Fast forward 6 months

Looking back on my last entry brings back all those gut wrenching days, weeks, and months of my pregnancy. If I could’ve looked forward to 6 months ahead, I could’ve told my bruised and wounded heart that everything was going to be ok. That I would give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl who would enter our lives as a peacemaker and bring us all a measure of happiness we’d never experienced before now.   Even if I could’ve told myself, I wouldn’t have believed it anyway. No one can ever give me the false hope again that “everything will be fine.” I know what can go wrong. 

But I couldn’t do that. There’s no way to see or know the future – not even with all the faith in the world. I had to live out those days blindly, taking each day, each hour, as it came. Hoping and praying earnestly for the best, but too often fearing the worst. Fearing what I knew was both rare and completely possible. There was no test, no reassurance, no doctor that could rule out my fears. And I looked. What happened to Jude was not a sickness. Not a  disease. Not reasonably preventable. So worrying that it could/would happen again was unavoidable. 

Clara Loren entered the world with a cry. That was the moment I was both longing for and dreading. It was the cry that I never got to hear after giving birth to Jude that haunts me. I can feel it like it just happened. The room was so quiet – too quiet. I could hear every metallic clank of surgical instruments. No voices. I do remember hearing a quiet moan from someone when he came out. But no cries.

I looked over at his still, lifeless, beautiful little body, and I had a moment where it felt like only a bad dream. He would gasp in his first breath and surprise everyone. It had only been a terrible misunderstanding. I willed it to happen. That moment feels like it lasted an eternity. But I know it must’ve been only few seconds. But it wouldn’t be until the next day until the reality starting sinking in. That night had been filled with tears. But the next morning – a few seconds after I first woke up and realized I didn’t have my baby anymore, that is when the waves and torrents of grief began. Wales. Moans. So many tears. 

And even though the tears are fewer and our days have many, many happy moments, we still live in our grief. It’s a part of us now. Clara entered our family as a blessing, but not as a bandaid. She will know about her big brother waiting for her in heaven, just as her other brothers do. She will one day hear about our grief, and I hope that she understands that while her life was part of the healing that happened in our hearts, she was not intended to be a replacement. 

And so we continue with the cycle of mending and breaking. Mending and breaking.