The Little Paddler is very concerned. About people in general. When she gets on the phone to my friend, she wants to know is his mam OK. When she is with granny, she wants to know is my uncle (who lives beside granny) OK. When she is talking to said uncle, she wants to know is granny OK. Its not enough to ask it once or even twice. Three or four repeats are needed until she is satisfied that they are indeed, OK.
Blogging ground to a halt. And indeed so did gardening and smallholding in general over the summer. You see, we had some bad news these last few months and have been on a bit of a rollercoaster. I never seem to get off these rollercoasters. And truth be told, if we are out at an amusement fair, I will be the last person you drag on to it. Hate heights. Hate speed. Hate rushing towards the ground having left my stomach three stories up above.
Anyway. Back to the metaphorical rollercoaster that seems to be my life……..
Over the summer, I fell pregnant. It was very early. We were ecstatic. I was exhausted. The Little Paddler was extra clingy. She knew something was up. She would snuggle up for a nurse and then announce, “b all gone”. Everything was fine. Things started to improve. I wasn’t feeling as exhausted or sick any more. We went for an early scan because of a previous miscarriage. Baby was a bit small but that was fine – breastfeeding can throw your dates off a bit. There was a heartbeat. All was fine. They would just keep an eye on things to confirm my dates.
Next scan. A different doctor and a different machine. No heartbeat. That’s ok they said. Could be the machine. But the baby hadn’t grown much. In my heart I knew. The Little Paddler announced “b is coming back” when she nursed. But we held out hope.
Sadly it wasn’t to be. Next couple of scans confirmed that our little baby had died in the womb. Now it was time to let Nature take its course.
We waited. We told very few. The in-laws were celebrating the arrival of a new baby and having her christened. Mr. Fairweather was to be god-father. We would wait till after that to tell them. We didn’t want to take away from their joy and their celebrations after their own long struggles to have a baby. It’s a special kind of torture sitting through a christening when your body finally decides to let go of your dead baby.
Doctors and nurses started talking about “the foetus” and I was suddenly struck by how everyone says “the baby” when a pregnancy is going well and all of a sudden, “the baby” becomes “a foetus” when things go wrong. But putting that aside, they were all wonderful. I really must write in to Your Service Your Say to compliment them and how wonderfully sensitive they were to our heartbreak.
We wondered why it happened. Why would God let a baby come and let our hopes build, only to take our baby away so quickly? But we had been here before. We knew that God has a plan bigger than ours. That He uses everything that happens in this broken world to draw us close to Him and show us the depth of His Love. We tried to look on the positive side of things. We sat and we talked. We talked about what was important. We talked about how life had carried us along in its undertow and we were drifting like two rafts at sea. We talked about hopes and dreams, fears and struggles, loneliness while not actually being alone. We promised to work on loving each other and working together. No longer two rafts drifting along. We would be one crew, one boat – imagine a wooden canoe built by Mr. Fairweather if you will – headed to some distant land. But headed together and working together against wind and tide for this one goal.
Maybe all this baby came for, was to get us back pulling together. We’ll never know. But I’m glad for our baby’s brief visit. When the Little Paddler is older, we’ll tell her about her brothers and sisters that went to Heaven before her. We’ll give thanks as a family that they lived their whole lives in a hug that was their mother’s embrace, never knowing pain or sorrow and never wanting for a thing. We’ll meet them face to face, please God, when our jouriney here is done and we go home. For now, we remember.
No one scorns the haiku for being shorter than War and Peace
Nor scolds the daffodil for being briefer than a redwood
But this little life cut off so young
We mourn and cry “too soon too soon”.
Surely the Author knows when to end each tale
So should we all
For in the beginning death was not
And though there is a plan perhaps for even this little sparrow’s fall
Still we cry
For we know that a sparrow was meant to fly.
– Melanie Bettinelli