Saturday, December 13, 2008

 {Because I'll never forget}

In 2004 and 2005 it was most noticeable.
The lack of sleep.
Being sick to my stomach.
Losing weight.
I didn't understand it the first year. By the second year an awareness dawned on me. My heart, mind, and body were remembering. Fortunately the past couple of years have been much better, but I always notice something a bit amiss with myself around mid December. It was December 20th, 2003 that I received the initial indications that my first pregnancy was not going to be the "perfect" pregnancy I had dreamed of. It had gone so well up until that point. A couple of days ago I walked up the very familiar side walk to my doctors office and so many memories flooded my mind. I have walked that side walk over and over again. Some of the times that my feet have taken that path my heart was so full of joy it felt like it would burst out of my chest. So many times that same course has been taken with feet that felt like they were made of cement. I remember walking that path when we had our first ultra sound and found out there were two babies nestled inside of my body. it was incredible! Of course there was the aforementioned trip there when I found out all was not well and I would be transferring to a hospital more equipped to handle high risk pregnancies. High risk. Suddenly my world had changed. I remember the weekly shots in my second and third pregnancies.
The little scares along the way.
Leaving there with my healthy babies, and not being able to believe I actually had "take home babies". :) My most recent visit this past Thursday was finally the anticipated close to a chapter in our lives which we were ready to move away from. And yet I know it will never completely close. When I found out I was pregnant this past May my heart was immediately intertwined with this precious new life . I could not stop that process any more than I could stop my lungs from filling with the air I need to survive. It was my tenth blood test in six months. The hoped for result was finally there. My hormones have reverted to pre-pregnancy condition. And yet... There was some relief. But extending past that was just a bit of an ache. Our baby. I love this time of year. I really do. But ever since 2003 the joy of the season has mingled with grief. Sadness. In some ways it seems out of place, in other ways it just makes me more tender. Tender to empty myself of what doesn't matter and fill my heart with the Jesus that I so desperately need. The Jesus who gives and takes away. The Jesus who knows better than me. The Jesus who grieves at the brokenness of this world he created. I think about the way baby J.D. was so active inside of me six years ago.
I remember his first little cries.
I have gotten used to the feeling of a tight band around my heart.
I have begun to forget the Decembers where that feeling was not present. It's a part of me now. I watch K and some times have to leave the room with a quiet gasp as I wonder what life would be like seeing double. This time of the year it is just a little bit more noticeable.
So I prepare for this season again. This year there is an added element of sadness. My due date wouldv'e been a short 5 weeks away.
I carefully try to get the rest I need. I contemplate how best to nourish my body. I anticipate frequent and intense ups and downs. I cling to my boys even tighter. I relish the feeling of Dave's strong arms which are always welcoming me to find solice there. I strive for a little bit more time kneeling at the feet of the one we are celebrating: Jesus.
On our way to Grandma's house today we passed the cemetery that J.D. is buried in. I mentioned it to K and Jay, who were with me. Jay immediately got irate and asked why we had burred his big brother. :) Oh how his little mind strives to get around this family history he has been told about. I sent a little prayer up, asking for help, as I tried to explain the difference between our soul and our body. "I don't know what a stoul is mom!", Said little Jay. I squeezed my eyes shut (only briefly though - because, yes, I was driving) and again pleaded for the words. How does one explain these things to a three year old? He wants to know so much - his mind works at an amazing rate. You can almost see the gears turning. You must not laugh at my response - I was kind of put on the spot and was really grasping at whatever I could. "Well, uh, you know how turtles have shells?" Jay and K have really been into turtles lately - so I pounced on that. "Yeah mom, yeah mom!" "Well, Our bodies are kind of like shells. Inside we have a soul. When we die our "shells" will be buried, but our souls will go up to heaven if we believe in Jesus. We buried J.D.s body, but the real J.D. is up in heaven with Jesus." "Ohhhhh" And all was silent. Oh to have the faith of a child.


Sara@ Butterville said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt post. I have no words, only tears. That song, your words...thinking of your experiences. My dear, you are such a joy. Such an inspiration. Though you may not feel like it. YOU ARE! Turtles. Genius!
Love you. Sending you {{hugs}}!

mudpies4all said...

So many times I leave your blog with tears in my eyes but feeling blessed to have the privelage of seeing life through your eyes and witnessing the love you have for Jesus and your family. You have had so many burdens to bear, yet you remain faithful through it all. I will be praying for you this holiday season, for peace and good health, and that you know how many people are blessed by you and love you. Sending you lots of hugs, dear friend. ~Dawna (PS-I think your turtle explanation was absolutely brilliant.)

