Friday, January 30, 2015

Loss, Part 2: Waiting

The first two days after finding out our sweet baby's spirit had gone to be with Jesus were spent processing the fact of the matter. There were waves of tears, numbness, and shutting it out in favor of a fake mask of humor and happiness to cope. There were a lot of discussions between my husband and I- some tearful, some matter-of-fact- and most of all a lot of just holding each other and silently communicating with our closeness. We told the kids(more on that later), we told those closest to us, and after dealing with it for a bit ourselves, we posted to Facebook letting the greater community around us know. And we waited.
   The third day was spent getting punched in the face with the reality of not being able to be Mama to him like I am to my other babies. When I dressed my toddler in his older brother's hand-me-downs I cried knowing I'd never see my tiny baby in that firetruck tee or that colorful cloth diaper. As we buckled kids into car seats to get some groceries I began crying when I saw the empty space in the back where the new baby's seat was meant to go. When we went over further paperwork for the house we're in the process of buying I began to cry as I realized the "boys' room" no longer needed to be the biggest of the upstairs bedrooms, because there would just be two boys instead of three. When I said nighttime prayers with the kids and left out the line, "And thank you for our new baby. Please continue to keep him healthy and strong," my heart felt like it was broken pieces I was about to vomit from my mouth because they hurt too bad to keep inside. I took a shower before bed that night and just sobbed in the hot water, meditating and giving my body permission to let my baby go, then dried off and went to bed begging God to let my baby be born that night while the children were asleep and it was just me and my husband, so we could be peaceful and handle the process together.
   The fourth day was spent in a very dark place. When I woke up and realized I'd slept through the night and awakened pain-free and still pregnant, I had to repeatedly and verbally remind myself, "God did NOT let me down." I've been in the dark place before. It's a place where My spirit is so low and my mind so overwhelmed with depression that I could literally stare at a wall for hours on end, unable to move, unable to care, unable to ANYTHING.
   In my pain that day I did the most heartless thing, and it whipped my head into shape in an instant. All along my husband and I had been keeping very open and raw communication. He'd been more emotionally expressive and vulnerable than any other time in our lives together. It was incredibly healing and bonding for both of us. I kept asking him, "How are YOU feeling? I know people are asking how I am, but I know this is not just about me. He's your baby, too. How are you?" But when I was on the couch at the end of that day in that very dark place, he sent me a text message from the office and said, "Can I do anything for you?" My fingers spewed horrible selfishness in a message that read, "Rewind 4 weeks and change everything." My incredible husband, in all his patience, love, and compassion, responded with, "I really wish I could. Believe me I would. I want my child." I was immediately slapped in the face with my inadvertent selfishness. HIS child. It was his child. I was reminded how badly he was hurting, too. I apologized profusely for my thoughtless words. His honest and incredible response made me sob and love the man more than I ever thought possible: " I understand you're hurting. It hurts me doubly. I lose my child and I can't help my wife with her suffering. It sucks." That's what it took to snap me out of the dark place and help me focus on the good, the beauty in the ashes of this awful situation, like the intense love and selflessness my husband had for me.
   The days after that were a mix of the first three days- waves of anguish and tears, raw questions from my children and equally raw, honest responses, love and comfort from all those around us, new realizations of the layers of our loss, and joy in the little things around us. And more waiting. Most of the friends I spoke to who experienced a similar later trimester loss said they could not bear the thought of carrying their perished child around in their womb, so they'd opted for immediate intervention. For me, to carry my boy with me was a comfort. Though I was well aware his spirit was not there, I was able to sing the sweet songs to him I've sung to each of my babies. I was able to put my hand on my belly over and over and thank him for letting me be his Mama. I was able to fall asleep each night with my hand on my belly, spending "One last night" curled up in bed with my baby. And I was able to do a lot of healing. A lot of talking to God and my husband, working through healing in the waiting for his birth.
   Every day there was a looming feeling of both dread and relief ready to explode whenever the birth process began. It never began.

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing, and I love how you didn't rush getting your baby's body out and so sweetly and reverently sing to him and say goodbye to him. I love how you took your time to grieve and honor him.