How an Orchid Helped me Cope with Miscarriage and Loss

I wrote this post last year but did not have the courage to post it online. Another year has passed and even though the grief of my miscarriage has lessened with time, I can honestly say I think about the child I lost on a daily basis. I feel as though her spirit (as I strongly believe it to be a girl) is with me. This September, as my due date passes once again, I’ve decided to post this in remembrance of my baby waiting for me in heaven. I’m sorry we could not be together on this Earth, but I know we will be together one day. I love you.

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I wasn’t expecting longevity when I brought an orchid into my home. I knew of the plant’s temperamental stereotype and figured with my brown thumb the poor thing would be dead in weeks. Marked down to clearance and only a quarter of the cost of a grocery store bouquet, I figured I’d get my money’s worth of beauty from the flower. When I carried it into the living room my husband gave me, or rather the orchid, a concerned look. “An orchid? Aren’t those hard to take care of.” “Yes,” I said and left it at that as I placed the flower in a direct path of the sun’s light.

The blooms lasted about 2 weeks, each flower opening and then quickly falling off. The blooms were gorgeous. A pretty pastel yellow with bits of fuchsia in the center. In my defense, I did try to the best of my ability to keep it alive. I moved the plant into different locations of my house to see if it would prefer the sun of one window to another. I watered it just a little and with infrequency as listed to do on the little instruction card that came with the plant. I sang Buddy Holly songs to it on the weekends… Okay, not really. That really would have done it in. But with all my effort, the pretty blooms still wilted before their time and dropped. Soon the stalks began to turn brown and shrivel. That’s it. My poor orchid was done. The leaves at the root of the plant were still green, so I let it sit on the table by the window.

Weeks turned in to a month and I realized, as I stared at the brown dried up twigs of what were once bright lush green stems, that I had completely forgotten to water the plant. As I was about to put the poor thing out of its misery, I noticed a new shoot popping out from the old one. Hmmm. That’s interesting. I thought. I gave it a little water and let it go for another week or two. Yes, a shoot was growing, but if it were to actually produce more flowers, I’d be shocked.

More time passed and buds began to form. One! Two! Three! Buds! How was this even possible? The plant I had deemed barren months ago, now had more buds than it did when I brought it home. Stubborn to a fault, I held steadfast in my belief even if there were buds, the plant would never be healthy enough to bloom.

A little more about me, because an entire blog isn’t enough, I tend to find meaning and symbolism where to most there isn’t any. Some may say I have a bad habit of over-analyzing, but I like to think of it as looking for signs from God. I feel like He puts things in my path for me to find as a way of showing that He’s there for me. He’s sweet like that. 🙂 I had one of these moments yesterday as I was jogging on the treadmill.

September is the month my baby would have been born if I would not have miscarried at 6 weeks. And although I’ve thought of my baby in heaven ever since I knew of his/her existence thoughts of “what would have been” have plagued my mind more than ever this month. Even now it’s hard to think my office, where I am sitting typing this, should really be a nursery. My desk should have been moved to make room for the crib and the walls should be filled with the nursery artwork I’d randomly collected since trying to conceive.

So as I ran on the treadmill, my mind ran with thoughts of my baby. Having a clear view of the orchid, I noticed one of the buds had more than doubled. I thought “Wouldn’t it be weird if after months and months that dang orchid finally bloomed in September. And wouldn’t it be even more weird if there were 6 buds to represent the 6 weeks I carried my baby?” See what I mean by over-analyzing? 😉 No, there were not 6 buds on the orchid. I checked after my workout, and studying the large bud it still seemed too weak for it to ever fully bloom.

I was wrong. Today the orchid bloomed. Amazed I inspected it more closely and realized a new bud had formed overnight. 6 buds. I truly believe it was a message from God. A little “Hi. How are you? I’m here and I love you. Do not worry. I have everything planned for you and it will all work out.”

God turned, to what my eyes had seen as a barren orchid, into a thriving blooming plant. I will continue to pray and believe that he has the same plans for me.

Update: The orchid bloomed again this September. I truly believe this orchid is a gift from God and from my baby, reminding me they are both with me at all times. After all with my brown thumb, only a miracle from God could keep the orchid alive.

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