“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” ~ Psalm 34:18
It was snowing the morning my third baby, Layla Donna was born. It was March 25, 2015 and she arrived into this world, a pink bundle of joy. I remember her smell, like sweet roses. Her aroma and tiny breaths calmed me as I placed her on my chest where she slept peacefully. It had been a difficult pregnancy in so many ways. I looked at my husband Jason, who was smiling and then closed my eyes, trying to understand all the thoughts and emotions that were circling through my heart in that moment. Eighteen months before, on November 12, 2013, our son, Joseph Michael was born into heaven, his due date would have been March 25, 2014. I shuddered as I thought about that coincidence. Or was it a coincidence? Why was Layla born on this day? What does it mean? I touched her soft hair and closed my eyes fighting back tears. I still grieved Joseph’s loss. I realized I was still so broken despite my joy at that moment.
Pregnancy after a stillborn is impossible to describe. Waiting for my Rainbow to be born proved to be an ultimate test of my faith. Feeling Layla’s small kicks reminded me of my son. It was magical. With Joseph, I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum that was very difficult, but the bond between us was forming with each kick or roll in my belly. I was filled with motherly love. He was my second pregnancy, so I knew that kind of love all too well. After I reached twelve weeks, I dismissed the thought of miscarriage or that anything could be wrong as many mothers do. The doctor told me I was out of the risk zone. At nearly 26 weeks, in an exam room on a hard table, I learned that he was gone. I felt my soul die, but at the same time I was strangely alive. You see, my heart had been so closed since I was sixteen, after I suffered a violent rape. The trauma of a rape and the loss of my son, began my healing toward restored faith.
The day I saw another positive pregnancy test after losing Joseph, was one of the scariest days of my life. I had little faith that this pregnancy would result in a baby, and I became angry. I was just beginning to face the pain of my past and allowing my heart to feel again. I was just beginning to face my darkness and going through another pregnancy seemed unbearable. I was lost and even though my husband was there to hold me, I never felt so alone in my entire life. Most people saw this pregnancy as a joyful event for us, but all I felt was misery. One day my mother said, “Every time I close my eyes, I see a bright ball of light surrounding your womb. This baby will be fine.” It gave me a glimmer of hope. Finally, she was born and was so perfect, alive and healthy.
After we came home, I felt sad but couldn’t cry. I was still so confused and felt so undeserving of this little one. Suddenly, I felt her little hand on my cheek. It was as if she knew. And I began to sob as I sat for a long time in her rocker with her against my chest.
As the tears fell, I felt God’s embrace and love pouring out once again. While I had felt that my faith was gone, it was actually Faith itself that got me through all along. Faith helped me pick up a pen and journal. Faith led me to practice meditation and yoga. Faith gave me confidence, even in my fear. I was beginning to anchor my soul. Pregnancy is a journey of the mother’s soul. It is an opportunity to search for the Divine Mother within and meet God in unknown places.
On March 25, 2015, my labor begun. I felt Spirit around me and my prayers were answered. It is no coincidence. It is Amazing Grace.
Lindsay is bravely sharing her story in the hope to connect and support other women who have also experienced similar loss. Sadly, many women still feel they need to grieve alone.