Monday, October 15, 2012

No Foot Too Small

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Back in 1988, when President Reagan declared today as such, he had this to say: "When a child loses a parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her partner, they are called a widower. When parents lose their children, there isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the losses that so many parents experience across the United States and world..."

As many of you will remember, this past February, Rocky and I lost our little baby through a miscarriage. He was our second baby, and only with us for a short period of time, but how long does it take for parents to fall in love with their baby? For us, it was the instant we saw that positive pregnancy test. There is no standard by which we can ever measure the depth of our love for baby Benjamin, and thus no standard by which to measure the depth of our grief. 

We are so blessed to be expecting baby #3 right now, and I cannot wait to meet him or her! I am beyond elated to be carrying this child right now, and love him or her infinitely, as I do my other children. But I would be lying if I told you that the joy of this pregnancy has completely wiped out the grief of losing our previous baby. I cannot erase the pain I feel knowing that if all had gone well, I would be holding little Benji right now.. smelling the top of his head, kissing his nose, snuggling him close to nurse. I cannot stop the tears when I think of how much I'll miss him this Christmas, which would have been baby's first Christmas. I cannot sooth the ache in my heart knowing that he never got to run around with Gemma, and she never got to smother him with loving bear hugs. It hurts. It still hurts so much. 

And that's okay. That's my humanity on display. It's okay to cry over a lost child. It's okay to miss them. It's okay to still miss them even if many, many years have passed by. 

So as I sit here writing this, I am filled with glorious humanity. I carry a profound grief in my heart at the loss of my son, while even at the same time, feeling sheer joy at the itty bitty kicks and flips I can feel Baby #3 doing at this very moment. The Scriptures tell us that there is a season for everything. A time to laugh and a time to mourn. Well sometimes... those seasons overlap. Can one possibly laugh while mourning? Or weep while rejoicing? Yes. This is our burdensome, magnificent humanity. This is the nature of life and love.

Today is also the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila. 

It's clear to me that this is a woman who truly understood the human condition, with all its trepidation and joy and sorrow and passion. Despite her place in history, her words speak so relevantly to my heart today, as though she were right in the room with me, holding my hand, resting her forehead against my own..

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

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