Thursday, August 04, 2011


Have you ever studied, or at least been told, the stages of grief?

1. Denial - shock, numbness

2. Anger - coupled with pain, and directed everywhere

3. Bargaining - What if, If only, sometimes with tinges of guilt

4. Depression - Emptiness, sorrow, the loss settling into your soul

5. Acceptance - this is the new normal

Sometimes I go through the stages in a hurry, like when we lost house #1, with it's oasis back yard. It was less than 24 hours, but I went through it all.

"No way! God wants us to have this house!"

"I can't believe God let us spend $425 on a house He had no intention of giving us!"

"It can still work out. We just have to have more faith, be willing to invest more, and then we'll get the house."

"It's over. I'm sad. I don't want another house. I'll just rent. Forever."

"Wow. It's really over. Someone else will sit in my oasis."

But when my baby girl told me she was pregnant, the grief stages were much, much longer. Days. Weeks. People are telling me now they are "impressed" with how I am handling this, but you have to know, she was only 5 weeks pregnant when she told me. She was 20 weeks when we told anyone. I had 15 weeks of the grief process, and I didn't talk about it much.

I denied it. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe she just has the flu.

I got angry. At my daughter for having sex. At the young man who fathered this child. At myself for only teaching her abstinance and nothing about birth control. At Dr. Ezzo and the church for teaching us "how to tell your children about sex" without ever telling them about sex. At God for not preventing the pregnancy.

I bargained. I begged God to fix the situation. Not to cause a miscarriage, but to save the baby daddy so they could get married.

And then I cried. And cried. And cried. Work was difficult that week, because anyone asking, "How are you?" and wanting anything more than, "Fine," made me cry. I ate. I didn't eat. I exercised. I stopped exercising. Nothing made the pain deep inside me go away. Disappointment, fear, doubt, and sadness ruled me.

And then one day, the cloud lifted. I watched the ultrasound, and that was a real baby in there. He waved and opened his mouth and kicked his little legs. And suddenly, it's a baby. There is a little guy in there who needs a family and love and education. He needs hugs and playing and walks in the park. He needs a grandma. He needs me.

I forgave my daughter, the baby daddy, myself. I realized that God was in all of it, and He made this little life. This little guy has a hope, a future. And for a little while, I get to be a part of raising him. He won't be raised perfectly, any more than I was, any more than my kids were. But God will be in it all.

We're having a baby!


p&k said...

Wow . . . love this post, Dawn!

(Just talking the other evening with some gals about how--no matter how much I'd like to--I can't parent perfectly. Sigh. God-being-in-it is probably the only perspective that can bring ANY redemption to that way of thinking!)

Thanks for sharing part of your process.

Shannan said...

Dawn, you are an amazing mom and a wonderful Grandma...this little one is blessed to have you and the love you are already showing him.
Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. It encouraged me today. Blessings to you!!! Shannan

Just thinking - Beth said...

Dawn, You always share so honestly. Sometimes I'm afraid to be honest about my feelings, my struggles. You remind me though that when we are vulnerable to others, we allow them to see how God works in our lives. I am so glad God has brought you to the place where you can truly rejoice in this new life. I'm sure it's been a difficult journey, and it's only beginning. God is knitting this little fellow together in Mandys' womb and He has plans for his welfare, plans to give him a future and a hope!
Please keep writing! God has given you a gift and I'm thankful you share it! Love to you. Beth Suiter