After many years of silence, today I open up my heart before the world on a subject I thought I'd never write about. I cannot sleep tonight...I looked at the calendar several days ago, and I noticed that Aug. 25th was approaching. I wouldn't say that I dread that date, but I definately don't look forward to it.
August 25, 2002 was the due date of our first baby. As happy as I am being a mom to the best little boy in the world, and as much as I don't live with the day to day pain as I used to, my heart cannot help but feel heavy on this day every year. It's like a dull ache arrives and sits in my chest the whole day. Memories that are uninvited rush to my mind all day...feelings that are unexplained overwhelm me, tears that are unannounced fall, and I have learned that I am much better if I just sit and let my heart remember how the dream ended before it was given a chance to grow. I kept a journal during my pregnancy and after the time that we lost the baby to a miscarriage, and I sit and read it every year on Aug. 25th. Over the years, it has gotten easier, the tears still come, but they are not as heavy as they used to be, it's just that my heart needs those moments to remember the precious gift I lost.
Since we have recently moved, and are renting until we find the perfect place to buy and settle, so many of our things remained packed. My journal that I read each year on Aug. 25 is packed safely away...therefore I find myself coming here and releasing some of the emotions and memories tied to this day.
I was just entering my fourth month. I walked into the doctor's office that day with my video tape in hand and a camera nearby. My husband and I were so excited that after 14 years of marriage and waiting...and giving up...Today we would see our baby's heartbeat for the first time! After the video was inserted, and the nurse looked for a heartbeat to show us, there was silence. I tried to read the look on her face, knowing that something wasn't right when she never pressed the record button for the tape. I knew something was wrong. My husband knew something was wrong. She tried a little more, then stopped. She tried to reassure us that the doctor needed to take a look and that I should just wait for him to see what he thought. When my doctor came in, and he had the same expression as the nurse, our fears were confirmed. Where there should be a heartbeat, there was nothing. Where there should be the words "Record", I read "Pause". As my doctor began to talk to me, I remember turning my head and being the maddest I have ever been in my life. My husband feel to his knees on the floor and began crying, "No...this can't be happening."
My world stopped spinning for a moment, but then I remembered that I had a hope that some don't have. I had God...and He loved me and would take care of this for me. I just knew He would. After all, I had served Him and been faithful to church and had all my ducks in a row, so to speak. He wouldn't think of letting this happen to one of His own children.
After I was dressed, my husband and I were taken to the doctor's private office and were told that he wanted me to be admitted to the hospital and have a D&C immediately because I had signs of infection in my body. I stood up and walked out of his office and refused to accept anything I had just heard. I walked out in faith...knowing that God was going to prove that He was still in the miracle business and that He was going to use my situation to show His power.
I waited two weeks and carried my baby safely inside of me, waiting on that miracle. When I became so ill that I couldn't go on, my husband brought me to the doctor's office and they immediately set up the surgery for later that evening. I had extreme complications after the surgery due to the fact that there was so much infection in my body. To this day, I become very ill if I smell iodine and just the smell of it takes me back to that day of the surgery. It's amazing the little things your mind remembers. I guess my mind was trying so hard to block out the truth of what was happening and just choose to focus on other things around me. I still cannot stand to smell Bath&Body Works cucumber melon lotion, as I remember the nurse was wearing it.
I remember leaving the hospital after the surgery and having to literally make my mind shut off the fact that I had just handed over the most precious gift I'd ever known, to people who would not hold it the way I would have, or cared for it the way I would have. I wanted to just jump out of the wheelchair and run back inside and tell them one more time...it's not just tissue or matter...it's my baby, small as it may seem to you. Please don't treat it without respect. Please give it proper treatment. Please be kind. The hardest thing a mother can do is walk away...without knowing what is really being done behind the closed doors of where you just left your baby.
I can sit here tonight and even though the tears may fall quitely, I am a stronger person than I was before. Though my faith in God was tested, though I went through a season where I wouldn't talk to Him, though I questioned Him many, many times. I am thankful that I found the strength to run back to His arms and to trust Him again. I found that when my world had been turned upside down and inside out...HE was the One who understood my hurt better than anyone else. I found Him to be a faithful refugee again when we lost two other babies to miscarriages. Then, on June 8, 2005 I found Him to be faithful to His promise. I found HOPE in the eyes of a 6lb 12oz baby boy that God blessed me and my husband with. Landon has helped my heart to heal, he's given me so many reason to smile...but my heart can't help but remember that he's not my only child. There are three others who I love with all my heart and cannot wait to hold one day. And, on this day, my mind can't help but to wonder, and my heart can't help but to miss and think about 'what might have been'...
So, as I sit here tonight and even as I will go through the day today and remember and honor a precious life that forever changed me, I find a reason to be thankful.
See, the journey of losing three babies has left me a more compassionate person, a more sensitive person, a woman who's more aware of the hurt and needs of others who have experienced the same pain as I have. I can look back over my life and see that I am who I am today because of the love (and because of the loss) that I came to know of when I first became a mother many years ago...and though I had to wait till Landon was born to experience the joys of motherhood, I cannot overlook the fact that through these times of great loss, I gained so much of my character. I learned so much about who I really was and what kind of relationship I had with God.
So, here's to remembering a precious life...my dear little one...you have no idea how many times today my thoughts will turn to you. I'll cry. I know I will because I always do on this date, but my heart is always comforted because I know that Jesus has a rocking chair, and I know that He holds you with tender, loving care. I know that He took you from the safety of my womb for a reason...His ways are higher than my ways. I'll not question Him...I'll let the tears flow and let them wash my heart and soul...knowing that He understands my tears today!