Thank you for stopping by! Here you will find a variety of things as I post whatever happens to be going on in our home - recipes, crafts, homeschool, birthday parties, travels, meals in muffin tins and more! I'd love to know what you think so please feel free to leave comments!

Monday, April 7, 2014

An End to Innocence

    Today is an anniversary day for me, though not one that I celebrate. Today, April 7th, is the anniversary of my last day of innocence. An innocence in which everything turns out the way we think it’s supposed to be. Life is lovely, filled with possibility and futures to be planned. Happily-ever-after exists and each approaching new day promises excitement and wonder. For me, that fantasy ended on April 8th, 2003.
    I was five months pregnant with our first child - a child we struggled nine long years to conceive. We woke up early and excitedly got ready to go to the hospital’s imaging department for the first glimpses at the little life growing in me. My heart was swelling with joy as I anticipated seeing a tiny heart beating and those 10 precious fingers and 10 precious toes.
    Moments into the ultrasound, I sensed there was a problem. I pretended not to notice how quiet the technician was. I forced myself to pretend like it was a normal thing for the technician to excuse herself from the room only minutes after starting what was supposed to be a half hour long event. Panic was welling up inside me but I made myself remain calm as I prayed that everything was going to be fine. After 15 agonizing minutes, the technician came in again and told me we were done and I could head to my doctor’s office which was located in another wing of the hospital. We saw no images of a beautiful, active, tiny person moving on the screen. No heart beating. No fingers. No toes.
    As we made our way through the halls, we both knew there was something terribly wrong though neither of us could even begin to speak it. We sat in the waiting room for another 30 minutes. Waiting. Praying. Hoping.
    Finally, sitting in front of the doctor’s desk, we heard the words. "Your baby has died." It echoed in my head. I only remember snippets of the conversation from then on. He gave us our options for how to proceed and we left the hospital in the deepest grief we had ever known. Physically, I knew what I would be doing in the coming days, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to emotionally get through everything that was coming. I wept that entire night.
    When morning came, we quietly drove back to the hospital, dreading the coming hours. I was induced into labor and later that day, gave birth to a beautiful, silent, tiny, baby boy. I marveled at how perfectly formed his little body was. Tiny fingers, tiny toes, tiny mouth, tiny nose. Perfect save for one thing. Silent and still, I held him. We wept over him. We named him Alexander. The nurse dressed him in a tiny white gown that was made and donated by a volunteer from the area. The nurse took pictures of our son and then brought him back to us one last time before taking him to the morgue.
    My heart had been filled with the excitement and joy of expecting the birth of a child but two days later, my heart was broken and stricken with grief. We buried our son on April 12, 2003 in a tiny, white casket, covered with miniature blue and white carnations. Leaving the cemetery that day, knowing my son’s little body would stay there forever was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was a mother who would never see her child grow up. There would be no diaper changes, no sweet giggles, no first words, no memories to be made, no sight of him again on this side of heaven.
    Only by the grace of God did I manage to make it through those days, weeks, months - though, I was never the same. Those around me were disappointed that I didn’t snap back to my old self, but that woman died the moment the words came out of the doctor’s mouth. The person that I am today was born in the days that followed those words. I became a woman who desperately needed to lean on her Heavenly Father to make it through the rest of life. My days of happy innocence were gone. Though I went on to have two living children, I wasn’t able to fully experience the joys of pregnancy. I worried about all the things that could go wrong. I needed constant assurance that the little one growing in my womb was okay. I didn’t breathe a sigh of relief until the day that I held each of those little ones in my arms and saw the life in their eyes and heard their newborn cries. And even then, I still worried about what might go wrong. Honestly, I still have days when fear tries to take over and trusting God seems to be an impossible feat.
    It’s been 11 years since I experienced that last day of innocence. Since then, I’ve been able to have moments of joy that I never imagined could have happened while I was living out those days of grief. While the innocence is gone, joy never left me. It was just hidden for a time. There are still days when my grief flows as fresh as it did that day when I held my silent child. Days when my mind briefly wanders to what life might be like today with an 11 year old boy added to the mix. I wonder if he would have had the same gentle and loving spirit as his younger siblings. If he would have had the same fiery hair and fair complexion. If he would have the same love of life and learning. But, the Father gently reminds me that all life is but a moment on this earth. This place is not my home. It’s just a stop on the way. I miss him terribly, but Alexander is waiting for me in my true home. And there, joy, like none other, will never get lost behind grief.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails