Something was missing. I guess I should say someone. We were enjoying our vacation. Megan had been absent the first few days of our vacation and we missed her. We tried to enjoy ourselves, but we couldn’t keep our minds off her. Every time I turned around Pete was texting or calling her. I was doing the same. Katie and TJ talked about her. We all couldn’t seem to get our minds off of her. We just didn’t seem complete without her.
It was like doing a puzzle and towards the end of completion you realize there is a piece missing. It drives you a little crazy because it just doesn’t seem finished. You look all around the table, on the ground, and in the dog’s mouth. It is a brand new puzzle so you cannot figure out where that darn piece went. You stand back and look at your puzzle. The sense of accomplishment just isn’t there because all you see is the missing piece.
For years, I have tried to explain what it was like to my friends and family after a miscarriage. Finally, while sitting on vacation waiting for my oldest to join us, I realized how to explain it. The funny thing is, I always felt a little guilty for being sad about my unborn children. I felt like I had no right to mourn the loss of them. After all, I was just a few weeks pregnant. I knew others who had gone to full term and lost their children. I knew of others who lost their children at young ages to tragedies. Why did I feel such a loss over my first trimester miscarriage?
When Pete and I discovered that we were pregnant, we were elated. We announced it to the world. Our entire family was ready for the new addition to our family. We prepared in our minds for this new little baby to come into our life. We planned and accepted this life with open arms. In our minds we were no longer a family of 5, but a family of 6. When we found out that we had lost the pregnancy, we were tortured with telling the entire family of the loss. Not only were we face to face with mourning the death of our baby, but we were inevitably told that we could always have another or that we had 3 healthy children. It never made things better. We were still sad and our family felt like we were never quite complete.
As we waited for Megan to arrive via airplane to our vacation destination, that feeling returned to me. I knew it all too well because Pete and I have suffered two miscarriages, and the reality that we will never be able to have another child. It hit me. A God moment. Our family had somehow, through the mercy and grace of God, finally found the missing puzzle piece. Whether we squished all the other pieces of the puzzle together to form in our own minds what that missing piece would have looked like, or stuck a piece from another puzzle into it; we somehow closed in that gap. We completed the puzzle on our own (with God’s help). We didn’t leave it empty, but if you looked really hard you would know there was something just not quite right. Yet, all of us, had come to terms with our “new” family. Regardless of if our baby was born or not – just the announcement of the pregnancy changed the look of our family.
I guess waiting for Megan gave me that same out of control feeling that miscarrying did. The thought of not having our entire family in one place gave me that panicked feeling towards the bottom of my stomach. So I prayed. In my conversation with God, He showed me the progress that my family had made. (He also blessed Megan with an early landing in Atlanta, a clear pathway to her next gate, and an early arrival into her destination airport). He is always in control.
Without our faith, I don’t think we would have been able to push that puzzle together again. Without God helping us endure the death of our unborn children, I would have been searching for that missing puzzle piece forever.