I didn't know that a mere two weeks later, I would be done caring for our child.
It's difficult in so many ways. It feels abstract because of the lack of physical proof and evidence that we had our child with us. Two pregnancy tests are all we have to indicate that he or she was here. But I know that he or she was real, the baby's impact on my body was evident before I even missed my cycle. He or she altered me, causing me to feel woozy for hours each day and gave me increased exhaustion. But the outside world doesn't know that, even Matt, who was as ecstatic and excited as I was, knew our child as a concept rather than a physical being. Because of this, I find grief difficult. Mothers that have lost pregnancies of their own can surely relate, but many others understand that we are sad without comprehending the sense of emptiness that follows the physical presence of that child being removed. I knew he or she was within me, just as sure as if I had held that baby in my arms.
Grief has been challenging as I celebrate others, rejoicing for their pregnancies and new children. I don't covet their children, just as I have never coveted the expansion of families around us for the past 27 months of our trying to expand ours. It is harder now though. Again, not because I covet their child or want their child, but because I miss mine so much. I think about how I would be moving into elastic waist clothing, would be saving up for teeny diapers, and would be dreadfully (and blissfully) nauseous for large portions of the day. As soon as we saw our positive tests, I began to think about the best moments of new life- the first movements especially when you aren't sure if they count or not, the large belly that becomes a clear sign to the outside world that you are growing life, and labor and delivery which peaks with the child leaving your womb and you feel the weight of him or her in your arms for the first time. I fell asleep imagining how he or she would feel in my arms.
When it became fairly evident that we would not be holding our child in our arms here, I prayed so many things. I began to plead with God, asking Him to protect our child because I wanted him or her to feel love. In that moment of despair, I felt what I can only describe as still. It wasn't peace or comfort because I very much fretted and cried over what I knew was happening, but God stilled my heart and gave me understanding over my plea. He assured me that my prayer for my child to feel loved was a guarantee that He could make and one that was more assured than with my other children. My child was delivered from my womb directly to His side, to His presence, and would always know His love alone. This dear one, who was so desired, would never know the fear, pain, or anguish of this world. Selfishly, I wanted (and still want) this baby to know how much we loved, desired, and cared for him or her. But God's love is enough.
We move, not on, but forward and carry his or her memory with us. The grief comes and go and changes depending on the day and the cause. An offhand statement from one person may cut differently than a similar offhand statement from someone else. Matt was left bewildered with a sobbing wife yesterday as I just proclaimed how much I missed him or her. I treasure my three, and praise God for each of my days with my four.
We named our baby Locke. It had been our girl list since we were expecting Keegan and, seeing as it can be a boy name as well, felt it appropriate for this cherished one. Locke means a stronghold, I gather resolve from the knowledge of Locke's presence in the stronghold of our God and the knowledge that we will meet Locke there one day. In 2 Samuel it is written "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior- "
We lean into God as our stronghold, our rock, and the provider of our salvation. Our time with Locke was brief, but he or she will not be forgotten by our family.