Dear Jesus, You Can Take Care of This One
I love you. You seek the lost. You touch the unclean. You loved me first. To write all of the reasons that I love you would require more paper than exists and more time than I have on this earth. But there is one reason that no one else can share except for me, so I am going to write about that.
Last August, in 2016, I started experiencing horribly painful cramping in my lower abdomen. And no, I did not eat too many beans that day. The cramping was so bad that I frequently had to lay down. Even then, the pain did not stop. After an hour of this agony my abdomen felt as if I had done hundreds of sit-ups. If only I got the rock-hard abs that came with it.
This condition lasted a week before I got a positive result on a pregnancy test. At the time, I told no one except my husband, John. We didn’t plan on having any more babies so we prayed. I prayed that the baby would be safe. John prayed that I would feel better, and that I had misread the test results. I tried to tell him that’s impossible, but he remained unconvinced, and of course, you had a plan.
Two days later I started bleeding. As the bleeding increased, my debilitating cramps all but disappeared. When it was over I went to the doctor. An ultrasound which confirmed an empty uterus and a thick uterine wall, indicated a recent pregnancy. I cried. But my overwhelming emotion at the time was relief. I was no longer crumpled on the couch, with incredible abdominal pain. I was free and I was thankful. I wondered if I should feel guilty at my joy in being free of the pain. And then I thought of David, who fasted and wept when his infant son was sick. When his baby died he got up and ate saying, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (II Samuel 12:23)
For two days, I knew I was pregnant. During that time, I kept wondering if I had the ability to care for another child. Then you took my baby home. I felt you were saying to me, “I’ll take care of this one.”
You answered my husband’s prayer and I felt so much better. You answered my prayer and my baby is safe with you. Thank you for taking care of my baby. That is my new reason for loving you. You care for my children. When I am not able to help them, when my body fails or when I fail, you do not fail. You will either help us in this life or take us home. We cannot lose. I am grateful beyond expression. One day I will see you with my baby and on that day I will be home.
Until then, Your loving child,
Afterword: I wrote the above shortly after the miscarriage occurred. It would have been nice if that was how the whole ordeal ended and I never had to deal with it again. Unfortunately, there were three things which kept that from happening.
First, my daughter, Daisy, started asking me for a little sister the day before I lost the baby. She didn’t know about the pregnancy at all. Daisy, eight at the time, continued to ask me for a sister every day for two months. She wore me out. I finally told her about the miscarriage. Her response shocked me. She melted into a puddle of tears and spent the next two months grieving. Whoops. Some of you are probably thinking I’m an idiot and I should’ve anticipated her response. You’re right. Now I know. No need to write it in the comments below.
Second, my body didn’t bounce back the way I thought it would. The cramps stopped, which was great. But I grew more exhausted and my abdomen started to swell as if I were still pregnant. Several doctor’s appointment and an MRI led to the discovery that my issues were digestive in nature. I’ve had digestion issues for some time. Because of all this I felt sick for about nine months after I miscarried. It was awful.
Third, a couple of months after I lost the baby, two women in my church announced pregnancies. Both ladies were due in May, which is when I would’ve been due. I thought that I was over the miscarriage. I was wrong. Every time these ladies and their pregnancies came up in conversation I felt a tinge of sadness that I didn’t expect. When one of those ladies lost her baby after seven months I grieved for her child. I also grieved for mine. It was only then that I started telling people about the pregnancy and I started to heal.
All this is to say that losing a baby can be heartbreaking even if you were only pregnant for a little while. Some women feel better when they have another baby but for me that was not a good option. I almost died after giving birth to my last child. Surgery and a blood transfusion saved my life.
This grieving process took a lot longer than I thought. Talking about it helped the most. I would like to say thank you to those of you who listen. You are soothing balm for persistent wounds. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” And blessed are those who comfort, for they are like Jesus.