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August 6, 2013 / daryleverett

But a vapor…

A few weeks ago, my coworker and friend shared that her neighbor had to deliver her baby at twenty-some weeks knowing there was  no heartbeat. Monday morning, I read another friend’s Facebook post asking for prayer for her friend who lost her baby at 36 weeks gestation. Minutes later I noticed many posts from my local mom-friends asking for prayer for the family of an infant who passed during the night. As it turns out, this family is one that I know fairly well through the natural parenting and organic eating community. I know this mama considers her circle of friends to be small, but I dare say that I consider her a friend. The outpouring of moral and financial support from our community is heartwarming and truly amazing to me. Still it’s unsettling as a parent to be reminded that it could be your family just as easily.
Many of you know that I suffered (truly) with postpartum depression. What few of you know is that I had a lingering fear during pregnancy that one day I would be the woman told “I’m sorry Miss we can’t find a heartbeat.” There was a looming feeling that somehow something would happen and my baby would not come home with me.  Once he arrived, I just knew one day I would be making the call to tell my husband that he needed to hurry home  because something was wrong with the baby or that I couldn’t find him. Because of things in my childhood, I don’t easily allow my emotional well-being to rest in the hands of someone else. I learned that this included my baby; I was afraid to let myself truly love this little person who  could be easily stolen from me leaving me crushed. Subconsciously, I refused to allow that to happen. I would just avoid the pain by keeping my heart safe until he was gone and then I could heal and move on.  I didn’t want to feel that way. It broke my heart to know I felt that way and had no control over it.
Now as I prepare to bring another child into our family in a few months, I am not terrified that something devastating will happen. I won’t say the events of the last days haven’t shaken me–to say that would be to avoid the truth. I am reminded that we aren’t promised tomorrow, or today. Our lives are “but a vapor.” My friend had no idea that when she returned from a middle-of-the-night work call, she would return to the horrible reality that her infant was gone. We had no way to know that my friend would go to the hospital for a fever and never come home. We couldn’t predict that my grandfather would trip on his way to breakfast and never leave the hospital after hip surgery. Today I am reminded of the uncertainty of life.

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