I’ll Keep On, Part 8

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a name

Sometimes God speaks to me in the middle of the road on a rainy day.
Most of the time, He speaks to me through music.

When I went public with the story of our miscarriage, many in the club reached out with advice.

Give yourself time, and space
Yes please.

Buy something tangible to honor its life
I’m on board with that.

Name your baby
…..

I don’t know why, but I wasn’t comfortable with that last one at first. Not until a couple weeks passed and I got real tired of saying it or the baby or sticky bean who wasn’t so sticky.

I also couldn’t shake the scene from the book Heaven is for Real, when the little boy talks about meeting his sister in heaven. His mom, stunned, asked him what her name was.

She didn’t have one. You guys didn’t name her.

Whoaaa Dagger to my heart. Whether that book is true or not — I’m inclined to trust it is, but there have been plenty of people who’ve recanted on their near death experiences. And of course it’s possible the dad made the whole thing up, although I truly doubt it. — I do believe heaven is for real. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with not naming your baby…I personally couldn’t stand the idea of our child walking around up there without one.

So I asked Ron, do you think we should give our baby a name?

He looked at me like I was crazy. I explained my rationale and he softened.

We’ll let God name it.

Okay. Alright. Fair enough.

I dropped the topic, figuring it was done. Then a few days later I went for a run on my lunch break. Before I left, I Googled “Christian songs for hard times” to find some new music. I still wasn’t in the mood for Beyonce or Grande. I needed something more encouraging to make it through my afternoons. One of the songs I found in a list had a picture of the singer in a cute dress, hands on her hips. Looking confident. Brave written across the middle in a cool font.

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Oooh. She looks inspiring. Sold. 

I headed out the door, pushing play as I picked up my feet.

 

No one ever told me this would be easy
But I never knew that it could be this hard

Amen Sister.

Oh the worry the worry the worry is weighing on me
Could you help me break down all these question marks
And make me

Brave
I’ll fight like a soldier

Whoa. Get it girl.

Brave
Rise like a warrior
Brave
Won’t stop till the final day

Brave
I want to be stronger
Brave
Gonna be bolder
Brave
Look up and I see the way
You make me brave

I was feelin it. Jamming right along…until those last two lines.

My throat caught as I inexplicably pictured Jesus and our baby, hanging out together in heaven. Looking down and smiling. Cheering for me. Encouraging me to rise like a warrior, fight like a soldier.

I turned down the sound and kept running, thinking more about our baby. 

It stopped growing at 7 weeks, 5 days. But when we went to see it at 9 weeks…it’s heartbeat was still so strong. Despite its small size, the nurse practitioner didn’t seem too concerned. With a heart rate like that, it seemed really possible nothing was wrong.

Then that night or the next, I can’t remember, I woke up around 2 am. Chills, convulsions really, rocking my body. I couldn’t sleep so I got up and took my temperature to see if I had a fever. I didn’t.

My guess is that’s when our baby passed.

It’s like….it’s like it held on just for us. Just long enough to say hello.

Oh, what a brave, brave heart.

Brave…

I follow a blogger who named her little girl Brave. I’m sure she has a wonderful rationale, but I always felt like that was kind of a tough name to give an earthly babe. A lot to live up to.

But what about for an angel? Whose body failed but heart kept beating…just long enough to greet us?

It’s perfect.

Later that day I was scrolling Pinterest, under the search term brave, contemplating how I was going to present this to Ron. He wanted to let God name our baby. He’s going to roll his eyes when I tell him about my run. Blame it on the hormones, probably. Tell me I’m being silly. 

I stopped scrolling when I saw a necklace that said “You make me brave.” The caption mentioned a song by Bethel, from which the necklace was inspired. I’d never heard it so I looked up the lyrics.

You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way

You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the promises you made

Everything in my head began to swirl.

It was all so random.
Choosing the song based on the album cover, when I rarely download a song without at least listening to the snippet. Scrolling Pinterest and reading a caption, when I almost never read the captions. My whole convoluted thought process while out running.

It felt like some sort of divine conspiracy. Sweet whispers from above.

