Sunday, August 28, 2011

Some days catch you off guard

Before this day comes to an end, I desperately need to write down what I'm feeling inside. Today has been a whirlwind of events and emotions and I feel like I've been tossed in the storm.
Church was moving as it's expected to be once you've lost a baby, none the less your second baby. The topic today (and last Sunday for that matter)? Heaven. The preacher talked about how we need to be ever thankful of the present but looking forward to the eternal. He talked about how the enemy's desire is to distract us from these things by striking us with fear. Fear of the unknown future, fear of the past, fear of things we can't control. I almost felt like God was taking to me in that moment. I had prayed to him in hushed words days after giving birth to Evelyn. I fear this is the end, I fear I will never bring home another baby. I fear I will never be a mommy to a baby girl on earth. I fear my son will never have a sibling. I fear my husband will leave me because I can't carry his children. I FEAR, I FEAR, I FEAR. But God has revealed so many things to me in this seemingly small day.

I'm homesick, longing for your salvation; I'm waiting for your word of hope. My eyes grow heavy watching for some sign of your promise; There's smoke in my eyes, they burn and water, but I keep a steady gaze on the instructions you post.
Psalm 119:81-83
(The Message)

After the service I waited patiently in the lobby while my husband parked cars. I stood with my son by the coffee creamers, fake smile plastered to my face, lost in my thoughts. I wondered if people could see, I mean really see me. Could they look at my face and see "I gave birth to my lifeless daughter two weeks ago and my heart is breaking inside" Could they sense her death in a simple stare? The answer to this became obvious as a mother (whom I knew from watching her daughter in the nursery) came bouncing joyfully up to me. She scanned my flat tummy, then my face. "Oh look, you....and then her voice trailed off as she watched my fake smile go to undeniable pain. I muttered the best way I knew how "She passed away 3 days before she was born". Ouch. I started to shake and cry. I was half angry and half sad. Angry I didn't have a different response for her. Why couldn't I be saying "Oh yes! I had a girl, she is in the nursery" or "She is with her daddy who is very excited right now" or even "She was born a little early and is in the NICU, we are headed to see her now and can't wait to bring her home" But no I couldn't give her any of these answers. I left church with my head spinning, stomach twisted and a knot in my throat. I can close my eyes at this very moment and envision her face. The moment from complete joy to shock and sorrow. It reminded me of my face the day I discovered Evelyn was no more on this earth.

God knows I need him, here and now. In this moment he is here with me as I weep. I cried out to him when I got home. Why God? Why? You know I wanted her. You know I wanted to keep my baby girl. Just TELL ME who I have to be to deserve having a baby on earth. What do I have to do? Tell Evie I miss her and that mommy loves her so much. I know she is happy where she is. I have no doubt of that. But tell her I would go to the ends of the earth to have her here with me. I love her, I wont forget.

I don't know what the next step is in my life. I don't have a clue where to go. But God reminded me today that I simply need to look to him and scan the horizon for his instructions. As much as I hate not being in control, it feels good to know the I AM of all creation is walking with me on this journey and ultimately knitting together my future in the midst of my grief. I am overwhelmed with knowing that he is a God who cares, who loves, who protects. What a bittersweet day

The Birth story of Evelyn Juliet

I have been wanting to write this for a long time. But as I'm sure some of you may know, writing the birth story of an angel can be quite the task. So many things you want to say and express. So much you want people to feel and understand. All needing to be wrapped into a pretty box of words tied with love. I'll do my best to make this birth story worthy of an angel.

Evelyn Juliet was to be my rainbow baby. You see we lost a little girl this past October at 23 weeks. My sweet Lainey Grace. Three months after loosing Lainey I discovered I was pregnant. Oh the joy and instant fear I felt. Regardless I praised God while sitting on that bathroom floor, tears streaming down my face, staring at those two pink lines. God answered my prayers. He gave me the chance to start over, the chance to be a mommy again. Weeks went by and everyday I worried. I prayed God would let me keep my baby, let me bring my miracle home. As I passed my 23wk mark I breathed a sigh of relief. I thought "This is really going to happen!". I started getting excited. Ordered a Girasol Amitola wrap for my rainbow baby. A rainbow wrap for my rainbow baby. What is more perfect than that?? I began looking at cloth diapers and even ordered my first newborn fitted! It was finally starting to set in. Soon I would be co sleeping with my baby, waking up every few hours to breastfeed, make baby food in a few months. My excitement was welling up inside me. My life was to be joyous and complete!

