Thursday, January 6, 2011

Caution: Heart Wounded

I went to the craft store to get some decorations for Rachel.  I want to take her tree down and put up something else for the rest of the winter - but am trying to come up with something that will be off the ground since she doesn't have a stone and it's supposed to snow this weekend.  I am really sad when I pull up and it doesn't look pretty for her. 

The sweet woman working helped me to figure out what to buy to make what I had in mind.  I hadn't given details, just that I needed something to decorate a trellis.  While she was helping me, the song "Life's not about the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away" (country song) came on and I couldn't hide it... I just said it... I blurted out "I can't believe this song is playing right now, I think I might have a breakdown!"...  yep.  that's what I told her.  And well, once I said that and I was free to cry, I told her about Rachel.  She teared up with me and asked me a few questions as we continued to pick through the things.  I left feeling a little weird - and a little better...  it feels right to tell people about my girl.  She deserves to be talked about. 

I had an appt right after to check my incision since I've still had a lot of pain... she said it looks good. (could have fooled me!) I went to my regular OB's - I haven't been there since soon after Rachel was diagnosed.  It was nice to go show them all her little hand & foot print (I carry a frame in my bag that has been there since her funeral) I went to have my body looked at and ended up crying with the doctor for a 1/2 an hour - she was crying too. She was the doctor who gave us the sad news in August.  Kelly had 2 of the kids for me and Isaiah was at school...seems whenever they aren't around, I am able to let it out and I do. I never realized how much I hold back for their benefit. Just call me "Mama"... I get that from my mom.  I've watched my mom choke back many tears to be strong for me in the last 5 months.

I told the people at the office what a blessing Rachel was... and how my heart hurts.  Joy & Sorrow...  I really never knew they could exist together to such a deep degree before Rachel....they never have before.  If I step back and try to look from an objective view at my life (good luck!)  I really cannot believe how much this is true.  I imagine it can be hard for others to believe too.  I'm sure some find it hard to believe that the joy she has brought me has no comparison.  Some think it's just all sad... it's SO not.  With this pain has come the most true and undefiled joy and unconditional love I have ever experienced.  I wouldn't give it back for the promise of pain-free circumstances.  I did, however, bawl like a child leaving that office.  I cried the whole way back to get the kids (and then shut off the faucet again once I saw them, of course.)  I walked down that hallway to leave... the same hallway I walked down right after we found out she would die.  It feels like it was yesterday.  The pain is so close to the surface.

The doctor was talking to me about the wound of losing a child and how it eventually becomes a scar, instead of a raw wound. (paraphrasing...)  I thought about how that is not much different than how our bodies heal from a wound.  In my mind as she talked, I thought about my c-section...

My skin, stomach, uterus...and everything between were cut wide open the day Rachel was born... My heart was cut wide open as well; with vulnerable love and joy for her - and then left that way when she died. They gave me 7 layers of stitches, 8 inches long each, for my body...  my heart was left with a gaping hole.  The physical pain was cared for with bandages and pain killers... there's nothing like that for my heart.  I was given instructions for how to care for my body.  I was told what things would hurt it and slow my healing.  People seem to understand my physical restrictions... But my heart... well, there's no manual for how to treat it during this painful time, no way to speed up the healing... and people just don't seem to understand the restrictions I have as a result.  I thought about how picking up something too heavy or running up the stairs too fast brings shooting pains to the healing wound on my belly - things I would normally do without thinking twice.  I thought about how random my emotional pain can be... hearing a new, crying infant in the store or walking upstairs at night to find everyone else sleeping and Rachel's blanket awaiting me on my pillow sends a very similar shooting pain into my heart. 

The wound on my body will eventually become less visible, maybe invisible altogether... the pain will subside and it will no longer affect my life in such an intense way.  It will be a scar instead of a wound. There is a chance however, that if stretched again too soon or ever put under too much pressure, it could rupture; come apart at the seams.  It will never be gone.  The proof of it's existence will always be there and it will always come with extra cautions of possible complications.  It's the nature of scar tissue.  Especially in a wound so deep.

I think it's the same for my heart.


  1. After reading this post, of course I cried just like I have after just about all of your posts... but I thought back to a video I had seen that maybe you have seen as well. This is a clip from it (the part that made me think of you) but the conference in its entirety is amazing as well!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, always.


  2. My heart breaks for you! Sending big hugs your way.

    I have learned to love my scar...I know just a little crazy! But it is a constant reminder that she was here, she was born, and she was so very loved. I know some women get tattoos of their baby's name or footprints. I like to think of my scar like that, my body remembering, grieving and honoring her.

    Praying for you...

  3. Hi, we have never met but I have been reading your blog since about October. I have laughed with you, cried with you and prayed for you. I came across this blog today that happens to be about another family who lost their little girl to anencephaly 1 year and 9 months ago. I thought you might be interested in it and maybe something she says can help you in your journey.

    Rachel has truely blessed me in the 3 months and 43 minutes that I have known her. She has taught me so much. You have taught me so much too. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I will continue to pray for your and your family as you try to keep moving without your beautiful Rachel here with you.


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes