Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Bit of Normal

When it first happened, everyone wanted to bring food, and tried to surround us with love. I just couldn't handle that. I didn't want anyone to act like anything was really out of place, or really wrong. Our moms brought food, and my sister-in-law (my mother in law fed my kids while we were in the hospital, thank goodness, and my mom brought so much food, it lasted all weekend!). Some sweet friends from far away sent a gift card to a favorite local restaurant (I still can't figure out how she did that so fast), which we used for a bit of  "fun" for the kids. But, when my sisters and friends asked when they could send a meal, I asked them not to. I just hated the feeling that we needed help, or taken care of, or that something so bad had happened that people felt it necessary to bring food. My kids cried for days, and my crying just made it worse. I needed to at least get the kids to a place where they could feel like everything was going to be okay, even though for me and their dad, and for them too, it was going to be a long time to get back to normal. I think my sisters and friends understood my need for normal, or were just willing to give me whatever I wanted. Either way, it helped me feel more normal, to have to fix dinner, or hear my sweet husband moving around in the kitchen creating one of his masterpieces. He cooked so much that week, and took such good care of all of us. I think he needed to be able to cook, do the things he would normally do. When something happens that is so painful, and so not what you were expecting, then you need the routine and schedule, and daily chores of life to keep you sane. At least, we did.

The house is starting to feel more normal, though my bedroom, it's hard to be in there. It's where I would lay at night, with my hands low on my belly, to feel their tiny nudges and pokes. Just a few days before they died, my husband and I lay in that bed for the longest time, him trying to feel them moving, and me giggling and saying "Did you feel that? Oh wait, there is one over here! Did you feel that?" Finally, after some chasing around, and me holding my breath, and him being very still and waiting, he was able to feel the tiny nudges and the roaming around of our wee babies. It was a special moment, one we've shared many times, but always special because of the newness of each little being. This time there were two of them, and we were going to soon know who they were; Priscilla Grace and Suzanna Joy, or George Ellis and Gabriel Akers (It makes me so happy to see their names all typed out, I feel like it makes them more real to people, it certainly makes them more real to me. And of course they are real, even if  we were the only people, outside the doctor and nurse and a sweet nun, who ever saw them. They are real, we have pictures, and we held them. I have a tiny stack of their 'things' in my room.). I was so, so hoping for little girls, but my, oh my, I would give just about anything to have my sweet baby boys here, growing and getting ready for the world. I am starting to accept what a dear friend said to me the other day, this was a different kind of blessing, but a blessing all the same. It just doesn't feel like one yet.

In this house, with noisy boys and bossy girls creating chaos all day long, it has gotten easier to keep the tears at bay, but they are still hitting me at unexpected times. I find something I had bookmarked to buy for the babies, or I smell a smell that doesn't bother anyone else, and think "oh, that pregnant smell aversion!" only to remember that I am not pregnant, though I seem to be left with a few hormones and other symptoms that have not yet gotten the message. Still, I am treasuring the last bits of this and other minor discomforts, as they are the last physical signs that my boys were here.

I go back to work tomorrow, and I pray and pray that no one says anything to me. They all know what happened, but only my family and a handful of people know me very well. I hate crying in front of people, but if anyone says anything to me, I know the tears will start. I just don't like sympathy. I can't handle it, don't know what to do with it. I haven't been back to church yet, either. Though I know my sisters and friends have told most people, and asked them not to say anything to me.  I hope this doesn't sound whiny, but if it does, so be it. I don't know how to handle it, otherwise. I just need to feel normal, if that makes any sense. I can keep the tears under control, if people just act like it didn't happen. But, at the same time it is this huge thing that is in the front of my heart every minute. One of the bloggers I read explained it in one of her posts. She said she couldn't decide if she wanted people to ask, or not to ask, or ignore her, or just pretend everything was fine. I feel just that way. Ask, or don't, or ignore me. I don't know what I want. I just want some normal. But I have a feeling that "normal" is a long, long way away from here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Babies

 I have been waiting. Waiting for understanding, a little lifting of the grieving, or some sign from God that there is a reason and a purpose behind something so hard and painful. I have been waiting for a consolation, or some other little wink or nod from God. I need one, I am a weak and sorry human whose faith has taken a beating. He knows my heart, and I have found some solace in the words of others today.

Quite by accident I have found a post by a Catholic mother, to her Babies in Heaven. It had such insight, and reminded me of my own beliefs. It brought me back, a little to what I have known and held in my heart all these years.

I am very blessed, I have 8 living children, and I am so thankful for each of them. In our 16 years of marriage, I have also miscarried 6 children. Last week, we went in for the "big" ultrasound of our identical twins, only to find out they had died. I was induced and delivered my sweet baby boys the next day. I am so heartbroken, and having a hard time dealing with this loss. I am so mad. I prayed for these little babies everyday. I had a feeling something wasn't going to be right, but it all seemed to be going so well. But now they are gone. We named them George and Gabriel. With my first loss, an ectopic pregnancy, I had a dream, a consolation, of my baby. He told me his name was Matthew, and that he would be our special intercessor, that he would watch over our family, and pray for us.I never saw him, but I love him so.

We lost two more babies before I knew I was pregnant, and when I carried Caleb, we lost his twin. I believe that one of their names is Jordan, after the Jordan river where Christ was baptized. I have asked for the other names to be told to me, or come to me, but I am waiting.  I pray, hope and believe that my babies are together, listening to the angels sing, and waiting for us. We have told our children that they are there, in heaven, waiting and praying for us. And I think God knows us so well, that he knows we would do anything to get to our children, even if it is hard, even if it takes a lifetime. Even when we are human and aren't smart enough to do whatever it takes to get to Him.  I want them so very much, and I am truly struggling now, but I am starting to remember what I have known all along. Our Lord is in charge, He creates for His kingdom. His ways are not the ways of man. My babies are safely in His care. I await the day I will see them again - they are indeed a most precious incentive. As is the love that only the Lord can shine down upon me.

What A Husband Is...

A husband is someone who lets you cry yourself to sleep in his arms night after night.
A husband is the person who cries with you when you need him to, sharing the pain, rather than letting you feel the pain all alone.
A husband is someone who holds your hand, never letting go, for 23 hours of  pain and sadness.
A husband is the man who holds each and every one of your children in his heart, in his arms, and cherishes them as much as you do.
A husband is someone who takes better care of you than you would ever bother to care for yourself.
A husband is the man who feels like half your heart, half your mind, half your body, and half your soul. Being away from him is nearly as hard as anything else you've ever done, especially when your heart is broken, and he is the other half of it.
A husband is the one person who can make you feel like maybe everything will be okay someday, but doesn't expect you to be okay right now.
Sometimes, a husband is the reason you keep breathing...when even holding your babies makes you cry.
A husband is the man who feeds your faith back to you, when you can't find it on your own. He's the person who reminds you that God is there, and that He is in charge. 
A husband is someone who asks for nothing in return, even when he has given so very much, but makes you want to find something you can do for him, just because of his goodness.

A Lesson I Needed Today

 Have you ever shaken your fist at God? I have been doing so much of that lately. Another Catholic Mama put it into a bit of perspective for me...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And the World Keeps Turning

The world keeps turning. There is news, and events. People's lives keep going, and I sit here and wonder how it can be. My world is at a stand still. I don't even feel like I want it to keep turning. It doesn't make sense. I have cried and cried, but still the tears come. I don't feel normal, but I am trying to create some normal for my little ones. My poor husband has held me every night while I cried myself to sleep, and has been awakened when I cry in my sleep. I know it won't always feel like this, and that when I move through this a little, it will start to get better. But you know what my deep, dark secret is? I don't want to move through. I don't want to move through, because they were here for so short a time, and every day that passes takes me further away from them. I don't want to change my sheets, because that bed is the last place I knew they were alive, and it was the place I went to cry when I found out they were gone. I don't want or wish to be sad forever, but I feel like my sadness is the last remnant I have of them. I don't really want my body to heal, because these are the last physical connections I have to them. I know that none if this is healthy, and that some people will tell me that it will get better, or not to dwell, or whatever. Right now, I really don't care. I want them. I know, I know, they were never really mine. But you know what else? I really don't care about that either. They were mine. They were a part of me. A part of us.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Prayer for Miscarriage by Mother Angelica

My Lord, the baby is dead!
 Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?
 “Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.
 You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”
 I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.                                                                                              --  Mother M. Angelica