I'm absolutely in love with Asa. He's amazing. He is the sweetest baby and almost always content (for now). He loves to be with Mama almost as much as I love to be with him. I have hardly shared him at all and don't intend to any time soon. I can practically see him growing before my eyes because I hardly take my eyes off of him. I love every little thing about him, even at 4 am with no sleep.
I miss Rachel more than ever. All this time during pregnancy I've been worried about my c-section scar tearing open and my uterus rupturing... seems I was worried about the wrong scar. Any part of my heart that had healed is newly torn open and it feels like the entire thing has ruptured. It hurts so bad I'm not sure if I want to cry, puke or hit something. I just want relief.
Rachel's birthday is approaching - one week from Saturday (don't forget to send the gift cards for the young mom we're sponsoring!!) and as I go through each day with Asa, I can't help but think about Rachel. When he turned 6 days old, all I could think was this is how long after Rachel's birthday that I had to bury her body in the ground. I stared at his perfect little hands, feet, chubby cheeks and wondered why I couldn't keep her.
I am having serious anxiety that something is going to happen to Asa - and for the first time in a very long time, I'm struggling to trust God. I guess as I was going through the stuff with Rachel, trusting him to take care of me was easy because I could see that He was. (and I had no other choice!) And I knew that he would take care of her too because she would be with him. But in the end, my baby still died - my arms still were empty. And so I look at this precious baby boy and as I fall deeper and deeper in love with him, the reality that God doesn't need my consent to take my baby from me scares me. All the comments about Rachel's life serving such a bigger purpose for so many other people leaves me hoping that my sweet Asa has a much lower calling... that God doesn't think anyone else needs to benefit from him. Cause I happen to like him and call me selfish, but I'm kinda sick of being the one in pain so that "everyone else could benefit". Actually, the fact that people think that is a reason for me to rejoice irritates me. She's dead. So happy for everyone else though! (insert sarcastic smiley face here)
Today as we ate our Thanksgiving meal, I remembered last year....
I had asked Des to take a picture of me & Rachel at her first Thanksgiving and as I handed her the camera across the table, I dropped it in the gravy! But the camera was unharmed! Then after we ate, I laid on the couch and recorded her kicking my belly as I talked to her. Then we pulled out her vault and decorated it nice and pretty for her.... See her vault here As I sat here today, burping my new baby at the dinner table, these things replayed in my mind... how can she really be gone? How did I make it through those days alive?
Some people are thankful for their good paying jobs... their nice houses....their children's promising future... some are thankful for good friends and family. Some people are thankful for their cute little dogs that greet them at the door when they get home at night (long story)
What am I thankful for today? That I'm not decorating my baby's burial vault after dinner. Yeah, Matt's job is good - especially that it's close since he's been walking to work for 2 weeks now (yes, even in snow) cause his car is crap - we have a nice home, we have everything we need. I'm glad about it all... but all of that could go down the drain and as long as I never have to decorate another vault for a child of mine, I'll be happy.
I heard this thing on the radio the other night about how to beat the holiday blues.... they mentioned how hard the holidays can be when you've lost someone. These times tend to make it more evident that someone is missing. She said it's important to realize that this year will be "different". Different? That's a nice way to put it I guess.
We're having just a few select people over after the balloon release on Rachel's birthday. Mostly the people who were at the hospital with us when she was born, minus a couple who haven't been around all year. I also added a few that have been my rocks throughout this year....but one thing was for sure, I needed to be surrounded by people who I trust with my heart because it's going to be a hard day for me. I was filling in the Date, Time, Where info and as I saw myself write "1pm at the cemetery, 2 pm at our house".... "different" didn't seem to really describe it. My daughter's first birthday party is starting at a cold cemetery. "Sucks" is more accurate.
I've had lots of requests to "meet Asa" and I'm just not there. I don't often answer my phone and my door has a nice sign saying "we'll let you know when we're ready for visitors" so that I can ignore the knocks (which I do - sorry!), but the truth is, I don't know if I'll ever be ready. I have never wanted to be alone so bad in my whole life. I used to think I was an extrovert. Not right now I'm not. I used to love to host parties and have people over... not these days. I used to talk on the phone for long lengths of time and actually enjoy it. I almost always regret the loss of energy I experience after such a conversation these days, minus talking to my mom or sister. Having someone in my house for more than 15 mins is more than I can take and I've only let 2 people (mom & sister) hold my boy since I left the hospital. And at the risk of sounding crazy - I don't plan to change any of this any time soon.
In the next 5 weeks, I will celebrate Isaiah's 5th birthday, Rachel's 1st birthday, Christmas and also Rachel's due date, Desirae's 9th birthday and many of Asa's 'firsts' along the way, reminding me of all I'm missing with my girl. I will cry. I will smile. I will rejoice and I will mourn. I will probably upset some people (probably the same people who weren't happy with my decisions on these things last year either) and hopefully, along the way, I will bless some people. But all I can do is my best and sometimes my best isn't good enough.
Before I had Asa, I had emailed my friend Melissa and expressed my concern over how in the world I was supposed to do this part of my journey. I expected some of this, I just wasn't prepared for the depth of the pain. She had recently had her rainbow baby and her relpy had me in tears then, but I totally get it now... she said...
"I can't tell you what to expect when you finally meet your sweet Asa. I can only speak from my experience. If having Asa is anything like having Sam....So here I am hurting - and hopefully somewhere deep down healing - on this never-ending jouney through the loss of my sweet girl to anencephaly.
When you meet him, you will love Asa even more than you do right now. (Yup, it will happen)
You will think of Rachel even more than you do now. (Yup, it is possible)
And when you bring him home you will hurt and you will heal all at the same time."