Remembering

I remember the early days of my very first pregnancy, blissfully cloud-walking at the thought of becoming a mother.

I remember the sound of my parents’ voices when they heard the news that I was expecting their first grandchild.

I remember looking at nursery furniture and baby clothes, with a grin that simply would not wipe off my face.

I remember the crushing weight that collapsed onto my chest in that ultrasound room at 10 weeks–not only had the baby died, but the baby had died 5 weeks earlier and my body simply didn’t "get it".

I remember waking from the anesthesia crying and calling out my husband’s namChrysanthemume, and the nurses’ gentle assurance that I would see him soon.

I remember lying in my bed, blinds drawn and phone off, wondering how I would ever face the world without that little person inside me. 

I remember that I couldn’t place my hand on my belly for weeks.

I remember the painful things that well-meaning people would say, and how I would physically cringe:  "At least you weren’t attached to the baby yet,"  "You can always have another one,"  "This is actually a blessing"…

I remember marvelling at how I could feel so much pain and so much peace at the same time.

I remember learning that the hole left in my heart wouldn’t be filled by another baby, or anything else–that it might just stay there.

I remember rocking Adam, my next-born, and realizing with wonder that if the first baby had been carried to term, we wouldn’t have conceived Adam.  And I remember being flooded with assurance that our God is sovereign, and very good.

It was ten years ago this week, but I still remember.  That little hole in my heart is still there, but it no longer hurts–it’s more of a "souvenir" of experience I don’t want to forget.  My home and heart are full of happy, noisy, funny memories enough to mull over for a lifetime.  But with my treasured box of few tangible reminders (sympathy cards, hospital records, and even a faded pregnancy test) I remember–I will always remember–my few short weeks as that first little baby’s mother.  And I smile.

33 thoughts on “Remembering

  1. Stephanie says:

    I am so sorry for that loss, whether it was ten years ago or yesterday. My brother and his wife are newly married and just had a miscarriage. You do hear all those comments, and nothing really “helps” even tho everyone is well-meaning. I am not sure what you believe, but we believe that it is life at conception, and will meet us in heaven someday. A special comfort for my sister in-law to think of.

  2. Shalee says:

    How honestly and beautifully you have expressed your feelings.
    God is faithful and He is good. Thank you for sharing the part about how you realize that you wouldn’t have Adam if you had the first child. There is always a blessing to be found in any situation, even the ones that hurt.

  3. Beth says:

    I have been through 7 miscarriages and 8 pregnancies. I have lived that pain, I understand that pain and people say the dumbest things.
    The heart heals, but it never forgets.
    I dont know if its callous…but I have always thought that God had bigger plans for those little ones, so needed them Home.

  4. peach says:

    I remember back to my first pregnancy and wonder what would have been — because like you, Libbyline would never have been if that baby had survived.
    To be real honest, I wasn’t even sure I was truly pregnant until I was absolutely sure I wasn’t any longer. It was such a struggle at the time, and yet God has blessed me immeasurably beyond anything I could truly ask or imagine.
    Just think that every time you heard an insensitive comment, and I heard plenty as well, it taught each of us what NOT to say when we meet someone in the same circumstance.
    Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your memories with us.

  5. GiBee says:

    Oh, honey … what a bitter-sweet post. I have been there, and have experienced that same “broken hearted peace.”
    God is sovereign — and His ways are better than ours. Even when, at the time, we don’t understand, and our hearts are broken in two. I’ve passed through that shadow many times, which makes me appreciate even more your special post.
    Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t express how much I appreciate it.

  6. Sandra says:

    What a beautiful post. I’ve been there twice and it never gets any easier. I remember the guilt that I felt thinking that it had to be MY fault and also like you, I remember the things people would say, trying to be nice but only hurting even more.
    To this day I remember my 2 beautiful angels and will certainly never forget.
    Thanks for the wonderful post and for sharing those memories with us, and having been there I can certainly appreciate it even more πŸ™‚

  7. Kathryn, The DYM says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. People really need to hear this. I’m tired of hearing, “It was just a miscarriage” or some of those other things people said to you. It is a true loss. No we don’t know the end from the beginning, but it’s okay to feel pain.

  8. Rach says:

    You made me cry. I will always feel that way about Lucy’s womb-mate. That first ultrasound with both of them kicking about will always be with me.
    Thank you for this post.

  9. mimi2six says:

    I must share with all of you that last summer Shannon embroidered an original needlework design of a tree, and on branches were the names of our six grandchildren. At the bottom of the tree are two tiny roots representing her two miscarriages. Those little ones are our grandchildren, too, and everytime I look at that tree, I think about the fact that those two little people just beat the rest of us to Heaven, but we’ll get to meet them someday.

