I don't say that my way is the best way. Nor do I say I've always been right in doing that. I am human after all.
That said, I've debated back and forth about sharing this post. About even writing it in the first place. But knowing we're not alone in this, and knowing that many people feel alone, Rick encouraged me to share.
This Christmas has been a somber one for Rick and me. A couple of weeks ago I got sick. Very sick. I was burning up with fever. At first I thought I had Strep throat. When the swab was negative, I figured it must be the flu.
It wasn't that either.
See, Rick and I had been keeping a secret. One we hoped to share just after the new year. After we had a chance to see the doctor. Hear the heartbeat. We were about 10 weeks along with what would have been our 4th child. Rick was sure it was another girl. I thought it would be a boy.
We'll never know who was right. Because that fever was a symptom of a miscarriage. We lost the baby the week before Christmas.
I'll be honest, this has been hard. A lot harder than I thought. I still get teary at the smallest things. Lyrics in a song. End credits of a movie (we used them for name ideas). Reading the Christmas story. All those things that reminded me that we used to be expecting a baby. That now we're not.
I don't write all of this so you can be sad, too. But somehow I hated the idea that no one would know about this baby who was supposed to come to our family. I wanted others to remember, too.
Don't worry about saying the "right" thing to us. We'll be okay. We'll move on. We're just sad.
Anyway, all this raw emotion has left me needing an outlet, so I wanted to share a poem. In truth, I debated sharing this, too, because I feel so exposed. And for the record, I don't claim to be a poet. So here we go:
Bright hope for the future
Nestling deep within me.
Love growing stronger each day.
Though months away, the scenes play in my mind.
A new infant filling our home with warmth and joy.
The awe of tiny fingers. Tiny toes.
The little cry that doesn’t seem real.
In my dreams I hear it.
I wake in the night to prepare a phantom bottle.
First smile. First tooth. First step.
The unknown dates already written in my heart.
Then the world---my world---spins. Twists.
In directions I can’t control.
And my dreams are shattered. Like a family heirloom crashing to the ground.
Shards surround me. Cut me. Hurt me.
Impossible to gather the pieces. No matter how hard I try.
One slip, and it’s gone.
Like rain drops in the dirt.
Like tears on my pillow.
Like blood down the drain.
Blood that won’t stop.
Drowning me in anguish for the dreams that are gone.
The hopes that lay in a drunken mess on the floor.
Yet new dreams will come.
But never this one.
Never quite the same.
Nor would I want that.
I’ll keep that place in my heart for the baby I never held.
Except in my dreams.