Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lamentation of A Lost Unborn Child

Two weeks ago I was thinking to write up some silly poems about morning sickness, that how something my brain wants badly doesn't necessary agreed by my nose. Something my nose says OK doesn't necessary make it through my mouth or my tongue. And even if I ignored all those three super-picky-and-just-being-a-pain body parts, and pushed whatever edible through my mouth, if my stomach didn't agree, it would still come out and go straight into the toilet.
I don't know how two weeks later I am writing about grieve. I don't know how I get here.
I don't know how two weeks ago I was still planning for this new life, and two weeks later I am planning how to say good bye to the life which is already gone. (and I had not the chance to tell him/her I love him/her).
I don't know how I went from throwing up because of the morning sickness but encouraging myself it should pass and I would have a baby to hold and kiss in my arms, to throwing up because of morning sickness but I can only tell myself it will not last long because the baby is now dead, and my body will realize it sooner or later.
I don't know how I went from expecting to feel the life moving in me to now I am expecting cramps and pain.
I don't know how I went from knowing there would be contraction and pain waiting but with it would come a baby crying and kicking his/her legs, but now the contraction and pain my waiting will only bring forth a dead child that is not completely formed yet.
I do not know how we went from trying to name a child, with hope; and now we are trying to name a child, with sorrow.
I don't know how I get here. This is not where I want to be, Lord.
Have I not cried those words to Him again and again the past week?
This is not where I want to be. This road of brokenness is paved with my sorrow and tears. This is not the road I want to travel on, my Father.
But it is as clear as it can be that this is where He wants me to be. This is the road He wants me to trudge on. Yet it is not only paved with my brokenness, my sorrow and tears, but His brokenness, His sorrow and tears as well. This much I know.
Has he not been merciful to me to take the pain away from me?
It was the longest week in my life. Of waiting. Of weeping. Of hoping yet being fearful of hoping at the same time. The night prior to Monday was the longest night. Will the daybreak ever come, Father? Will the sun ever come out again? Will rest eventually come to my weary soul? Are you here, my Father? Will you give me peace and strength and rest? He lifted His protection over my pain that night. The tears that I thought I had finished shedding came pouring out. Pain of losing my child. Pain of losing part of me, my flesh and blood. I should have known He was preparing me, for what was coming Monday. Oh would Monday ever come? Came it still. I tried to stay in bed as long as possible that morning. I did not know how I would make it to the 2.30 appointment. I felt like someone who was waiting for her announcement of fate. Would it be life? Or would it be death? I watched the clock. It kept ticking. I had never felt the passing of time with such intensity. I heard every second ticking away, tick tock, tick tock; I willed it to go faster, I could not bear it no more. I felt like I was suspending in the air, not knowing I was going to crash downward, or being lifted upward. With every breathe I breathed, I cried to God silently, strength, Father, peace, Father.
Strength, Father.
Peace, Father.
I don't know how many times I have prayed for them. I had never prayed for them so desperately.
I knew there would be tears, either it would be tears of overjoyed, or tears of sorrow.
And those tears did come. They came silently this time. Like a gentle creek, tickling down my cheeks. Tears of sorrow.
The same ultrasound technician uttered the same words at the doctor's office.
I am sorry, still no heartbeat.
I don't remember the doctor said he is sorry this time. He came in and he was all business. He still called my name wrong. He still "encouraged" me to do a D&C. He actually laughed when I told him I needed prescription to help cope with my morning sickness which seemed to have gotten worse.
He actually laughed.
I was shocked to the core.
Though I was not weeping, but my heart was bleeding, over the loss of my child. Yet this man had the gut of laughing at my misery.
He said he could not understand why I would want to wait for my body to take the action while I am so miserable with my morning sickness. He doubted that I would last long, waiting. I told him coldly, we shall see.
He did not care to look at the rash I had on my thigh since I saw him last week that had turned into blisters and becoming painful.
When he laughed, I got all the answers I had last week, about whether he understands or cares.
He does not understand. And he simply does not care.
How can this man doing what he is doing, taking care of women's bodies while they are pregnant with lives, and helping the birth of a new life not care about lives?
How can a man's heart became so callous with coldness, and maybe just gain?
How can he looked me in the eyes and said in the end, we will go through this together, again, when he does not really care?
It is not the same with me, you see. It is not the same with me anymore, losing this child.
I wish it was as easy as you think. I wish I could get over this quick. I wish I do not have to lay in my bed, dark at night, and cried my heart out to my God.
I wish I don't have to feel like I am drowning in my own sorrow.
