Easter 2001 and my First Miscarriage
Hi! I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!
The thing each expectant mother dreads: miscarriage. It was the year 2001. I started spotting on Good Friday. What a fearful sight! This was my 8th pregnancy, but my first experience with a miscarriage. I was scared, but I started working on an action plan right away.
I knew that I had to take it easy if I wanted to try to save this baby growing within me. My mother had successfully saved my brother with complete bed rest for most of her pregnancy.
How could I manage doing nothing for the next 6 months??? I had 7 children already, and my oldest was only 8 years old. Just the thought was overwhelming. Even though I didn’t choose complete bed rest, I did decide that I would try to avoid anything strenuous, take life at a slow pace and avoid heavy lifting. I was still planning lots of bed rest and ready to get the kids to help in every way possible. I was willing to sacrifice for this little one.
This first day though was a shock. My husband was off for the weekend. He would take care of the kids and the house, and I was to spend the weekend in bed. All plans were cancelled. This left me with plenty of time by myself to think.
I remember laying in my bed listening to the sound of my family beyond my closed door. Even though I tried, sleep evaded me.
I thought only of this little one growing within me. I gently caressed my belly, my heart filled with love and my eyes filled with tears.
It had actually been a very hard year so far. I won’t go into details here, but trust me when I say it was hard. I had already been through so much. I sure didn’t want to go through this now. I was afraid and I was hurting. In the silence of my bedroom, my soul cried out to God. I reached out to Him, and He answered. The fear lessened and I trusted. No matter what happened, God held me and my little one close to His heart.
Saturday morning arrived. I had spent the previous day in bed, with visits from my kids. The littlest had snuggled with me and nursed whenever he was hungry. My husband had quite competently taken care of everything else. Now, I spent a little time with the kids at the kitchen table and we decorated Easter eggs. Then back to bed. Except for the eggs, I got out of bed only for supper and for the bathroom.
I think this was the least I had done since my first child was born. I just slept, read, ate and prayed. God knew that I needed a rest. I just wish it hadn’t come with such a price.
Sunday morning I miscarried my baby. Even though I had known from the beginning that this was a possibility, it still hit me. I felt empty. What was I supposed to do now? How was I supposed to feel? It was like life was going on around me and I wasn’t a part of things. I did however feel peace. I thought this was the wrong thing to feel, yet it persisted.
My husband piled the kids into the van and drove us to the hospital. They took me in right away. A quick exam revealed that it had been a complete miscarriage and nothing more was needed.
I remember the doctor asking me if this was a wanted pregnancy. Assured that it was, he then expressed his condolences. I wasn’t insulted by his question, just saddened by it. What kind of society do we live in when a doctor needs to ask this question first?
I was alone during all of this because my husband was watching our 7 kids in the waiting room. It didn’t take long though before I was released and we were on our way.
We were home before noon. Easter morning mass would have just ended. The kids were finally able to eat their Easter treats and that kept them busy for the rest of the day. I again took myself to bed, this time to rest and recover. Again, there was so much quiet time to think and to pray.
It wasn’t lost on me that this miscarriage had begun on Good Friday and had ended on Easter morning. I thought of Jesus as He hung from His cross on that first Good Friday. He gave His life in sacrifice for us so that we might have eternal life. It was as if He spread His arms wide and said, “I love you THIS much.” My little one was most likely dead on Good Friday too. He imitated His Saviour and reminded me of His love.
That first Easter morning revealed Jesus’ resurrection. Death had no victory over Him. He had conquered evil, and now evil knew it had no power over Him. Jesus was Life, and He gives us life, life to the fullest, when we trust in Him.
Now we had our own resurrection to celebrate, a real reminder of Jesus’ resurrection. Every Easter would be a chance to remember. My life, and the life of my little one, had always been in Jesus’ hands. That didn’t change now just because my little one was no longer here with us. His life continues.
Heaven is the life we all aspire to. A life where there is no more pain, no more death. It is also the life I aspire to for each of my children. Knowing that I had a little one already in heaven was a victory to me.
A life where there is no more pain, no more death. This was God’s promise to me as it is to each of us. All these struggles I had been going through this year, they were nothing in the grand scheme of things. Jesus had already conquered evil. God had a plan for my life. I was to love and care for those God entrusted to me, and raise them in full knowledge that God also had a plan for their lives. A plan they could trust. This is why I was filled with peace, because I trusted.
And always I would come back to my favourite scripture passage: And she laughs at the days to come (Proverbs 31:25). This reminded not to worry about the future and what will happen. I have no control over most of what will happen. So enjoy today, God’s gift to me.
I would miss this little one that I never got to hold in my arms. I would never get to watch him grow, never hear him laugh. However, I believe He is somewhere even better than anything I can ever imagine. I believe that he prays for me and his family. I believe I will meet him one day.
Our own little saint – perfect in every way.
This post can also be seen on Women of Laughter and Faith.