It’s hard to believe that 10 years have just passed since our beloved son left us.
His pregnancy was difficult right from when I unexpectedly found out, through to when I lost him at 22 weeks. I was so sick that I lost tons of weight and at 12 weeks had to go to hospital from vomiting for days without holding anything down.
They decided to give me an ultrasound just to check how things were going, and after noticing something didn’t look quite right, I was referred to a specialist who gave me another ultrasound and with 2 other doctors, sat us down and gave us the grim news.
Our baby wasn’t going to live and I would probably miscarry very soon. They advised a termination, which we promptly declined. So they sent me home to wait for the inevitable.
Our lives went into a spin, and I can’t even begin to describe the range of emotions over the next 10 weeks before we lost our precious child. We still hoped for a miracle, and that was expressed to us over and over by many faith-filled friends. My stepfather was terminally ill, and the added stress on my mother and the rest of our family was hard to bear.
When no heartbeat was found at a regular check, my midwife sent us to the hospital for an ultrasound, which confirmed that our baby had died. The last movements I’d felt 2 days previous, that I’d smiled for joy over as they were so strong, and now that I’ve had subsequent pregnancies to compare to, were probably the moment in which he died.
The day I was induced and his birth that followed is still not yet something I can speak openly about. All I can tell you here is that it was utterly traumatic and heart-breaking. Our son, although 22 weeks, was developmentally behind in his gestational milestones so was more like a 16-17 week baby. I felt too overwhelmed to hold him, something I now regret, but his lifeless body just seemed too fragile and my heart couldn’t take the possibility of more trauma if something more would happen to his delicate body if I was to touch him.
After delivering our first child and spending some hours with him, we then had to leave the hospital with empty hands and hearts and prepare for a funeral. Those weeks and months that followed were raw and unbearable.
Gradually, life had to return to normal, a ‘new’ normal, and I had to allow my heart to trust God again. I’m grateful to those few who journeyed with us through that time.
There is hope in this story, and it doesn’t end with complete heartache and despair.
My Heavenly Father did walk closely with me through this time, despite my tendency to hold Him at a distance many times through it.
I discovered how unrelenting His love was towards me, regardless of how angry and raw I was towards Him.
I discovered that through such unbearable loss, I’m forever changed through this and can offer compassion and empathy to those that have suffered so much more than if I hadn’t had lost him.
I discovered that grief is not something that anyone can set the pace on for another person, and we should never attempt to shorten another person’s grief with our words.
I discovered a greater measure of grace was available to me, and that His loving hand will uphold me and comfort me, sometimes in ways I don’t necessarily expect.
I discovered He is incredibly patient, kind, loving, and tender towards me.
I discovered that sometimes there just aren’t answers for things we so desperately want to know. The ‘why’ question is rarely answered this side of eternity, but instead we can ask God to reveal more of who He is to us through our grief, our suffering, and also our joy and victories.
I discovered that the resolve in me to reach out to a needy world, desperate for love that actually looks like something, only grew and continues to.
I discovered a greater reality of this:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28
I have my heart in sync with these words, and trust that everything in my life will come together and be used by Him to further His kingdom on earth. I believe it, because it’s the plain and simple truth!
The life of my son was and is a treasured gift to our family, and one day I will know the purpose God had for the brief time we had him. Until then, I am determined to faithfully live out the purpose He has for my own life, and grow in my capacity to love and trust my Father wholeheartedly. He’s always good, He’s always faithful, and He has an undivided heart.
May you know His relentless pursuit of you today.