I’ve been seeing all of these Facebook and blog posts about what people accomplished in 2014 and it’s really disheartening. I mean, what have I done? I’ve done nothing! I’ve done absolutely nothing for two years. I’ve tried to grow babies. That’s it.
I spoke those words laced with hurt and bitterness while hunched over on the bed, my cell phone pushed tight against my ear. Laura, you survived, my friend said with loving frankness. Some people in your situation give up completely. You are still married. Some people in your situation don’t stay married. You cannot compare how you’ve spent your year with how other people have spent it. Their lives have not been rocked like yours. It’s apples and oranges. Show yourself some grace.
I didn’t start a business in 2014. I didn’t get a new job, or move to a new city, or train for a marathon. I didn’t go down several sizes or go on a missions trip.
In 2014 I survived getting pregnant not long after losing my first child. I thought God was saying “yes” to my prayers for a new, healthy baby. I survived opening a registry and taking pictures of my belly and buying things for the nursery, all while grieving the loss of my son. I survived the doctor’s appointment at 21 weeks when I was told my baby had multiple defects and would need an incredible amount of pre and post-natal care. I survived the next day, when I woke up and had a feeling that something wasn’t right. I prayed “God, if you’re going to take my baby before I get to meet him or her, do it now.” I survived telling my baby that I loved it, and that it was okay to let go.
I survived seeing a lack of heartbeat on the screen for the second time in 11 months. I survived the most excruciating physical pain I’ve ever been in as the doctors tried method after method to get my dead baby out. I survived leaving the hospital empty handed, again, even though I had just given birth, again.
I am still here. I am still married. I have painkillers and alcohol in the house and I haven’t abused either substance. I have been less social than ever before and lost some friends along the way, but I haven’t completely cut myself off from the world — a world FULL of pregnant women and newborns.
I survived viewing post after post of “It’s been a great year!” on my news feed, while my own Year in Review said, “Laura, here’s what your year looked like in 2014” and showed a picture of my baby’s fingers against mine. (That app caused grief for others, too.)
I have shared quite a bit of my grief with you, dear readers. But, after I posted about coming home from Europe, a friend commented that she imagines I still hold back a bit when I share my heart. I was touched by her words, because they're true. I DO hold back. The pain is way worse than I’ve described it (which you would know if you’ve endured great loss). There are only so many words to describe how it feels, and even if I were to paint you a perfect picture of that doctor’s appointment, those hellish days in the hospital and the months of isolation and spiritual dryness that followed, most of you still wouldn’t get it. This disconnect is what causes me to feel alone, even if I’m in a room full of people.
I feel I’m on a boat, drifting away. I’m not on the course I charted. The trip I so carefully prepared for is not going as planned. I have my husband with me, but everyone else is on land and they’re getting smaller and smaller as we float away. We sway with each wave and get dragged around by the tide. Under the surface is an anchor holding fast, but in our anger and confusion we either forget it’s there or don’t fully trust in it.
Still, the anchor is there, and He is why I can say “I’ve survived."