Apr 27, 2011

When the Crib Went Empty

It’s just a shoe, a pink baby shoe, but it shatters me like glass on the road where I walk, and I can’t go on...can only cradle myself against a tree as I would have cradled my child, the one who bled red from me.

There was nothing truer than that child's life, than my muscles making room for the link of limb, and now I feel false, a woman with an empty womb and it’s all I can do to pull myself home.

We are born to bear others. In this bearing comes a oneness with creation, with Creator. Death is the after-thought, the sting, the curse and it aches inside me and I cannot cry hard enough. All he can do is hold me, but even his arms feel empty.

How full I felt, as though a baby kicked and kissed and curled within. But it was only a ghost, a couple of cells. If I’d known, I wouldn’t have folded up on myself like an origami crane and wished to fly to heaven (for at least then we’d be together). If we’d known, we wouldn’t have laid hands at night and prayed and wondered and pictured our child grown with children. We would have held our tongues, not told the church, not claimed it a miracle after one-and-a-half years of trying. After a lifetime of doctors.

And no one knows what to say to me, and I feel like I’ve failed, and no one told me before I miscarried that one-in-three women do. No one told me the wash-of-life down the drain with placenta, the wrack of sobs over Fisher Price commercials, the way I'd despise every woman with a stroller, and then feel guilt for despising, and then shame. For failing to love others who could give life. For failing to give life. For failing with every cup of caffeinated coffee, every bike ride, every negative thought, until I finally realized I would either have to give up, or try again.

And why don’t we tell each other?

Image by Kelly Sauer. Used with permission. Post by Emily Wierenga, author of Save My Children: The Story of a Father's Love.

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