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.