Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Anna



I'm not sure if it's good manners to write about such things, because I'm not seeking sympathy or even any words at all from anyone, but this person I have never met is on my mind today.  October 22, 2005 was her due date.  But on May 1, 2005 after an ultrasound with no heartbeat and much worrying, it was clear that I was going to miscarry.

I named her Anna.  I don't even know if it was a girl.  She wasn't there.  She must have died at around eight weeks, and my body absorbed what little there was of her.  All that was left was a 14 week placenta and a little silver dollar sized yolk sack.  They called it a blighted ovum.  I almost don't know if I'm allowed to mourn or be sad.  But of course I am.

That's why I'm writing this, so all you other people who don't know if you should be allowed to be sad...just BE SAD.  It's ok.  It's odd when traumatic events happen on landmark days.  This miscarriage happened on my friend's first wedding anniversary 7 years ago.  I didn't tell her until later, because I didn't want to wreck her day, but anyway she she remembers me and this little baby every year.  I always feel like what if the baby didn't ever actually exist, and there won't be anyone to meet in heaven one day?  Am I allowed to mourn a baby that might not actually be around in any dimension?  But I think she was there.  I felt like she was.  I'm sure her little soul is nestled in some cozy corner of heaven, living it up.  And I think I will know her later.

Her loss feels just as searing as if I had held her just once, but strange and mythical, because I never did.  My mind and my body were preparing.  The hormones even then were bonding my life to hers.  I can't deny that.  So May Day is a weird day for me each year.  It's the day I lost my little Anna.  Her name is Hebrew and means "grace"---and grace is unmerited favor.  It's more than that.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 explains it best:

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, so that my power may be made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong." 


I didn't "delight" in losing a baby, but I did feel a warm blanket of God's grace around me even as I did.  Neither do I really think that He's so callous and pompous as to let a baby die when a mom is praying and pleading for its life, just so His power can be shown.  I think it's more complicated than that.  It's something I can't really ever understand, because, hey, if He's God, He should make it all good, right?  But instead, He allows the brokenness of our sinful world to take its toll on us, and instead of plucking us out of it all, offers to hold us through it.


While I was going through this loss, people I knew and even ones I was really just acquainted with shared with me their very similar losses.  This understanding of the depth of my pain was like a rope I could use to steady myself as I walked the tightrope of my quiet grief.  Friends sat with me and were just there.  More importantly, I could feel Christ's love burning in the hearts of each of these people, not only for me, but for all the loss our mutual pain represented.  This is not the way He meant it to be, but even so, He is there for us in the middle of it.  He is still.  He is quiet, and He extends the one thing that helps us walk out of our grief: Hope.


"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11


I know God doesn't plan for us to have bad things happen to us.  He doesn't want to harm us.  But these things happen anyhow in the sadness of this world, and He can always cause to grow the tiniest green seedling of redemption in the charred ashes our trials leave us with.  I have the hope of meeting this tiny Anna someday.  And I have the comfort of knowing that what I've gone through, I can share with others, maybe helping extend that steadying rope of Christ's love for them as they cross the blackest ravine.

5 comments:

  1. Love you so much, my friend. Have been there as well. Know the pain of losing that tiny flame beneath your beating heart. Know also the absolue certainty that it was real and loved. You will indeed meet this sweet little soul one day. She will recognize you and love you still. For now, I know there is a lovely special place in heaven where these gentle souls to be safe and warm and loved. Blessings on you in your loss. In my heart I am hugging you and blessing you with light and strength.

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  2. my good friend lost 4 babies this way. After I lost my first little one, I went to her for comfort. She told me that our children had found each other and were playing games up in heaven together. I loved that mental picture, and I carried it with me. It brought me some joy, especially after I lost another baby between Hanna & Grace. I know I would not have the children I have now, if my other babies had come to full term, but I look forward to meeting my 2 angels when I get to heaven. Th
    ank you for sharing your story...,there are a lot of mom's who still struggle with the loss of children in vitro. Bless you today!

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  3. I'm thankful you posted this. I felt bad bringing it up the other day, but I wanted you to know that I remember, and also think of her as a little girl. Maybe because she was followed by girls, but in any case, I know we will know her in heaven right away. I do not doubt it!!!!

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  4. I am reading your post today, May 2nd, and holding my Mother before the Lord as I read. She was a Christian woman, a praying woman. Your words have helped me immensely in understanding some of what she went through. The way the heart of God surrounded you during the loss, grief and the writing of this letter to honor tiny Anna's life and the way it is accomplishing you desire to help others in similar. My Mother miscarried during the second world was.A few years later she had me. Then during the next 8 years she carried two sons to full term, they lived for 3 days and passed. I was 4 years and then 8 years when the boys died. My parents grief was immeasureable. So much sadness and times of depression. My Mother was a quiet person with an interior life filled with a relationship with God. Her strength in Him, which came across to me as a child in sweet, gentle and loving ways helped me to understand that our family would be alright. I have often wanted to ask her how she made it through all those difficult experiences of life. She passed away in 1985. As I read about you, I have a peacefulness that she experienced an abundance of His care and love for her as she lived out her life in a fallen world, as we all do. The results of these events caused me to adopt behaviors that the Holy Spirit is still helping me with today. But I am so thankful for what God accomplishes through each of us as we continue to press into His Presence during all times of life, not just the pain and struggle. I used to hear this next statement alot and never liked it...but I am finding it to be truthful. As we lay it all down for Him and desire greater measures of Himself to show through our weaknesses, He actually does weave and fashion a person, a self,a sort of somebody who loves Him with all and effervesces outward to others. I see you as that person..I believe your writings and photography reveal large pieces of Him and our created world. thanks again so much for taking the time to print this on the May 1 date and to be a help to me with that part of my family who are all living in heaven now. My Mother named me Anna too and I was born on October 22. You know me as "Eva's Friends, Anna."

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  5. What a beautiful thing, and not a coincidence, I think, that one of my most precious mentor/friends for my daughter shares a name and birthday with the sister Eva never got to meet. I'm thankful that my story helped you understand your mom a little, though I can't begin to understand what agony it must have been to lose two full term children you have held in your arms and nursed.

    I love the idea of the babies playing together in heaven.

    all of your comments brought me to tears. Thank you.

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