Things didn’t seem any easier during the days, weeks, and months that followed losing our second child. Everyone moved on, forgot, and never said a word, but it was all I thought about. This was MY child. How could I forget? Just let go? This life mattered! It was real!
I cried every day, mostly alone, when I would rock Waylon or behind closed doors, but on the rare occasion someone did ask me about it, I would just lose it. These were tears and emotions I couldn't mask or hold in. It was like my body couldn't contain the sorrow.
I distinctly remember going over to a friend’s house to bring dinner to her family. She had just given birth a few weeks earlier to her third child, a little baby girl. I was so excited to bless them with food and meet that precious baby. Waylon was at Mother's Day Out, and I remember driving over there thinking, "Man, today I'm doing well!” I dropped off the food and watched the baby sleep; she was so beautiful. Before I left, my friend just wanted to make sure I was “okay.” She asked a simple question, and I broke, in her living room, with her little baby and her husband. She asked me, "How have you been doing?" (The simple question we ask people every day, not wanting a detailed response but the normal ‘good and you’).
But when she asked me this question, it was directed at a certain subject and with concern. I lost it. I wasn't okay, and I didn't know how to be. I wasn't embarrassed about crying or losing it in front of her or her husband, but I was actually glad. I felt it was okay to mourn, for people to see me hurt or cry. Something traumatic happened, and no, I wasn't okay. Things weren't going to heal in an instant. I am human. I break. I hurt. I cry. These are good things; these are emotions God gave us. We are not meant to always be perfectly happy in our cookie cutter lives.
I am thankful for her "simple question" that day and how she responded to me with such a spirit of "I'm right here,” ”I understand your pain,” and "I am praying for you.” God chose her, in that moment, to reassure me that it's okay to be upset, it's okay to talk about it, and to continue to reach for God's healing power. This is why we need the body of Christ to be there in our different seasons of life, to cry, to rejoice, to mourn, and to go through things together, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows.
A couple of weeks later, I remembered a "friend of a friend" that had published a blog about her losing two babies of her own. I remember thinking how strong she was and how much she had relied on God in that time of healing. Well, I also knew I wasn't even close to feeling healed of this hurt, and I didn't want it to consume me as a person, as a mother, as a friend, or as a wife. I decided that I would message her and seek wisdom from someone who had gone through the same situation as me, not only once but twice. I sent the message and didn't hear back for about a week. But when I did, it was exactly what I needed. These are the three things she told me:
1. She told me she was sorry and that she was grieving with me as well.
2. She told me something that I hadn't thought about, but it definitely caused an overwhelming peace in my heart. She said, "I am so thankful for a merciful Father who welcomes the unborn into His open arms to never feel pain or sorrow but to always know the presence of their Maker." (Wow! What a revelation that was to me! My child will always know the Lord and never the pain of this world. I had never thought of this since I was so upset about not having the baby "with me".)
3. She told me that naming her unborn children helped her in the mourning process.
This was something I had been thinking about anyway but thought I was foolish for thinking it. She confirmed what God has already put in my heart. I decided that I would pray, seek God, worship Him, and then name our sweet child in Heaven. I already have a list of baby names that I like (Brock has his own list), and I felt like God was pushing me to look at those. If a name is on that list, I usually write out the meaning beside it. I opened the list on my notes app on my phone and saw the name immediately, “Chapel.” It means, “Place of worship.”
This miscarriage definitely pushed me to a place of worship with God that I had never been before, a healing place. After naming our baby Chapel, I felt like I should discuss with Brock my intentions and let him seek God for the other name. I didn't tell him the name yet but let him pray about it. After two days, he came to me and told me that he just couldn't get clear direction on a name. At first I was bummed. I just KNEW that God would send him some miraculous sign like, “BAM, this is the baby’s name,” but nope.
I began to ask God what I should do, and I began to feel Him tell me, "This is your road, not Brock’s.” While Brock was sad about the miscarriage, he never mourned like I did; he didn't feel the sorrow that I did. Therefore, he didn't need the healing like I did! I needed to do this on my own! With Brock's encouragement and agreement, I decided to name the baby myself. I set out to seek the Lord again. He doesn't always speak to me like this, but this day, this time, He did. Within minutes, I heard God say, “Drew.” This name had never been on my radar, so I "knew" it was from the Lord. I decided that I would see what the name meant. I have always liked names with meaning.
I named my child in heaven Drew Chapel. Which means, “Wise place to worship.”
I melted. I felt such peace. Yes, this miscarriage was hard, but I had been clinging to God in worship, I didn't know where else to go or who to talk to but GOD! For me, worship had been my wise place to worship in a dark time. In that place, I HAVE found healing and restoration. For me, as soon as I named our child, I felt peace. I felt that my baby's life mattered and that I had arms wrapped around me from heaven. I know everyone mourns differently, and your dark place or sorrow may be different than mine, but I can assure you that the place you take that darkness and sorrow should be the same place I took mine. That place is worship and prayer. I will never be the same again.
Have I cried since? Yes. Do I still hurt? Yes. But God has made me stronger day by day. After I named our child, I felt an overwhelming peace. Everything was going to be okay.
Letter to my Chapel:
My Drew Chapel,
My sweet child in heaven, I don't know if you are a boy or a girl, if you would have had fine hair like me or coarse hair like your daddy, my messiness or your daddy's cleanliness, my awesome dance skills or if you would have played sports or liked music. I think about all the nights I would have rocked you like I have done your brother, all the times I would have kissed your booboos, helped you with homework, taught you how to drive, or sent you off to prom. I thought about how I would have been able to watch you fall in love, get married, have children... And so on and so on. All of these things I hoped for you but are not and will never be. It IS hard to cope with, but in my worship, I know you are with your Maker, the One who loves you more than I ever could, and I know one day I will meet you. I'll understand the path I'm now on, even though I do not at this moment. I wish to see you. I wish to hold you. Right now, you are still suppose to be in my womb, you should have already spent 30+ weeks in my womb by now, and I should be feeling your kicks and worrying about you coming early like your brother did, but I'm not. You should have a nursery, but you don't. All of this is hard. I still worship. I still trust. But I miss you. I miss not knowing you, yet I am the only person that truly "knew" you. I held you, and I yearn to again.