Monday, December 17, 2012

Lonely Place

This has been a heavy week.

On Thursday I attended a memorial for a sweet baby named Alicia.  Her Mama says it is because of Rachel's story that she had the courage to carry her baby girl to term after the doctors said she wouldn't make it that far.  Not only did she live to birth, but she spent 38 days with her family before going home to heaven.  I am so humbled to have been given the blessing of watching this brave and loyal mother give everything she has to her daughter... and I was honored to be invited to the service.  It was beautiful - and so very hard.

Then on Friday we heard about the school shooting in CT.  I don't even know what to say about that except that our world is so in need of a Savior.  My heart is broken for everyone involved - especially the families.  My baby died peacefully in my arms and it has brought more pain then I knew could exist... I cannot imagine the pain of losing your child to such a violent act. 

In light of these things, I feel somewhat stupid writing what's going on with me.  My life is so abundantly blessed, even when I hurt.  I guess I just need to disclose that I understand fully that I am not beyond these things happening to me... to my family... to my community.  I praise God that for right now, I am not in the thick of a deep dark trial.  But more than that, I praise Him that if I were, He would be there.... and I am positive He is there for these people now.  He is good - even when people are not, even when bad things happen, even when innocent children die.  He is good.  And we need Him now more than ever.  I continue to pray that these people will see Him in all this and run to Him.

So, I'm going to write about what's happening with me.... reluctantly, knowing that life is so much harder for so many others right now.

Well, I'm still pregnant.  I'm getting more and more sick and my days usually require a nap (which as a firm there-is-no-time-to-nap kind of person, that's a telling sign that I am EXHAUSTED)  These things are all a 'good' sign to me... The only baby I wasn't overwhelmingly ill with was the baby I miscarried.  With Rachel, I was really tired and somewhat sick, but it was an 'easier' first trimester in comparison.  The living children I have all came after 4 months of utter exhaustion and 24/7 crippling nausea.  And they were all worth it!  So, I am thankful for the obvious hormones running their course.

All that said, I will say that this pregnancy is a lonely one.   I have been trying to figure out how to put words to what I feel all week and it's the best one I can come up with.  Lonely. 

People didn't understand me when I was pregnant with Rachel, but that kind of made sense.  I had to explain myself on everything from wanting to be alone and whether or not some thought that was 'healthy' to the fact that I was preparing her funeral and she could be healed... I was told that wasn't having enough faith.  Some days I just wanted to bang my head against the wall at how I was expected to defend every minute of my life to people who were never even around before I was pregnant - and interestingly haven't been there for me since she died either... hmmm.... but as if I didn't have enough to deal with?!

People didn't understand me when I was pregnant with Asa either.... they would ask me the 'normal' pregnancy questions and tell me how this must make me feel better to be having another baby- and if I said to them that it didn't (because I actually wasn't sure I was going to have another baby because I realize there is no guarantee just because of two lines on a test), that I in fact was still heart broken over Rachel, I somehow became the negative girl who wasn't handling my grief well and certainly not thankful for the new gift God had given me.  Which was never the case, but people judge hearts that they don't even take the time to get to know fully. 

So, this time I guess I expected that since I already had a healthy baby after Rachel that I would be less nervous.  I figured that my grief probably played a big role in my emotional roller coaster with Asa's pregnancy (I was just 10 weeks out from Rachel's death when I found out I was pregnant)  And I was feeling strong and steady before I got pregnant this time.  Apparently everyone else thought these things too.

I made a doctor's appt a couple weeks after I found out, which was really slow compared to usual.  When they offered me an ultrasound the next day, I said I'd wait.  This was completely different than with Asa when I was wanting the doctors to keep me feeling secure from my 5 week appointment and on.  I've come to know that doctors aren't the place I need to get that and I've relied solely on God for the peace of mind only He can give.

So, why do I feel lonely?  Well, because over the course of the last two weeks, I've struggled with worry.  And I, being an outward processor, have attempted to talk to people about where my mind has been going and being sure to keep a positive attitude while I do.... and I always get a blunt 'don't go there' or 'don't worry, God's got it in control' or 'everything's going to be fine, I just know it'. 

Well, I happen to know that God had it all 'under control' when I put my daughter in the ground.  I know that I couldn't add a minute to her life by worrying, but I am just a human.  And I would really appreciate it if everyone could just play human with me for a minute.  I understand that staying in the place of worry is not good, nor honoring to God - and believe me I don't stay there.  But when I am vulnerable enough to share where I'm at, please don't poo-poo me and act like you wouldn't go there too... because unless you see your child be born without a head and put in a little tiny box and lowered into the ground, you don't know what my mind has been though.  It's probably similar to post traumatic stress disorder... whatever it is, it's real and it's hard.  And I kind of feel like when people ask me how I'm doing, they don't really want to hear... they want me to say 'good, everything is great'.  Which is true outside of my mind. 

