There’s that moment when you don’t think you can handle one more day of being nauseous from morning ’til night.
That one day when you listen to his deep, familiar voice talk about baby names as you drift to sleep beside him.
The morning you force yourself to cook for the toddler even though you may throw up at the smell. And you tell yourself one more week and it’ll be second trimester and the sickness will fade away.
Then there’s a spontaneous ultrasound just to see the little sick-causing, wreaking-havoc, can’t-wait-to-hold-you little one who doesn’t have a heartbeat.
And the waiting. Waiting for the joke to be over, the next ultrasound to prove technology isn’t always right.
The day you’re still so sick that ever compassionate man is giving you water while you throw up, and all for nothing. Because that little baby’s heart stopped beating and it’s not growing and there’s not going to be a newborn at the end of this.
There’s the sister who cleans the house, the mom who washes the laundry, the friend who visits, the cousins who cheer up the toddler. There’s phone calls and texts and “Any news?” and “Don’t lose hope,” and somewhere there’s God, but I’m not sure where.
Then, the second ultrasound, and that tiny body that didn’t grow and the heart that just won’t beat and you look away from the screen.
There’s the day for the surgery to deliver the baby and the doctor who calls it a tissue.
Text messages flood your phone with “Let us know how it goes,” and “Praying for you,” and I wish God would send a text.
There’s “All went well,” and “Next time you get pregnant,” and tears on his shoulder because this was supposed to end six months from now with a bundle in our arms and that special name we can’t wait to use.
The toddler doesn’t understand and he cries at night so we let him sleep with us.
People bring food and Mom stays overnight and Grandma sends a card with memorial money. There are notes on Facebook and texts and calls and I wish God had a Facebook.
The day comes when you buy quilt material because you always make your babies a quilt and your sister goes with you because you know you’re gonna cry.
And there’s that little sunshine who still wants to play and giggle and sit on your hip even though you’re not supposed to pick him up.
That engulf-you-in-comfort man feeds the animals in the bitter cold and tells you to give yourself a break and takes the day off so you don’t have to pick up the toddler. He gives you your medicine and compliments that body that is now a little softer with an empty baby bump. Maybe he’s a glimpse of God.
All those Bible verses and scripture promises and everything you know you believe come back to you but you’re not sure how to get them from your head to that aching heart.
Maybe there’s a reason the baby died or maybe it’s all part of the fallen world because Jesus promised comfort, not immunity.
Someday, maybe you’ll understand and maybe you never will. Maybe the clean house and the meals and the visits and texts and calls and those arms that hold you at night when you start to cry . . . maybe those are God making sure you’re okay.
At the end of the day, the tears still fall and the womb is still empty and the heartbeat is still gone. There’s no spiritual answer, no magic healing, no churchy phrase to make everything okay again.
For all I’m worth, I wish God had a phone number.