Sunday, October 15, 2006

Our Third Child

When you’re about to have a baby, a lot of things change in life. You start rearranging the furniture in the house, at least mentally. You find yourself saying things like, “If we moved the office downstairs, the current office could be the nursery” or “If it’s a boy we could paint this room another color.” You start getting serious about finding the maternity clothes in the garage. You explain to your kids how everything is going to change (“you’re going to be a big sister now!”), you alter your travel plans for the future.

At the same time, you’re rearranging things internally. You’re preparing a place for the new arrival in your heart, in your mental landscape. You think about what it will mean to be the parent of three (!) kids. You start thinking through what you will need to do to survive the sleepless nights to come, and weigh it out against the joy of having a baby in the house again. You start making space in your life for another human being, another essential, irreplaceable, intimate human connection.

And then, sometimes, things change. For us, it was having a miscarriage last week. I think, for me, the hardest part of a miscarriage is that all that space we made for this new little one now seems lonely and hollow and empty. The inconvenience of moving our office downstairs so that the baby could have a nursery now seems desirable. And the luxury of having an office in the house seems cheap.

I told Krista this week, “now you could go with me to Korea this summer” and she said, “I’d rather have a baby.” And I think that in a lot of ways, Krista’s reply sums it up. Having a baby requires giving up some freedom, and adding new responsibilities. But having that freedom returned to you is not worth what is lost.

How are we feeling? Good, terrible, fine, depressed, detached, guilty, sad, tired. The emotions are too complex and change too quickly to describe well. We’re okay. I found that this week I couldn’t work well or consistently, because I realized I was sitting there doing nothing. I regret never knowing my child.

I think it’s worse for Krista, of course. Her body went through obvious changes in preparation for giving birth and now it’s all going back to “normal”… and every day that’s a reminder of what has happened.

And in the midst of it all there’s the question of God. Or rather, not the question, as that’s something that Krista and I have both said. We’re certain of his presence, and of his goodness, his love, his peace. Honestly, I am too tired to come near to him, to spend time in the word, even to cry out to him. But I feel like, nevertheless, he is meeting with me. He’s sending friends with words of encouragement, or to pray. And I am reminded over and over that there is a day coming when all these things will be done away with. The human creature was not made for death, we’re not designed for loss. One day the King of Kings will rule and he will do away with death and injustice once and for all. So there’s hope and peace in the midst of it all.

In the meantime, we’d appreciate your prayers, if you think of it. And, of course, your questions and thoughts are welcome. We want to be open about the reality of being people living with the Christ in the “real world” and this is part of life for us right now. Thanks for your time and your friendship.