I wish my sorrow would not come when I least expecting it. Sometime while I was eating, not even thinking about the baby, yet a sob came out, and it all came tumbling out. The tears. The sorrow.
I wish I would not lose it when my children only doing what a 2 and a half year old toddler will do, pushing their own limits and their mothers' limit, yet this mother lost it over morning cereal thrown deliberately all over the floor for laughter. This mother lost it and cried and screamed at the child's face and punished her. This mother beat her chest and bang the table and wanted to hurt herself. This mother wanted to run away. This mother screamed at the top of her lungs at her fearful children, do you know how hard is this? Do you know I am having a hard time? Do you know I can't do this? This mother was actually screaming at God. This mother did and said the things that she told herself she would not do them to her children. And the pain and fear in her children's eyes hurt her more and broke her heart more. This mother was shocked and ashamed.
Where did it all come from? The sorrow and bitterness came, you see. They came without notice. They came without being wanted. They came and they stayed.
I wish it was easy as I always thought. I wish I could be stronger. I wish I could tell you I will be fine soon. But there is no woman that I have talked to, that said this will not hurt. None. Zero. It hurts us women, when we lose an unborn child. It hurts, it brings sorrow.
I wish I didn't have to write this. I wish I didn't have to, I really do.
I thought of keeping this journal of pain, of sorrow, of depression, to myself. Away from public eyes. Where there will not be any judgment. Where I will be protected and not felt exposed. Not raw. Not naked.
Yet when I think of many that do not understand what I am, or other women are going through, my heart hurts. When I think of those who find themselves unexpectedly, travelling down on the same path I am trudging on, with fear and tears and confusion (how can this hurt so much), I know I have to write this. I have to write this for myself, I have to write this for those who wants to know how I am feeling, I have to write this for those who can't believe what they are experiencing and they are not sure is it normal or they are simply going out of their mind.
I want to tell them, yes, there will be pain, but He will take it away. He has taken my pain away. I no longer feel it. That part of my emotion is numbed. He has given me mercy.
Yes, there will be sorrow. I still have the sorrow. I do not know how long it will last. But I believe He will heal my sorrow too. I believe out of my sorrow, out of this broken heart, He will resurrect something beautiful out of it. I don't know what it is yet. I am still waiting. I can only hang on tight to Him at this time and wait.
Yes, there will be emptiness. There is this big big hole in my heart gaping at me. All the time. I can feel it. But I believe He will, and only He can fill that hole up.
Right now, I can only pray, and wait for Him.
With sorrow.
With emptiness.
With tears.
But not without hope.
Not without hope, my love. Not without hope.
As long as I am with Him, I know I have hope.
Hope that is beyond life and death. and with that hope I wait on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Road of Brokenness, and more.

 I am trudging down this really hard path, a path I suddenly found myself on, alone, and I have no where else to go except keep trudging it. I do not know where it is leading to, I do not know how I will get there and I do now know what I will find there. For if there is brokenness, it already found me. It found me the moment I was set on this strange path. Can I be more broken?

How could it be, Lord? How could it be that I walked into the doctor's office with a smile on my face, and left with nothing but brokenness and pain? How could it be that one moment we were waiting excitedly to see this new life in me, all giddy with hope; and the next moment we were being told this new life had died, and there was only eerie silence, and the ultrasound technician's sympathetic look on me.
This is what I am afraid of, she had said, no heartbeat. I can't find any heartbeat on this baby.
Her words came without any preparation, I was still focusing hard on the screen, trying to get a good view of this little life in me; her words came as fuzzy as the image of the baby on the screen. I turned to her, puzzled, and asked,"What?"
The baby has no heartbeat. She looked at me sympathetically, I am sorry. So sorry, she said.
Oh how the tears came. At a surprising speed and force. Why the tears? I did not understand. Can this be pain? Can this be pain that I am tasting now?
The doctor was next. He came into the room where I sat and sobbed. He came in and lay a hand on my shoulder, I am very sorry, Chan. I am very sorry for your loss, Chan.
And all I wanted to do was to scream at him, are you talking to me? If you are trying to talk to me, please get my name right first!
He went on to explain how common this is, little precious babies' hearts stop beating. There was nothing you did that contributed to it, he assured. We have lost the baby, he said, then suggested to abort it right away and told me the options.
I chose to wait, a week.  My head was heavy and clouded, my heart was hurting, I did not understand why this was happening to me, I did not come in for this, I need time to clear my head and do some thinking.
