When it comes to preparing us for the moment of tragedy’s impact, the movies really do us a disservice. Foreshadowing, strategic camera angles and carefully orchestrated suspenseful music lead you to a logical conclusion. Something bad is about to happen.
But it doesn’t happen that way in real life. In real life, the room is quiet, the view is singular, the fluorescent lights blare overhead, and the moment of impact comes softly through an ultrasound tech’s whispered, “I’m sorry.” There was no foreshadowing in the plot, no indication that a sudden and life-altering blow would be delivered. Our baby was gone. Slipped away some time ago. No heartbeat. No movement. The sorrow is silent.
I’m still wrapping my mind around what happened yesterday. A happy, belly-bulging mother-to-be entered the OB’s office for a routine exam, and a sobbing, belly-still-bulging, mother-no-longer-to-be moved in a numb fog to the parking lot, and called her husband. “We lost the baby.” It was all I could say. And he was broken. The shock and deflation in his voice will haunt me. Somehow, I drove. Somehow, I picked up my girls. Somehow, I crawled into bed last night, and slept surprisingly peacefully.
I’m not angry, and at no point did I wonder “Why me?”
Why not me? So many friends have walked down this road before me. I’ve been here, too, although in a more physically painful and tragic way. The grief hits me in waves, a hard crash followed by a rapid succession. But no rhythm. I’m just so damn sad. And not just for me and the baby. Mostly, not for me. For everyone else. This joy was shared, and shouted from the rooftops. And now, the sadness is spoken in quiet tones.
So much more is unfolding beyond just this tragedy. Big discussions with our preschool daughter about death and loss. I told her tonight that Mommy and Daddy would be sad for awhile, and maybe a little grumpy. She asked why, even though she already knew her sibling was no longer. “Because we didn’t want the baby to die sweetie.” She looked at me and in a voice beyond her years said, “Sometimes, that’s just God’s plan.” I asked her where she learned these kind of things. “You taught me about the Bible, mommy.”
We need a lot of prayers right now. Not only for healing, but for a successful procedure next week that will salvage my fertility. I only have one good side remaining after my right tube was removed with the ectopic pregnancy five years ago. When the doctor goes in to remove our baby, she must also remove a large cyst on my left ovary. If it doesn’t go as planned, future children won’t be possible.
But I must listen to the four year old, and trust God’s plan. I will cry, and I will mourn, and I will grieve. But I will trust.