the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Space Invaders: thoughts on continuing motherhood

It was just weeks after Jonan died. I called a friend who lost a baby too soon many years earlier. I was lying on my bed crying telling her I am not sure I can have another. I mean, I want to. But what if I get weird. Like, I love Jonan more? Or I have a new baby inside of my womb and I feel ambivalent about its existence...another should be in your place. You are a space invader! What if I only can love one child? What if I get stuck like some people do when someone dies? When they just cannot move on and they only think about that person and just sort of get…weird.  I felt in myself the capacity for weird at that particular moment. I mean, it would be easy to romanticize this child. He never cried all night, blew out the third diaper in one day, spilled something again, talked back to me, came home late…and he never will. He will always be my sweet little Jonan who went straight into the presence of God. Only knowing Love. That is just the reality of it.

My dear friend, being the wise woman that she truly is, assured me that I was not on the path to weird. She did assure me, however, that should I find myself on that path, that there are people in my life who would love me enough to let me know…she being one of them. Thank God for those who will truly love us! She said, if how we are walking through our grief and pain with openness and trust in the Lord is any indication of what is to come…we will heal. I will heal. I will move, appropriately, forward in my life and in my love.

I couldn’t see this place of “forward” at that moment, but the shallow breathes did became deeper as my crying waned and I leaned into her faith in me.

During those long, dark days of winter, it felt like unending months before the cycle of life would begin anew in my broken body. In reality we were pregnant again in just 7 weeks. Cleared by the doctor to “try” again, we chose to move forward. I took the test on my own, without Jeff even knowing. I don’t know why. I just needed to be alone with God this go ‘round. I had taken numerous negative tests to prove to myself that should it ever turn pink after  I wetted that stick that it was in fact a true positive. I was not up for games or false hopes. And even knowing the empty stick would reveal what I already knew during those trial negatives, it still reminded me of death each obsessive time until I blessed with those 2 precious pink lines.

But that was my moment of truth. Two pink lines. Would I just vomit because of my nerves? Would I be angry? Resentful? …Joyful? Weird? What was in there? Honestly, I was not certain. I knew how much we prayed for two lines, but sometimes we are a mystery unto ourselves, known only by God fully. And many times I had given myself over to Him again and again. “Lord, search me, know me. See if there be any offensive way in me…leading me to life everlasting.” It is easy to think we know ourselves, and I think we can grow greatly in this, but there will always be places of mystery in our own souls…and I truly didn’t know how I would respond. The rivers of my brokenness, though healing, were deep. Known by God alone. Trusted to Him alone.

I waited the recommended 2 minutes for a line to appear (or not) and there it was. Two lines, that test line was one very faint line, but I knew a “line was a line” as my google searches has assured me.  And then what, you may be wondering?

Joy! Overwhelming non-weird joy! “I have two precious babies” was my actual first conscious thought. Of all, I am so blessed. I sat on that bathroom floor overcome with wonder at a God who knows us and gives us good things. My friend was right, there was room for more. My heart, in all of its mystery, did expand. It had.  For the God who loves me, the husband I love dearly, and the baby I now carry in the same space as the other one I love forever.  What a beautiful mystery.  

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