The Day

7 years.

It's been 7 years and one day since we lost our first baby via miscarriage.  I was 11 weeks, 4 days pregnant.  It was devastating.  I've written before about that experience but it was honestly one of the most crushing times of my life.  I lost my naivety and innocence.  It was the first time (of many) when something totally was out of my control and I had no power whatsoever to change my circumstances.  I remember begging to God to change the results we saw on the ultrasound.  I pleaded with the Almighty God and acknowledged that in He was certainly powerful enough to change what the doctor found (no heartbeat.)  Perhaps the hardest part of the whole experience was recognizing that God is sovereign and He could have changed the conclusion... and He did not.  I recall telling God through hot tears that my heart was broken and my feelings were hurt.  How thankful I am for a God who can take my emotions and my broken heart.

He has stitched my heart back together - and motherhood has broken it again and again.  I've no doubt that my heart must surely look like a patchwork of mismatched pieces and off stitching.  I'm sure there's some holes in the fabric swatches.  Some of the stitches are probably neat and others are scattered.  Most are stained with dirt and life and hard days.  Some have been rapidly unraveling this summer through other heartbreaking, gut wrenching mother experiences.

I spent all day yesterday with my son in a hospital in Dallas.  We saw a specialist regarding two recent issues that had come up - a spine concern and a leg concern.  We went through x-rays.  We sat in waiting rooms.  We sat in clinic rooms.  Thankfully, both of those concerns ended up being laid to rest. Whew.
We grabbed hospital cafeteria food to go, sloppily wrapped in in some saran wrap and stuffed it in the backpack and ran to more appointments.  We tried on his new prosthetics and he loved the design he choose.  Bold.  Very bold.  (For the life of me, I can not get this photo to rotate properly.  Sorry)

Yes.  He chose black and blue flame prosthetics.  They are awesome.  I love that even with such a "cool" design, he is holding his gigi (blankee.)  We were tired people by that point in the day.
Also- I've come a long way, baby.  When he was an infant and I would see wild, bold prosthetics at the hospital, I was convinced we would never have anything but flesh colored or maybe a small design (like last year's with the pirate and batman designs.  I've come a long, long way.)

They weren't quite right, however, and needed some adjustments.  While waiting in our clinic room during the adjustment time, we saw a creative guy who makes prosthetics for things like bike riding.  Will wants to play tennis so Dwight helped fit him and mold some sort of hand prosthetic to enable Will to hold the racquet while serving.  Dwight also manufactured some cool handles to help Will jump rope.  (He is in a play in November as a jump roping bad guy so we are "under the gun" (pardon the bad guy pun) to figure out jump roping.)  Dwight left the room to do some adjustments too.  I finally couldn't take any more script practice for the play, we had done homework already, and I was just so tired.  I gave Will his ipad and I laid my head against the wall.  Before I knew it, I was asleep.  In a room with bright lights and annoying ipad sounds.  People were talking in the hallway, a baby was crying nearby, and tools were grinding away loudly on prosthetics on the other side of the door.  Yet, I slept.
Will woke me up when he needed to head to the bathroom.  I was astounded I had actually fallen asleep.  I have never done that before there.

It hit me just now... perhaps my exhaustion is just an emotional response to the anniversary of losing a baby.  I don't know.  I do know that every year, I struggle around this time of year and I struggle with sadness on my birthday (the day I learned I was carrying that precious babe.)   I struggle with a few days of extra exhaustion and sadness and it usually doesn't make any sense.  Every single year - for seven years.

A few months ago, out of nowhere, Will woke up from his nap and started describing a surreal scene to me.  I got a bizarre feeling and suddenly knew deep in my soul to "be quiet and pay attention - this is a holy moment."  Will proceeded to describe some things he would have no way to know about and he described with some interesting details someone he had seen.  I got quiet and listened and felt like maybe God was whispering reassurances to my heart about that first precious baby I briefly carried.

The heartache has lessened.  I don't usually cry anymore on those days.  In fact, yesterday, I never even realized the significance of the date.  But it hit me now and with it, a new wave of sadness and grief for a life lost and wondering what might have been and even some mommy guilt for not realizing that yesterday was the day until today.

I don't really have neat little bow to tie this post up.  I'm just extra tired and struggling lately and maybe this is why.   Perhaps you relate?  Maybe those of us mamas who have lost a baby- perhaps our heart has a stone sewn into it and every now and then, it just weighs us down a little more.  I like that thought actually  - because the weight of that stone, it tugs at my heart and makes me ache a little more and rest a little longer but it also means that my baby - though never experienced a single breath on this earth, my baby had weight enough to matter.  Those too few weeks I carried that babe, those weeks counted and that baby had weight on my life and in this world.

2 thoughts:

NancyB said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your baby. I lost a baby at 6 weeks, my only pregnancy, 13 years ago last June. While the sadness never goes away, I've learned to live with it. While I was losing my baby, I had a realization that gave me some comfort - I hope it does that for you, too. The realization was this: for the brief time I carried my baby he or she only knew love. He or she never had to experience any of the bad parts of this fallen world. He or she only knew the love my husband and I and our families had for him or her before he or she went home to God. All these years later, this realization still brings me to tears - sad ones, but grateful ones, too. I know I will meet my little one in Heaven one day, and I take great comfort in that knowledge. Again, I'm so sorry for your sadness - I hope I've helped even just a little bit.
I've followed your blog for some time now, and I have to say, not only are both of your kids miraculous, they are two of the most beautiful kids I have ever seen. Their strength and resilience (yours, too) are inspirational. God Bless. :-)

Liz said...

Larry & I had custody of 2 children for 13 months, several years ago. Every year on March 16 (the day they moved away), I mourn. Like you, I don't often even realize what the date is until after I realize that I'm grieving & feeling funky. But when I do, I let myself lay down & roll around in it for a while. I give myself some time to be a mom to those 2 sweeties in my heart and to remember them. Moving them elsewhere was the RIGHT choice, but it was very much like the death of a child. Heart-wrenching, horrible grief. No one who hasn't been there can ever understand that kind of sorrow. HUGS! :(

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