That is OK, he said. Before we left he said, we will get through this together, Chan, don't worry. I looked at him hard and long. Does this man know what he is talking about? Is he married? Does he have any children? I see no wedding band and no family pictures in his room. Does he have little ones who tug and pull his heart at every direction with everything they do? Just a smile and that twinkle in their eyes are enough to give you a lifetime's joyous memories? Does he lay in bed at night with sleep eludes him worrying about his children? Does he know? Does he really know? Because before he came into the room, where I sat and sobbed, I could hear him out in the corridor talking loudly to the others, this is the second one today! His tone light and casual, as if he was talking about nothing but the weather, and though when he came in he talked seriously and sympathetically, I wonder, does he really know? Or am I just a number, a statistic? One he talks casually about to his dinner companion. After all, maybe he has seen too many of me, too many mothers who lost their unborn children. And oh why they are so heartbroken, you know, it is only but an unborn child. I could almost hear him saying. Does he know? Does he really care?
Does he know this child had been loved? Does he know we had hope and dreams for this child? Does he know two little girls have been expecting this baby? Every time I threw up because of my morning sickness, they pushed me aside and eagerly checked the toilet to see the baby had came out. The older one, she told me, when the baby is out she wants to hold the baby in her arms, her face a mixture of excitement and also tenderness. Such tenderness. It had made my heart fluttered. I had started to sort through the baby clothes. We had talked about buying a new carseat. I had tried to imagine his or her tender and soft face. We had prayed for him or her. And my mother, my aging mother had said, she would be here for me, for this baby, this time. Though we have never said it, there is this regret standing stark between us. A regret that she had never got the chance to see my girls when they were first born. No chance to hold them and kiss them. No chance to care for them and feed them a bottle. No chance to care for me and cook for me. No chance to learn how to tell them apart from early days. No chance to know them when they grew from infancy to toddlers. No chance for them to call her grandma for the first time until they were about 1 1/2 year old. And I saw the regret on her face, I can hear it in her voice when we talk. She had made it firm and clear, no matter how long would the flight will be, no matter how hard it would be for her, no matter what, she would come. She would come for this baby. I was equally ecstatic. I had long to see it, my mother holding my child, flesh and blood of me, and part flesh and blood of her as well. A missing picture that stands out whenever I look back at my girls' birth and growth. And oh how that hurts.

And now the hope dies. And it hurts more than anything. I cannot bring myself to tell my mother, our hope had died, and break her heart, and break my own heart all over again. The world does not understand. I do not think anyone can understand unless they have traveled the path themselves. I do not think men can understand unless they had carried a child, a precious life in their wombs. I believe that when God put that life in me, He does more than putting a life in me. Something very profound happen to us women, when a life is given inside us, emotionally, physically and spiritually. I cannot even name the change, but oh how carrying lives in me and giving birth to them and caring for them has changed me.  I love as I have never loved before, there is a part of tenderness in my heart that I had not known before, and I have since then see God in a very different light. I catch glimpses of Him every now and then throughout the pregnancy, the birth and raising the children.
Tell me, how can this not hurt then? How can I not grieve then? How can I not feel the pain then? No, I believe it is not my doctor who will get through this together with me. It will be my God carrying me, it will be my very supportive and loving husband, who is hurting as well alongside with me. It will be his family, who wept with me and held me tight and told me God is good and pray vigilantly for us. It will be my children, one who came to me out of the blue, even though I wasn't crying, she looked me in my eyes and said, Mommy, don't cry. Shiloh loves you. Another one who has not yet that emotionally developed and matured, yet she came when I held on to her sister and cried, she came and she looked at us with a confused look, just a fleeting moment, then her expression cleared up and she was back to her usual happy self that has no worries at all. She pretended to poke me with her plastic play fork that she had been playing with, while saying,"poke!" then she threw her head back and laughed. Her laughter like a cluster of bells ringing pleasantly, with no worries in the world, so innocent, so pure, and so full of light. That made her mother laughed in the midst of her tears, that brought such comfort to her mother's broken heart. Not the doctor, for sure. But all of these people. And those who reach out to me and share their own brokenness. Those who wrote to me even though they barely know me or we are strangers to each others. Those who are my sisters and brothers in Christ's blood who pray and mourn with me. Those whom are not believers yet they pray still, and one even went to a church, on behalf of my anguish and prayed to my God. My siblings who wrote to me and said, we will go through this together, we will always be at your side, no matter what happens. They do not know, just a short few sentences, but they gave such strength and comfort to me.
I will go through this, though this road is paved with sorrow and tears, yet I will go through this, hang on tight to Him and all of these people.