There was a country song on the radio... "Don't take the girl". It's a really old song, I used to love it as a teenager. The last verse had me remembering back to that night one year ago....
"Johnny hit his knees and there he prayed
Take the very breath you gave me
Take the heart from my chest
I'll gladly take her place if you'll let me
Make this my last request
Take me out of this world
God, please don't take the girl"
Last August 4th, I spent the morning crying, the afternoon staring at the wall trying to figure out what in the world was happening to my life and resisting the urge to look up what anencephaly was... and that night when Matt had to go to his 2nd job, my friend Jill came over. We ate pizza and I tried to analyze this "situation" I found myself in... how could this be? Maybe the next day I would go for my 2nd opinion and they would tell me that the other place was wrong.... but I knew in my heart that wasn't the case. I had a few dreams over the previous months that I found out my baby was dead at my 20 week ultrasound. I had never had that happen in any of my other pregnancies. After Jill left, I walked into the livingroom and saw the dress I had bought for the baby "in case it was a girl" the week before on my birthday "girl's day out" with Desirae. My heart broke.... my little girl.... no, God, please don't take her.
I didn't know what else to do and didn't have a blog yet :o) so I sat down and journaled. It ended up turning into a poem. When Matt came home at almost midnight, I was face down on the kitchen table crying.... How in the world was I going to do this? Is He serious? Carry a baby to term that I have to give birth to and watch die?? He can't be serious... Why would you make me do this God? I knew termination wasn't an option, but I can't honestly say that I wouldn't have liked to have it all end sooner. The thought of waiting to give birth and burying my baby was something I couldn't handle. I just wanted to start time over....
Well, a year later, I can honestly say that I had no idea how hard this would be, how much it would hurt, how lonely and heart wrenching the path would feel, how hurtful people would be along the way... In my wildest imaginiation, I didn't have even a bit of a clue. I would try to imagine it (as I'm sure many people watching me do) and looking back, I know I never even came close. I thought I knew what to expect after losing a baby because I had lost a baby to miscarriage before and that was the worst pain I had ever felt. I assumed it would be something like that.... With my miscarriage, it was horrible and slowly got better and a new baby made me feel better and eventually, I stopped crying over that baby. I assumed it would be similar. It hasn't been. The pain has gone up and down rather than slowly getting better over time and more bearable.... and expecting another baby has made my pain harder in many ways instead of better.
I knew last August 4th that I had received the worst news of my entire life. I knew it was going to be hard. I knew I was going to be sad. I knew I wanted a way out and there wasn't one. But I had no idea the extent to which I would feel these things.
But last August 4th, I never in my wildest imagination imagined that there would be new believers because of my girl, that I would ever be thankful for having been priviledged to be Rachel's Mama, that thousands of people around the world from over 100 countries would read about Rachel and follow our journey... or that hundreds would continue on a daily basis to read about my life months after Rachel's death and pray for me and love me. I had no idea that I would make some of the best friends I've ever had. I would have never believed that me carrying this precious baby could get the name of my amazing God on the front page of the newspaper 6 times and in the sports sections once! That's right, my girl and my God together in the sports section! Go Team! :o) I never imagined that I would ever proudly say "my baby lived for 43 minutes" and have a genuine smile on my face while saying it. I didn't know how proud I would be to have her as my daughter. I had no idea the amount of people that this little girl would touch. I was totally unaware of all she would do in my heart. I never could have guessed what it would feel like to hold a piece of heaven in my arms on earth, but I was blessed to do so. And I definitely didn't think that I would ever be glad that I didn't have a "way out", but I am.
The last year has been so hard. It's been so beautiful. It's been heart breaking. It's been full of hope.
I opened up my journal and was going to share just the poem part, but I think I will share the whole entry....
And so my journey with my precious Rachel Alice Aube began. I would do it all over again.
I'm still praising the One Who chose me to carry you, Rachel. Missing you every second of my life.
Thank you Lord for carrying me along the road. You are so good to me, God.