This week’s Wednesday’s Wild Chronicles brings me to one of the most difficult moments of my life. With preparations taken care of, we took to waiting for the phone call that would change our life. Days passed in silence. The due date came and went. No word came from the expectant mom.
A few days after the due date, I texted her to make sure things were alright. She reassured me and explained that she had forgotten to tell me that her due date had gotten pushed back by a couple of weeks. My instincts perked up at that explanation. Something felt off, but I was so trusting that I believed her.
Another agonizing week went by in silence. Then, on a Tuesday morning at work my husband texted, “Call me.” The phone call we had been waiting on had come, but not with the words we were expecting.
The expectant mother we had been working with had given birth two weeks earlier; told no one of her adoption plan; and took the baby boy home to raise herself. While she was texting me about the change in due dates, she already had this beautiful baby home with her, the wonderful baby that we loved, the miraculous baby that had been growing in our hearts, the precious baby that we had spent months preparing for.
I remember hanging up the phone and saying to no one in particular, “She lied.” I sat there in disbelief with one of my co-workers. Thankfully, she had the forethought to ask if I wanted to leave and offered to explain the situation to our boss.
The first day I was numb. I cried some, but I mainly remember being in shock. In some twist of fate, I happened to have an appointment with my therapist already scheduled that day. My mom cancelled the clinical group she was teaching and came home to be with me. I took the remainder of the week off work, gingerly working through the grief that had enveloped my life.
Returning to normal life was difficult at best. On the surface, it appeared exactly like it had the week before, before we learned of the expectant mom’s decision. It is a bizarre sensation to be going through such a familiar routine, when nothing in life felt remotely the same. Routine was supposed to be me at home with our son, not getting up and returning back to work.
The only thing not routine was the response of our friends and family. No one knew what to say. How do you console someone on the loss of something that was never actually theirs to have? We had a lot of silence as if since no one knew what to say, it was better to just not talk to us at all. I remember asking a friend who was in the midst of a different type of shocking grief when people started talking to her normally again. Her response was something along the line of “I’ll let you know if that ever happens.”
We also had our share of responses that left us wishing silence had been chosen instead. Plenty of people found it useful to remind us that God had a plan, which we knew, but it invalidated the grief we were experiencing. Others suggested things like maybe God had saved us from a drug baby. I remember walking away from more than one person offering us “comforting” words hurting more than if they had just remained quiet.
Thankfully, three weeks after getting that phone call, our yearly week of church camp arrived, allowing me to slip away from the outside world and work on repairing the relationship with God which had been shattered. After all of the grief of infertility, I was incredibly angry with God for allowing us to be hurt again. I was confused by his response to our months of praying. I remember asking my mom what the point of praying was if God was going to carry out his will anyhow. A week of worshiping and spending time with fellow Christians was like aloe for my soul.
What I could not yet see was the twist our lives were going to take the week following camp. Our story was nowhere near the end…
Next up… “Meanwhile in the break room”