Yesterday I heard the sad news that a sweet family friend had lost her unborn baby. Not long ago she had heard his heartbeat. This Friday they were going to have the special ultrasound to find out the gender. This was her second pregnancy, the first having ended in miscarriage.
Although her precious baby was deceased, she still had to endure labor and delivery. Afterwords she was allowed, with her husband, to spend some sacred, quiet moments with her little son.
I can't even imagine her pain, her anguish. I won't even try. All I can offer is the emptiness I felt after a miscarriage of my own.
In addition to whispering silent prayers for them yesterday, I couldn't help also reflecting on the miracle of conception and birth.
There is a sign I see in neighborhoods sometimes and its message often comes to my mind when in the "throes of parenthood." It's meant to remind drivers to be cautious and states: "WE HAVE MANY CHILDREN, BUT NONE TO SPARE."
Even though I have been blessed with nine healthy, beautiful children, I still have none to spare. I couldn't imagine my life without them. Each one has shaped my life. Each one brings such joy, such heartache, such love to our family. It is truly overwhelming to see them becoming people. To witness that process and to have a hand in it is sacred, divine.
I am feeling so grateful today to be a parent. I don't know why I was blessed so abundantly, but since I believe in a loving, deliberate Heavenly Father, I imagine it has something to do with what I needed to learn here on earth. Apparently I needed to learn a lot!
It seems to me, just anecdotally, that all the finest people/parents I know seem to have trouble bringing children into this world. To me they seem to already have such wisdom, such grace. They seem to be lightyears ahead of me in the general "cosmic understanding" that comes with a lifetime of parenting. Not that this softens the blow of such loss, but I do feel that they are immensely trusted and that their unspeakable suffering is understood by an all knowing Savior.
This experience has reminded me that on my tough days, when it seems too hard or too unfair to be the mother of nine independent, creative, intelligent, passionate souls, I need to remember the suffering of my friends. I will try to savor the trials of parenting. I will try to glean what I am to learn and vow to be better for it. And after the 20th load of laundry each week, I will remember that even with a cornucopia of children, I still have "none to spare."
My children know about my miscarriage, even though it happened before any of them were born. I wasn't very far into the pregnancy, but it still felt like the loss of a soul to me. We have talked about it as a family. The children consider that little lost one a part of us somehow. I don't really know how it will all work out in the eternal scheme of things, but I do believe that my friend will see her precious little boy someday in a place where physical death can never separate them again.
"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of the Lord."
D & C 18:10