When I lost my first baby, I lost many things, and one of those things I thought I lost was naming a baby. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't true, that just because I didn't get to meet my baby, that didn't mean she didn't deserve a name like any other child. To some it may seem crazy to name a child that was never born into this world, and it may not be right for everyone, but for me this single act brought me a great deal of closure and healing, it gave me a small sense of normalcy, amidst chaos, it helped me to feel like that baby existed, that I was a mommy to a real child.
Shortly after my miscarriage had been confirmed, I brought up the idea of a tattoo in memory of the baby to Michael, he liked the idea and wondered what I had in mind. My mind went back to the song that had brought me so much comfort during the week of waiting for the results that confirmed I had lost our baby, "His eye is on the Sparrow." We did some research on pictures of sparrows, and even the symbolism of the sparrow, when we found that Sparrows are a symbol of freedom and love we knew this was perfect for our baby, our baby who we loved, and who was eternally free, in the truest sense of the word. After we got the Sparrow tattoo's the name Sparrow just really stuck for our baby.
While we had chosen a name for our baby, I still felt as if something was missing, Sparrow needed a middle name. One evening I looked through 100's of names, the meanings of names is very important to Michael and I, so I wrote down a few names that were especially meaningful and showed my list to Michael. I had one in mind that felt perfect, and much to my surprise it was the first name Michael pointed out on my list. The name is Liran, it is a Hebrew word meaning "my song, my joy." I don't think I will ever be able to explain why, but the name is perfect. While it was devastating that we lost her, I didn't want her name associated with sadness, I wanted it to be an expression of the perfect life of a child born into heaven. Freedom, love, songs, joy, all things I associate with heaven, and now with my heavenly child.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I have gone back and forth on whether or not to share since this blog is for the purpose of sharing about and supporting those who have experienced a miscarriage, but I finally have decided that my readers have become a part of my journey and I wanted to share with you that on June 17th at 11:02pm I gave birth to my Rainbow Baby*.
I was induced at 36 weeks and 6 days (June 16th) due to pre-eclampsia, After 28 hours of Pitocin induced labor I stopped progressing and my baby boy was delivered via C-section. It took him almost 30 seconds to take his first breathe and I will tell you, that was the longest 30 seconds of my life. It is so scary being pregnant after a loss, that I thought I was surely going to lose this baby, too. And if I thought being pregnant after a loss was scary, being a mom after a loss is even scarier. I am going to get honest here, because I think most new moms are too scared to be. I spent the first 2 weeks crying about everything, I was totally overwhelmed and convinced I was a terrible mother, I just knew that I wasn't competent enough to be a mother. His first night home he cried, I cried, neither of us slept more than a few minutes in a row, and I nearly dropped him when I fell asleep nursing him in my glider. I loved my baby, but I did not love being a mom. I am glad to say that has changed, but I still worry about that little man, I don't know if it is my previous loss or if it is normal, but I am constantly checking to make sure he is breathing, at night, I actually turn the baby monitor up so loud that I can hear him breathe as I fall asleep. I am petrified of being this child's mom, but I have never been more excited for anything (well, after the initial shock wore off, that is)
*"Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Psalm 34:18 tells us that "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." A year ago, I would have laughed at this verse, in fact it probably would have made me angry. I remember one Sunday morning about a month after my miscarriage, looking across the church sanctuary and seeing a little huddle of pregnant gals, I imagined what pregnancy and baby related topics they must be talking about, as I thought that I should be in that circle, too. I turned to Michael with tears in my eyes and told him "you know, sometimes I think God took our baby just because He could!" Michael just shook his head and said "You know that's not true, God doesn't do things like that" I just told him "I'm not so sure about that anymore." To me, God had become this big emotionless man, I knew He was there, I knew He had the control over everything that was happening in my life, but I honestly believed He didn't care. I was never truly angry at God, it was much worse, I became indifferent to Him, I just couldn't fathom that He could be a caring, emotional God and still allow my baby to die despite my prayers and begging. The sermon that Sunday was on the crucifixion, and I never imagined how it would impact me. I listened with tears in my eyes as the pastor talked about God turning His head away as Jesus cried out to Him from the cross and a couple of truths being very evident to me. The first truth was that God genuinely knew how I felt, not only did He know what it felt like to lose a child, but He understood the pain I felt when I had to sit idly by, while my baby died, He knew what it felt like not to intervene, not to be able to protect His child, and He knew what it felt like to know that was the plan laid out and that changing it would have been dangerous. The second thing I finally understood was why God had to turn His head away as Jesus cried out to Him, I always thought this was cruel and selfish, but I realized that God hurt so badly for His son, that He could not stand to see Him in that pain. I knew in that moment that it was no different when I cried out to God, when I was begging for my baby's life, when I was in the deepest pain I had ever felt, He hurt that badly for me. So today, I can believe that "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."