Full House Yet Vacant Rooms
By Kimery Lorenz
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away lived a husband, a wife and three children. It was a happy sort of life, you see. All she dreamed of, was being wife and mom to 4 beautiful, well-adjusted children. Then, one day, quite suddenly it seemed, she found out she was carrying child number four. All was well with her world, or so it seemed.
She should have been leery when she felt not one bit queasy. She was a bit nervous, but reasoned, “The luck of the draw, I’ve paid my dues with the other three nauseating pregnancies.” Days passed by quickly and before she knew it, she was one week shy of the 12 week, first prenatal check. Then IT happened! The spotting, which she’d never encountered before! She panicked but rationalized she’d been doing lots of lifting with her children and made mental note, to let hubby do the lifting. Things settled for a week or so, until. . . The spotting reappeared. This once happy mom-to-be tried to calm herself and just to be sure all was well, she called the doctor’s office. A bit nervous was she, but never prepared for what came next. The ultrasound, normally displaying a heartbeat and sweet kicks of a tiny babe, glaringly displayed only an empty sac. Because she was leaving town the next day, and given dire ‘you could hemorrhage” warnings, she was given the choice – procedure to eliminate tissue needed to happen tonight or the next morning. The couple opted for that night. That “couple” was us.
The journey that miscarriage took us on was surreal. Never had I had to have a ‘procedure’ done before. It was a cold, calculating experience where the nurse and doctor bantered back and forth as if this was everyday occurrence. I wanted to shout, “my baby’s dead and all you can do is casually converse?!”
It was only the beginning of a whole new world; one that I had never counted on.
I’d always assumed I would have my four wonderful pregnancies with no complications, yet here I was.
From the dear nurse at the doctor’s office, who’d had two or three miscarriages before she ever gave birth, to family members, to the neighbor and the church ladies – everyone had their story to tell. Yet, why was I just hearing their sorrows? Why hadn’t I heard of the statistics before of the actual number of miscarriages that happened? Or was it, I hadn’t been listening? Why didn’t I hear about this in the caring community called the church?
My first loss of a child was physically traumatic. There were health issues, caused because all the tissue had not been retrieved by the surgeon, tricking my body into thinking it was still pregnant. Although my body healed fairly quickly after I had surgery the next month, my heart was forever altered. I’d want to look away, yet my eyes were inexplicably drawn to friends’ bellies growing round with their developing children.
There was always to be that, “I wonder if he/she had lived” questioning in my mind. There’s something about once a mama conceives, she never forgets.
I’ve since gone on to have a total of six living children, interspersed with the loss of five babies miscarried.
Forever altered, now I know to send cards, notes of encouragement, drop a phone call to a mom who has lost her precious child. I understand, now, that words “I’m so sorry for the loss of your baby” is both all a person can and should say, followed by, “I’ll be praying for you.” Then, I want that mama to know, I will listen, when she needs to talk. I will offer resources, such as the book by Dr. Jack Hayford, “I’ll Hold You in Heaven.” I will encourage others to do the same, especially those who call themselves prolife.
All life is precious, no matter the stage of life. We don’t know why these babies are taken so prematurely, we just know they are forever molded in our hearts. Even if only for a few short weeks, that baby was ours to nurture! Sometimes when I go out with my living children, there are times that although every one is present and accounted for, I find myself recounting. There gnaws on my mind I’m missing someone. It’s then I remember, yes, there are children missing from my current head-count, but they wait ahead in heaven’s grand stands. Some day soon I think, I shall be reunited with five more beaming faces and then, my head will nod. Yes, all are present and accounted for.