Two years ago today, I had the worst day of my life….I heard the words no mother wants to hear….saw the image I never wanted to see…felt the sting of emptiness and the harsh blow of loss….grief was not a big enough word….it’s still not.
Three weeks earlier, this journey of grief….of faith…of strength…began..It was a typical Saturday evening. We were at our church’s evening service. I rose to sing, and felt a gush….and I knew…I ran to the bathroom to confirm what my heart and mind already knew to be true…My husband, our church worship pastor, was up front…leading…I found my mom, who went up and quietly told my husband what was happening. I arranged for my parents to take my two children home, and David and I rushed to the ER. The ride was painstakingly long….Never in my life has fear gripped me in a more powerful way. I would have done anything in the world to have stopped those moments from happening. Anything.
Waiting in the ER was like waiting for death…We wanted information….honesty…answers..compassion…and found none. We were scared and unsure of what to do….I remember David trying to distract me…distract himself…but my mind could not be moved from the tiny life inside me. Forced to sit through blood tests, gruff workers, and even a hospital survey, I kept thinking, “All I want is my baby…just tell me what is going on.” We were finally taken to an ultrasound area, where we got to see our child for the first time. He/She was beautiful…..and he/she was dancing. Dancing. In the midst of our pain and anguish, our precious baby was dancing….Looking back, it’s as if they were saying, “I’m going to be okay. I’m happy, and I will be okay.” I am so grateful for that moment of connection with my tiny baby..Because now, I have something to hold onto…I know they are dancing..
I remember asking the PA working with us if I needed to be worried. I asked him point blank, “Am I going to lose my baby?” He told me to get my hopes up…..that women hemorrhage and go on to deliver all the time…So, our hopes were up…We carried on as usual over the next few weeks. We even had another ultrasound, and were blessed with the opportunity to see our child again. I wish we would have known it was the last time on earth we would see their face…I would have looked longer….even a few more minutes…..What I would give for a few more minutes….
Several days after the ultrasound, we went in for our scheduled OB/GYN checkup. Our doctor couldn’t find the heartbeat, and took us to the ultrasound room…..and our life changed forever…We learned the meaning of grief…of loss…We were introduced to a type of pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy…We had lost Holden.
We chose the name Holden while we were waiting in the ER. We had been deciding between a few names up until then. David looked over at me and said, “Let’s name the baby Holden, because God is holding onto them.” Now, I don’t think we could have chosen a more suitable name, because God truly is holding them. In that I can take comfort. In that I can find a bit of relief from the intense grief that washes over me. My precious baby is in the arms of Jesus….and I know Holden is dancing…dancing before the throne of Christ…So, while I am here on earth, crying at my kitchen table…I can rejoice that my child is full of joy….Holden is with the One who can love him far better than I could….and I WILL one day hold my baby…the precious baby I never got to meet….and I longingly await that day…when my child comes skipping down the streets of gold to grab my hand and welcome me to Heaven.