could get pregnant in the first place. I was pretty sure it couldn’t happen. Joy over the fact that we are now stronger.
We both felt that our baby was a boy. Lennox said, “Let’s name him John. He’s not the last baby. He prepared the way.” Yes, yes he did. There will be more.
At church today we read from the book of John. It’s my favorite of the 4 gospels. I think of how this John is so loved. He calls himself, “The one Jesus loved”. I love that so much. Was he loved more than the other disciples or was he simply more sure of that love?
We didn’t get to know our own John, but he too is so loved.
As I’m ending this post my heart aches with pain, but also throbs with joy. This is a good life. God is a good God. Always.