Friday, January 3, 2014
Grief and My Angel Baby
In the beginning/middle of November we found out I was pregnant. We'd been trying for about five months, so obviously I was really excited. Eisley is adorable with babies and just LOVES them, so it was time to make her a big sister. I told a couple of friends who I would talk to about the trying process and my frustrations when another month would tick by and no pregnancy. I just couldn't keep all of that joy to myself. I was only two weeks pregnant when we found out, so it was super early.
The weeks flew by. I have a toddler now, after all, and time with a toddler just doesn't ever seem to slow down. I bought a few things for the new baby. Some cute gender-neutral moccasins (even though I was convinced from the moment that stick showed two lines that this baby was a girl), a beautiful woven wrap to snuggle her up to me. I was feeling tired, but good. With Eisley I was nauseous all day every day for the first trimester, but I really very rarely felt sick this time unless I waited too long to eat something after I awoke in the morning.
If I'm being honest, that always made me nervous. Especially since I felt so strongly that this was a girl. You know what the old wives tales say about being pregnant with girls- you're sick as a dog. But I just took it as a blessing. A little (or big) mercy since I have to keep track of a super active toddler all day long.
Over Christmas we told all of our family. They were so excited, and my heart just became more anxious to meet my beautiful baby and plan our lives as a family of four instead of three. Driving home on that saturday after Christmas I was ten weeks, and I felt totally fine.
On Monday or Tuesday I started spotting lightly, and of course I completely freaked out. I told God, "No way. This is nothing." But I think in my heart I knew that wasn't true. I called my midwife, talked to some friends, and they all tried to reassure me that it was probably nothing, and just to take it easy, get some rest, eat good foods, and drink lots of water. So that's what I did. By Wednesday, New years day, I was having some more intense spotting and was getting really worried. When I woke up to go to the bathroom at 3 am, I just knew. I just knew that all of my hopes and dreams for this baby were just not to be.
I can't write about what it was like. What happened to me. But I will say that New Years day one was of the worst days of my life, and as much as I'd like to forget it, I know I never ever will. I have never felt grief like this. Of course I grieved when my grandparents died, but to lose a baby.
I mean, there are no words that can describe how it feels. And to know that this is how too many of my friends have felt when they have lost their babies... my heart breaks even more. I never in a million years thought that this would happen when I peed on those two little sticks. I never thought that I would lose this baby. But here we are, at 10 1/2 weeks, I am no longer pregnant. Just devastated.
We named our baby. I think the thought that broke me more than almost anything else was imagining our beautiful baby meeting Jesus without a name. I'm not sure why that breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces, but it does. Since we can't know the gender for sure we picked a name that I've always loved that can be for a boy or a girl. I can't think of a middle name that works, but I feel like I need to.
Our angel baby's name is Avery. I hate the thought of waiting so long to meet my baby in heaven, but my sweet friend who has also lost a baby sent me this quote, which comforted me a lot-
"... and to think, when her little eyes opened, the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus."
My sweet Avery is being held and loved on by her Heavenly Father, meeting her great grandparents, her uncle Jessie, and her new BFF Ava. I can't say that I don't feel hurt that I didn't get to hold her in my arms. I can't say I don't feel cheated, and a little angry. I can't say I don't feel absolutely and completely heartbroken, but I do have hope. Hope that one day I will be able to hold my Avery in Heaven. Hope that she (or he, but I really, really felt that Avery was a girl) is in the most beautiful, amazing place that has ever existed. That she never felt the pain of this world. Just love. I hope in the deepest parts of my soul that she felt loved by me while she was with me. But I know she feels love now.
So if you see me, and I burst into tears for no apparent reason- I'm just thinking of my Avery. I'm just wishing she was here. I'm just mourning that I never got to feel her kick and tumble in my tummy. I'm mourning that I never got huge and had to sweat it out all the way to the end of July with an enormous pregnant belly. I'm mourning that Eisley won't be a big sister yet this summer. I'm grieving for my husband's pain and sadness. I'm grieving for shattered dreams and little feet I will never kiss. This grief is heavy and real and intense. It comes in waves, and it's overwhelming. I know we will be ok, but right now, I'm not. I'm not ok. I'm so devastatingly sad.
To all of my friends that have gone through this- I'm so sorry. This is horrible. I would never wish this on anyone, and I know there was nothing I really could have said or done to make it better, but I understand now. I understand the emptiness, and the fear. The fear that this will happen again. Oh God, that fear is so real. But I am trying to choose hope. I'm trying to choose faith. Our family could use your prayers, because I know this will be a long road. I'm not looking forward to July 26th this year... I think that her due date will be another level of grief. But I believe that God can use this for good in our family. I believe I will meet my daughter one day. I believe that God will bless us with more children. I believe that He will heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds.
I do want to say before I finish this up that I am so grateful, so incredibly grateful for every single friend and family member that has prayed for us through this, brought us a meal, watched Eisley, encouraged our hearts, and loved us. I wish Avery could have known you all. Because you are all the best, and I love you. So much.