You know those candies that start out sour, but then mellow out to a sweet flavor halfway through? Knowing that sweet core is there is sometimes all that keeps you going through the mouth-puckering sour of the outer shell. Right now, I can’t keep the idea of a SweetTart out of my mind.
We had a miscarriage at Christmas.
We were pregnant with number five. He was due in the summer and, despite the difficulties that would have been introduced (including being pregnant a second time in your in-laws house), we were all excited for him to join us. We were making plans and figuring out all the logistics when this happened. From the beginning of our marriage we have been prompted by the Lord to turn over the planning of our children to Him. I’m certain that this is part of a trend of our marriage where our plans never work out because He has better plans for us. While unplanned, prayer yielded distinct peace that this pregnancy was indeed part of His plan for our children. I didn’t expect any of this to happen. He was part of the plan; he was supposed to come.
I’ve had miscarriages before but those were at six and seven weeks. They were the equivalent of a heavy period. This was at twelve weeks. A month and a half makes a significant difference. We had expected him. We had had time for the oh-crud-oh-crud-oh-crud to fade and the glow of welcoming another soul to set in. We were almost ready to find out which gender clothing to pull out of storage. All this made it so much harder at first.
Our little boy arrived at home. As with the other miscarriages, we had little warning before he came. I held him in my hands and sobbed. He was so little, barely filling one palm. My husband, as he’s done in other crises, was both focused and comforting. He really takes to heart that he is our protector. When we’ve had trials visit us, he has stood against the world for us, a barrier from a reality that has grown too hard. I love this man.
We were able to call members of our ward (congregation) for help. A kind sister watched the children while we went to the hospital and a brother came over to administer a priesthood blessing. I’ve been trying to decide how to best explain a priesthood blessing. This blessing has authority from our Heavenly Father through His priesthood restored to the earth. You might describe it as using the priesthood to establish a conduit between yourself and God, allowing him to bless you with guidance, blessings, and most importantly at the moment, comfort. The ability to receive a priesthood blessing is an immeasurable blessing in my life.
The blessing promised comfort. There was a tenderness to the Holy Ghost then, a tenderness that I think is reserved for the Lord’s daughters when their hearts are broken and torn by their trials. The Lord wanted me to know that he had our little son and would care for him. I did not receive a direct promise that he would ever rejoin our family. However, he will have the opportunity to gain a physical body and come down to a family sometime in the future. I only pray to have a glimpse of him as he does wonderful things in the world.
Promises from the Lord are extraordinary. You are promised what you need, even if you didn’t know that you would need that comfort. More importantly, promises from our Heavenly Father have power. This power strengthens you and comforts you. I can go a long while on a promise from the Lord.
Sometimes the comfort of the Lord is a long-term proposition. His strength is there through the years as you struggle with a trial and its affects. I have plenty of things I’m still working through like this. Remarkably, this miscarriage was transformed almost overnight. Within a day I could honestly tell people “I’m okay.” Over the next week I told more and more people, loving friends and family responding with love and comfort for us, that it really was ‘okay’. But last night, not even a week since we had to leave him at the hospital to be evaluated and buried, I was able to think of that little body in my hands that night, that moment when I was sobbing with a broken heart, and smile.
As weird as it is to say it, it really is okay.
It’s no longer bitter, but sweet.
Joseph was born at twelve weeks. I held him in my hands. We named him. He’s back with our Heavenly Father. We are so blessed.
I love saying that it’s okay.