In December, I wrote a letter in which I restated my commitment to work on this blog. I saw it as a chance to help me get better by adding normality to my life. It worked for two weeks. Christmas happened in week three. New Year’s happened in week four. And then something happened in week five, something I wasn’t ready to write about. Well, not exactly a thing.
We called her Epiphany.
She came in a bold, pink line the day after the Feast of Kings. Caleb and I stared, stunned, pinching ourselves. But the next few days showed us it wasn’t a lie. I had to hide in the bedroom from the smell of cooking chicken. I got hungry faster, and watched my emotions spiral out of control if I didn’t get food fast enough. Epiphany was real.
i was concerned at the backlash of our news. We still live with my in-laws. Employment still eludes my husband. We don’t fit anyone’s picture of stable adulthood. I knew a baby would invite questions about our ability to provide. We would already be judged as irresponsible parents.
And yet, I was sure that if God had given us a baby, he would take care of everything else. I took Epiphany’s appearance as a sign that things were about to change. Caleb would get a job. We could have a home. We would know the joy of meeting our child, a little bit of Lydia, a little bit of Caleb combined to create a shining, unique, human being.
I was so stupid.
Nine days later, she was gone. I didn’t even get to see her small, twinkling heartbeat.
Today’s my birthday. As best as we can figure, I would have been around twelve weeks pregnant. We would have been preparing to bring the world in on our excitement. Today would have been a perfect opportunity. Instead, I’m using it share our deepest sorrow. For nine, brightening days I was a mother-in-waiting. I don’t really know what I am now. I’ve been reluctant to mark today. I don’t really want to commemorate the year that shattered my hope, kicked me out of adulthood, and killed my baby. I’d rather pretend that time isn’t passing.
I finally admitted to Caleb that I didn’t really feel like celebrating.
He said, “It’s okay. Let us celebrate you.”
I’m trying. It’s hard. But I’ll settle for publicly acknowledging that Epiphany was real. And she mattered.