  10. Diane says:

    What a bittersweet post. Yes, each life is important….Psalms 139 tells us that our God is with each life from the very beginning.
    What a beautiful post. God Bless you!
    Diane

  11. Jodi says:

    Bless you, I remember too.
    That was almost five years ago now, and I, too, have a child that wouldn’t have been conceived had that other baby lived. Praise God, sometimes he doesn’t allow us to have our way.

  12. Heather says:

    That’s so beautiful. Having recently been through a very similar experience, I just wanted to say that it is mothers who have had this experience, too who are the most comforting. I loved the child I never got to know. I grieve for that child. It is also wonderful to think that in hindsight, I will see the beauty in my life, and overcome the sadness that I feel. I’m also grateful to know that I can feel valid in sorrow, and not that it is a small thing to get over immediately. I have so much in my heart. So much that I could say, but I won’t. Isn’t it amazing to know that God knows all? πŸ™‚

  13. Traci says:

    I have 3 little ones waiting for me in heaven. After 3 miscarriages though, we finally had our little miracle. As much as it hurt at that time – I realize now that without those miscarriages I wouldn’t have my precious little baby (he’s almost 5 now)!

  14. Emily says:

    It’s a funny kind of pain, isn’t it? I’ve had two lost babies after my firstborn son (he’s almost one, now) and somedays I don’t think of them and others it makes me cry.
    I’ve wondered if there is anything that can be “safely” said in comfort. We’re all different and I wonder if something that would be comforting to one person would be painful to another.
    Just some thoughts.

  15. Queen Beth says:

    6 years ago next month for me Shannon.
    But I would not have had Duchess…who came after my angel baby.
    So I am thankful….But I still remember and know that he or she is with Jesus and waiting to see me again one day!

  16. chilihead says:

    What a beautiful post. I teared up while reading it. I know you could never forget and I’m glad you were able to share it with us.

  17. Faith says:

    I’m crying. My heart aching for you. My oldest daughter – mom to baby-A had the same experience. She was so heartbroken. We all were. She concieved baby-A just 10 days later. A miracle for sure. She’d not even had another cycle of course. He is here by God’s grace and divine plan. Praying for you during this bittersweet time.

  18. Stacey says:

    Wow, that story took my breath away as I read. I’ve never actually experienced this but I’ve known lots of people who have. I can’t even imagine how it feels to loose a child!! I’m so sorry you had to go through this but I’m so glad you’re able to share this with the world. I know it must not have been easy but I’m glad you did. Thanks for being so open and sharing your feelings!!

  19. Julie a/k/a "Googie" says:

    I’m absolutely sobbing after reading your story, Shannon. I can’t begin to fathom the pain that a mother must feel with a miscarriage.
    For many years I worked as a funeral & cemetery director and it was my honor and privilege to serve families who had endured this tragedy. It was also the most unbearable part of my job. I personally never cared for the phrase, “We lost our baby.” I always thought, “He/she isn’t lost. Far from it.”
    Still weeping.

  20. Gabriela says:

    Thanks for sharing. I have been there too and I was amazed at the pain of losing something that I had only known about for 5 weeks.

  21. tam says:

    shannon, babies in heaven are such a divine mental image…totally content in the Father’s arms, never having shed a single tear.
    There is a song that still weep to as I listen despite having lost our daughter over 5 years ago. “Glory Baby” by Watermark.
    It paints a beautiful picture of heaven holding that baby until we can and what heaven’s lullabye’s must sound like.
    May you always remember…

  22. Addie says:

    Beautiful. This could have been written by me, because I remember the very same things.
    The one really great thing that you said though, that I never ever thought of, was that if we had our first child, we would have never had our second. I’ve never thought of that, but it is so true for me too.
    Oh, and Glory Baby by Watermark still makes me smile!

  23. jody says:

    This is so beautifully written. I am sorry for your loss, but so grateful for God’s grace to you!
    I have lost 5 babies to m/c. It hurts so bad, but when I look at my daughter, I am floored at how good God is.
    I have 3 sons, ages 11, 8 and 5 so when people see a girl at the end, they make so many comments. They just don’t know what we went through to have our 4th child. I wrote about it here: http://jody2ms.com/?p=170
    She was just meant to be. But I will always remember my other babies who were with us for such a short time.

  24. Karyn says:

    The memories are not quite yet “souvenirs” for me, though I have begun to live my day without thinking of the lost ones each and every moment. Certainly, HE is good.
    Thanks for this reminder, and it is comforting to know that one continues to remember.

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