We had just barely said hello.
You had already made me so tired, the forming of your little body was taking up so much of my energy.
The tiniest of bumps was beginning to show having only give birth to Jack 15 months prior.
It sort of didn't feel real, for some reason I was hesitant this time to believe everything was okay.
When we saw the flicker of your heartbeat on the screen at 7 weeks it gave me a sigh of relief.
I began to settle in and dream, another summer baby for our family. Between your brother and cousins, this would be number 4. A summer birthday 4 years in a row.
And then I got very sick. I'm still not sure what it was, a kidney infection? The flu? Whatever it was wreaked havoc on me and I knew something wasn't right in addition to this illness.
The doctors said it was normal...when I began to think I was losing you. And it often is. But I didn't feel right.
I ended up in the ER because whatever was going on in my body wouldn't relent.
I took the opportunity to ask for an ultrasound because I just needed to see you.
I was 10 weeks. We should have seen your little arm and leg buds, bouncing around in my womb.
We didn't. The tech asked me if I was sure I was 10 weeks because you measured at around 7.
I was sure. We had already seen your little life beating before us.
You must have left soon after.
The days and weeks that followed were a blurry nightmare of emotions and physical pain.
You leaving my body, both at home and at the doctor.
The realization that my body had failed you, or so I felt.
Pure anger. Guilt. Emptiness.
I didn't want to talk about it with anyone for awhile. And people didn't bring it up except for to ask me how I was. I avoided most settings where this would happen. I would start to sweat if I thought it was coming.
And then as I moved through my grief of losing you I wanted to remember it all, I would daily walk myself through the timeline of events, sobbing and feeling each moment like a hot poker. But I didn't want to forget, and I felt like if I could still feel it all it meant you mattered and you were real and it happened.
And then I was ready to talk about it. But no one brought it up. I understand of course, but I was upset. Talk to me, ask me, remember with me that I had a baby and that baby was alive and that baby died and that baby is in heaven. Acknowledge this please.
You Daddy and I always felt like you were a girl. It felt selfish to think that way...is it because we had Jack and wanted a little sister for him that we felt that way, or was it because we truly did feel you were a girl? We never shook that feeling, and when Jack was older we told him about you.
He told me that you are in heaven and that you are a girl and he even described what you look like.
That settled it, but we didn't name you until last week. I don't think we felt we needed to. And then grief snuck up like a tsunami reminding me that it doesn't play by anyone's rules and we decided it was time. It was time to name you what we would have if we had held you in our arms for the first time in July of 2010.
You would have been called Emma. You would have been dressed in pink and worn a bow and doted on by your Daddy and by your brother and your whole family.
Emma means "whole or complete"
What a beautiful picture for us...because in Christ you are made whole and your little body isn't broken, you are complete and you are in heaven with Him- there is no doubt in that.
Your middle name Elizabeth means "God's promise"
God has promised me a life in Him that is eternal, and with that will come the day when I do see your face. He has promised goodness to me and fullness of life.
Some additional notes:
I realize that not everyone will choose to name their unborn baby, we didn't for a long time. I am certainly not suggesting that you must to find closure, but I have experienced a new level of healing since I did so.
Also, I know not all share my belief that life begins at conception and that our baby is more than just a speck of cells, or a fetus. I understand that, but for us we choose to believe God's word and take it for what it is to us, which is truth.
God does not allow anything we walk through to be wasted, and since this loss I have been able to walk with many friends who have also lost a baby. It has become a place where I can speak into where I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. Miscarriage is unlike grief of any other kind because you are most often grieving for a child you never held in your arms. I hope and pray that if you are reading this and you have experienced this loss you have someone to share your heart with. If you don't, please email me. I would love to offer a listening ear, prayers on your behalf and of course anything else you needed.