Lord, make me a rainbow
I’ll shine down on my mother
She’ll know I’m safe with You
when she stands under my colors
~The Band Perry, “If I Die Young”
Three years later, I remember rolling over in bed one morning in September & I gasped & held up the pregnancy test, saying “I think I am pregnant!” That little pink line flung open doors of my heart that I did not know existed & love flooded through my veins & heart until the little heart inside me also began beating with its own thump-thump rhythm.
Three years later, I remember lying back on the table, warm jelly & cold equipment pressed to my belly. My husband & I clasped hands through our smiles of joy, laughing over the tiny bean of life we created. Weeks of morning sickness & maternity jeans & a stroller chosen. A few scares, but always a reassuring heartbeat on the screen. We broke the happy news to family & friends.
Three years later, I remember the terror gripping my heart as I stared at the blood, freely flowing. The fear in my voice as we rushed to the emergency room that dreary & cold Saturday morning, fitting for the events to take place. My tears poured as the doctor confirmed that our baby, my baby that I had come to love so fiercely, was gone. The cramps & contractions ripped through my lower half as my heart split in two, but I laid back on the operating table & thanked both God & the doctor for the medicine to drag me under, away from the pain.
Three years later, I remember lying on the couch with a laptop perched on top of blankets & pillows. My fingers frozen as my mind wheeled, but my heart spilled onto the pages of the Internet & I labeled it “Empty.” I was empty. Alone. Terrified. Horrified. Angry. Hours spent in the shower, sobbing my grief & anguish despite a doctor’s assurance that the tiny life I carried had been very sick & this was “for the best.”
Time passed, snow fell heavy one weekend & three weeks later, we found ourselves expecting another baby. With steady joy but unsteady hearts, my husband & I relived pregnancy but this time, the same doctor that placed her hand upon my tear-filled cheek in the emergency room stood at the foot of the bed, holding my newly-born son. I cradled him & felt that he was the greatest gift, bought at the highest price. Without losing our first baby, we would not have our beautiful, wild boy.
But it’s this same truth of the heart that turns my thoughts to my first baby, wondering if I am the only one that remembers that sweet life, cherishes the moments, rather than negating the loss for the gift of Harrison. Maybe it’s simply the heart of a mother to count all her little ones the same.