Don’t fear daughter. Luke 1:45. I’ll fulfill my promises to you.

Look up mama, we’ll make you brave. 

That was it. I lost it.

Ron wanted God to name our baby. And you know what? He just did.

***

The ironies, or signs as I prefer to call them, didn’t stop there. These are 3 of my favorite.

one

I kept thinking of Sara Bareilles’ song Brave. I couldn’t remember the lyrics, and I wasn’t motivated to look them up. A mainstream pop song isn’t going to encourage me in this situation. But my curiosity kept pestering me, until I gave in. I had just finished the blog Empty when I went for a run and added it to my playlist.

Let your words be anything but empty 
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I swear I could almost hear them laughing, Jesus and Brave.
HA. Gotcha. That’s what you get for thinking you know it all.

two

Another night, I went for a run around Avon Town Hall Park. I slowed as I approached the memorial for children who have passed away. Decided to stop in and say a prayer. I read the plaque on the angel statue for the first time.

Turns out they hold a vigil every year.
On December 6th.
Our anniversary.

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Which just seemed like a weird, kind of mean coincidence until I recalled the lipstick my makeup artist chose for that day. (I know. Lipstick, of all things.) A pretty pink Mac shade….named Brave.

I remember thinking it was a fun name for lipstick, but that it didn’t apply to marrying Ron. Pshh. I don’t need to be brave. It’s not like I don’t know the guy. Get real. We’ve been together for almost 10 years. Overcome all sorts of odds. Our relationship is already plenty strong.

Oh to be that girl again. Basking in blissful ignorance.

three

Then my best friend had her baby. 5 days overdue.

As I mentioned in part six, I was a mess. Not because I didn’t love my friend and her precious new life. Not because I was jealous. I honestly wasn’t. I was just sad. So so sad, for all the dreams I had for our future buddies…that now would never be.

When I got home from crying over cake and wine, I found that my ring had arrived.

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Right on time.

I also ordered that little gold heart ring to stack with it, seeing as how the name Brave originated with our babe’s tiny heart of gold. <3 
Unfortunately it was too small for my ring finger, so I’m waiting on a bigger one.

So…yeah.

I know to those who don’t believe, this post probably seems like a bunch of hocus pocus. And I have no way to prove to you otherwise. All I can say is this is my life, my story, my truth. In the end I’m the one who is going to have to account for how I chose to spend my days, not you. So I can’t say it matters much to me, what other people think. Not anymore.

I’ve only got one goal, while there’s still air in my lungs.
Make my God and my baby proud.

And that goes right back to the last blog I wrote before I found out Brave was gone. Handling every situation, good or bad, with the right perspective.

So although the story is ongoing, I’m going to conclude this series, with this:

Brave Frederick will never know fear. Never know pain.
I don’t have to worry one bit about him or her for the rest of my days.
Because the first thing those little eyes saw…was the face of Jesus.

And that, my friends,

Is one hell of an Amen.

 

 

Behind
intro: she writes truth
part one: the news
part two: the shock
part three: the options
part four: empty
part four point five: send love
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art five: the storm
part six: white flag

part seven: rise

Ahead
Keeping On: Til the Day I Die

2 thoughts on “I’ll Keep On, Part 8

  1. Sara

    I just read your entire miscarriage series in one sitting. I’m so sorry about sweet little Brave. We lost our first pregnancy at 8 weeks. Your story is so similar to mine – the highs, the lows, the grief, wondering how God chose me for this path. Thank you for sharing your story! And congratulations on your rainbow baby. We just started trying again and I’m terrified/excited/nervous/anxious/etc.

    Your openness is amazing. I’m still working on that. Thanks for being a great example.

    Reply
    1. Karen Post author

      Thank you for commenting Sara, I’m so sorry for your loss. We’ll be praying for you as you try again. <3 It brings about a whole new set of emotions! Some days it's hard to overcome fear and anxiety and not let it steal your hope and joy. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you want another person to talk/vent to about any of it! KarenFrederick14 at gmail dot com.

      Reply

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