My joy came crashing down ever so quickly I'm afraid. I'm not sure when my angel stopped moving. I'm guessing Monday morning August 8th 2011. I knew something was wrong but denial can be such a strong emotion. Tuesday morning I told Erik we needed to head to my midwife. It was like deja vu all over again. The drive to my midwife, the nervous wait in the waiting room, the silent search for a heartbeat and then the dreaded ultrasound. "I'm sorry Chelsea but it looks like we aren't seeing anything". My world burst into flames right at that moment. No, this can't be. I cant do this again, I just can't! But it was happening and I couldn't stop it.

We headed home to find a babysitter and pack our bags. At that point there were no tears. Just pure numbness. After a few hours we were headed to the hospital. When we got there they hooked me up to the monitor to see my contractions. I was already having a few mild ones off and on. They inserted some cervadil and I was given sleeping medication to ease my troubled mind. Now to sleep and wait. The next morning I woke up and the cervadil was removed. All was the same. No dilating, no intense contractions. So they started me on cytotec. A dose every 6hours. Time ticked by, slowly but yet fast all at once. Contractions started to pick up but I was still fairly comfortable. Friends and family began calling but my heart couldn't bare conversations. I did have a wonderful friend come visit me. She was such a blessing. She brought me a huge bag of organic produce, two outfits for the baby (we were team green and didn't know what we were having) three different size cloth diapers, a hand print box/frame, my newborn diaper I had ordered, and more. I don't believe I will ever be able to express to Emily the joy she brought to me in that hospital. Such small things meant so much and left an unmeasurable imprint on my heart. The sweet words she spoke over me and the love and comfort of her presence. Of God's presence. I will never forget it. Emily also contacted a friend of hers to come be our photographer. Oh Mary Anne. What can I say about her that haven't already said. She was beyond amazing. Mary Anne practically acted as my doula, making sure my request were fulfilled by the nurses and taking care of my needs. She was also very much like a mother. She read scripture to me, laughed with me and also brought me a beautiful bathing suit top and angel wings necklace that I cherish with all my heart. I could feel God's spirit in that room with us. He held my husband and I as we wept and kept us close to his heart. Without him I wouldn't of had the strength to go threw it all. My pastor came and prayed with us as well. He gave Erik the shirt off his back (literally). We hadn't planned on the possibility of being there more than one night so my husband had been wearing the same clothes for two days straight.

The nurses continued to give me cytotec. At around the 4th dose they decided to up my dose by giving it to me every 4 hours as opposed to every 6 hours. My midwife also broke my water in hopes of getting a kick start with labor. After my water was broke they brought in the birthing tub and began to fill it up. By then my contractions were becoming rather painful. I waddled over to the tub and got in. It felt oh so nice. I was filled with joy and sadness all at once. Finally I was able to have my beautiful waterbirth but sadly not under the circumstances I had imagined. After 3 contractions my angel was born at 3:05 pm on 08.11.11 weighing 2lbs 13 oz and was 15 1/2 in long. The nurses immediately wanted to know the gender of the baby. I said "A boy....oh wait, no, a girl! A GIRL!! Evelyn Juliet" At that place and time I burst into tears. Why God? Why take another princess from me? Don't I get to be a mommy to a little girl on earth? Don't I get to dress her in pink dresses with bows and ribbons in her hair? Why is this happening? I stared at her for hours. She was breathtaking. Beautiful beyond words. We gave her a bath and I put her small yellow preemie happy heiney diaper on. I then wrapped her onto my chest and closed my eyes. I began praying for God to help me, to give me strength during this time as I was so broken and weak. Erik wanted to hold her so I took her off and dressed her in the cutest outfit. He held her for hours, staring at her, kissing her, telling her he loved her. We prayed over her and told her we loved her so much and I made sure to give her at least 3 kisses before she left my arms. I wish I would have given her more. We said goodbye and they took her away. After that we began packing and getting ready for the journey home. Every day since then has been a struggle for me. All I can do now is lift my sorrow and pain to God and have faith he will heal all wounds. I know my sweet Evie loves is in heaven with her sister, playing and being surrounded by love. I miss her look forward to the day I can hold her again.