We named her Elizabeth. We had no possible way of knowing if she was a girl, but we both felt it. We gave her a name, one that we had always wanted to use. Named after someone who believed and trusted God when everything else was telling her to give up. Named after someone who was carrying the messenger who would announce the coming of Jesus.
Seven months ago, I fell pregnant. I know it sounds strange but I knew after about a week. I kept thinking that I was crazy or fooling myself, no-one could possibly know that quickly, but I felt it. I felt a spiritual and physical shift, a change, a tiny tug.
Six months ago, I had a miscarriage. I remember the moment I knew something was wrong, I knew that my baby was gone, I felt the loss before the doctor confirmed it. As much as I had been hoping for a miracle, I knew that she was gone.
Five months ago, we had a ceremony, just the two of us, lighting a sparkler that lasted for a few moments and was beautiful while it lasted but extinguished quickly.
The last six months have changed me, have made me feel the most excruciating physical, emotional and spiritual pain. I think one of the worst things I have felt is that a piece of me is missing. I still calculate how far along I would have been, how much she would be growing, how our lives would be changing.
Today I would have celebrated being a mother. Maybe I would have gotten slippers to help the pain of my swollen feet, or maybe I would have just enjoyed the excitement and anticipation of a pregnancy reaching its completion.
Instead I feel incomplete, missing my Elizabeth, hoping she knows how much she is loved. And I’m trying to hide all of this. But I don’t need to. I’m not alone, and I am a mother. Elizabeth gave me the gift of motherhood. So for the rest of today, I’ll celebrate that, even if i have to smile through the tears.