February 12, 2008 was an emotional day for me. I tried my best to be upbeat as I walked into the office where I would give my first vial of blood since finding out what it really meant. I was excited to find out that I wouldn't have to pay a co-pay since I wouldn't be seeing the doctor. When I was called back, I took my place in the appointed chair and tried to calm my nerves, by telling the tech what was going on. What started as upbeat, ended a bit like a deflating balloon. It would take 3 different sticks and around 10-15 minutes to get one vial of blood. My veins were already feeling the added pressure of once weekly draws and it did nothing to help keep my spirits high. I wasn't an emotional mess, nor was I strictly trying to hide what I felt, but aside from a few times, I never really cried. You can attribute it to shock or denial, but it just wasn't the time for tears. . . yet.
Pulling up at my house following my visit, I checked my mail, noting with happiness that the package I was on the look out for had finally arrived. Days before my mom had let me know it was coming, something a friend of hers thought would help, and I was eager to open it. There is no real way to truly describe what I felt when I opened the package and found what was inside. The first thing that really caught my eye was a book titled, I'll Hold You In Heaven by Jack Hayford, the next was a tiny pin, close to the size of a dime, silver and cast in the image of a pair of feet. Lastly was a card and inside a personal letter from the sender relating to me her own personal story of loss. She shared with me how she had lost her baby at 31 weeks and how she would be praying for me, and while it broke my heart that another mother had been through this same ordeal, I felt a unique kinship with her. A bond created by the loss of a child, not matter the difference in gestation age. Here was someone beside family who understood my pain and had suffered a much greater loss. Tears filled my eyes as I read what she had wrote, but it would be the simple meaning behind the pin of feet that would be my undoing.
Towards the end of the letter, it was simply stated that the tiny silver feet included were cast as close as can be to the exact size of a baby at 10 weeks gestation.
I have and always will have a soft spot for baby's feet. From the time each of my children were born, I would from time to time, and still do, rub the soft soles of their feet along my cheeks. I'll never know why I've always had a special liking to those ten toes, but I can tell you with complete honestly, if my new friend had chosen a pin with a pair of hands, I don' t think that it would have affected me so dearly. Without a doubt I know God chose her for the express purpose of helping me to grieve the loss of my unborn baby and that's exactly what happened.
When the full impact of the meaning of those tiny feet hit me, it was like the flood gates had been released. I cried for the sweetness of the gesture, I cried for the loss my new friend had experienced, I cried for the baby I had lost, and I cried for myself and I cried for my family. And in doing so was finally able to grieve in a way that would leave me healing. I will forever feel the loss of my child, a bittersweet longing that I wouldn't trade for anything, but I know that with this death came a purpose. Because I am a believer in Jesus Christ, my name is written in the Book of Life, and this gives me the ability to one day see the baby I never had a chance hold when I am called to Heaven. For many mothers who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage or other means and are not Christians, they will never see their baby again. Such a heartening thought, to never be able to see the one you longed for and lost. I feel that part of God's Will for me to do many things in life, one part of which is bringing the unbeliever to know Christ so that they can one day so I will see my child again. How I will go about this, I'm not exactly sure, that part is still unclear. But what is clear is that so many people need to know not only about this rare and heart breaking cancer and what the women diagnosed with it are going through during this emotional time, but what effect miscarriage has on the non Believer and how coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour can help them in ways so many other things can't, as well as helping the believer who's faith in their God has become shaky and unstable.
God will lead me on the path He wants me to take, all it'll take is some time, an open mind, and and open heart for His direction to become known.