Monday, December 19, 2011

This Is How It Is

Today I went shopping for scrapbook supplies. I am making a scrapbook for Eve. I was going to make one for her anyway, or rather a scrapbook of my first pregnancy. Now I'm making a scrapbook to remember my dead daughter.

But all of the store's stickers and papers and such were too happy. Too pastel, too bright. They grated on my soul. One package offered the word "carefree" in bold yellow lettering. I don't think I will ever be carefree again.

Where do you go to find supplies for your dead child's scrapbook? For stickers that say, "Baby Girl, we miss you terribly"?

There was another woman browsing the scrapbook aisles with me. She was toting a baby along in a carrier, both of them painfully unaware of how wrong things can go. Or were they unaware? My wound is invisible, at least to strangers. Who's to say that every new mama I grit my teeth at isn't babylost, too?

Sometimes the world feels too horrible. But I'm glad I'm not alone in this. That I have the Best Husband Ever and friends and other mothers whose babies are dead, all of us standing together in the pain.

And then there's God.

I don't like Him very much right now. I realized today why exactly that is.

I feel like He let me down.

Of course, even as I think that, as I growl that at Him, I remember all the ways that He hasn't let me down. All the ways in which I must begrudgingly admit He is carrying me.

But still. I feel let down.

So I tell Him that. I don't know what else to do. Praying is impossible. At first, all I could pray was: I hurt. I hurt. I hurt. And now it's: Why?? How could You? How could You?

He knows what I'm thinking. How I hate Him. I might as well tell Him. I just wish that He would answer back. With words that I can hear. Discernment is a joke right now. I want the clouds to part and the words to thunder back.

So, the scrapbook. I have all of my supplies, but I am afraid to begin. It feels too painful. The pink book that will house it all is horribly cheerful looking. Is it enough to hold what little memories that I have of her? I am afraid to begin.

And I am also afraid not to begin. Already the memories are slipping away. We haven't received our professional photographs from the hospital yet, so I must turn to the two cell phone photos I have to remind me what Eve looked like. I can remember her nose, her ears, her dark curls, her hands, her lips. I can remember the softness of her forehead beneath my fingers, the cool smoothness of her cheek. I can remember how she felt in my arms. But I can't put it all together in my mind. Her face eludes me.

So I look at the cell phone pictures, and it's a shock every time, being reminded of how not normal she looked. She was perfect, my nurses and doctor told us, but she was born nine weeks too early, and dead, and she looked it. And the cell phone didn't help any, these poor quality images a paltry replacement. But they're all I have so I look at them anyway.

And after the shock my heart melts. I fall in love all over again with that little girl that was ours, for a little while. And then immensity of the loss of her hits me afresh, and I hurt and I hurt and I hurt.

"This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
This is how it is
Our God is in control"

~ Steven Curtis Chapman (from Beauty Will Rise)


  1. Oh how well you have put my feelings into words.

  2. [...] yet another paradox: that while I do feel angry at God (an anger that is already fading as my heart melts before the memory of His many mercies), I [...]

  3. Thank you for putting your thoughts and feelings out there. Your thoughts about God and praying are hitting close to home.

  4. Hugs and love to you, Amanda.


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King