“Do not let spacious plans for a new world divert your energies from saving what is left of the old.”
There is something about being pregnant that enlarges your world, at least in my experience. In a mind like mine, prone to abstraction, the state breeds almost painfully exciting fantasies about the future. Another may feel her world shrinking at the sight of those double red lines and I understand that we are all different, but me – I see a new soul growing whose presence on this earth has the power to change and affect everything it touches, a thing of incalculable value capable of causing me more joy, or more pain, than anything else on earth. I see a new world sprouting. Lewis says, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” This is why, to me, as a carrier of one of these priceless, as of yet, blank slates, a pregnant woman is perhaps the most sacred thing on earth. To experience that privilege makes everything sort of recede into remoteness. The rest of it is all important still – but this – this gift – is all important.
And this is what I lost. And all the people around me, though most will never know, lost something too, with this single life that would have changed everything in ways no one will ever be able to say.
After I lost the baby, I gradually experienced everything coming back into focus, but it has taken effort and time. This life I meant to nurture till the end of my life, indeed would have been willing to give up my life for, was taking from my care and put in infinitely capable Hands. But what to do with these empty ones? Well, reach for what is left. And there is so, so much. The first thing of course was to fill my arms with my precious husband and son, to hold them ever more tightly. The second was to look at what has been left still to my care which will always be way, way more than enough. One of the most therapeutic things for me since the miscarriage was beginning to teach myself to sew and design. That was also a sprout inside me. It’s a part of me that God has always meant to nurture if only I would allow it. My earliest memories are of sketching clothing designs, an occupation that I could work at tirelessly and only be more and more energized by. In recent years, though, this inherent passion of mine been left pretty much in the dark without much water or sunlight. I get some kicks from putting together inventive outfits, piecing bits costumes together on Halloween when I can manage it, but nothing like the creative satisfaction of actually sewing something entirely new. I poured my emptiness and loss into this then. And I’d like to think that in their own way, my new calluses and scrapes from trying to learn this tricky and irritatingly precise art are a testament of love to this child I’ve yet to meet, and a testament of my faith in the purpose and beauty that will remain eternal — a small but significant reminder that death and loss will one day die… and we will be left with nothing less than everything.