I recently read Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman. The book was written in the years following the death of the Chapman's youngest daughter, Maria. Someone from church had talked about the book a few months ago, and I didn't think it was anything that I would want to read. I was wrong.
Many of you know that Nate and I had a miscarriage in November. We found out that we had lost the baby at 10w1d. The baby passed just a few days after we heard the heart beat. It was what is called a missed miscarriage. What many of you don't know is that we had a second miscarriage last week. We should have been 9 weeks, but baby only measured 6w3d with no heart beat. We had heard the heart beat just 2 weeks before. Again, baby passed just 2 days after we heard the heart beat. Another missed miscarriage. We were devastated - again. Want to know how they were both coded for insurance reasons, what I saw on my lab orders every week? Abortion, missed. What every woman who wants a baby needs to see, right?
In the past week, I have struggled to keep my faith up. I should be working this week, but I needed time to work through everything and took the week off. The past 7 months have been filled with heart break, joy, and heart break again. I needed to do something to help work through my feelings. I thought of this book, and checked it out from the library. I am so glad that I did.
The book is one of tragedy and hope. I love how Mary Beth is real - several chapters of the book are her blog posts in the months following the death of Maria. She questions why, she has days that are good, and days that are bad. She has joy and she has tears. She choose to SEE God's work in her life. She choose to SEE the love and blessings that she had in her life, and that she still has in her life. Maria helped her do that. On the day Maria died, she had been working on a picture. It was a picture of a flower with 6 petals and 2 leaves. Only 1 petal was colored in. It was blue. On the back of the picture was the word, SEE, a word they had never seen her write before. The Chapman's had 6 children. Maria's favorite color was blue. The drawing was found the following day. It was a sign from Maria.
My loss is nothing near what the Chapman family experienced on May 21, 2008, but it was still a loss. I have pictures of the babies I lost, I heard their heartbeats. I won't get to see their faces, hold their hands, or hear them cry. Grief is normal and it takes time. No one can tell me that they know what I am going through. They can empathize, they can say that they know it has to be hard, but we all grieve differently, and they can't know how I feel. (This was imbedded into our brain while I got my masters. Makes sense to me now.) Days will come and go, good and bad, joy and tears. It's okay. Life will go on. I will choose to SEE what God has placed in my life and to SEE what God has in store for my life.
Mary Beth found some comfort in blogging again, something that she did often before Maria's death. I have found that it is easier for me to write things than it is to say them. Miscarriage is still a taboo topic that people don't want to hear about. People don't want to talk about it. I found a site, Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. The goal of the site is to put a face on miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. They take stories from women and post them for others to read. I have read stories from women in the past few days, and decided to send my story in. I didn't care about my grammar or punctuation - I just needed to get my thoughts down on paper. It helped. I have recieved emails from women around the world who don't know me, but who could relate with my story. It helps to talk about it, and to know that others have been through the same things as we have.
Back to the book, read it. Even if you have not had a loss, the book will resonate with you in some way. It is a journey through faith, and a great book. Have tissues ready, you will need them, but you will also laugh and smile.