oh, how times have changed but our God hasn’t.
I think one of the most astounding things I have learned through losing Asher is just how vast the amount of women are who have walked where I have walked. Take a look at the comments on this post and you'll get a small glimpse of how many families carry great loss in their hearts.
I've really gained a lot of strength from women who have lost babies 20+ years ago and seeing their faith grow stronger and more sure. However, I grieve with them because their experience though much the same was very different. Our world and society is ever changing and the medical world is one of the most in need of and intentional about change and learning what is better or what works and what doesn't. New advancements are birthed everyday and probably new setbacks as well. With every discovery I'm sure they realize that it came with a heavy price of someone's pain and loss in the past.
Losing a baby in birth, or before or soon thereafter looked a lot different for women even 10 years ago and especially 30 or more years ago. I've read books about, listened to, cried over, these mother's stories as they have shared with me their loss in years past. I can't imagine going through what they did but then they lived in a time that didn't know any way else to handle that.
You readers know that we were able to spend precious hours with Asher with our friends and family and then we were able to have him in our hospital room overnight with us before having to kiss him goodbye for the final time. That night I woke up off and on and held him and cared for his body and was able to feel him and touch him. I'll never forget those painful yet precious moments. But that privilege hasn't always been given to mothers after a loss of a child. In the past women were encouraged not to even look at their baby after death, much less touch or hold him or her.
One woman, went to the hospital and delivered stillborn triplets at 22 weeks and her husband wasn't allowed in the labor room then and because the babies were so premature the nurse said that they didn't have to have a funeral and said let us just take care of things and then they were taken away minutes after being stillborn, never to be held or wept over, and never to be even looked upon by their father.
Another woman who like the woman above had an Incompetent Cervix
just shared with me yesterday how she lost 3 babies at 3 different times and each time was never allowed to hold or touch her babies and was not treated with sensitivity in the hospital.
My own mother in law lost her son when he was just a four weeks old due to a delayed complications from a long labor and delivery. Little David was in the hospital for a few days and was told he was getting better and that Mr. and Mrs. Chappell should get out of the hospital for a few hours when they came back he had passed away. They were not allowed to see or hold him at that point and I'm sure the memory of her last moments with him were clouded by the fact that she never dreamed that those would be her last kisses and touches she would have with him. She is an amazing example at the sufficiency of God's grace in times like that and even would go as far to say that looking back she could see God preparing her heart for this tragedy and that she was able to hope in the face of this huge unexplainable loss.
I hear these stories and I"m saddened for them and I grieve with them the loss of not only their child but their memories and touches and time stolen from them by ignorant times. Since then the medical community has realized the human heart and body is not a sterile environment that you have to protect from the harsh realities of death. And that there is something more to a child's body then just lifeless matter. That our child's face and features are one of many ways God's given us to know that little one even if all other means of knowing him or her were taken away. I think the medical society is beginning to understand the importance of a name and that each child from the time of conception is worthy of personalization. I am so encouraged by these women who never saw or held their child and yet they call them by their name. A name that they picked out and chose for that baby. My mom miscarried and still to this day I in a very real way understand that I had a brother that I never knew and I think it's because my mom and dad placed a name on him and celebrated and grieved his life.
The church I believe is wanting to understand this past taboo personal subject often not talked about and is beginning to open it's eyes and mouth and make it a burden that they can help others carry. One church has a service each year for women who have lost babies early on and might never been able to have a service for the little one. My pastor's family even held a small memorial service in their home for a very early miscarriage celebrating the gift of this little one but honoring God's sovereignty in taking him as well. It's important for the church to help women remember and morn over their loss in a hope giving and supportive place. That I believe being pro-life doesn't just happen in front of abortion clinics. It happens in hospital rooms, in church services, in living rooms, in delivery rooms, at cemeteries, in the bedroom. If we believe life begins at conception then we have to be there and feel the pain of the many many losses that families and women will and already have experienced. It's hard. It's easier to go on and not get involved or ask the awkward questions or risk sounding stupid, but we've been called to bear one another's burdens, if we are God's children we don't have a choice but to get involved and grieve with the hurting and weep with the brokenhearted and to always view hard situations with a trusting heart, however questioning the head might be, that will speak biblical truth to those who need to hear it.
In looking back I wish things were different in those women's stories but I am given opportunity to rejoice and praise God that He never changes and that He was still just as sufficient 30 years ago as He has been for me 3 months ago.
Thank you friends for opening up deep hurts and sharing your stories and the memories and love of your little ones with me. I miss them along with you but also Rejoice that God's work on the cross provided a savior and a kingdom for them as is awaiting me and you.