Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Theology of Female Embodiment- One Month of Pregnancy (in five installments)

Written December 18, 2007
Five of Five (to read from the beginning scroll down to January 4)

It would not be an exaggeration to say the next 3 days were agonizingly worrisome. I couldn’t easily stop those pinpricks of fear. What if I miscarry while I’m speaking? What if the baby’s death creates an emergency situation and the Spiritual Retreat for these high-schoolers gets all messed up because of me? Where will I be hospitalized? Will I be able to miscarry naturally or will I have to have a D & C? I told Dale, “I’m more upset about inconveniencing this camp than I am about this baby.”

To which Dale told me, “You don't need to focus there. The loss of this baby’s life is much more important than missing a speaking event.” That gave me the freedom to put most of my worries to rest. I stopped feeling anxious about how I'd be messing up our event.

I didn’t have time to journal those days, but I realized that I was not angry or disgusted or anxious, I was merely wondering, all day long and whenever I woke up in the night. I called a few close friends and asked them to pray for me. I realized that telling someone you are pregnant but that you might lose the baby all in the same breath is NOT FUN, not fun at all.

One friend asked me what my intuition was, “I feel this baby is just fine, I said. I think God is allowing this so we both get really invested in this child from day one.” To which she encouraged me that often the mother’s intuitions are spot on.

I still wondered.

On Sunday, three days after my appointment, Dale and I began the long drive from Steamboat, CO to San Diego. We finished it up Monday morning. That afternoon 1 hour before we were to arrive, I began to bleed, not heavy, but enough that my spirit drooped… and I told God. "Come on, couldn't you have held this of for a few more days!"

We were on the road, Dale was on a phone call, but I just announced, “We need to head to a grocery store, now.” I needed some supplies before I headed into camp. I adjusted the GPS.

We pulled into an Albertson’s parking lot in Temecula, only 1 hour before we were "on" at camp.
What with that short shopping trip and our general befuddled feelings we managed to miss our exit and miss orientation (our first talk with the teens). I felt awash in failure.

According to Dr. Mary, spotting wasn’t the sign of miscarriage, but heavy, bright red bleeding. I wore the pillow-sized pads I had bought and waited.

We pulled into camp, unable to really explain the reasons for our tardiness and began to mix and mingle with the 100 kids. As I saw them I thought, “Lord, this is a chance to mother… even if you’ve allowed our child to die, these teens are alive and needy. Help me love them."

With that I dipped deep into the living water and began to work.


Anonymous said...

Your description of the emotions, thoughts and prayers that occur during early pregnancy and miscarriage is spot on. Having experienced two myself I completely understand your pain. Not having walked your exact walk I can't begin to say I know how you feel because we all deal with things differently. My first miscarriage was early and very similar to your experience. 2 1/2 years later I became pregnant again by total surprise. We had just gotten foster newborn twin girls and had no idea I was pregnant. At 16 weeks the baby died because of an infection from a surgery I had early in the pregnancy. This happened in May and our sweet babies left us in November to live with their birth mom. November was the month I was due. I told God that couldn't possibly handle loosing 3 babies in one year and He reminded me so clearly that "we KNOW that in all things (even suffering) God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Just when I don't think I can handle another thing He reminds me that nothing gets to me that hasn't been through His hand first. I'm confident that you and I and all the other women who have suffered this will be able to minister and witness to others. I'm sure these are all things you have thought of and know, but I like to remind myself about it too. It's encouraging to know that you are allowing the Lord to use you in the lives of teenagers. They need all the Godly influence they can get! Thank you again for sharing so openly. God Bless!

Jonalyn Grace Fincher said...

Thank you for writing. I'm glad to hear that this experience can continue to build the fellowship of suffering among women (and men). Your story is an encouragement to me. I feel that even in the loss of a child, I see God's mighty hand of sustenance. Our God is such a good comforter.