AmandaHoyt said...

I'm praying for you during this difficult time.
Hugs and prayers,

Sarah M. said...

Praying for you! Remembering too. I love you!

Anthony's Mommy said...

What a beautiful post.

Since I lost Hailey I wonder things. For instance, when does a soul enter a childs body? How early? How small are they when their soul is alive. Anthony was born 26 weeks, but yet he had a soul, a personality. And I know a little before 20 weeks I saw Hailey's before she died. So I ask, where did her soul go since she died inside of me? I know I delivered her body? But what of her soul? Does God let us hold on to that? I know for the longest time I still could swear I felt a baby kicking months after I had Anthony. So I wonder. I know you are more religious then I am, do you know? What happens to our little babies souls when we lose them sooner then viability?


Lena said...

Thanks for expressing all your thoughts and feelings... My heart aches with you. I cannot image how it must feel year after year to see K grow- but to never know J.D on this earth. I am encourage my your strength and I am praying for you!

BaronessBlack said...

Fantastic analogy with the turtles! The advent and Christmas season is a time for the family, and it's only right that you have ALL your family in mind, including those in spirit. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers!

sara said...

what a beautiful post! And what an amazing and appropriate analogy for your boys!

praying for you this season.

Heather said...

As someone who has lost 2 babies near Christmastime, I know the joy and sorrow that are intertwined in this season. I'm praying for you as you go through the holidays.

dani said...

and... a most perfect answer was sent to you, wendi, one that your babies could understand:) ask, and ye shall receive!!!
much love and a BIG hug,
dani X

Beth in NC said...

I can't imagine what you endured. I'm so sorry. And I have to say I believe God gave you the turtle analogy! I thought that was a great way to explain a soul and a body.

God bless you,

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

I think of you this time of year. The other day I was at my mom's and I remembered Chad calling me and saying, "You need to call Wendi right now! She left a message on the machine. Call now!" Little did I know how that next call would change my life forever. Please know you are not the only one missing your babies.

I love you!

Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

so thinking of you Wendi

Heather of the EO said...

I'm NOT laughing at the turtle story. I think it was an absolutely perfect response. What a beautiful analogy.

Thank you for sharing your story. You have a beautiful way with words.

Tonya said...

I was just talking to my grandma who lost a baby 47 years ago and she was on her way to put flowers on her grave. I don't think a mother will ever forget their child no matter how long they were on the earth or in the womb. Sending love and prayers your way.

Arlona Mc said...

Thanks for sharing, Wendi. I too miss Joshua and think of him each time I go by the cemetery. I know he is not there, just his "shell". I am so glad that you are a part of our family and I do hope that you will write a book. You are such a help to so many people. God is using your "hurts" to help so many people. I am glad that you are honoring God and bringing glory to Him through it all. Love, Mom Mc

Rach@In His Hands said...

Wendi, I am just in tears...thank you for opening your heart.
You truly understand that our dear Lord both gives and takes away. You praise Him in both circumstances. You are such an example to others - letting His light shine.
Many blessings to you, friend. Praying for you during this time of joy & heartache.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

I know our Lord is holding you so tightly when you weep, when your heart and soul and body remembers and mourns. He has given you incredible strength to deal with it, and to answer the questions of curious little boys who are trying to get it all through their heads. Sometimes it's hard explaining things that we don't fully understand, I know. And you are right...child-like faith is a beautiful thing.

Love you, my friend.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Like you said, this is a part of you perfectly put.

Praying for you in the remembering...heaven is going to be a grand reunion Wendi.

Elizabeth said...

well put, wendi...and thank you for sharing your heart with us. always takes me to the place where i remember that God never fials.

Kristy said...

My heart is aching for you today. I just wish I could make it all better. It hink you did a wonderful job explaining the "soul", after many attempts with Ethan, he still asks "where will our head be?" I wish I was joking.

Love you bunches and bunches.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post. I'm so glad you sent me your way to read this. :)

Cathy | Mommy Motivation said...

so beautiful and poignant. Your faith has kept you strong, and your lack of denial and true strength to face your feelings is absolutely inspirational!

Just so glad I know you,

Jodie said...

I think turtles are a beautiful way of explaining death to a child, and my heart aches for you, over your loss. But then I also admire you ... it's hard to explain but I like looking through your eyes.