Today is the day.
I took a few sleeping pills last night. I don’t sleep. And I wanted to make sure I slept as long as possible today. For sleep to take up as much of my day as it could. Wanting to be more unconscious of the reality of this day. Hoping to be numb to this day marked on the calendar all those long months ago.
I woke up too early. And there was a sudden onset of rain. Pouring down. Like the tears running down my face.
My due date. All I’ve been able to think about are the what-ifs. The should-have-beens. The if-onlys. I should have an almost two year old running around. I should have gone through the pain and agony of childbirth. John holding my hand, encouraging me, smoothing the hair from my forehead. I should have a newborn placed in my arms, John and I grinning like maniacs at the joy felt. The big kids in love with their newborn sibling. I should be tired and overjoyed and humbled at the precious baby I carried for nine months.
But instead, I birthed a baby so tiny I could hold it in the palm of my hand. There was pain and agony. But there was death instead of life. Instead of a newborn, I held a nineteen year old girl in my arms and she hugged me so tight as we cried together. Instead of tears of joy, they were the tears of a broken heart.
I don’t want to feel like this. I don’t want to have this deep sadness. I’ve been carrying grief for so long. It’s always there, tucked away in a corner of my heart. Some days it’s a quiet whisper. And then there are days like today and yesterday and the day before that. And it comes roaring back, sharp and jagged and it hurts to breathe. And heavy. So heavy.
My sweet, sweet sister-in-law sent me this beautiful painting. The four yellow roses symbolize my big kids. The two buds are my babies. I love this painting. I love that she had the artist include my big kids. As a stepmom, that recognition means so much to me. My kids. My six kids. My four born in my heart. My two that were born into heaven.
I don’t think a mother, a parent, ever gets over the death of her children. I know that there will always be that longing for them. All the what-ifs and should-have-beens and if-onlys will run through your head. And you’ll remember the days marked as birthdays. And you’ll dream of all the possibilities. And you’ll cry over the finality of it all.
I’m sad. I want to rail and weep. I want to know why. I want comfort. How I long to be comforted. How I long for something, some part of this, to make sense.
As I sat outside this morning after the rainstorm had ceased and a gentle breeze blew, for a brief moment, so brief, there was a stillness to my heart, a comfort.
Em leaned over me as I sat and we cried together and I sobbed, “I want my babies” and she replied, “I know”, and there was a comfort.
In the book I’m reading, they quoted from Psalm 102 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned like an hearth. My heart is smitten, and withered like grass, so that I forget to eat my bread.”
And the crying out comforts me. The knowing that for generations and generations, people have cried out and God hears. He hears the heartache. He knows.
None of this brings back my babies. My tears aren’t wiped away. My heart still aches. But I’m hanging on to these small moments of comfort. Clinging to the God of all comfort. They give me hope that one day, I’ll have more moments. And then more. Until one day, He wipes my tears away.
Today was a hard day. And it all won’t disappear when a new page is turned on the calendar tomorrow. Today I should have birthed a baby. Tomorrow my arms will be empty.