The night I came home from the hospital was initially full of joy and hugs and little ones happy to try to return to normalcy with Mommy home. But that didn't last long.
I was so grateful that we had been blessed with a meal that night because I was too weak and exhausted to really even stand for very long. As we sat down to eat, that's when Isabel just starts pouring emotion from her seven year old little heart. "Why would God give us the joy of a baby only to take it away!?" From her tiny little frame came this desperate voice, almost shaking her fist at God as she threw her arms up in the air. I held her close and tried to explain that we can't understand some things this side of heaven, but we can think about Jesus' suffering and do our best to unite our suffering with His.
My little Isabel,....way too experienced at losing siblings.
That night as I sat on the couch with the kids watching a children's show before bed, Rob walks in from locking up the chickens in their coop and hands me a note.
Something killed Wynona and I can't find Dora.
Our baby chickens...
My mind started reeling, but I sat perfectly still. I couldn't say anything. We couldn't tell Isabel yet.
It was too much. Too much loss for one day.
The next morning I got up early and went out to look around the coop for signs. I saw the black and white explosion of feathers near the tractor shed that had come from Wynona. I half-hoped to see Dora come flying down from a tree, waiting to be let in with the other chickens....until I looked out into the field and saw the mass of reddish-brown feathers that had been Dora's. I stumbled back inside, numb, angry, sick to my stomach. And I sat on our garage steps and cried like a baby.
I cried for two stupid chickens. And for our dead baby.
I had held it together very well at the hospital and I was literally full of wonder and awe at the delivery- I cried with joy and relief at answered prayers then. But on my garage steps I sobbed for the loss of it all. The loss of another baby we will not get to know. The loss of sibling joy over a new addition to the family. Memories unmade and already lost. It was cruel to lose a baby. I went inside and told Isabel what had happened.
The day continued without much incident from there until just before dinner time. Ian came into the house grumpy and I thought I had gotten him settled down until I saw him intentionally smash the exersaucer down on Caroline's hands. All of the emotions that had been building inside me exploded out of me; directed in deep, deep anger and rage at this little three year old. He was in tears and I cried and apologized to my shocked husband. My heart was pounding out of my chest and my pulse was 125bpm. I excused myself to calm down. Then I apologized to Ian and of course, he looked up with his giant blue eyes and forgave me.
I was lying in bed that night trying to figure out how to accept this cross better. Surely all these emotions come with grief and loss, but I'm not carrying my cross well if I am sinning by screaming at my 3 year old. I begged God to help me do better. What can I offer up if I keep making a mess of the cross You've given me?? I have to keep looking for the gifts, the blessings in this thick muddy mess of loss.