Three months ago today I lost my baby Lucy. I miss her so much.
As I wrote in Lucy’s Story, God spoke very clearly to me while she was dying and we were watching on the monitor. He spoke to me while I was laboring and giving birth to her, when I saw her for the first and last time and later when my milk came in and I had no baby to feed. He told me, “I will redeem it.” It was comforting, but I also thought it was kind of weird at the time and wasn’t even sure exactly what “redeem” meant. I assumed God was telling me that I would have another baby who lived and another birth experience that was good. A few days after we got home from the hospital I looked “redeem” up in the dictionary. This is what it means:
To buy or pay off; clear by payment
To buy back, to recover by payment or other satisfaction
To fulfill a promise or a pledge
To reinstate in someone’s estimation or good opinion
To restore to favor, to make amends for
To recover from captivity
Synonyms: repurchase, ransom, free, liberate, rescue, save, deliver, pay off
I thought it was beautiful that God was telling me He would redeem my daughter’s death and my childbirth experience. I thought for sure He must mean another healthy baby. As the days passed and we learned that we do have another chance to have a baby (even thought it’s a small chance) I was more certain that God would redeem it with another baby, BUT I still struggled. I struggled so much the first two months after her death.
Every time I saw a pregnant woman I literally felt like I was going to vomit. It was like reliving Lucy’s death. When I saw a pregnant person my insides felt like they were rotting with emptiness. She should be growing inside me, flourishing, but she’s dead. It would send me into a spiral of sadness for days. Every time I saw a baby girl (and sometimes even an older girl) my heart melted with sorrow. There was a physical pain in my chest. I wondered what Lucy would have looked like at that age. I prayed that God would take away my sadness and help me deal with all the pregnant ladies and baby girls. Honestly, I wanted to die. I asked God at least every hour if he would let me die. How could I live my life without my child? It is the most unnatural feeling. The easiest solution was to never have any more babies, to hate all pregnant people and baby girls forever and to grow more and more bitter as the years went by. I’m embarrassed to say I actually considered it. I think every woman who has suffered a pregnancy loss feels a little bit like I did towards pregnant people. I used to love pregnancy and babies and now they have become the ultimate source of pain. But, they’re everywhere, and I hope to be one of them again some day! How could I live the rest of my life carrying this bitterness? I was restless and depressed because I couldn’t put my finger on the real problem. Was I mad that their babies get to live? Of course not! Was I mad that those women get to have healthy pregnancies? Of course not! I would never wish this kind of hell on any woman. Then why was I so hurt by their bellies and babies? It was a constant reminder of what Lucy “should” be doing and how she “should” be growing.
I thought that maybe I could just stay away from all people until after Lucy’s due date and then maybe pregnant women wouldn’t bother me so much. But, then I realized that it would be even WORSE because they would all have their newborn babies reminding me that I had no newborn baby. My baby was dead. And when their babies turn one, I won’t have a one year old and when their babies go to kindergarten I won’t have a little girl going off to kindergarten. When their children grow up and get married and give them sweet little grandchildren my girl will still be dead. Who cares if God “redeems” it with another baby, it won’t be HER and it won’t fill this hole in our family and in my heart. When I looked ahead at my life all I saw was suffering and so I pleaded with God to let me die. I would cry so hard that I would get a headache and the headache would make me so happy because I thought that maybe I was sick and I would be able to die. At the end of each day, right before bed, I would sigh with relief because I knew I had one more day behind me, one less day I had to live with my pain. I was one day closer to dying, which meant one day closer to heaven, which meant one day closer to HER. When I envisioned arriving in heaven I would run to her and scoop her up and love her and know her (which I still plan on doing with all my heart.) Then, after I met Lucy, I would meet God and Jesus and everybody else.
I knew deep down there was something very wrong with my vision. Why would I want to run to Lucy before I met my God and the very creator of Lucy? It unsettled me. I started to realize that my hope had somehow been transferred to Lucy. Lucy was dead, therefore my hope was dead. The day I realized this was the day I listened to a podcast by Timothy Keller. It’s about peace. I had no peace. I wanted to die and when I heard this sermon on peace it shook me awake. I knew exactly what my problem was. Of course I will be sad for the loss of my daughter and I will miss her until I die, but it’s not ok to live without hope and without peace if you know God.
I realized that even if Lucy had lived, she couldn’t have made me happy.
Not truly happy with the joy that never leaves and the peace that surpasses understanding. I thought my joy left with Lucy but it’s right here. God is my joy and He is the only thing that I will never lose.
It is still hard to see pregnant women and baby girls, but when I see them I just picture Jesus on the cross. I see Him right there in between me and the pregnant lady. He’s hanging on the cross. He’s bloody and he’s suffering. He takes my load upon Himself. I release my bitterness to Him, my pain, my jealousy, my searing loss and He soaks it up like a sponge. I can feel it leaving my body. He actually DID die for all the sin and pain and shame and He already soaked it up for us. All we have to do is trust Him and release it to Him. What’s left is amazing peace. If He already took it away, why should I continue to feel it? To be poisoned by it? I want to love the pregnant ladies and the baby girls and when I release my anguish to Him I can. I love them freely and I pray for their growing babies and I have peace, EVEN without Lucy.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
So, what could possibly redeem my daughter’s death for me? I know that it will be completely redeemed in heaven when I get to know her for eternity, but what about here on earth? I would have gladly died instead of her. Her life is worth more to me than my own. Then, what is worth the death of my daughter? Another healthy baby would be wonderful and I’m praying that I will have one some day, but that baby would not redeem the death of Lucy. A healthy pregnancy and good delivery can never redeem my childbirth experience and the suffering I have been through.
The only thing that would redeem Lucy’s death is if at least one person knew Christ because of it.
If only one person is able to spend eternity in heaven with God after hearing Lucy’s story, then her death will be redeemed in my eyes. Jesus already suffered for us and has soaked up the sin of the world like a sponge. All we have to do is believe Him, receive Him and release our sin and sadness to Him. If you have lost a baby like me I truly believe your baby is in heaven with Him. I can almost guarantee that if your baby could tell you one thing it would be to trust Him. If only we could see what they are seeing now. You have the choice to spend eternity with God and with your baby.
After we lost Lucy so many people said they were sorry and asked me if there was ANYTHING they could do to help. This is how you can help God redeem Lucy’s death. This would be the best Mother’s Day gift to me and it would honor Lucy. Listen to this sermon by Timothy Keller. I think it’s about 35 minutes long. [audio http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sites/sermons2.redeemer.com/files/sermons/Peace.mp3 ] Have an open mind. If you’re a Christian, ask yourself if you are truly learning how to be content in any circumstance. Ask yourself if there’s anything that you are putting your hope in more than God. If you’re not a Christian, consider becoming one. It’s the best decision you will ever make. It would redeem Lucy’s death for me. Jesus already did the hard part, all we have to do is accept His free gift of life. Please share this post with other people and ask them to help redeem Lucy’s death as well.