it took a year.

When we lost our baby Arrow almost a year and a half ago, I remember sitting in my bathroom alone and thinking I'll never be the same again. Of course it sounds melodramatic, and maybe it was to an extent - but I just couldn't get over the ache in my heart. I couldn't get over the emptiness of my hands, despite the fact that I already had three children on earth to fill them. I think all brands of baby loss are different, harder than hard, and incomparable to one another but what felt the hardest to me was almost seeing my kids and seeing the full potential of what we missed out on. Knowing, it wasn't a combination of cells or some tissue that we lost - it was a whole soul, a distinct laugh, a smell, a name, a future, years and years of looking in on a precious body sleeping in a bed and thanking God for the privilege of being their mama. We celebrated that life the best we could and celebrated the life Arrow now had with Jesus, but no amount of celebration made the ache any less. 

In the months that followed, I wondered if it would always be like this. I'm a feeler. A heavy processor. When would the processing of a miscarriage end? I weighed my pain and sadness carefully, carefully, carefully. Was it too much? Was it too little? Should I let it out and who with? My mom told me multiple times - give it a year. Go through all the occasions, all the feelings, all the celebrations, and feel all you want to feel. After a year, evaluate your grief, but until then - just let it be. 

Christmas passed and Nick got the beautiful arrow painting for me. A friend texted me and said, "I'm sorry you're living this christmas without him". I wrote about what it would've been like - christmas with him. The new year came and we moved and I thought about how we wouldn't have moved if Arrow had been born. This whole new season that we never saw coming wouldn't have come to fruition if we'd been distracted by a newborn. And all the things that came along with the move - Nick pastoring, our business growing, hosting a conference, etc. Those things wouldn't have happened in the same way if we'd been in babyland. 

April and May were dark. I feared Mother's Day like no other. Even with three precious kids on earth - I remembered Mother's Day 2011 too vividly and wanted that day back. That day where there were three kids and two pink lines. I was so sad Elias was sick on Mother's Day 2012, but breathed a huge sight of relief at being able to stay home with him, nurse him to health, miss out on the ugly crying in the backrow of church that would happen. 

And the anniversary days of the actual miscarriage, the first d&c, the second d&c - they passed and something interesting happened. The heavy pain that I kept buttoned up turned into a sweet regret that I held up to the Lord and He kept loving on it and redeeming it. 

Between January and June, a song that seriously messed me up was this one. The part where you continually sing "you make all things work together for my good". The way I sang it was always different. Sometimes I'd have to sit down in worship with my eyes shut tight and the face of my heart turned towards Jesus. I'd picture myself looking at Him doubtfully saying it. So badly wanting to scream it proudly, but instead just being truthful with Him. I want to trust that You're true in this, it's just hard. Then it shifted to a resolute declaration. I don't understand - but you make all things work together for my good. Your word says it. I see it and I don't. But I know it's true. 

But in June, after a year - my little hand started to creep back up in the air. 
Me. I'm raising my hand. Me with the baby in heaven and the three on earth. 
Do you see me?
I believe you. 
You make all things work together for my good. 
You make all things work together for my good. 
You make all things work together for my good. 

It took a year. And again - like all pregnancy + infant loss, it's all different. Maybe you've lost five or you lost one five years ago. It took a year for me. I still miss that baby, but I can sing with joy and less stinging tears running down my face now. I know that day will come for you, just keep holding it open to Him and letting Him love you in your grief. 
And keep singing. 

My precious friend, Melody, who makes the amazing nest rings has a deal to offer you in light of pregnancy + infant loss awareness month. Please oh please check it out.