Sunday, November 30, 2014


Our fifth baby has passed on.  I immediately told myself that this baby was never really mine.  All of us belong to the Creator.  "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away."  I wanted to be okay about it, and for the most part I am.  But, I was surprised by grief.

When my brother died my grief was present and overpowering all the time for weeks.  Then it began to subside.  Especially as I gained closure.

I tried to be stoic.  I wanted to be stoic, but with the loss of this child, grief came in waves.  All the time for the first couple days.  But after I scheduled a D & C, I felt a great sense of peace and closure (fortunately, I don't have to have the D&C after all).  Now grief only sneaks up on me in my solitude.

At first I did not feel like eating all day.  Then when I finally did eat, it was like the food had no flavor at all.   That was the same when my brother died.  As soon as I tasted the food and it had no flavor, I realized this must be grief.  It tastes the same--flavorless and bitter.

I told the children. Alex and Kristiana immediately burst into tears.  They really wanted a new sibling.  Fortunately, I think children can process their grief quickly because they live in the moment.  Andrew and I really wanted this baby too.  We wanted this baby more than we realized.

I went through all the emotions denial (I was in denial that I was in denial), grief, anger, acceptance.  I was pretty angry for two reasons.  I felt like Nature's fool.  I only learned of the loss at my first prenatal appointment.  It was supposed to be an appointment full of joy.  I had prepared myself to see a little figure with a beautiful little heart beat.  I felt like I should have known it wasn't going as planned.  I also thought that miscarriage was usually associated with signs like cramping and bleeding.  There were no signs.  My hope in this child was great.  (But I feel like that is needed.  A child needs his mother to believe in him and hope for him.)

There was one sign.  Do you ever get the feeling like something you expect in the future will not happen?  Part of me did have that feeling this time.  Anytime I have trouble envisioning the future, I worry that it's because God has not ordained it to happen.  I had that feeling about my brother.  He was to go to a new university in the fall, but I had a feeling it wasn't going to happen.  I had trouble envisioning him there.  I immediately connected my feelings once he died.  In later years though, I told myself that I felt that way because no one can predict the future.  Technically, no one has a future until one gets there and then it is already your present.  Now that it has happened to me again in much the same way.  Perhaps there is something to it.

The second way I felt angry was that everyday I prayed and told the baby to grow, and he did not.  The child did not obey his mama.  They never do, do they?  So we had to say goodbye.  Alex had given the baby a name.  So that is the name he will pass away with--goodbye, Xavier Thomas Clayton.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

If You Want to Keep A Secret...

...Don't tell your kids.

I'm 7 weeks pregnant.  I'm not too secretive about this fact.  I feel awesome about it, hopeful and so full of life.  It's actually a really difficult thing to keep under wraps.  

Our children know I'm pregnant.  They are pretty happy and excited about it.  Our son said, "I want a brother, but if it's a girl I want her to be as sweet as Lucy."  Awe.  It's his way of saying Lucy's a nice sister.

I think I have underestimated how big this news is to the children.  I hardly think about it.  Sometimes I wonder if everything is going well, because I have only the occasional symptom.  However, every time we go out in public the children start telling every stranger they meet, "My mom's pregnant!"  

I've asked them not to do that.  Like I said, I'm not secretive about this, but I really don't feel like striking up a conversation about my pregnancy with strangers.  But, it occurred to me after this happened four times in a row with me correcting along the way, they must really be excited. Having a new brother or sister is in the fore front of their minds.

It's really quite sweet.  They pray for the new baby everyday.  I'm not ashamed about this, so I am really going to have to stop being embarrassed when they tell strangers.