Saturday, January 18, 2020
It feels surreal to write that we lost our fourth baby last Thursday to causes unknown. The grief comes in waves. I don’t know for sure if the baby was a boy or a girl, and I am as yet uncertain whether I will ever meet the person who could have inhabited the tiny body that resided in me for just under 6 short weeks. Today would have marked 6 weeks exactly. It is curious to me how much attachment I felt to this baby already even though I felt completely unready and insecure about the task of caring for another child come September. I had inklings from the beginning of realizing I was pregnant again that this pregnancy would not end on a happy note. Or that circumstances would be odd. Or perhaps I would be rendered permanently infertile. These imaginations often run wild in my mind, but as my medical history has tended to be somewhat dramatic it also never surprises me when terrible things happen.
It is tempting to ask myself why we continue to live in such a way that babies might grace us with their presence at any time. We do our best to track my fertility windows and avoid them, but still we tend to be careless sometimes. I can’t say I mind. I desire greatly to have as many children as Heavenly Father sees fit to send to our family. But I often question my mental ability to care for them all. The love comes naturally, but so does the anxiety and stress over keeping them alive and helping them grow in the best ways I know how. And with this being my first real tangible experience with having a confirmed pregnancy fail…the fragility of life has suddenly become so much more apparent to me. That we even have three living breathing tiny people in our home is a miracle to me now.
In all the years that we struggled to even conceive a child, I never once considered the fragility of life; for the reality of pregnancy had never been realized until I had three in succession. All of them surprises. All of them viable. None of them without trial, but all of them viable. It seemed to me that out of four years of barrenness, suddenly I was a baby making machine and if I were to be pregnant at all that was the process and a baby would be the end result. And now, here I find myself writing about the death of my fourth baby. I was reminded by the holy spirit a day or two before the bleeding began that “all things are in the Father’s hands”. This phrase has given me strength when I am tempted to be afraid of the reality of building and raising another child. But in it, I have also learned that raising children has very little to do with me and very much to do with my willingness to serve these tiny bodies. These tiny souls. These tiny beings who have all the same emotions and fears as I do, but lack the life experience that informs them of the things I have learned about life. The responsibility of a parent is great. And children test boundaries and patience like no other beings I have yet met. And yet, the growth I have experienced from submitting to the will of my Father has been far greater than any terror I have experienced at the hands of these tiny people. They are my teachers. In life, and now in death. The time which a child is with me does not matter. I have learned more about myself and my folly from each of my, now 4, children than I ever learned without them. They are my teachers. And while I grieve the loss of a child I never knew, I feel grateful for the lessons I have learned. And I value life just that much more.
Peace be with us. –Caitlin