Meeting Kathryn

This is Katy.

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Katy became Kathryn.

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And Kathryn became Kathryn Casey.

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A few months later Kathryn Casey became “Mommy”

but she never got to meet her child

because at the emergency department, they learned the little 7-week old sac inside her was empty.

 

I felt those miscarriages all the way to my bones. It broke my view of the world, from a safe place sheltered by the hand of God, I felt exposed to a world of chaos. It opened up a world of fear: what if I cannot have children or carry children? Then I had Miriam and she was perfect. I thought that was the end of miscarriages for me. When it happened again, I just felt that wild grief Adriel Booker writes about in Grace Like Scarlett.

 

Time marched on

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Until Katy and Kathryn and Kathryn Casey

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gave birth to the sweetest cleftie in the world.

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There are only a handful of photos of me from that time period, when I, Kathryn, changed from this …

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to this …

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and finally to this…

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During Peter’s first surgery, I could not bear to stay in the hospital. Two years later, I put on the bunny suit and held Regina’s hand as she fell asleep in the operating room.

 

During the intermission of Madama Butterfly, my husband and I saw a man whom we had not seen in, at least, three years. Seeing me dressed in velvet, with a sleek ponytail and a bright smile framed in brighter lipstick, he said, “wow, motherhood really agrees with you. You look so wonderful.”

I felt the brightness then.

Reaching back, I am still trying to remember who I was before those two prenatal diagnoses and now.

What I began to see is that I lived with less suffering, but also I lived with less joy. In growing my capacity to feel so much grief and so much heartache, my capacity to feel so much happiness and pleasure also increased.

I always imagined that if I lost a child, the world would fade to black-and-white. How could a mother go on?

It was black-and-white for a while.

And I did go on.

I leaned into grief, allowed it to wash over me, allow myself to feel the full depth of my sorrow.

The depth of suffering is the cross, and so, in Christ, the resurrection follows.

There would come a time when God would fill what he emptied” and so he did.

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