Back in February 2010, when we had got used to the positive pregnancy test and were beginning to plan for baby number 2, our doctor gave us an expected due date of October 6th.
All parents or those who are pregnant and over-due will know that a due date means nothing really, but for us, after the shock of being told we were expecting twins and then the pain of losing them 3 weeks later, this is the only date we have ever had to mark what could have been. We know that having twins would probably have meant they could have come any time in September...but October 6th still holds significance and has loomed large in these last few days.
We're marking today in our own way, thinking and crying and talking together. We also launched a new youth group in our home this evening which sits as a potent sign that life and new seasons continue and we must choose to join in with the journey.
But there have been some things which have comforted me and I'd like to share them with you.
Firstly a poem, well known I guess but beautiful and potent and full of hope:
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day.
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
I have also been challenged and comforted by the example of Hannah in the Bible. Hannah focused her attention onto God in her pain and her loss and her barrenness and silently in her heart, praying only with her lips and not with any words. (1 Samuel 1)
The prognosis on us before we had Matilda was of barrenness, and by a miracle we conceived naturally and have a wonderful little girl, nearly 4. WOW.
We conceived naturally a second time and despite the loss of our twins, we know that God has blessed us through this experience and given us grace in our weakness and provision in our desperation.
So, through all of this, I want to pray as Hannah prayed:
My heart rejoices in the Lord
My strength is exalted in the Lord
I smile at my enemies
Because I rejoice in your salvation.
And I stand on the promise of 1 Corinthians 15 - "the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. O Death, where is your Victory?"
Death does not have the victory in our lives or in our home. We miss and love our babies that we never got to meet or hold, but we know that there is a sure and certain hope of seeing them again. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see ( as Doug Horley would sing!!)
Thanks for your prayers, your friendship and your love to us over these months. Reaching this due date is a milestone, a stake in the ground and we move on from here with a deep breath and a sense that God is in control. He has made us more aware of his presence through our grief. Thank you God for all your goodness and faitfulness.