This past week I’ve made 3 new playmat purses, the kids’ room is now finished, and I have some furniture rehab projects ready to reveal…a bunch of blog posts waiting to happen. But I just can’t do it. Something else is on my heart right now. No, not just on my heart…smothering it.
A beautiful baby boy died last Friday. Before he ever took his first breath.
And our good friends lost their first child.
I laid awake for hours Saturday night, completely and utterly heartbroken by the news. Nestled between my two sleeping babies, I felt incredibly grateful for each of them. And yet each time I watched their chests rise and fall I also felt a deep tinge of guilt.
Just over three months ago, Owen’s mommy sat in my hospital room. It was less than an hour after Selah was born. She held my tiny baby like a natural, and we talked about babies and miracles and labor. And she shared her fear and dread of a long painful delivery. I don’t remember exactly what I said. But it was something along the lines of, “But it is SO worth it…just look what you get to take home with you!”
It never occurred to me….never entered my mind…that the worst could happen to this beautiful woman whom I have truly come to love so much.
In one sense I cannot even imagine what she is going through. And in another I sorta can…enough that it breaks my heart over and over again, anyway. Like other moms, she carried a baby in her womb and felt him kick and watched him grow and fell in love with a tiny creature she had yet to lay eyes on. Like other moms, she endured nausua, swollen ankles, carpal tunnel, and an aching body–with joy, convincing herself it would all be worth it in the end. Like other moms, she entered the hospital with nervous anticipation, and pain. Like other moms, she has to deal with weeks of crazy fluxuating hormones, a cramping uterus, and breasts painfully engorged and swollen with milk. Like other moms, she is forever marked with stretch marks around her now empty womb.
But really, everything is different. Because when they hooked her up to a fetal heart monitor she did not hear a beautiful fluttering heartbeat. She saw only a straight line. And after she had exhausted herself pushing her baby through that much too tight birth canal, she should have been greeted with the melodious cry of life. Instead, there was silence: gut-wrenching, empty silence.
The pain weighs on me. And it has to be crushing her!
And yet, in our corner of the world–which is really just a few inches past theirs’–life just seems to go on. And that sorta feels like a cruel joke.