Thursday, May 26, 2011

Awareness

I saw a couple of picnic tables on the side of the road Tuesday and stopped to get the number. I called and asked if I could get two of them for Rachel's Playground. They had to make the size I wanted and so when he called yesterday and said they were ready, I was pleasantly surprised. They delivered them for me for only $20 more.

I met them at the playground and after we got them situated, I talked with the two guys for a few minutes. I told them about Rachel and the older man, probably in his 60's got all choked up, started to tear up and said "I know your pain, I lost one too". And that was all he could say. All I could do was nod in agreement and say "it's so hard".   His son was 33 when he died.

The loss of a child is only something you can understand if you have lost your own. A man more than twice my age, dropping off a picnic table to make a little money, found himself in tears at the thought of his son,  I'm sure he wasn't expecting that... I sure wasn't. I left with such a heavy heart for him. I wish I could take that pain away from every person who has known it. Sometimes in the middle of my grief over Rachel, I find myself grieving the fact that this happens to anyone.

At the retreat, A woman told me of a daughter she lost over 20 years ago with tears in her eyes.  A healthy baby girl who was born with the cord around her neck and never came home with them.  Nobody knows about it, she kept it in and kept going.  Another woman told me of her baby who she lost at 5 months along and what a devastating experience that was for them, again many years after the fact it was still so fresh.

I also got a call from a friend yesterday telling me that one of her friends just got a fatal prenatal diagnosis... their son has no scull or brain.  My heart broke at the thought of what yesterday meant for them.  A day that will be forever etched in their minds.  A date that will never be forgotten... the day their lives were forever changed by the pain of losing a child, even though they haven't lost him yet.  The uncertain path that could drive some to abortion.  As much as this journey has totally ripped my heart apart, I wanted nothing more than to be able to jump into her shoes and walk it for her.  My heart ached to be able to take the pain from her... and I don't even know her.  I cried and just said "please tell her I'll do whatever I can to support her".  I just didn't want her to feel alone... but that is inevitable. 

This is a condition that the doctors lead you to believe is uncommon...she lives up the street from me, Anne (Rose's mom) and Dorie (Ella's mom) both live a couple towns over.  That is 4 of us with the same diagnosis within 30 mins of each other.  It's not as uncommon as some would like us to think.  And on that note, I'm a little disappointed with Blogger that they still have not put "anencephaly" into their spell check.  Every time I type it, they say it's spelled wrong and the options I get for correct spelling are: Intensively, Unmercifully, Uncivilly... come on, Blogger... with all the blogs about anencphalic babies?

Tonight another friend of mine came to my door in tears after getting a bad report about her blood work and the effects it could have on the baby she is carrying.  I listened as best I could and tried to dig deep for an answer, but came up with nothing.  All I could say is I'll go with you to Maine Med if you want...  and I cried as I thought of my first trip to Maine Med on August 5th last year.  I watched her struggle to make sense of it as she cried.  I wanted to tell her it would be okay, that probably nothing was wrong... I wanted to tell her those tests are wrong all the time (which I did - cause they are!) and that they are wrong this time too.  But I didn't know that for sure.  All I could say is that any one of us at any point in our pregnancy or with our living children could lose them.  There is only one guarantee in this life and that is that God will be there through it all.

And so tonight, I was planning on posting all the info about the walk/run we're doing in August for Anencephaly Awareness.  (you may have noticed the tab I put on last night at the top) Part of what we will be doing that day is honoring all of YOUR babies who have left you too soon by name.  After my miscarriage in May 2008, I participated in a walk called "Angels Walk for Wishes" in Strafford, NH and they did this for us. (Their walk is in September if you are interested in that too!)  I found it very healing and so I want to do it for you.  My heart breaks to know the huge numbers of babies lost each year to miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.  To know the great amount of different defects, conditions, accidents, and diseases that exist and take our babies from us every day - and the pain that comes with them. 

If you are able to join us at our first annual Baby Rachel's Legacy Walk/Run 5K , it would mean so much to us.  Please take a few minutes to check out the event website (by clicking the name above) and to pass it on to others as well.  Registration is open, so please sign up!   If you're too far away to come and have been affected by the loss of a child, please let us honor your baby by registering him/her on this site as well.  There is also a place to make a donation.  All proceeds will benefit Options for Women.  Their info is on the site as well.

I am confident that raising awareness of anencephaly, as well as miscarriage and infant loss will help the hearts already affected by it to heal a little more... and the hearts that will be affected by it to not feel so alone when they get that news.  It will be on the Saturday after August 4th, the day we first heard the word "anencephaly".  The day our plans for our baby changed from how I would decorate her room to what songs I would play at her funeral.  A day I will never forget... the day God picked me up and started carrying me.

If you're reading this after just hearing devastating news about the baby you're carrying... or if you just unexpectedly left the hospital without your baby...  I am so sorry.  I wish I could take your pain away.  I wish I could tell you it will get easier.  I wish you didn't have to go through this.  But please believe me when I say that you will be okay and that God WILL NOT leave your side.  And please email me if you need anything.

8 comments:

  1. I wish I could be at Rachel's walk! Your life and faith are a light in that dark tunnel for so many other mom's Stacy!! SO much love sent to all of you out there.

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  2. It's so great you are doing a walk/run to raise awareness. We did a bike run the end of summer in 2009.

    Anencephaly is def more common than what drs say. It's just so hush hush for some reason.

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  3. I believe God is putting all these people along your path because you are choosing to honor Him on your journey and are being His words, His arm and His encouragement.

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  4. I believe God is putting all these people along your path because you are choosing to honor Him on your journey and are being His words, His arm and His encouragement.

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  5. Wish I could walk with you!
    August 4th is a special/sad day for us to...

    HUGS

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  6. Stacey~
    I wouldn't miss it! :) Can't wait to come and be a part of the walk! The story of the man who delivered the picnic tables....wow! It's amazing how God intertwines people's lives to be able to encourage one another or to simply not feel so alone in our circumstances! God is good!
    Have a wonderful long weekend with your family! Are they all feeling better?
    Praying still.....

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  7. I love that you are raising awareness and glad that you found the picnic tables. Sounds like everything is coming along nicely!

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