Losing a baby turns your world upside down. Everything feels wrong. There’s nothing right about a baby dying before her parents. One of the hardest things to understand is why people like drug abusers and child molesters get to have healthy babies but my babies die. Sometimes, I feel like I’m being punished for my obedience to God and they are being rewarded for their sin. I know that is not true, but it sure is what it looks like from my perspective.
I have heard so many other baby-loss moms say the same thing. It’s even hard to see other parents doing things we don’t agree with because we think, “I wouldn’t do that with my baby. I would do it a better way. Why do they get a baby and I don’t?” It is infuriating to see a pregnant woman smoking or a mom slapping her kid around in a store or to see horrible things on the news about parents abusing their children; their healthy children that they got to keep. I’ve seen people lose their faith over this. “How can God take my baby, who would have been treasured and loved and well taken care of but then He gives babies to people who hurt them, abuse them, kill them; people who can’t take care of them.” Some women who struggle with infertility have tried everything they can think of to get pregnant. Some have tried for years and they sacrifice a lot to be as healthy as possible, but still have empty arms. When they see somebody accidentally get pregnant and complain about it, it feels like a slap in the face. I’ve heard them say, “Maybe I should just give up trying to be healthy, start smoking and get really drunk, because that’s how so many other women get pregnant.”
I have been working through these questions since Lucy died and even more since I lost Jude. I know that I don’t deserve a baby more than any other person because I am sinful, just like them. My sins may be different, but I am still a sinner. What bothers me is that the BABY does deserve a better situation and a better Mama. Every baby deserves to be loved and well taken care of. I have a home full of love and laughter and any baby in my house will grow up knowing God’s love. We have a baby-shaped hole in our family that aches with the emptiness. That is why it’s so hard to see crack heads getting babies. It just doesn’t make sense.
I think all these questions have a lot of very deep, theological answers that I’m not going to even try to conquer. I can only write about my thoughts and experiences and this is what I think:
- I am not God and luckily, I don’t have to figure it all out. One day I will know it all, but not today. All the abused babies, the neglected babies and the parents who don’t care- they are not my burden to carry. That is God’s burden, this is His world, and I can release it all to Him. They are all His responsibility, just like the baby-shaped hole in my life is His responsibility too. He will take care of it all and He will take care of my family and me.
- Another comforting thought is that my babies are safe in heaven, living in perfection. I wish they were in my arms, but they are waiting for me, cozy and loved and happy. I don’t have to worry about them. They are not being abused or neglected.
- When I feel jealous of someone who got a baby out of a bad circumstance, I ask myself, “Do you really want her life?” And the answer is always, “No.” I don’t want her life and I don’t want her baby.
- I don’t know what that woman has gone through. Every person has a different story, different hurts and different experiences. What I see is a very small piece of the whole picture. I can’t judge her by what I see because it’s not the whole truth. I also can’t see the future. Maybe God will use that baby’s pain to help others or to accomplish beautiful things. I don’t see what He does, so I shouldn’t mourn the small part of the picture that I am seeing.
- Anger is part of the grieving process. All of the emotions that come with grief are so overpowering that you just have to feel them to get through them. A lot of my grief anger has been directed toward the irresponsible parents or at God for allowing such “injustice.” Some of the anger has been misplaced. It has helped me just to recognize that a lot of the anger is coming from the grief of not having my baby in my arms–not necessarily from the fact that crack heads get babies. Eventually it WILL fade.
- When I feel swamped with jealousy and anger and confusion it always helps to pray for that other lady and her baby. It goes against how I’m feeling, but when I force myself to pray for them I feel so much better. I also pray for God to let me see them the way He sees them. I pray for God to fill me with His love for them because I’m all out. Usually, I am surprised with the compassion and pity I feel for the woman after I pray this prayer.
Ever since Lucy died I have felt like there is a war going on in my head. Satan is spewing his lies at me constantly, especially when I’m feeling depressed and my arms feel leaden with emptiness. That’s when he strikes. He points to what I see and says, “Look! God trusted her with a baby, but He wouldn’t trust you with one. She deserves a baby more than you. God isn’t good. He wants to hurt you and He wants to reward her for her sin.” But what does God say? He reminds me that He is good and He loves me and He is a just God. He reminds me not to focus on the tiny piece of the puzzle that I can see. He’s using this painful, dark piece of my life to make a beautiful, perfect picture that will one day stun the eyes and swell the heart. When He’s done with the whole picture, I will step back and say, “OH! So that’s what you were doing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love it!”
Look at the cross. Think of all the people who went home that night who saw Jesus Christ dying on the cross, which is the greatest act of wisdom and salvation and grace and love in the history of the world and who went home and lost their faith. Do you realize how many people looked at Jesus dying on the cross and because they couldn’t understand it they said, “I don’t even believe in God anymore. I don’t see what good God could be bringing out of this.” So they looked right in the face of the greatest thing God ever did and said, “I don’t understand it, therefore my faith is undermined.”
I am choosing to trust God to make something beautiful with my loss and my pain. I have to relax in the fact that I am not God, I don’t know everything and I am not in control.
I think Satan wants us to be jealous of other moms with their babies. I think he wants us to be eaten up with bitterness and anger and hate. Let’s choose love. Let’s fight for love and pray for those other parents and their babies. What would our babies want? Let’s make them proud by living lives full of love.
I Corinthians 13:4-7, 12
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.