The week before I miscarried, I stopped feeling nauseous. For the first ten weeks of my pregnancy, I felt mildly sick all the time. The thought of certain foods could make me gag, and in general, nothing sounded appetizing at all. But right around week 11, which in hindsight was the week before I miscarried, I felt fine. So fine that when friends asked how I was feeling I would say “I actually don’t feel nauseous at all anymore. I hope that’s a kind gift from God and not the sign of something bad, but I feel totally fine!”
That same week, I had a vivid dream about seeing our daughter for the first time. In the dream, she was a normal-sized newborn wrapped in a white blanket. I didn’t dream of giving birth to her, but I knew this baby was my own. And in those moments, I felt an overwhelming sense of love that I don’t think I’ve quite felt before. The entire scene (which I assumed was a hospital room) was blinding white: the table she was on, the walls, the floor.
When I woke up the next morning, I assumed it was some type of dreamy prediction that we’d have a girl. Now, I wonder if I saw our daughter in my dream. I wonder if that night, a few days before I officially miscarried, our baby was born into glory. I wonder if someday I’ll show up in Heaven, too, and immediately know who she is. I don’t know if any of this is true, and I don’t know if I was pregnant with a girl or a boy, but it brings me comfort to imagine. It helps me to call her a girl instead of just “baby.” It helps to believe that the sudden and deep love I felt in that dream pales in comparison to the way God feels about me and my children.
I’ve always loved the word selah and have considered it for the name of a daughter. In the bible, it’s not a name, but a word used over and over in the psalms holding the purpose of pause and reflection.
We tried to conceive for twenty months before successfully getting pregnant. I held onto this word selah as a promise from God and a command to reflect on his faithfulness in the waiting (the pause). After the pregnancy loss when I remembered the dream, I knew this word I had considered for a name belonged to her. She was our Selah all along, and this season of joy and grief and love will always be a purposeful pause and reflection on what God was doing to make himself mighty in me.
For a couple months while I was pregnant, I really (and finally) felt miraculous, and then it all changed and I mostly felt ashamed. But while I was driving earlier this summer, in the thick of my sadness, the holy spirit reminded that I’m still miraculous when I’m not growing a baby because I’m always carrying Life. He gave me the word “mighty”: possessing great and impressive power or strength, especially on account of size. If a baby the size of a sushi roll could give me an impressive amount of strength and courage, then God must be miraculously mighty in me.
God shows up in our pauses. He is faithful in our waiting.
And now, when I see my stretch marks (which are very easy to feel sad about), I’m reminded — Selah. When I wiggle my new ring around my finger, I’m reminded — Selah. On January 3rd — Selah. Pause and reflect. God is mighty in me.