Two months ago tomorrow (Feb 3) was the day Knox was born. In many ways it seems so far away, but like it happened yesterday. It seems like we’ve had such a busy 2 months but also that time is moving slowly.
Most days are “good” days, but I think of him every day. Most nights I sleep through the night without waking up reaching for him. Most days I don’t cry out in grief to God. Most days are fairly normal…most days.
I am teaching OB this semester, I think of him often and where I would be in my pregnancy while I’m preparing my lectures. I was illustrating a point today to my students while pointing to my belly. In my mind I was thinking “this would make so much more sense if I were pregnant” and then I thought “I would be if Knox hadn’t died”. It caught me off guard in a way. I can’t talk to the students about miscarriage or pregnancy loss without stuttering or having pause. It always creates such an awkward moment.
I’ve paused more lately when someone asks me how many children I have. I thought for awhile I’d be okay saying 4, but now it seems weird to me. I always have to think a little bit about how to answer, like I’m counting in my head. Do I say 4 or 5? Does the person asking really want to know? How am I going to explain it? If I say 4, I feel a bit guilty later, like I’m leaving him out or like he wasn’t ever really part of the family. But if I say 5, there is always an uncomfortable moment for the other person and I feel badly that I shared. I’m not sure there is a right answer to the question “how many kids do you have?”…which seems weird for me to say. I mean I’m a mom, I should know how many children I have.
But which ones are enough to “count”. Do I count Knox because I gave birth to him and we got to hold him? Do I leave the other 2 children I lost in early pregnancy out (I lost a baby in October of 2003 and November of 2009)? Were they any less my children than the others I’ve had? It gets messy…and touchy for those around me. They’re uncomfortable. It would be different if I were talking about the death of a grandparent, but the loss of a child is a completely different beast. It touches a raw nerve, it hits a different part of the heart…it punches you in the gut.
I think the one of the difficult parts of losing a baby is dealing with everyone else. I don’t blame them. I mean what do you say? You can’t say “well at least they had a fulfilling life” or “What a legacy they left”. I had a stranger comment a couple weeks ago…”Oh! You have 4 boys! Are you hoping the next one is a girl?” In all honesty…I was thinking “No, I just hope the next one is born alive.” But thankfully my *filter* kicked in and I just said “Nope, we’ll take whatever we can get…besides you can’t order them anyway.”
I’m thankful though, in a way. I’m thankful that God has used this experience to grow me. He has taught me more reliance on Him and less on me. He has brought me a peace. Initially I was incredibly fearful that I wouldn’t be able to have more children or there would be lasting consequences of the D&C I had after Knox was born. But God has brought me peace to replace the anxiety. I desire more children most definitely, but I’m not worried, I’m not anxious…I’m content. I pray daily for the blessing of other children, and I pray that they will be born at term and healthy. But I don’t worry if it will happen. God told me to trust Him and I do.
God tells me in Psalm 37:7 “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him:” I am resting.I am trusting. I am waiting.