I leaned against the used crib. We had just picked it up a week ago; it was a great deal I found on Craigslist only a few days after seeing those two little pink lines. We had loaded it into the back of my in-laws mini-van and now here it stood in the living room, a painful reminder. Mark had offered to take it apart and tuck it away in the storage room, but the thought of that was worse than the sharp pain I felt each time I walked past it. I was never going to hold that child in my arms, but I clung to the crib and the hope that I would lay a child in it.
My pregnancy was so new, fresh, just over eight weeks along. It had been our little secret, only shared with our parents and some dear friends. So quickly it was gone–he, she, it was gone–and became a different kind of secret. A secret that stabbed with each stroller I passed on the sidewalk and each chubby-cheeked-baby-Facebook post. We felt lost and loss, and yet strange for grieving so deeply over one we had never named or touched. I wanted to tell everyone and no one. I hated that the world kept trudging along despite our grief; shouldn’t it stop, or at least pause for this kind of pain? So, we held onto each other and I held on to that crib. Keeping it, touching it was the physical expression of my hope. Hope that I would hold a child, our child.
It has been nearly eight years since we rushed to the hospital on a late March evening and returned home with hospital footies, discharge papers, and an unnecessary crib. I have not forgotten the deep aching pain that took up residence in me for the months following. But, now the pain is fainter and is not a regular visitor. It is more like the gentle wafting of my mom’s perfume after she has left the room. It is not gone, it cannot be ignored, but it does not take over my senses. I have had the joy of bringing home three swaddled babies and laying them in that Craigslist crib, and when they are old enough, I will tell them about their sibling waiting on the other side of eternity. If you are currently walking through the pain of miscarriage, I am sorry; I am truly, deeply sorry. It is a pain that words cannot capture, but take heart, it will not always be so.
For now, here are some steps that helped me walk through the healing season.
- Share your story. The enemy likes to deceive us into believing we are the only ones feeling what we feel. Find a way to reach out, you’ll be surprised at the stories you’ll hear in return, and the comfort and hope those stories will bring you.
- Grieve. Yes, this looks different for each person and each loss. Nevertheless, allow yourself time to grieve—it was a life. Give yourself grace to have bad days in the midst of better days.
- Hope. Even though you’re frightened, hope. Be sure, though, your hope isn’t in a doctor, a fertility medication, a new diet, etc. God can use those things, but put your hope in your Abba God (Psalm 42:11). For me, the first step to hope was choosing to praise and declare who my God is; when you recognize who He is, you can believe He is reason to hope (Jeremiah 29:11).