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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fearfully, Wonferfully, Skillfully Made

     Hey guess what? I think I'm out of the initial postpartum phase. Yay! If I lived a hundred years ago I would take out my regular clothes and put away the black dress. I'm ready to head on with normal life while cherishing a memory of a day gone by. The hormones (blasted lil bugars) have made moving on without a baby quite a lot worse. My mind can rest easy, but I'll say it again - God made us moms to love those babies a whole lot. I mean, for the past 6 weeks I couldn't drive past a pet store without considering stopping just because my body is wired to be holding a baby and heck, if I don't have my own, a puppy or chubby little hamster must be better than nothing, right? The good news is, I believe my body has caught up with my mind and no longer is producing hormones that make me physically miss her as well as emotionally. Goodbye and good riddance! 

   What I've been thinking about lately is how there is not a second of this experience that I would wish away. I know I've blogged on that line of thought before and this is becoming very redundant, but for whatever reason it seems to help me, so...redundant it shall stay. I just, well, I dunno. I browse other blogs and read books for people who have lost babies. It seems to me that the standard way of viewing the death of a baby is by looking at it as though it is a huge tragedy that should have never happened, and by golly that baby should be alive. I'm addressing you other mama's of "defective" babies when I say this: I believe our babies were made perfectly, lovingly, meticulously woven in our wombs just exactly how they were. I find myself almost defensive about Phoebe's little deformed heart. It was a perfect little heart! So what if it wasn't compatible with this life. She was just different - and now I know why we use the term "special"  - her heart was a special heart that God blessed her with. I don't like people calling it defective. If you could have seen her...she was perfect. Not defective. What I'm trying to get at is that it doesn't matter if she couldn't live because of it. She is living with it still; it's pure and perfect and as happy as can be. Gosh. How do some of you make it through this without taking a look at the promises of Jesus?

    So, the tragedy thing. I guess it's a tragedy for our family. I mean, yeah, we're all devastated. But then again, the whole experience was a wild ride - a huge blessing! We rejoiced in finding out that I was expecting. We counted down each week. We felt her kick - saw my belly moving around when Paul would talk real close. We chose adorable little girl onesies. We saw her twiddling with her fingers on the ultrasound screen. Labor, birth. We had a new baby last month. And then, we gave her back to God. Whirlwind!!!! I mean huge, right?! It's something else, being present at a death. Similar to birth, I suppose. I just keep trying to imagine myself being inside a womb and helping the baby out from in there. She was born into a world that I know nothing of yet. She's gone from my sight until the day of MY birth....and then it will all make sense and I will know how right I was in thinking it's all going to be okay. ( : 

   Phoebe is a nice addition to our family. She sure changed us.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jonah's Reminiscence

Jonah, my son, is two. He turned two just a week after Phoebe was born. He did get to meet her while she was alive, but it was the middle of the night and I have wondered and worried that he wouldn't remember his little sister.
  Tonight as I held him he fiddled with a necklace I wear that was given to me by a friend to remember Phoebe by. It has her name inscribed on it. (I love it!) He fiddled with it, and I have told him over and over that I wear it so we can remember Phoebe. He played with it and said "Phoebe" a few times, but then to my great joy he went to her picture and said "Phoebe!" And THEN - now this just breaks my heart - he reached his hand under my shirt and peered down to the only place he had ever seen his little sister; resting on my chest. I guess he was looking for her, but she wasn't there. 
                             Is it just me in my mommy pride or is this story super cute?

It gets better! He went back to the picture of his tiny baby sister and cried proudly, "My brother!!!"

Jonah closed out the conversation with this keen observation, "Phoebe's sleeping."

Saturday, May 14, 2011


  I'm feeling sorry for myself this gray morning. It's saturday and Paul is off working. We've had some unfortunate obligations that have taken up like the past months worth of weekends.

   I had a dream last night that I was heading to the hospital to deliver another premature baby that was going to die. Of course that is unlikely, but I woke up and started thinking about things like that and it occurred to me that while having another with another congenital heart defect is unlikely, I can basically count on having a miscarriage. My babies die. They just do - they die. One out of six is a crappy statistic.

  Some good friends had their perfect little baby girl this morning. Please don't think that it is their happiness or their wonderful outcome that hurts me... I am thrilled, SO thrilled, that their precious little one made it safely (and naturally!) into the world... but seeing the adorable pictures posted on facebook is not easy. We were excited when we found out we were both expecting, and both due around the same time. Now we both have baby girls, but they can never be pals like we'd hoped. The thought of having a healthy baby has been so far from my world, so surreal to me for these past weeks.

Honestly, I have to wonder if grief can kill someone! It just seems like so much stress on one heart couldn't be healthy...I kinda wish it would just explode and I could go into like a coma or something for a few months. (I'm kidding, for Pete's sake...chill out!) Like when you have the flu and you just wish you could throw up already.   

