Monday, December 11, 2006

Mourn with those that mourn

Sometimes it doesn't take much to put our trials in perspective. It's been easy to get caught up in my loss and feel sorry for myself at times. I haven't done it much, but it's happened. Then something happened this weekend that changed my outlook completely.

One of my best friends, M., was pregnant and due at the end of December. She's been like a sister to me over the years. This was her first child. The day after my D&C, she came over and let me talk as much as I needed to about my loss. Although she was big pregnant and worried about making me uncomfortable, she was there for me in a big way - one of my only in-real-life friends who was there for me.

Saturday morning I was out shopping when I received a phone call from M. She told me she had her baby that morning, a little girl. I congratulated her and then she went on to say her little girl had only lived an hour and then died. I cannot even begin to describe what those words did to me. I started sobbing then and there, my heart breaking for a friend so dear to me.

There was no indication anything was wrong with her baby until she was born. Although almost full term (born at 37 weeks) she weighed barely 3 pounds and was only 12 inches long. She also had several physical defects that many ultrasounds had not picked up. Because my friend was not able to find out the gender of her baby at the first ultrasound, several had been done to try to figure out what she was having and not one of them detected a problem. M. was in no way prepared for what happened. To top it off, the baby was breech so M. had to have a c-section. When they started the surgery, she had felt the pain of them cutting her open, so they had to put her completely under. When she awoke, she planned on being handed a perfect little baby. Instead she was being told there were problems and shortly after, her precious baby passed away.

As I sat with M. this weekend and cried with her, for the first time I was grateful I wasn't pregnant anymore. How hard it would have been to sit with her while carrying a new life. For the first time, my pain seemed so insignificant and I realized how much worse it could be. Any loss hurts and I won't diminish the pain of any loss - from early to late - for any of my readers, but I gained perspective this weekend. I am actually grateful for how my situation turned out. I realized that for me, I would have much rather gone through what I did than what M. is going through now, or what my good friend K. went through just a few brief months ago.

K. went through infertility with me. We had baby boys two weeks apart after trying together for years. She got pregnant again and in August, developed a massive uterine infection. Her baby boy was born at 19 weeks and only lived a few brief minutes.

The last several months have been filled with loss. First K., then my loss, and now M.'s. Although different in so many ways, each of us has felt the pain of losing a baby so wanted, so loved, so longed for. I realize comparing the different losses is like comparing apples to oranges, but each of these losses has touched me so deeply.

I'm at a weird point spiritually with all this. Rationally, I understand the purpose of trials. I know they are given to us to grow and to learn. And in my own trial, I have not questioned why at all. But as I watch dear friends of mine lose their children, I wonder why they have to go through this. What are they meant to learn from it? And can't they learn it in some less painful way? It breaks my heart to watch them suffer.

Life is so fragile. Bearing life is such a fragile thing. I've learned never to take for granted the birth of a healthy baby, of a successful pregnancy. I always thought that once you heard a heartbeat, you were safe in a pregnancy. And I always trusted ultrasounds to tell you when there was a problem. I realize any of it can be taken away in an instant. I have been stripped of my innocence. Never again will I feel safe in any pregnancy. Never again will I take the gift of life and of bearing life for granted. If you are one of those fortunate people who have never had a loss of this sort, count yourself lucky. If you know of anybody who has gone through such a loss, especially this time of year, give them an extra hug. I know I will be counting my blessings a little more. I will be reaching out to those who hurt a little more. As I sit with M. tomorrow as she buries her precious daughter, I will be praying for the comfort of the Lord to be upon her, upon K., and upon all who are mourning a loss.


Olivia said...

My heart just aches for your friend. My parents lost a baby when she was 2 days old. Mom had a perfect pregnancy too, only to find out that something was wrong when the doctor sighed "Oh no," when she was born. Babies are so precious and life is so fragile! Hugs to you!

Rachau said...

My heart also aches for your freind.
It also aches for you!You are a spacial freind to her!I hope you find some peasce form this also!
A loss of a baby is a very hard thing to for get!

taffi said...

That just makes me ache. I'm so sorry for your friend, and for your hurt, too. I'm sure she is very grateful for your love and friendship right now.

((Hugs)) to you both.

MelnHead said...

Many thoughts with your friend-- both of them. I never reached FT in any of mine- but I just cannot imagine the heart ache.

TheMomoftheShoe said...

It breaks my heart that your innocence is gone, but I'm touched that you have taken your experiences and realized a way that you do Heavenly Father's work of being a comforter. I pray that your broken hearts will find solace.

Heather said...

Rachelle, I'm so sorry for your dear friends. What a beautiful and poignant post. Thanks for the reminder.

annerose said...

I thank you for your contribution.