Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I haven’t written in a few days, well, maybe more than a few days at this point. I’ve been in a very deeply private and thoughtful frame of mind and wasn’t ready to share.
For you see, I went to visit my baby’s grave for the first time this past Friday evening.
I took a deep breath, swallowed a morsel of courage, and told Jeff I wanted to go. I’d maneuvered around the idea for these few weeks I’ve been home because physically, I wasn’t ready, and emotionally, I just didn’t think I’d hold up.
After we put the children to bed, I headed over to the grave. A very sweet couple in our church allowed us to bury the baby on their land, in a field, under a shade tree. The couple, Mike and Carolyn, were outside when I drove up alone.For some reason, when I asked them if it would be okay to go see the baby, I felt the emotion well up, along with that tell-tale lump and the hot tears which prickled against my eyes.
Carolyn told me to go ahead and that their new donkey had had a baby, but wouldn’t bother me. Normally, I would shy away from being alone in a field with animals who were much larger than me, but at the time, I barely heard her words. I was too focused on keeping my emotions under control.
Our music minister had fashioned a pretty little wooden cross with the words “Baby Medina” on it, and as I went through the gate and tromped through the wild Texas wilderness, I kept my eyes on that cross and barely even felt the stickers attack my bare legs or smelled the giant plops of horse manure.Mike and Carolyn, on top of the freshly dug grave, had placed a solid layer of pretty bricks. I don’t know what I felt as I stood there for the longest time and just stared. I just seemed to empty of everything but the moment. My mind finally rewound to that sorrowful place before I went in for surgery, and the emotion surged out of my body.
I knelt down, blinded by my own torrent of tears, and cried out to God, “Why this one? Why this one? Why couldn’t I have had just one day, just one day?”I then noticed dirt and bugs lounged and crawling across the bricks and I frantically began to swipe them clean, furiously whisking the unwelcome intruders away, telling them testily to “get off my baby.” My TPN backpack kept sliding down (for I was “hooked up” for the night already) and was getting in the way.
I guess, in some way, this represented my frenzied attempt to control, protect, even guard my vulnerable baby snuggled beneath that fresh sod. That’s what we mothers do. We watch with eagle’s eyes, we care, we protect, we nurture, we guard; we even fight for our children. We take a silent, solemn vow when they are placed within our arms for the first time. We vow, before Holy God, that no harm will come to our child while we are in charge. We recognize, and accept, the heavy responsibility of becoming a mother, and we become fierce and frightful bears when our children are in danger or are crossed. Those feelings were raw and real as I lay there, even more so for my unborn baby.
That effort left me spent, and I lay almost prostrate across the tiny grave, finally releasing all the pent-up emotion that had been pushed aside during my post-operative recovery phase.
Finally, I grieved, alone with naught but my child and my God. And then, in silent salute, as the sun began to set, and the evening began to quiet, I said my farewells.I don’t pretend that visit is the end of the story, for I know I will be reminded, again and again, of that precious little life, as the years go by. I will mark birthdays and graduations, soccer games and summer swimming. I will imagine, as all mothers who’ve lost babies, what my child would have looked like, who he/she would have acted like, and what calling to which God would have called him.
All in all, it was, admittedly, another very sad day. I anticipate more, but I also anticipate hopeful acceptance of God’s decision and better days, acknowledging that He ultimately knows best.
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you..." Jeremiah 1:5