I am amazed sometimes at how insensitive people can be to one another, and I’m going to vent about it for a minute. I lost my son Knox a week ago, the pain is still very raw. I’ve had some “well meaning” people make some really hurtful comments that I feel like I have to address in some fashion…So here goes…
First: I don’t care if you have 0 or 50 children…it is never okay to say “well maybe that’s God’s way of telling you (the mother) that you have enough children or that you shouldn’t have any more”. I don’t understand why so many people (many of them proclaiming to be Christian) are so angry towards families with lots of children. (I thought of this especially after I saw Mrs. Duggar lost her 20th child during her 2nd trimester this week and saw the hurtful comments being posted toward her.)
Children are a blessing (Psalm 127:3) and a reward from God. Most believers don’t disagree with that…until you have “too many” or it becomes “inconvenient” or “too expensive” to have children. I’ve said before that we trust God for our family size, we don’t ask God to limit our blessings in any other area (financially, health wise or any where else), so we don’t ask Him and don’t believe we should interfere with His blessing. I know not all Christians feel this way, and I don’t expect them to, but I don’t know why there is this huge animosity towards families who chose to trust God with this area of their lives. Seriously. If my children are loved and well cared for…what do you care if I have 4 or 40? And losing a child isn’t a “sign” that I shouldn’t have any more…it’s not a punishment or judgment. You wouldn’t tell a mother who doesn’t have any children that her repeated miscarriages are just “God’s way” of telling her she shouldn’t have children, so don’t say it to me.
I have been told this last week that losing our baby was “God’s way of telling me my body just couldn’t handle another baby” and “Maybe you should just be happy with the 4 children you have”. I found those comments incredibly hurtful and offensive. I was speechless to be honest (and most of you know how rare that is). A. I don’t believe anyone knows God’s will for my life but God. I believe that if I trust Him and follow Him he will guide my steps. B. I am delighted by the 4 wonderful boys I have, and I desire more children, because I view them as a blessing. I desire more because of how much I love and delight in the children I have. To insinuate that I’m not happy with the 4 children I have really irks me and is way off base.
Second: Do not tell me that it was better to lose a baby now than if it were at full term. While I (Praise God) have never lost a baby at full term, just because Knox was only 16 weeks doesn’t mean that I loved him any less than if I were 40 weeks pregnant. While physically it may be a little “easier” to give birth to a 16 week old baby and the physical recovery may be shorter…emotionally it sucks. I loved my baby from the moment I found out he was on his way. I started planning and dreaming about what kind of baby he would be. I was excited, I was delighted that I was pregnant and I was thrilled with the anticipation of another child. I grieve the death of my son. I can’t imagine the hurt a mother must feel who loses a child she has had the chance to know and hold. It is not easy to lose a child ever. Please don’t tell me it’s “easier” at any point, because it’s not.
Third: Please don’t say “He’s in a better place”. While I believe Knox is in Heaven, as a mother I can’t help but feel at times that the best place for him to be is in my arms. I rest in the fact that I will be able to see him again and I trust that God has a purpose for taking my son before he was born, but my arms still ache for him. I am selfish. I want my baby with me and I don’t understand why this happened, but I am leaning on the promises of my God. While Knox is in Heaven…and while it’s “technically” a better place than this sinful earth…it doesn’t make it hurt any less. It doesn’t make me long for him any less and it doesn’t make me feel better. So please don’t tell me he’s in a better place…he’s my son and I want him here with me. Period.
Fourth: Please don’t ask me “how long is it going to take to get over it” The answer is I don’t know. And please don’t expect me to “get over it” on your time table or anyone else’s. I know it’s uncomfortable for you…it’s uncomfortable for me too, but don’t act like I should get over this quickly. Grief is messy, it’s not a neat package deal, it takes a real friend willing to “get dirty” to help me get through it.
There will always be a hole where Knox should be in our family. I will always wonder what kind of child he would have been and I think I will always feel like something is missing. I can’t pretend like this didn’t happen, I can’t and won’t pretend like he didn’t exist. He is my son, he always will be. The grief may get less intense, but I don’t think you “get over” losing a baby.
Okay…I think that’s all for my venting. It just seems to have piled up and finally gotten to me today. And for those keeping track…I think this begins my “anger” stage of grieving.
** As a side note…I wrote this post yesterday evening after I’d had a particularly difficult and angry kind of day. I feel much better today (read…not quite so angry), but still felt it necessary to post.
I’m never quite sure how to answer this question when someone asks. I don’t know if they mean physically or emotionally or mentally or spiritually. And I’m never quite sure if they really want to know…the messy details, the pain that still sits in the middle of my chest, why I can’t sleep at night, my fears, my hope or how lost I feel.
of joy and reprieve from the grief. I feel kind of “normal”. I glean some of that joy from my children…their innocence, their pure delight in little things. I can’t help but smile and delight with them sometimes. I have a 16 month old son, who thinks he’s the funniest kid when he plays with his belly button. I have a 3 year old who delights in dumping water over his own head during bath time. I have a 7 year old who used his hard-earned “Awana bucks” to buy me a ring and was so proud to give it to me. My 9 year old wakes up in the morning to hug me hello. He has no idea how important those “good morning” hugs are to me. I am thankful for the 4 wonderful children I have. They help keep me putting one foot in front of the other. They help me stay focused. They help keep me from getting lost in the grief of losing a child. Even if it’s for a few moments each day I feel “normal”. I am trusting that I will have more of the normal as I heal.
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
And delivered me from all my fears.
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
I write to process things that are rolling around in my brain and happening in my life. This last week has been the hardest week I have ever had to endure as a wife and mother. It’s something I would never wish on anyone. Ever. But I have had so many things rolling around in my head that I feel the need to process them by writing. What follows is our story leading up to the birth of our 5th son Knox. I write it more for myself, so that my child won’t be forgotten and so that I can capture what the events of the last week have meant to me. I plan to include these blog posts in his baby book. I share this story so that you can know too and that hopefully my journey and pain will help someone move through theirs too.
irl and she said the baby was a boy. The nurse handed the baby to me to hold. He was so tiny, but so perfect. We counted his fingers and toes. We touched his feet, his hands, his face. We took pictures of our baby Knox and we were in awe of how perfect he was, even though he was so tiny. Kerry and I each took turns holding him and taking it all in. As strange as it sounds, while we were grieving while we holding him…we both felt so blessed. So blessed with another son…so blessed that we had been able to experience this pregnancy even though it was cut short…and so blessed that we have had 4 healthy pregnancies and births. God is amazing. While we don’t understand the purpose for the loss, we are still in awe at His amazing creation in our son. We could see on his fingers where his finger nails were starting to grow. We could see his tiny perfect ears and his little tongue. We could feel his knees and his legs, we could see his ribs and his spine. He is perfect. He is incredible. He is our son.
rying to make it through. We are thankful for the love, prayers and help from our family, church family and friends. Sleep doesn’t come easy for me still. I’m tired, but can’t seem to sleep, even with medication. The grief and tears sneak up on me at weird times. I found myself laying down holding my belly where Knox once was…it felt so empty and I cried. I am thankful for the little ones I have…I’m thankful they still want to be held. I think if they didn’t I would feel even more empty than I do. I know that Knox will always be a part of our family, I pray that I will be able to trust my body again. I pray that the raw grief will heal. I pray that someday God will bless us with another baby, not as a replacement, but to help heal me.