that when I pass by them...
I am never so healed that I can't still feel the sadness.
Just a linger in my mind for awhile on a silent night brings me back.
I am that kind of person that has to feel, has to recall, has to express. I really couldn't let the 2 year mark of our baby's death and my delivery of her go unmentioned. It was too important an event in our lives and even 2 years past I still get emotional at the thought of what we went through.
That is OK, and good. Freedom from hurt is not my goal. Grieving is not some kind of ladder to climb and when you reach the top you are free. That kind of freedom just can't be found on this earth. Strange as it may seems, I am thankful for the scar.
On the evening of April 14, 2010 we were scheduled at the hospital for the induction and delivery of our 5th baby, already passed away. We pulled up to the emergency room entrance like we had done 4 times before. This time was so very different. There was no excitement, only sorrow. A smiling man came out with the wheelchair to escort me. He didn't know why I was there.
I didn't need a wheelchair, but I sat in it anyway. Someone wheeled me up to the corner room, far away from all the other labor and delivery mothers. My nurses that night already knew this was a case of fetal demise and I truly believe they were chosen by God to be at my side.
They. were. wonderful.
I recognized the mauve floral print of the wallpaper and decor of the hospital room. It used to be quaint and inviting.
It no longer was.
I hated being in that gown, wearing those slipper socks. I prayed about how I would find the strength to deliver a dead baby as my poor husband sat lovingly and helplessly by my side.
I just wanted to get it over with. Why couldn't they just knock me out, I thought?
Why? Why did I have to be conscious of what was about to happen. Honestly, I felt like a terrified child. I cried and I cried. I wanted that baby, I wanted to carry her all summer, and deliver her full and alive on or around September 17. That was the plan, My plan.
God's plan was different.
His ways are for my good. Always. It was a truth I knew even in those moments.
He would sustain me. I just had to trust that.
April 14 turned into April 15 and at 4:12am, almost unintentionally I delivered a very small but incredibly real, still, baby.
Dan held my hand and encouraged me, and watched in somewhat disbelief as well.
This is where the healing begins.
As with any baby birth, visitors followed. At first I wanted no one there, followed by wanting everyone there to see the reality of it. (I felt they wouldn't, they couldn't fully understand unless they saw her) But then, again I wanted no one there.
Our pastor visited us and I remember feeling bad that in the midst of a beautiful spring day he had to attend to and enter in to our sorrow. He sat with us, really let us be exactly where we were at, prayed with us and ultimately encouraged me with his confidence that I would not lose my faith over this, that I would certainly grieve but April's death was not a dealbreaker for me. I was stronger than that, and most importantly God's love is strongest and I was firmly in His grip.
Everytime I pass by the church bathroom, visit our family doctor and see that exam room, drive the on ramp to the highway, see the daffodils bloom, wash Dan's black sweatshirt, converse with our pastor, hear specific songs (the one playing in the background)- I go there.
2 years later I don't know why God chose to take her to him. But I do have the gift of hindsight. Looking back I clearly see some of the ways God moved, lead, comforted.
In our hearts she leaves a legacy, in our hearts her very short life had value. In my heart I want to hold her again. Until then, I will continue to open the healing gifts that God gives.
Happy 2nd heavenly birthday, April.
Today we honor, remember, and thank God for you.