Mourning My Daughter’s Due Date in the Light

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I remember finding the band ‘Sleeping At Last’ 2 years ago and falling in love with their song called Light. It is a wonderful song about becoming a parent. That was also the year God gave me more names in addition to Jacqueline and Ezra; names he gave me back in 2013 & 2014. He said we’d have four children but that there would be a miscarriage. He also said I would find out I’m pregnant in December 2019 with Jacqueline just as we were settled into our new home.

Welcome to my gift. You take the good promises with the bad.

I remember rushing to scribble the names on a napkin because the information was coming so fast. I examined the napkin with the names in birth order and couldn’t figure out when the miscarriage would happen. I didn’t feel like I had enough information and I secretly hoped I heard this one wrong. Surely I could not have heard it right.

No, I heard it right, I just didn’t like the information he was giving me.

I told Micah and one other person who is no longer living. Unfortunately she passed away of breast cancer in 2019. I still have the Facebook messenger conversation from 2018. I’m sure she thought I was nuts but now I guess she knows the truth. I used to wonder why I had this gift and only in the past several years did I realize the answer to that why. We are all given gifts from God and often certain gifts run in families. This is certainly true for my family. We are meant to govern the spirit realm so when we hear promises, learn of events in the future, or sense demonic strongholds in others, we are supposed to pray about these things.

I wrote down what God said but I forgot about the warning of a miscarriage as the years passed. I think there was a part of me that didn’t want to remember because I felt if that is really going to happen, I don’t want it hanging over my head when I get pregnant. There was another part of me that assumed it wouldn’t be my first pregnancy with Jacqueline. I thought to myself surely, God wouldn’t promise us Jacqueline only to let her pass away.

The hard lesson I learned was to be careful with making assumptions with the information God gives you. Don’t add to or reason out a promise from God, he said what he said so take him at face value. We have no idea what that promise will actually look like as it comes to pass. Not one of us can see the complete bigger picture by ourselves and we must remember that the little part of the picture we’re given is for us to govern. I personally don’t think we could handle knowing the whole picture. In my experience, the Holy Spirit communicates through our senses, emotions, thoughts, through nature etc. In fact, I believe the Holy Spirit was communicating that there was going to be spiritual growth or change coming last year through nature.

Last summer I saw all these beautiful green and blue dragonflies all around me at my house. Even at the annual craft fair in November there were dragonflies everywhere. It was so odd that my mom even commented on the amount we saw crafted everywhere we went. It felt like God was telling me change was coming. Again, I find myself surrounded by dragonflies this year. Only, all the dragonflies this summer are black or black and white and I’m seeing more than I ever have in my entire life. Even when I’ve been in different areas of the city like a doctors office, the dragonflies are swarming around my car. Okay God, you’ve got my attention.

I see the dragonflies and can’t but help but think of her. I guess more change is coming.

There is so much I need to say and will be sharing as I process it all. My daughter’s due date is today; only, she was born on March 18, 2020 at 18 weeks, 5 days. We named her Jacqueline Rose. I knew who she was the moment the pregnancy test was positive in December. It wasn’t until my water broke in March that God’s warning of a miscarriage came flooding back into my memory. Damn it. I knew deep down that no amount of pleading with God was going to stop this from happening. And yet, I plead for her life anyway. I wasn’t ready to let her go.

It’s interesting how God will sometimes use things we assign meaning to in order to communicate with us. I love this Netflix series called Maniac and there is a line spoken that I associate with loss. When God said it to me as we were driving to the hospital, I understood what he meant. It was foggy that night and we were about 30 minutes into the hour and 10 min drive it took to get to my doctor. The fog was so dense that we couldn’t see more than a foot in front of us. It was in these moments that God said, “Sometimes people leave and we don’t know why.” In that moment I knew he was preparing me for this loss. I just didn’t want to accept losing her. My brain couldn’t come to terms with what my spirit already knew.

This is goodbye for us.

Our doctor said that Jacqueline made it possible for us to have other children safely. What caused my water to break was an incompetent cervix. This will happen with every pregnancy but can be avoided by them putting a stitch in my cervix around 12-14 weeks before it softens. Unfortunately it’s impossible to know incompetent cervix is an issue until you get pregnant. So, because we now know about this issue, Jacqueline’s death saved her future brothers and sisters lives. I feel like I did everything I possibly could to make sure our babies would have their best shot by following God’s leading to seek an endo specialist and have all the endo removed, but I couldn’t prevent this.

At a time when we were actively trying to avoid crowds or high traffic places, we found ourselves rushing into the hospital during the pandemic. My sister was turned away after driving 3 hours there in the dangerous fog because they had limited guests to the patient and one support person only. Although it was hard to see her leave, I’m thankful Micah was allowed to stay with me in the hospital. He was there holding my hand every step of the way. He slept beside me while we rested for a couple of hours before it was time to check on Jacqueline again. He was holding my hand when my doctor and the neonatal specialist showed us her heartbeat was almost gone. He was by my side patting my forehead with a cool cloth and holding my hand as they induced labor including the 8 hours it took to deliver her. He was there during delivery and held her as they rushed me to surgery to remove the rest of the placenta. He held Jacqueline the entire time I was in surgery and wouldn’t put her down. He is my person and we are closer than we ever were before after that experience.

We could not have gotten through this without our family, friends, and church family. Even though they couldn’t be with us physically, they showed up by taking our pets to the vet for boarding. They showed up by cleaning our kitchen and bringing fresh groceries and stocking our fridge. They paid our vet bill and sent flowers, cards, gift cards, and food. That’s just our church family, I haven’t even touched on what our relatives did for us. We weren’t alone, even if the enemy wanted us to believe we were because we were isolated in the hospital and came home to physically isolate from others during Covid. We sowed into friendships in peace time before the war broke out. They kept us from drowning in the swamps of sadness. We are so thankful for our people.

We are hopeful for the future as we mourn in the present. You see, it wouldn’t matter if I was pregnant with our next child today, it’s not about that for me, I would still be mourning my daughter. Words cannot express the feeling of being in the room with your child when you give birth to them and they have passed away. It didn’t feel right to rest or put her down in the bassinet. It didn’t matter that we had only gotten a couple of hours of sleep in the past two days, labored 8 hours,  and I had just had surgery. This was the only time we were going to have with her. We fought through the exhaustion to soak up every last minute together. I’m thankful we got to hold her and have time with her. It will never be enough time but I’m thankful for the time we were given.

It will be 5 months on August 18th since I gave birth to her in the middle of the global pandemic and God is still showing me so much as I grieve. You know, a lot of times we think flourishing with God looks a certain way. Remember, the roots of the plants that flourish outside are established and deeply rooted-that didn’t happen overnight. They learned to flourish in every season and so shall we.

For now this is goodbye for us, little one.

Light by Sleeping at last

May these words be the first
To find your ears
The world is brighter than the sun
Now that you’re here
Though your eyes will need some time to adjust
To the overwhelming light surrounding us

I’ll give you everything I have
I’ll teach you everything I know
I promise I’ll do better
I will always hold you close
But I will learn to let you go
I promise I’ll do better

I will soften every edge
I’ll hold the world to it’s best
And I’ll do better
With every heartbeat I have left
I will defend your every breath
And I’ll do better

‘Сause you are loved
You are loved more than you know
I hereby pledge all of my days
To prove it so
Though your heart is far too young to realize
The unimaginable light you hold inside

I’ll give you everything I have
I’ll teach you everything I know
I promise I’ll do better
I will always hold you close
But I will learn to let you go
I promise I’ll do better

I will rearrange the stars
Pull ’em down to where you are
I promise I’ll do better
With every heartbeat I have left
I’ll defend your every breath
I promise I’ll do better
I will soften every edge
Hold the world to it’s best
I promise I’ll do better
With every heartbeat I have left
I’ll defend your every breath

4 thoughts on “Mourning My Daughter’s Due Date in the Light

  1. This was amazing! Shouldn’t have read it on my phone in public when it popped up in my facebook feed…hard to cry behind a mask. and a little embarrassing. I knew Micah back in high school (he was a friend of my son’s.) I am a birth doula and childbirth educator with a history of 2 miscarriages and an infant lost between my two fantastic “bookend” children (who are 28 and 33). The journey of parenthood is amazing, frustrating, painful and joyful. It is so important to share these experiences to help others deal with their own often-hidden grief. I would love to share your story on my website and blog some time when I address infant loss. Let me know if that would be OK – Best wishes, Mary Gillett http://www.simplybetterbirth.com.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Either would be lovely. I am in limbo because COVID hit right as I retired, so all plans of childbirth classes (in person) were tanked, and our wonderful birth center had to close it doors sadly. I am just starting back to doula work. I really want a good blog post on pregnancy or infant loss, but I didn’t want to lead with that because it is so intimidating to newly pregnant folks. I do have a good referral source for loss and PP depression, so I feel good about posting something now. I don’t have much on there now, so look at what I have and feel free to let me know what you might want to write. My goals is to write less than half the posts and use more folks with different perspectives.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sorry to hear about the birthing center. I’ll check your website out as soon as I can. I know my next piece will be about when to share you’re pregnancy addressing the fear of miscarriage. As soon as our kittens heal from their spay and neuter I’ll be able to write lol. Hopefully your website will help women feel more comfortable sharing their own experiences with others. Some topics feel taboo and it leaves so many women feeling isolated and hopeless.

        Like

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