Continuing the story....(here's part 1 and here's part 2):
I really didn't expect to feel the things I did as this all sunk in. Normally I am an open book, love to share my life in detail, and walk besides others through the good and bad. But this was different. I remember telling my mom as I talked to her on my drive home that I didn't want to tell people. I didn't want to have to talk about it, I didn't want to be in a position to need their sympathy, I didn't want to hear "I'm sorry." I wish I could have had some time to hide. Somehow I thought that if I could just keep it to myself it wouldn't become reality. But the reality was that I had to go home, not to an empty house, not even to just my husband. To three little ones, two of which were very aware of the fact that we were expecting a new baby and that our family was supposed to be growing and changing. In fact, there wasn't a single day that had gone by where they didn't talk about the baby. Nathan prayed daily that the baby would grow healthy and strong and they had endless questions about how the baby was going to come out, what we were going to call it, the pros and cons of brother or sister. How was I going to look them in the eye and tell them that this was no more? What words could I use to explain something that I couldn't begin to understand myself?
As I pulled into the driveway I didn't know how it was all going to happen. My husband met me outside, just the beginning of what I believe was a gift God gave him to give to me over the next few days. The very first of many times in those days to follow that he demonstrated knowing my needs before I knew them myself. He gave me that time to just lean on him and cry before facing the kids. We decided that we needed to rip the band-off so to speak and tell them now. I couldn't hide my grief so it only made since to do it sooner than later. We sat them down and told them in the best way we knew how. We explained that something was wrong with the baby and it had died and now it was going to be in heaven with Jesus. That we were sad and it was okay to be sad. That there was nothing that any of us did, that these things just happen sometimes. They each reacted in their own way. Jordan was angry. He didn't understand and thought I had the baby but didn't show it to them. He wanted to see the baby and was angry that it was living with God and not us. Nathan was sad. He was hurt and said that nobody else's babies die, how come ours has to? I hated that he had to know this truth. That babies do die sometimes and that this wasn't just happening to us. We told them that God had a plan in all of this and that we can trust in that even if we don't understand it. I am glad that they heard me and I knew they did as in the days and weeks to come I would hear that in Nathan's prayers. "God we don't understand but we know you have a plan. Watch over the baby now that it lives with you and tell it we miss it lots."
That evening we had to make plans. I had to be at the hospital at 6:30am the next morning and we needed a place for the kids to be. I didn't want anyone in my home, I didn't want to see anyone so Jeremy made arrangements to take the kids bright and early to a family member's house. We got offers for dinner that night, offers for visits, but I couldn't accept any of them. I knew what it was like to be on that end, to desperately want to help someone in their hurting, but I had to be selfish in that moment. I had to keep them all away and keep this to myself. I had to mentally prepare for what was going to take place in a few short hours. As much as I didn't want people in my space at that moment, I was almost physically ill over the idea of people having to be in my body the next day. What an invasion. If I could have left my body for that period of time I would have done it. I felt so trapped in all of it and there was no way to escape it.
In these painful moments I made a decision. I couldn't carry this all by myself. I would whither up and die if I had to carry this grief on my own. So I gave it to God. I told him that it was His to carry and that I would let him have it. I wasn't going to ask why because that was a question without an answer. I wasn't going to think about what if. I wasn't going crush under the weight of it all. I think this decision saved me. It saved me from depression, from going to a place I would have had to fight really hard to come back from. It allowed me to mean what I said to my children and to live what I was teaching. That things happen that we don't understand and that we don't have to worry because we have a God that is bigger than all of it.
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to
give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge
Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
--I just have to say thank you. I never thought I would be able to put this into words (I know, hard to believe since I am never one that is short on words!). And boy has it been a blessing to share. It's scary....to put something so real out there for anyone to see. But the stories that have been shared with me, the encouragement, the prayers, have all added to the healing process. The story isn't over. I will continue to write it over these next few days and I hope that you will continue to read it.--