Friday, May 4, 2012
a how-we-are-doing kind of post, and telling the girls
Well, it's been 3 weeks since we learned our baby was an angel baby. It feels like 3 years and I'm not kidding. There have been hours of crying and grieving, but also an underlaying sense of gratitude within my family. Kevin and I have always been thankful to have our girls, but this loss has made their lives even more precious to us, even more miraculous. Not to say I still haven't yelled at them about their fighting or leaving clothes and toys all over the house! :)
Bailey is doing pretty well, although I have realized that how she handles sorrow is to make like it's not there most of the time. I'm not sure how I feel about that - on one hand, of course I totally get it, and I do it myself. I have a lot of memories/issues about a person/season in my life, and most of the time, I just really don't address it. I feel like it's done, there's nothing I can do about it and I don't want it to impact my life except to learn from it. On the other hand, I don't want her to repress emotions. So I ask her every few days hows she's doing and if she wants to talk about anything - and that's when she usually tells me something like a boy in her class defended her while another boy said she's the most annoying girl he's ever met. As a family, we pray every morning and when it's her turn she sometimes says something about the baby, sometimes she doesn't. A few times she has said something like, "I miss our baby" but then quickly goes on to something else.
Taylor is a totally different cat. (and if you know her, you know she'd love being called a cat, because she wishes she was one.) She talks about the baby a lot, and likes to lay with me and read the few childrens books I was given written from a child's perspective as they deal with miscarriage. She and I hold hands and cry, and she asks questions that I don't really have the answer to, and she asks them over and over. "Will we have another baby...Why was I born and this baby wasn't....Did this baby have brown eyes like me or blue and green like you...Will this baby be a baby in heaven or a kid I can play with..." Our talks sound stressful, but they're actually healing and peaceful...I can't explain it. But it does hurt me incredibly, knowing my girls have this life lesson, this sadness happen to them. Last week when I was babysitting, Taylor ended up coming home from school (after 5 minutes there) and being with me and the little guy, who's 2. We went to the playground and as the three of us held hands crossing the street, she whispered, "I have a great idea Mommy, let's pretend he's ours today, he's our baby." It's moments like that, where I feel my heart actually pinch and I mourn for my sweet Tatie and her tenderness, her wishes, her pain just stops me in my tracks.
When we told them, we picked them up from my in-laws and took them to Kevin's old church where they have a memorial garden that's beautiful, with a bench and a cross. We had called my in-laws and told them, but asked them to please not tell the girls. We wanted to do it, and we wanted to do it in a place where they wouldn't have to be again if they didn't want to. When the girls got in the car they asked where we were going, and what was going on, they were onto us. Thankfully, the church is only a few blocks away and we told them we wanted to talk and show them such a pretty church.
When we got there, I sat on the bench and held them, as Kevin stood and cried. They were saying, "what, what, Mommy? What Daddy?" and I just started weeping and said, "Girls, look at this cross. That cross is where Jesus died for us, he loves us so much!!! He loves us, remember that. He is always the same, no matter what happens, he loves us and he never changes." Then I said, "girls, our baby, it is an angel baby, I'm so sorry!! Our baby isn't going to come out of my tummy, it went back to heaven." They both said, "NO!" and buried themselves crying against me and we all just hugged each other and cried. They asked how I knew, and I told them the doctor took a picture inside my tummy and it showed our baby's heart had stopped, so it had to go back to Heaven. I said I don't know why, but God needed our baby back and I just couldn't stop saying I was sorry.
Throughout these last few weeks, I still feel so sorry. I do think something was wrong with the baby - from the beginning this pregnancy was different than my others, and the baby didn't grow date-wise as it should have been. By April 12, I should have been around 11 weeks along, based on when I probably got my last period in January (couldn't remember the date). But I was only 8 weeks, and they deduced that I just ovulated really late in my cycle, and conceived much later than the typical day 14 ovulation window that most women conceive in, give or take days. At the time I thought it was a miracle gift, and God just really wanted us to have this baby...it sounds bad to say that I don't think that now, but here we are, no gift. After I saw the heartbeat I was so comforted, statistically miscarriage goes way down...but I guess there was something wrong and the baby just couldn't survive. I feel like it was a big tease, and now we all feel a big letdown. And I keep wondering if I hadn't have been so stressed - taking on a new job, packing up my kitchen and everything on the floors to get work done to our house to sell, worrying about money - would the baby have been ok? If I didn't accidentally eat a turkey sandwich before they told me no uncooked lunchmeat? What was I doing at that exact moment when my baby's heart stopped? What made it stop?
All that to say, it makes me sound like I am not doing well. Actually I think I am. I started the new job, I love my redone house and have enjoyed cooking again in my new kitchen, I have gone out with friends and laughed. I tuck my girls in at night and tickle them silly and sing them to sleep. Kevin and I have gotten even closer and I soak up my time with him. I have gone out in public when all I feel like doing is being a hermit in my house and watching comedy movies...and that makes me feel brave and strong, because it almost feels impossible.
So lots of words, to say we are healing, we are loving, we are thankful but still sad.