Thursday, April 16, 2015

On This Side Of Heaven

This morning at MOPS we honored the memories of two baby boys who were born to mommas in our group. One little guy was a second trimester baby who was delivered stillborn.  The other baby boy lived for 54 minutes.  We cried and prayed over our fellow mommas as we listened to each of their journeys through loss and grief and their renewal of hope. 
Before leaving, our leaders asked all mommas in the room who have experienced the loss of a child to stand-- whether that be in utero or after birth.  I'll be completely honest, I really struggled with this request.
I didn't want to stand.  I wanted to stay seated and not draw attention to myself or to my story.
In that moment, I was taken back to my follow up appointment about four weeks after our miscarriage.  I was sitting on that white, crinkly paper in the exam room, feeling exposed in that ugly gown they force you to put on.  My nurse threw out the words "chemical pregnancy" and dismissed my loss as if it were just a head cold that had come and gone. 
A chemical pregnancy.  What did that even mean? 
I left my doctor's office that day with tears streaming down my face. 
To be quite honest, I felt betrayed.
Betrayed by my own self. Betrayed by the positive pregnancy test that was sitting tucked away at home in my jewelry box and by the joy that I had in those first few weeks.


I felt embarrassed for grieving.  It sounded like a "chemical pregnancy" was as close to a "false positive" as they come.  What business did I have in calling it a "loss" while most of the world would  just link my pregnancy to a definition found somewhere in the back of a dusty, medical text book?
This morning after coming home, I put Levi down for his nap and I opened my computer to find a blog post written by an old college friend.  My heart was still very heavy and I had the memory of my miscarriage on my mind.
In his post, Josh shares of his own grief after the loss of their baby.  He poses the question, "Did my baby go to heaven?"
I have often silently asked this question over the past few years.
Did my baby go to heaven? 
Was there enough of my baby formed to even be considered a baby?
What about God?  Did He consider my baby a life?
"Your eyes saw my unformed body, in your book were written,
every one of them, the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139: 16). 
God saw the unformed body of our sweet baby long before I would know of her existence.
God knew that we would never have more than a pregnancy test to honor her little life. 
 He knew that we would not experience the joy of the sound of a fluttering heart beat or those first little kicks. 
I would not labor with my husband by my side to at last hold our little girl and breathe in her sweet scent like I did with Mackenzie and Levi. 
None of those things would happen on this side of heaven.
But she was known. And for a short time she was given life and she was created out of the Father's love for me.
And I have to believe that He does not make mistakes.  That nothing He creates is whimsical or without a purpose. 
We named our sweet baby Finley Sky
Finley is Irish meaning "Fair headed hero" and if you've seen our other babies then I'm sure you understand why the fair headed part makes sense. 
Somewhere right now way up in the sky, looking down on our little family is our sweet baby Finley.  Our second baby.  The baby that Mackenzie still talks about and the one we will someday share with Levi and any other brothers or sisters they might have. 
For three nights after our miscarriage, the Colorado sky was lit up with some of the most breathtaking sunsets we've every experienced.  To this day Mackenzie still looks at the sun setting in the coming night sky and says, "Mom, look!  Finley is watching over us!"

We are reminded of her little life with every sunset we see.  We are reminded of her on hard days like today when we grieve with other parents who have also lost children.  We are reminded of her each time we look at Mackenzie and Levi and we know there is one little life between them missing.
Finley Sky is not a statistic or just a scribble on one of my medical charts. 
Our daughter's life might not be recognized here on this side of heaven but she will always be a part of us and a part of our family's story
and I do believe that her life is part of God's greater story for us in eternity.

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