Read this Psalm. Can I sue God for plagiarism? It is like He took the words right out of my heart.

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God that He may hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched
out without wearying;
My soul refuses to be comforted.

I think of God, and I moan;
I meditate, and my spirit faints.

Thou dost hold my eyelids from closing;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak
 Psalm 77:1-4

Hot damn! If that ain't exactly what I wanted to say then I don't know what is. It fits just perfectly! Every word. I call to the Lord and I guess I'm too stubborn to be comforted.
   I think it is rather interesting that is says "I think of God, and I moan. I meditate, and my spirit faints." Anyone who has prayed and meditated deeply knows that a Catholic kids serious (can't remember the name) it is described by calling it a hug from an angel. It's that overwhelming saturation in God... he hit the nail on the head when he said "I meditate, and my spirit faints". It's the presence of God, no doubt, but I've been taken off guard since Phoebe because I can feel the presence and still be super sad. It used to be that I felt really happy when I felt His presence, now I can feel it and still miss my baby something terrible.
  And it seems God thinks it's some kind of funny joke to put in there that "Thou dost hold my eyelids from closing" --- least Ya could do, Lord, is let me sleep without having miserable dreams of dead babies! Seriously though, that strikes home with the feeling I've talked about here of constant beatings and no time to take a breath of air in between; no time to rest. And last, and maybe most fitting, "I am so troubled that I cannot speak" - my attempts here on this blog don't cut it, not even close. I feel dumb. Words completely fail me. I might as well quit trying now before I write any more and look back feeling like I wrote a bunch of bogus that can't hold a candle to what is really going on.

One more thing. I desperately need to do something RASH! I already chopped my hair short. I suggested going to the Dominican Republic and not coming back until we have a's dangerous business saying those things with a laid back hubby like Paul because he always says, "Uh...ok. Sure." For the first time in my entire life I feel like the credit card is in grave danger of being abused. Buying what? I have no idea, but I just know that I want to abuse it and spend like a million dollars doing something rash.
Yikes, huh?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Major Little Victory!

   I guess I've been having a pretty hard time. I can't deny it! I'm sick and tired of my baby being dead and gone. How long is every square inch of my body going to ache, ache, ache? I have been spending way too much time buried under the blankies with one those giant coronas you get at gas stations in hand. My appetite is history! If I don't put "eat lunch" on the schedule I completely forget to do it. Losing a baby SUCKS! I mean, really, really sucks.
vvvI have found that grief comes in waves, and also that my awareness of God's presence comes in waves too...which is particularly poopy because sometimes the waves match up just so and grief comes when it seems that God is nowhere to be found. Is it even remotely possible that God is trying to test my love for Him AGAIN?? (Just goes to show that there is indeed a feminine side of God...)  I feel like I have to hang on for dear life while the beatings continue. I'm so tired!!!!
   One of the hardest parts of this is that now a whole month has passed and it's no longer acceptable in my mind to talk about myself and my own problems non stop, but I still want and need too. I'm back in the swing of normal life, but I'm still having a hard time staying afloat. What I mean is-- I don't feel that I can burst into tears anymore without people thinking I should be getting over this already. I know you kind souls are going to comment and say that I can talk all I want and cry all I want, but it's just not as easy as it sounds. I want to be able to talk about what I'm feeling but I truly can't control my emotions. I don't enjoy making scenes and being dramatic. And I don't  enjoy having red poofy eyes either. As a result, I just can't talk about it to anyone. If I talk enough to actually tell the truth about how I'm feeling than I cry. When I cry I don't make any sense, so it just defeats the purpose altogether and I get red poofy eyes for nothing. Hence, the blog.

    I do have a major little victory under my belt that has made me very proud of myself. : D   I have felt immense guilt when I have told people I only have one child. I have never realized how incredibly often the question comes up among people my age. It seems so constant...ugh. I haven't had the strength to tell people that I have two babies - one of them here and one in Heaven. Last thing I want to do is cause a scene while talking to someone who knows me so little that they don't even know how many kids I have! Well, the victory is in the fact that yesterday I managed to coolie answer the question by telling the truth. First time since she was born! I knew I was in grave danger of bursting into tears and making that poor sucker feel awkward butI took the chance and it was fine. She didn't have to know that the one in Heaven only went there a month ago.
Yay me!
   Obviously it has come up in my mind about how that question should be answered when one has miscarried so many babies. I've decided that if I said, "Oh, I have one son, one daughter who died right after she was born, and four babies who I never even got to meet" it would just be too much. They can stay in my heart where God put them. They know I do remember them without me having to make a big deal about 'em in small talk.