It is June, somehow. I feel like I am poking my head out of a warped cavity of time, realizing what has passed by. Enough emotions to fill years, since Easter of 2019, my world has been shifting sharply.
A surprise pregnancy in February left me open and vulnerable in a way I had not experienced before. In some ways, I didn’t trust it because we didn’t try for it. Although we can never fully deserve the beautiful gifts that are our children, I truly felt like I didn’t deserve it.
I worked with it and around it. I marveled in it, but I kept living. And then, the day after Easter, I saw baby bigger in the ultrasound screen. And I fell in love again.
Pregnancy after loss is a complicated place to be. It is hard to know how to process typical uncertainty. And so, when a soft marker showed up that something may be wrong, I resisted with all I had to keep from slipping back into my protective grief.
But after a few more things showed up, I couldn’t ignore that I was afraid this baby would leave me. I looked around and found that I had been dropped back to a place similar to five years ago. Even though we have had 2 healthy pregnancies since we lost Darla, the hole in my heart she left is still very real.
A doctor told me it was happening again, that terrible disorder that robbed me of my first girl was back. I mourned fully. A new doctor then told me it likely wasn’t what stole Darla returning. That although the road could look different, we should prepare for our baby boy. I allowed hope back in.
Since my pregnancy has received the familiar label of “complicated,” engaging fully with life around me has become more intentional. Generally, I am uncomfortable with silence. I am a fixer. And yet, as I returned to my first loss tangibly, I was reminded that there are no perfect words to cover the gaping pit of the unfamiliar.
I worked to appear composed, but I couldn’t keep the facade. One morning, I found myself crumpled in a ball on the edge of our treadmill, unable to do anything except rock in place and wail the word “please” over and over through a familiar and constant flow of longing tears. But authenticity in place of poised perfectioned cleanses our over-filtered, over-posed existence. The purest expressions of grief, of hurt, of love, gives the soul space to return our most innocent state.
The night before he was crucified, Jesus in the garden simply asked those that he loved to stay and keep watch. “Stay here and keep watch with me.” Most purely, when life gets hard, and we find ourselves looking fear in the eye, showing up torn but faithful is good enough. Sitting with how we feel, sitting with that crushed friend, offering space for whatever comes out: it is better than forced words.
The new flow required to survive rough seas cannot be squeezed from forced moments. When all your words are about having no words, words aren’t the answer. Act in love, and let your actions speak for you. “It’s not your job to impress everyone, it is your job to love them.”
I don’t know currently know the nature of the pit I am in; I can’t tell how similar it is to the past, time will tell. I do know that life is hard right now, and I know it’s not just hard for me. I know there are many souls out there hurting, maybe in different circumstances, but with the same tender and battered hearts. And in each pit, when it comes to climbing out, showing up is more than enough.
Right now, I can’t force words: I either have them or I don’t. I want to be authentic as I revisit all of this in real-time. Although openly acknowledging this journey leaves me exposed and vulnerable, I pray it reaches another mama of uncertainty. I pray it finds someone in their own pit.
As I work through all of this possibility, I can’t promise I will be reliable or regular. But I want to share the story of our sweet boy. I can’t think of a better way to honor a life sparked by miraculous timing than with hope and wonder of what Cooper will teach us.
And in this, we will be reminded of what He teaches us, what He promises us, and that He always, always loves us.