Thursday, February 6, 2014

the great exchange

Two years ago today, I miscarried a baby. We'd gotten a shirt made for Scout to wear and it said this -

and she was going to wear it as our pregnancy announcement. We were going to be so cool because - have you noticed? - nobody announces their pregnancy OR ANY LIFE EVENT in any mundane way anymore. Next time we hope to make a totally rad YouTube video that chronicles our relationship from an infamous Super Bowl party to the recent three leaky pipes which destroyed our bathroom. We will have singing. We will have dancing. We will have a puppet show lots of confetti. Undoubtedly, it will go viral. And everyone will say: Wow! We should announce our pregnancy like that.

Anyway, we didn't think of that then. Only a shirt, which Scout didn't get to wear and I put it away that very day as I cried and cried and buried February 6th as a day of only sadness and scars and loss.

Dates are funny things, and so are songs. Here's another trend: assigning A Word of the Year. I'm wondering how many people out there actually remember what Word they assigned their 2014 five weeks ago, or if they've already given up on it. The only word I think I might remember, and follow through with, if I assigned it to my Year would definitely, without a doubt, be Bacon. My friends valiantly picked words like Intentional and Deliverance and Victory. I'd be picking Bacon. Since I-need-to-sleep-through-the-night is clearly out of the question.

But anyway, I didn't have a Word for 2013, but one song I had running a lot during that year was How Can I Keep from Singing and that line that gets me every time is I know I am loved by the King. That's a theme I've been plowing through a lot the last few years, this idea that God is always good and I am always loved and also simply that Jesus LIKES me.

And then I got pregnant with Half-Pint. I wanted to be so happy and excited and we were, but it was really a relief to clear those first 13 weeks, as it always is when your last pregnancy ended in loss. And, of course, because I've posted her story here - you may have rightfully concluded that the whole of that pregnancy wasn't just a walk in the park, and it was filled with dates just as seared as that horrible February 6.

October 2.
October 17.
November 12.
December 10.
December 30.
January 2.
January 15.

And then February 7. And she was born just a few hours on the heels of a miscarriage anniversary.

  And she didn't die and how is it that I am loved so very much? Loved so much as to have sorrow refinished into gladness, tears of sadness transcended by tears of joy, and a very great gain for our family showing up to challenge a time on the calendar I had mentally consecrated only to mourn. I'm thankful for both of those babies - the one I got to hold and the one I have yet to hold. And it's not a matter of if that first baby had been born, then Half-Pint wouldn't be here. That's not the point. The point is a merciful exchange and undeserved gifts from a God who gives and takes away.

And here's the thing. The song I had running a lot during Half-Pint's pregnancy was 10,000 Reasons. That very first line is my punch in the face. The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning / It's time to sing your song again.


Because that's what we do. On February 6 and on February 7 - because that is and can be my only response to knowing I'm loved by the King. 


  1. I know how you feel. The loss of a child before you get to hold them is hard. But knowing that they are in the arms of a Savior who loves them and us so much more than we will ever comprehend. And that makes the pain easier. And my day is Feb. 26.