Sunday, May 31, 2009

Remembering Andrew

Even as I begin to write this I am tearing up at the thoughts swimming through my mind. This has been a rough week. 2 years ago this last week, we lost the physical body of our unborn baby. This is one of the two or three things I don't have closure on in my life and won't until I reach heaven. This fact occurred to me this week during our garage sale of all places. I was talking with this woman whose daughter-in-law lost her daughter at the same in her pregnancy. She was able to deliver her baby, but I was not given that option. I know that it would have been difficult and painful, but I think seeing him would have helped me really grasp the idea that he's gone. Let me back up a little...

For those of you who don't know, we found out we were having a baby in March of 2007. Around 14 1/2 weeks into the pregnancy, there was a rupture in the sac and the amniotic fluid was lost. After a week of bed rest, we went to the doctor only to discover the baby had died. I remember staring at the sonogram monitor intently, searching for any sign of a heartbeat. None. The doctor didn't skip a beat..."when do you want to schedule surgery?". With no thought at all about giving birth, I scheduled the D and E. It was a year later that I realized what that actually meant as far as the procedure was concerned. Anyway, I had to wait 3 days before the surgery. We had the twins still, and they still had their weekly visit that week. While they were visiting their family, Mom and I went to La Madeline. There was a pregnant girl in line right next to me, and I remember thinking, "Don't ask me when I'm due, PLEASE!!"

The days leading up to the surgery were pretty typical. I was trying to cope the best I could and felt comforted, in an odd way, that the baby was still with me. Waiting in the hospital, the nurses, mostly male, were so kind and one even prayed for me. I knew that in a few short moments, the baby I had longed for so badly would no longer be physically with me. Going into the operating room, I felt this sudden urge to jump off the table and run. I wasn't afraid. I knew that this was it...our final earthly moments together. Oh, I knew he was gone, but he was still with me. He was safe and in the place he was supposed to have lived until time to be born. I knew that when I woke, he would be gone. I didn't want to go to sleep. I fought it until they put the mask on my face, and I could fight no longer.

When I woke up, there was no one there to hold my hand or hear me cry. The nurses were all too busy to even come when I called. My legs were aching, my head was pounding, but none of that compared to the unbelievable pain in my heart. I lay their crying with no one to hear me but God. I've never felt more alone or more helpless than at that moment.

My Mama was there in the second recovery room they took me to. I was so glad to see her. I wanted to cry and let her cry with me, but for some reason I just couldn't. Looking back, I think I had resolved to be strong and just "move on" because I had too much other stuff to do. I couldn't just sit around and mope about something I couldn't change. We finally got to leave the hospital and went home. Ruby and Rose were a great blessing during this time, because they gave so much love. The Lord knew we needed them and was faithful to let them stay through this ordeal.

The Lord had been so faithful to speak peace to my heart through His Word. At some point, though, I developed this toughness around my heart. I told a friend the other day that I think I've shut down emotionally. For so long I've thought "I don't have time to cry about this now, I'll cry about it later". My favorite line in Gone with the Wind (besides "Get offa those stayuhs, you trashy wench!") is "Oh, I'll think about that tomorrow". I've been shoving all these thoughts and emotions down, and I'm the only one who knows I have them. This is not good. We all have good and bad days, but it seems like my bad days are just hellish. I crash and burn into this angry person and lash out at the one I love most. He calls it going all "Jon and Kate plus 8" on him. Anyway, these are the times I cry out to God for reassurance that I'm not hateful, ugly, disgusting...all the things Satan throws my way at these times. He is so faithful to remind me that I'm His child...a daughter of the King, as my mom says. Nothing can snatch me out of His hand.

Well, now to finish. It was several weeks after the surgery that I got a phone call from the doctor's nurse. I was getting my hair "did" when the call came and was totally caught off guard. She very matter-of-factly informed me that it was a perfectly healthy, boy. Wow. OK, this did not help. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want more of an explanation, something to blame. There's no reason for the sac to have ruptured, really. I sat there in the stylist's chair, white as a sheet, tears streaming down my face. But, again, I forced them away and thought, "I'll cry about this later". The only problem with that mentality is that I haven't given myself that luxury. I've never really fully mourned that loss. How do I do that? How do you let go?

Oh, several months after all this, I was impressed to give the baby a name. I don't know why, but Andrew kept coming back to me. After talking to Jeremy, we decided that would be his name. About a year and half later some sweet family friends gave us a plaque to memorialize little Andrew. It has the only picture we have of him, his sonogram, and a beautiful engraved plaque with Romans 8:28 on it. I know he's in heaven with a perfectly intact body, praising the Lord and walking those golden streets. One day we'll meet, I know. I long for that day. As any mother with babies in heaven, I long for that day. It's really hard for me when I hear people say his name. I have as yet to refer to him out loud as Andrew. Hopefully one day I'll be able to say it. Hopefully one day I'll have closure.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good, for those who are called according to your purpose." What is the purpose of going through something like this? Hopefully I have been able to be an encouragement to others through this in being faithful even when it was so hard. Hopefully I can encourage others to talk about their joys AND their heartaches and to embrace them fully. I'm still a work in progress in this area and need all the encouragement I can get. Hopefully God will use me to witness to others and be a testament to His faithfulness.

The purpose of this blog

Well, I decided to finally get a blog going. I've talked to so many different women about being moms, wanting to be moms, miscarriages and infertility that I decided this blog will be for them. This will be a place for you to post YOUR stories of faith, doubt, joy, and heartache. It is so important for women to stick together and come alongside each other during every season of our lives. I think we often have so much pressure put on us to be "Super Woman" that we forget that we are fragile, emotional creatures. Then, when we do finally burst from holding it all in, we feel weak and vulnerable.

I don't know about you, but I love hearing stories of hope and answered prayer. Conversely, I'm so eager to listen when women feel open to share their hearts with each other and pour out the hurt, the devastating pain, of loss. I want this blog to be a place where women can share their stories, their thoughts, their desires for themselves and families and their heartaches to be an encouragement to others. We have to stick together! I can't tell you how many times I've talked to women about different issues, and they've felt they were alone in their feelings or experiences. I think this is largely due to the fact that we don't open up out of fear of feeling inferior.

I've often been accused of giving out "too much information". I'm not sly or cunning. I can't ever think of the perfect "zinger" to shoot back at someone. I'm not a good public speaker. But I do love to write. I want the first official story to be my story of my Andrew. It'll be kind of a bummer to some, but it's real, and it's mine. If you would like to share a post with others, just let me know.