journal entry from april 19, 2011

well, we’re pregnant. 5 weeks and 5.5 days pregnant, but who’s counting? (6 weeks on thursday!)

i’ve been so anxious about this pregnancy. it was unexpected (kind of). the timing’s not just right. i expected to have more trouble getting pregnant – or at least to experience “trying”. we just experienced “we’re tired of birth control” and here we are. or rather, here i am – since joel’s at his first night of mother baby clinicals tonight. ironic, no?

so i’ve been having a hard time with God for the past few months. sometimes mad, sometimes confused … just your run-of-the-mill spiritual desert (to appropriate a cliche). and then … i discovered we might be pregnant. and i begged. i allowed myself to get so emotionally attached to the idea (before the embryo even attached itself to me) and i cried and asked God for it to be true. i took a pregnancy test on april 6th and 8th. negative. last tuesday: negative (and yet …). last wednesday: negative (but is that a line?). last thursday: 2 positive tests. every negative test i cried and asked God to give us a baby now. but after the positives, i hopped straight to worry again. will it be ok? i can’t go through a miscarriage again. does my cramping mean it will die? what do i do if i start bleeding?

joel urged me to thank God and be patient, but i couldn’t see how i was supposed to thank God for a gift that wasn’t yet fully given, and could be lost any day. we already lost this gift once. i decided would thank him when i had something more to thank him for than an extra line on a pregnancy test.

but i had an epiphany tonight. i found an oasis in my desert, and i realized that God did already give this gift. this baby isn’t a gift promised – it is a gift given. if we have this baby, and in 4 years it is taken away by cancer or an accident, we will always be thankful for the time we had with it. but my time with it doesn’t start at birth, or at quickening, or even the first heartbeat. it is here now – each day i spend with it, exploring the mystery of early pregnancy and motherhood as my little it explores its new life – creating organs and shapes and a heartbeat.

and furthermore, i’m excited to participate in this awesome act of life-creation. God and i (and joel, to a different extent) are the only ones experiencing this little person right now. i am partnering with God. i am valuable. and i am thankful! so thankful that i had today with my baby. thankful for the past almost-week. for the past almost-6 weeks. God knows that i was already a mother when i got pregnant this time. God knows how much every “when you become a mother” has hurt, how a mysterious being came to be and disappeared within me over 5 years ago. and here we are again.

i’m not mad at God. i’m thankful! i’m thankful for today with my baby! i’m thankful that we get to have a baby right before it would have been convenient! i’m thankful for Joel, for everything about him, and that he’s taking a mother baby class – possibly helping in a childbirth right now.

tonight, i cannot do anything about the future of this baby, so i’m putting it in God’s hands. i’m thankful that He will accept it, and accept me.

so much has changed in a year. spiritually, i’m in a very different place: a better, more honest place. but God met me where i was at that day, and in the following weeks and months of scary early pregnancy. i had no idea then how relevant that message would be, and it is amazing to me to see how i was given the perspective and opportunity to be fully present in the short time that we had with sky.

and though this is the hardest thing i can imagine going through, God continues to sustain and remind. i am not thankful for what has happened in my story right now, but i am thankful for the comfort that has allowed me to survive this story. and i am thankful for the 39 weeks and 5 days i spent with our gift.



i wrote and processed and wrote and grieved and wrote all the time about sky and life and the world and sky and writing writing words on scraps of paper and emailing myself and the journal in my bag and the journal by my bed writing everywhere and thinking and feeling and praying with pen and pencil and keyboard maybe if i write about him enough he’ll come back and then he didn’t come back and i stopped.

no more to say.

he’s not in the words. stilted sentences. life misspelled. fragments everywhere. the thoughts don’t come in words; they come in spaces. language, the ordering and formalizing of context, but life’s grammar broke for him. senseless, make up words and call them statistics because they’re what happen when the words fail. when there are no words, give it a number.

his number is 1.
1% of babies are stillborn.

that word lied. stillborn is a lie. he wasn’t still; he was floppy and had to be tied up tightly in blankets to stay still. the world had too much movement for him.

and born? born is meaningless, a circleword.

born: a past participle of bear.
bear: to give birth to
birth: an act or instance of being born.

stupid meaningless letters strung together that we use to mean things that his life doesn’t mean.

and when the wordless parts in me realized that the words would never reach him, then the words went away and my voice broke and i have only numbers.
120 days since sky went away.
15 days since words went away.
9 little plastic sticks that promised
2 babies and i have

and here the numbers stop, and so … space.