NAME: Allison French, Allison Corrin Photography
LOCATION: Kansas City
She’s the kind of beautiful that makes you look again. And he’s the kind of tender that you know comes from the deepest part of the soul. And together, they’re a love, a family that has already chosen how they’ll handle the peaks and valleys of life because regardless, it will be together.
A little over one year ago, we sat around a dinner together and telling the stories from our heart with hope and held promise, we cried together. Because just a couple weeks before that night, she shared the pain too many women face silently, and even though my womb has been full and delivered already four times since when it was once emptied, the raw memory never completely fades. Like she wrote, she and I are part of the sisterhood of blurry eyes. And the way she crafts the words of her prose, is what one must hear to really know the healing that is their bright little love, Claire Amorette.
“We waited four hours that December day in Advent to hear the actual words said, although I figured it out earlier as they hurriedly scooted us between facilities all afternoon without much explanation. One sound doppler and three sonograms showed a baby not big enough and no beating heart. The devastation was, and still is, raw and open and aching. But for some reason, even though I’ve never known a pain so sad, an elusive peace has clung to me like salty ocean water in your hair.
I really don’t know why. The whole experience was horrible. There were timed contractions buried deep, the ebb and flow of pain, guttural screams and gasping breaths, a late night ER trip, and then the worst kind of emptiness. I have yet to find any part of miscarriage that is ‘good’ so I’ve been soaking head to toe in the titanic idea that God is omnipotent. He knew our baby would die in my womb. He knew how hard I would sob, heavy and heaving. He knew my body would bear pain and that the pain would bring no reward. He knew that my husband would hold me and cry with me. He knew that the burden would be too great to carry alone and that we would share it, with each other and with Him. He knew that our marriage would grow in the tenderness of it all. Just all of it, He knew.
One week before our appointment, “It Is Well With My Soul” came up on my playlist, mid-afternoon working in my studio. The old familiar hymn suddenly seemed new and important and beckoning. “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way; when sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul.” The words played over and over again in my head, un-fitting, because I had no identifiable reason to really need those words in those days.
Well, my tender wandering heart needs them now more than ever. It is well, and He knew it was coming, and He knows my heart now, and He knows my heart future, and there is peace. I still don’t get it because I’m still so sad and it doesn’t really make anything better, all the knowing. But that’s kind of what peace is, I guess, finding okay-ness in the not okay.
If we’re looking for a silver lining here (always look for the silver lining) a whole new world of camaraderie has opened up for me since the miscarriage, a fellowship I never hoped to be apart of, but am so grateful it exists. I wish it didn’t have to be this way… I wish I could have joined the sisterhood of glowing smiles because we just felt our babies kick instead of joining the sisterhood of blurry eyes because we remembered how many weeks we would have been today. With great hope, one day I will. For now I ache for the warmth of powder baby skin I’ll never hold this side of heaven, for morning light in the nursery we were so excited for, for the full round belly I couldn’t wait to grow that never will. I pray the peace stays with me and keeps on sticking. I rejoice because I know that the one who created my angel babe is holding him, and holding me. And with tears as I type, I know I’ll get to hold him one day too.
And so, while their Shiloh, their angel babe, will never be forgotten, because love is endless, without time or space, their Claire Amorette, in her delicate beauty and intricate perfection, in all that was hoped and yearned for is now within their arms. And this is her, their family, in all their healing and wholeness and answered prayer.
See this story on Allison’s blog too!