strikes me to my core. Because that's what pregnancy after a loss is-somewhat of a joke when people spout off statistics. You have already been on the losing end once and just like the tributes who have already had their names drawn, you can't help but be cynical. I especially like the scene from the second movie when Katniss and Peta are traveling for the victory tour. At one point Katniss cries out,
"I just want to go home and get off this train."
Her mentor's response is a sobering one when he says,
"Wake up! There is no getting off this train! They own you now and for the rest of your life."
I feel that. I really thought birthing a live baby would trump the dead one, but in the end the experience of stillbirth seems like something that owns me and one long train ride.
The end of pregnancy is hard. I just made our final appointments and realized we have 14 of them in the next 4 weeks. Each appointment is filled with doubt and fear that the other shoe might drop. The whole thing makes me want to scream just like the people of the districts
Because that's what pregnancy will always feel like to us. And even if we do bring home a live baby there's a part of my heart that will still break because I know that same day others will leave the hospital empty handed. So this time we might get victory but at what cost? Just like winning the Hunger Games, bringing home a live baby seems to emphasize how many babies don't make it out alive.
But our story isn't exactly like the Hunger Games because we have the hope of Christ. Death is a part of this world and in the end none of us are getting out alive. Death is around every corner and threatens us like a thief in the night. Just ask the mothers of the Holy Innocent. Christ is born and just days later innocent baby boys are slaughtered in their homes because of the Christ child. Death scandalizes us, terrifies us, and leaves us in despair. That is why Christ came to overcome death.
In the end, the odds of getting out of this world alive are not in our favor-they never were to begin with. But eternal life is our hope. Christ came, He came. And as we read in Isaiah 61 He came on a mission to the afflicted,
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."
He came to free us eternally from death. He's like the ultimate mentor in the Hunger Games, always watching and helping. In the end, the battle has already been won. That was my hope after Caleb died and that continues to be my hope this time around. That even if the odds our not in our favor this time, that ultimately they will be when we are reunited eternally.
Hope. That's what Advent is all about, right? Trying my hardest to have hope this season. To go with Mary as she whispers to me "follow me to the crib this time, not the cross." One week until we celebrate Christmas, one month until our baby is born. Holding onto hope even in what feels like we are trapped in the arena.
"The one who calls you is faithful and He will also accomplish it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24
"The Lord Himself will fight for you, you have only to be still." Exodus 14:14
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." Matthew 1:23