Sunday, August 17, 2014
Dear Isaiah: Life After Miscarriage
It comes around every year.
We ought to be celebrating as you smear cake and icing on yourself. I can imagine the party, reliving your two years of life, sharing our favorite stories of the things you've done. I can imagine you opening your presents, excited with the shiny new toys. Or maybe you'd take the boxes and wrapping paper instead.
We would celebrate you.
But, of course, we're not. There's no cake. There's no party. There are no gifts.
There's no you.
I'm not sure I've admitted this before, but one of the things I regret the most about your short weeks of earthly existence is that you were not celebrated.
It's true. Your daddy and I were a little (OK, a lot) shocked by the realization that another baby was on the way. It knocked me down a bit. It wasn't my timing, I didn't think I was ready.
We kept you hidden. We talked about you only between ourselves. We didn't tell your sisters. We didn't tell your grandparents. We didn't tell our church. We didn't post on our blogs or Facebook or Twitter. Not because we were afraid of something happening to you, but because we were afraid of our own reactions to what people might say.
There might be more, "Are you trying for a girl?" type comments. (Oh, how I hated those.) Or the, "Wow, that's a lot of kids," kind of thing. (I'm more used to that these days, even though it's annoying.)
Not telling the news of you was more about us than you, more about us than them. Something inside was just not ready. So we didn't celebrate.
And then it was too late. Laughter turned to mourning and sweet secrets turned to ashes in the time it took a doctor to say, "I'm sorry."
Maybe If I had known how short your life would be, I would have told everyone. I would have appreciated every minute. I would have begged for more ultrasounds and as many pictures as they could take. I would have tried to avoid any bad things. I would have gone on bedrest or gone on a special diet or taken special medicines, something, anything, to try to keep you safe and sound inside. And even if all those measures had been in vain, I hope I would have treated you like the precious gift you were, instead of an inconvenience or the punchline to other people's jokes.
But I didn't know, and I didn't tell. And you came and left with a swiftness that still astonishes me, as if it were something I dreamed.
I don't know what your life is like in Heaven. I don't know what eternity looks like or feels like. I know it's better than I can imagine. I know you are never sad or scared or lonely (unlike your mommy). The joy in Heaven probably makes all earthly parties look a little ridiculous.
I tell you, Isaiah, because I need the whole world to know this: you are worth celebrating. You matter to me. I want you, more than I had realized back then, more than I could admit. And even now, even though we're separated and even though I can't hold you and murmur this to you as you fall asleep because you're worn out from the party for your second birthday, I love you.
I guess what I'm trying to say is: I celebrate you, little one.
Love always and always,
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