Monday, January 14, 2008

A Theology of Female Embodiment- Part II- One Week of Miscarriage (in five installments)

Written December 30 in retrospect of this last week and ½
Four of Five (to read the entire story from the beginning scroll down to January 4)

I like being back home in Colorado with plenty of space to think and be still, plenty of clean, pure snow around falling, protecting, cleansing, blanketing me close and safe inside.

I’m sitting across from some boxes labeled “Baby Stuff.” I had moved them into the library because I thought I'd need to begin planning a nursery. And the planning was both strange, inconvenient and wonderful.

Now the baby is gone. I won’t feel shaky anymore when I ski four runs in a row because I need more food. I won’t get dizzy or nauseous in the afternoons. I won’t crave oranges all day long.

For now I get to travel, speak, paint rooms, lift furniture, ski all day without any interruptions from another life. But that interruption would have been awfully cool.

I got the book Being a Dad for Dale. It was supposed to be his Christmas present. It’s still in its shipping box.

I'm disappointed and sad, but not aching from this loss (at least not yet). I feel an overwhelming trust that God still is watching our backs, that we're still on the same team. I wish I could have met our first child, the first baby that we created. That is a loss to me.

It's hard to think of how the baby's remains were sucked out of me and then, just, thrown away. I don't like that--it feels harsh, inhumane, and cold.

There is something very hidden about the pain of a miscarriage. You can't tell people the process, the symptoms without breaching the codes of tact and decorum. It's not like more visible suffering, like cancer, where you can share the stages, the diagnosis, and surgery. The hair-loss and nausea, the side-effects are becoming more permissive information to share, even from a church pulpit, even between the sexes. But a miscarriage carries shame with it, perhaps because it happens in an area of the woman's body that is most private and hidden.

I didn't want to feel embarrassed, but I did. It's just so mortifying to have death in you, you feel shame as hope and life flow out of you. Even the Psalmist David got that. Of the two mentions of miscarriage in the Bible both are used as curses, as evil things upon those who have turned from God. David writes in Ps 58:6-8 "O God shatter their teeth in their mouths . . . let them flow away as water that melts off, let them be . . . like the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun." (NASB) "like a stillborn child that never sees the sun" (TNIV).

When you cramp and labor alone in the bathroom, knowing you were the only human to know this life intimately, you see how David must have known from his wives, from his mother or his sisters (did any of them share with him?). He must have learned and realized how apt a curse this would be for his enemy.

1 comment:

Lori Smith said...

Jonalyn--thanks so much for sharing your heart here. I was moved by this and thankful for the opportunity to walk through this with you as I read.