How am I doing?

What can I say? I’m both ok and flattened. I don’t exactly have good days and bad days, I have good hours and bad hours. I’m eating normally now – for the first time – and gained back one pound (not that I needed it but it’s not surprising when you lose a lot very quickly). I’m sleeping mostly without nightmares. I can get through church services without crying. I can go to the store. I’ve developed a thick skin as concerns baby items in the stores; my eye slides over them and I deliberately look away and think of something else. I don’t think I would be able to be in the same room with a young baby however. It hasn’t happened yet, but I don’t think it will be good. I don’t want to look at pictures of newborns with rare exceptions. We were able to restart homeschooling yesterday after I spent several hours on Tuesday catching up with lesson plans.

Working on Lost Innocents has been both difficult and cathartic: difficult when I must read the story of someone else’s miscarriage in the course of researching material for it, cathartic when I think I may be helping someone. I’ve had huge doubts about the wisdom of continuing it. I hate the thought of reinventing the wheel. I’m trying to remember that the whole point was to gather important things together in one safe place that was Orthodox, not evangelical protestant, pagan, secular, new age, etc. It wasn’t going to include poetry or pictures of daisies and sunsets, but give more practical yet comforting help. I hope I’m managing (slowly) to accomplish this.

I’m trying to find my footing mentally. I have to remember to ward off intrusive thoughts – I try to keep my prayer rope with me all the time. The temptation to guilt is sometimes overwhelming. I have to keep reminding myself that Innocent didn’t ‘fall out’, he died – all on his own – and I even kept carrying him for at least three weeks afterward. I find myself berating myself for not having held onto him tight enough so that he ‘fell out’. It’s a constant battle. Prayer, prayer, prayer. At the same time, hearing someone say something like, “It was God’s will,” drives me up a wall. God didn’t make us for death! He made us for life – but all of created existence is fallen now and death and sickness is a part of that. The icon of the resurrection depicting Christ literally yanking Adam and Eve from their tombs while standing on the broken gates of hell is comforting to me.

There is the obvious unspoken thought on a lot of people’s minds: are we going to ‘try again’. Well, either God blesses us with another child or he doesn’t. I’ll be honest and say that I pray he does, but I’m trying to keep that from being the focus of my existence right now. That will horrify a lot of people, but there is one thing I’ve learned during this whole tragedy: I’ve learned not to care what other people think, but only what God wants.

Keep us in your prayers. I appreciate the people who have “checked in” over the past week or two, even in the midst of Holy Week and Pascha. This is a lonely place to be and it’s easy to feel forgotten after the first horrifying days. That, of course, would be my fault and not anyone else’s, but I told myself at some point that I would keep this blog honest while avoiding scandal, and admitting that is the truth.

Holy Father Innocent pray to God for us!

11 thoughts on “How am I doing?

  1. We are continuing to pray for you all daily. This is a process that takes a long time to work through and heal from. I pray every day that God will give you peace and comfort.

    Rebecca- You are right that God could have chosen to spare Innocent's life, but it is not His will for Innocent to die. As Christians, we believe that death is caused by people rejecting to follow God's will- this goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. The world does not follow the will of God, and that is why death exists. Therefore, it is never God's will that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He is able to redeem us and our situations, but it is never His will that we should suffer. Even though God is not the one causing our suffering, He is gracious and works all things together for good (Romans 8:28), so we can find comfort in this.

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  2. God bless you! My husband and I have no living children, we lost our first when I was 7 weeks pregnant. It was so difficult to find Orthodox material on this subject. Please continue your blogs. Women need to know they do have a choice…an Orthodox choice, and don't need to be forced into any decisions by medical staff. You are in my prayers. Mat. Andrea

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  3. I can relate so much to your post here… and appreciate your honesty. I have only peeked at the Lost Innocents website but it looks like a labor of love and a wonderful resource and blessing. I would be honored to share my story there if I can find the time to compile some of the writings from my blog into one place.
    Grace and peace to you, dear one!
    Christ is Risen!
    Speaking of which, I tend to struggle at Nativity and Pascha with the seeming irony of the wonder we are proclaiming juxtaposed with the painful reality we see and experience in this world. “Christ is Risen and not one dead remains in the tomb” is hard to say when a dear friend struggles with the murder of a family member, when others, like yourself, mourn the death of a precious child. We know in the end, there is life, and that death is trampled down, but we still have to live with the fallen nature of this earth. It can be very hard.
    Okay… I need to sign off. Hugs and prayers…
    Rebeca

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  4. M. Anna, hang in there! Your new blog is a good and important resource. Don't give it up! And don't give in to those thoughts, keep fighting. God be with you!

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  5. We pray for you as well. I read your new blog yesterday and was very touched by it. My husband and I both cried at the beautiful picture of sweet Innocent. Can't imagine what you are going through but you are showing such strength by wanting to help others who have experienced the loss of a child. The Lord will bless you and make you a blessing to others through this sad experience.

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  6. Dear Mat. Anna, my heart goes out to you. Our third child, whom I named “Chloe” (because it means “little shoot”) was lost at 6 weeks just before I became Orthodox. He or she would have been three last October (our estimated due date). We got a late start in marriage and are blessed to be the parents of a 14 year old boy and an 11 year old girl. Thank you for the resources you are providing at your Lost Innocents site. It will be a blessing and comfort to many.

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