Days of Healing

Friday, January 20, 2017

 
As soon as I said no to the nurse, I knew I need to see our baby to find healing to some capacity. I absolutely had to. So I researched online to see what our child would look like, what to expect, when waiting for a miscarriage naturally...

I was looking into a natural birth, even a home birth, as soon as we found out about this baby. I didn't want to be in a hospital. I wouldn't be comfortable there. I didn't want 10 interruptions a day, waking up my sleeping newborn....well, at least how it was with Taylor in the hospital. I wanted to go home. So I researched and asked around. A birth in the comforts of home... But this isn't the kind of home birth I wanted.

But it happened.

Christmas was plagued with the knowledge of our unborn child lost to us, yet alive in heaven. And I mean plagued. I couldn't handle this. I felt lost. It was hard, unbearable. Days before Christmas, and we had to find out that our child was no longer there? I just couldn't. I slept a lot. But we made it through. And aside from reading Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp with Taylor, I felt like I missed it. Again, I missed Christmas. I couldn't "do" it. I couldn't bear.

Why did our Christmas season have to happen this way? We were celebrating the birth of our Savior while mourning the death of our child. I can't. It felt like a cruel way to learn of my word for the year, Contentment...

So Christmas came and went. I felt pains, more like cramps, but they were brief. I knew my body was preparing for our child to physically leave its vessel, and I know it takes time to happen on its own. God designed us this way. Our bodies know. I wish it didn't happen. But our baby came on its own.

For New Year's Eve we went back to Dallas to be with family. I was there, but I wasn't. Not mentally. Just waiting, knowing, mourning. Lost. I felt small, when the cramps came. The signs that the baby was close. I had to heave over,  bear down, breathe deep, to feel and know the pain - all of it. Labor, but months and months before it should be so. Too much, but it was here. I went to bed exhausted on the last day of 2016.

The first day of 2017 I woke up, feeling defeated. We were off to my brother in laws new home for breakfast, with the whole family together.

I was worn.

I tried to be present as much as I could. I distracted myself, busied myself, by learning about their new home and plans and everything that entails. At least for a little bit, I tricked myself. But I couldn't handle the exhaustion anymore. I felt horrible for not "being there" since the whole family was together, and how often does this happen?! Yes, it was guilt. I couldn't be enough. But I didn't need to be, at that point. So I went to the futon in the other room and slept. Exhausted. Breathing heavy... I could feel it. I knew. Today was the day we would meet our child.

When it came time for everyone to part ways, we left for home. I could barely get off the couch, but somehow managed.

The two hour drive home was miserable.  I couldn't function, I couldn't bear sitting at that point.  Nothing sufficed. Talk radio was irritating. We couldn't get home fast enough.

It was supposed to be a good day - our first day and night in our new tiny house. New Years Day was the day we were planning on fully moving in and getting settled. Yet it was plagued by a death.

I could feel it... the contractions, the pain, the severe exhaustion ---- we nearly had our baby in the car. But we made it home. I couldn't get out of that seat fast enough. Marshall took Taylor, called our parents, and I went inside the house to wait, in agony.

30 forever minutes of hard, natural labor, our baby was born into Jesus' arms. I was at the toilet and am forever grateful I grabbed a bowl to catch our baby in, to catch the sac... I wouldn't have been able to handle it if I didn't. And almost instantly, the physical pain was gone. It's so weird how that happens. It was like when you are in the ocean and a wave crashes into you so fast and so hard.. You are off balance.. And then it's gone... Nearly instantly. It was immediate, and I could take a "normal breath."

So I cleaned up, put our baby in a bowl on the kitchen counter, and asked Marshall to come in with Taylor. Exhaustion set in. We waited, sat there. Occupied Taylor. I wasn't mentally ready to do anything at all. I mean, it was 2:30 in the afternoon on New Year's Day. This is nothing at all how we wanted to end 2016 and begin 2017. But our year began with death, in our new house

Our baby was born into heaven at 8 weeks and was born into our arms at 10 weeks, The size of a quarter, about. He or she had eyes on the sides of his head, and "nubs" as arms and legs, where they would grow fully if given the chance. Our child was clearly human, at 8 weeks when he was born in Jesus Christ, just a few weeks before we met him or her (I wonder if we had a boy or a girl?) at 10 weeks. This feels repetitive, but I can't wait to see our child one day in heaven. The truth of LIFE needs to be known. (If you want to see for yourself, feel free to email me)

So our baby lay in a bowl on the counter for a day, in the fridge for a couple days, and when I could compose myself just barely enough, we gave our child what every angel baby "deserves," proper recognition of the sanctity of a life lost by way of burial.

My mom came into town at my request to be there the few days after we lost our child. I needed it. She helped with Taylor, and helped us in getting this tiny house made into a home. Homemaking was a sort of distraction at this point from all of the trauma and loss. Yet I knew we needed to bury our child. I had to. Once it happened, Marshall found a spot to dig, on the other side of the pond. It needed to be by the water. I love our pond - there is a clarity that comes when I'm by a body of water that I don't find anywhere else. It needed to be there. So Marshall dug a heart shaped hole in the dirt by our pond for our child. Dust to dust.

Days later, I went with my mom to the store, armed with a list of what we needed to make the tiny house our tiny home. A box for the baby was on the top of my list. Something pretty. We looked in storage, crafts, even hardware, then made it to the kitchen section. I about felt defeated in it all, this step I knew I needed to take in my own journey grieving, because it seemed I would never find the holding I was looking for, for our child.

But we found the Tupperware. And I almost missed it, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw something pretty That's when the feeling hit me... Our lost child needed something pretty to be buried in. Not "just a box." I pictured a little girl dancing in heaven. I felt even more peace when I saw this pretty Tupperware was Pioneer Woman brand.. I've had my eye on her kitchenware for a while. It's beautiful, and functional. This was it. I chose a blue rectangle Tupperware box, with a clear lid. We thought about looking for a baby blanket, then realized one of Taylor's cut in half would work just fine.


This is what I need to begin to move forward - this was my grieving process. Everyone's is different. Just the same.

My mom left soon after, so that afternoon, I put everything together at Taylor's nap. I cut the baby blanket in half and placed it in the box. Took our baby from the bowl and put her in her resting place. But the next step... I couldn't do it quite yet.

So I wrote. I wrote her a letter. And this is when I knew I needed to write out this story. As my dad has said, writing is cathartic for me. With a year like 2016, I needed to write again. To write to show the humanity of the preborn. To share what really happens - the truth - of life, and what that really looks like. And to say that everyone grieves different.... this here, is my process. It's not the same for all.

So I wrote our child a letter. Pages. I cried over that letter. I imagined Jesus, her older sibling lost, and Granny all sitting around reading it themselves and crying together, sharing about how wonderful eternity will be when we are all together again. I wrote all sorts of things in that letter to our little one. I made the point that our child's short life has purpose. There is no such thing as a mistake when speaking of a heartbeat lost, the sanctity of life. Oh, I miss our babies. Tears flowed.

Taylor was still napping, and I knew I needed to do it then, so I wrapped the baby in the muslin cloth and placed the letter on top. Pioneer Woman Tupperware made me feel a slightly more at ease. There is purpose.

We made it around the pond to that heart shaped hole which Marshall dug. The heart was a surprise, and it was his way, too. We sat there for a while. Placed dirt upon our child. Dust to dust.



This is not how we wanted to start our new year, the first day in our new house on our property...

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