We have the very sweet privilege to share the following story by Hannah Michele Fordice. When she lost her dad to a house fire, she also lost the precious child she was carrying. If you've experienced miscarriage or someone close to you has, you will blessed and encouraged by what you read today.
Although 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, I don't often hear about the effect this kind of loss has on the women who've experienced it. Its like society has gagged 1/4 of the female population into silent, invisible grief.
And to be honest, I'm guilty of holding the gag in place.
Its not that I haven't wanted to write about my miscarriage… I have. I just honestly didn't know how.
Because how do you describe what it is to miss something you never got to have?
I remember when my brother was paralyzed during his senior year of high school in a skiing accident; among other things, my mom would talk about the unique grief of losing the dreams and hopes she had for her child's future. She had visions of him dancing with the bride at his wedding, giving his kid's piggy back rides, hiking with his family, reaching up to grab a box of mac and cheese off the highest shelf at the grocery store for a rather short old lady…
You see, of course she grieved the loss of her son's legs, but she also grieved the loss of a future she had hoped for him.
I guess miscarriage feels a little like that. I grieve the loss of who my child would have become. I dreamed of all the things she would have done in her life, the people she would have known, the tea parties and game nights and broken hearts and triumphs.
But instead, I watched the dreams for my baby's future bleed away onto the hospital floor.
Afterwards, as I sat empty and hollowed out, I couldn't help but wonder why God allowed me to get pregnant, allowed a new soul to be held within me, only to take her away before I ever got to hold her in my arms - let alone witness who she would have become.
I wrestled with that question as a part of the mostly mute majority. And it wasn't until my baby would have turned one year old that I stumbled, by the grace of another mom who was willing to break the silence, on these words:
"I sat in the rainy half-light of my tiny English living room, in the blank silence of the loss of my first child, a "little bean" I would never meet... I read about Julian of Norwich's vision of something that looked "small as a hazelnut" but was actually the whole world, cradled in the palm of God's hand, and her knowledge that "God made it. . . . God loves it. . . . God preserves it."— Sarah Clarkson
I remembered that my baby was about the size of a hazelnut when he died.
And I began to weep as my mind filled with the image of my own lost babe, held like the hazelnut of the world in the palm of God's hand—not lost, but found, and waiting for me."
Oh my soul - how it cried out at those sweet words of truth!
That entire worlds are hidden within something small as a hazelnut, small as an acorn. And my baby, the size of an acorn at her passing, was buried in the earth so that she might grow into an oak tree on the other side of heaven.
She wasn't just tissue, she wasn't someone who never got a future…
She was a seed in which the whole world was encased, lying dormant, until the light of the Son shone on her and told her to awaken.
And somewhere, someday, I will have the chance to stand within the shadow of her figure; full, graceful and everything that she was intended to be. And I will recognize her as the acorn that I once held within me - all grown up.
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb... My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; 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: 13, 15-16
You can find other writing on Hannah's website: https://www.rubbleandrescue.com.