What is today? February 24th.
I woke today with a heaviness. The rain poured down and a roll of thunder shook me deep. My morning went along as usual. I delighted in the brothers’ interactions. Archer (recovered from a fever 24 hours earlier) sweetly helped get Theo ready for the day. Then, school drop-off. Grocery shopping.
Pulling in the driveway, I noticed spring bulbs are really blooming. I post a photo of some purple hyacinth, not even thinking. Theo naps in the corner. My thoughts turn to Easter–coming soon but never soon enough. I jot down some thoughts on the Hope these flowers remind me of…
Yet, the stillness of this moment is not complete. Our washing machine whirs in the background, and I’m distracted because it seems clutter accents each corner of the house. Pollen scrapes my eyes and throat, and I sneeze. Theo cries a little in his sleep.
What is today? February 24th. I gather treats for a dear friend’s birthday. I celebrate her life, grateful.
And then I remember.
What is today? February 24th. The day we lost our sweet Violet.
The pregnancy was a joyful surprise. We’d wanted our first babies two years apart, and Archer was about to turn 2. Everything was going well. Nothing to indicate distress. We had an ultrasound on February 21. I was ten weeks, but the ultrasound tech said skeptically, “Are you real sure about your dates?” Of course I’m sure. I’m the mama. This is my baby and I know. But Violet only grew to 6.5 weeks when her heart probably stopped beating.
They said, “There’s nothing you can do. It’s not your fault. Do you want us to take your baby out? No? Do you want to take a pill to make your baby come out? No? You should take these anxiety pills.”
The coming days were long and strange. I felt in between worlds–the life with our baby which I’d begun to really dream info, and the life without her. These two realities met, and I had no control. For three days she remained inside, tucked away… Safe. But I knew she had to leave me. She had to rise from this world, this reality. Of course I would have held on to her as long as I could, but the course of her little life was ending.
That weekend we went to the Wildlife Preserve. Archer ran on his little toddler legs. I was bleeding. I didn’t know what was coming.
February 24th. Monday was painful and ugly. We were at home and I was emptied out. After a few hours it was over, and I was still the mama. She was still my baby. But she wasn’t with me anymore.
They said, “Jesus is holding her now. She never had to feel pain. You couldn’t do anything, she just wasn’t meant for this world. Look at Archer, at least you know you can have a baby. You’ll get pregnant again.” Each word sliced me open. (I don’t blame them. I’d probably have said these things before our loss.)
The next week we went to church and there was a baby dedication. Every week in the prayers of the people they prayed for the expectant mothers. No longer expectant, I guess I didn’t need prayer. I sat still and hard as a stone, but inside I was just a grain of sand trying not to blow away.
Of course I’m sad thinking about this. I will always long for the babies I’ve lost. I have four babies. Each was part of me. Only two am I blessed to hold, nourish, teach, and guide through this life. The others wait for me to join them someday, and I know they pray for me.
This life sometimes feels incomplete. I think everyone feels that. Today, February 24th, I feel it.