Let me give you a glimpse....

Every time I go to the bathroom, I check for blood.  When I feel cramping, I start planning out what I will do with my kids for my hospital visit should I be losing the baby.  I stood on Rachel's grave this week and tried to think of how I would include this baby's name on our stone should I give birth to another anencephalic baby.  I wonder if I have another baby that dies, do I give them the name God gave us or keep it for the chance at another live baby?  I try to figure out, would I prefer to have a miscarriage or another baby with anencephaly... as if I have a choice - and as if those are the only two things that can go wrong.  I even found myself asking God if he was going to take this baby, just please do it soon.  And then I look at pictures of babies in the womb and wonder if my baby's head is forming like it's supposed to be. I listen to people talk about being pregnant and hate that it's not that simple for me.  Or at least that I'm no longer that clueless.  I wish it was like it used to be where I got a positive test and told everyone "we're having a baby" and could feel free to start decorating and buying things.  I hear people say things like "Can't wait to spend the next 18 years of my life with this child" and I wonder why they think that's a guarantee.... and then I remember I used to be that innocent too.  And honestly, I think I'm just jealous that I know more than I ever wanted to about the frailty of human life.  And I guess I am partially insulted that they think dead babies happen to people like me, but not to them.  Or maybe they just forget that a dead baby happened to me at all.  I listen to careless people blab about all the 'right' things they will do to ensure they have a perfect baby, giving no attention to the fact that I might interpret that as that I must have lacked in something to have a baby without a brain. (who, by the way, was perfect)  Every time someone finds out I'm pregnant, they say "This is your 5th?"  or "Wow, 5 kids!"  and I say 'No, it's my 6th" and they look confused..... My 4th baby doesn't make the count. :(

Some of you are reading this and you understand or can relate. 

Some of you are judging and wondering why, if it's so hard to be pregnant, don't I just stop with what I have?  Why did I do this to myself again?  I had someone ask me last year why on earth I would want to have any more - and when I said my kids are awesome, of course I'd want more, I was told that I might want to take a look at 'why I want to keep popping them out'.  huh?  I'm sorry, when did welcoming children God blesses me with become an unhealthy thing that needs to be examined?? 

But most of you, especially those of you who have never buried a child that you held in your arms, might be supportive of us 'popping more out' (totally wish they just 'popped' out!) but are probably thinking you would do it differently. That perhaps you would be better at taking thoughts captive and not envisioning things that haven't even happened yet.  And maybe you would.  But one of the best gifts that Rachel's life and death gave me is the ability to understand that I don't know everything.  I don't know what I would do or not do unless I have had to do it. And even then, God makes us all different and we handle things differently. And as a general rule, if someone tells me they are having a hard time with something, I try to understand and support them, not dig up a silver lining for them and present it as if it should take away the pain.  And I certainly don't tell them their feelings are wrong or that I know better.  I just feel completely misunderstood and that is a lonely place to be.

Because even when God has it all under control.... life hurts.  And hurting is not a sign of something being 'wrong'.  It's part of life in a sinful world.  And I trust God.  I trust even the plans that I hate.  I believe He knows what He is doing and that nothing happens outside of His perfect will.  But I know that doesn't mean I will like it.  That seems to be what people forget.  When you throw out the "Trust God, He has it under control" are you thinking "Trust God if this baby dies"  ?  most likely not.  You're most likely to be thinking "Trust God, that couldn't possibly happen to you again". But let me just say that it could.  I know two people who lost two babies to anencephaly and I know many people who have had multiple miscarriages.  Bad things happen more than once to the same person all the time. But I do trust Him.  I trust Him no matter what.  And so yes, I worry that I won't like His plan.  I worry that I won't get what I want.  But believe me when I say it's far from faithless.  It takes more faith to believe that everything you love and desire can be stripped from you and you would be okay with it than to believe that God will be 'good' by giving you everything you think is best.  I believe He is good, no. matter. what.

Now, all that being said, I should say that I don't truly believe there is anything wrong with my baby.  With Rachel I had an overwhelming feeling something was wrong from the beginning, even when the doctors - and everyone else - assured me I was just paranoid.  With Baby E, I have not felt that consistently.  But I won't lie... I picture myself walking back into that same ultrasound room that I had Rachel's in and laying down on that same table... them squirting some warm goo on my belly and rubbing the wand around in a couple of circles before pressing down above my womb.... and it's just still.  No beating heart... that same deafening silence in the room.... and walking out with more sad news.

So, please don't judge me.  I've been through a lot. Don't tell me I shouldn't or can't think this way, even if you just are trying to make me feel better.  It's not that easy. Don't assume you wouldn't.  Because you don't really know and does it really matter what you would do??  Don't think that I'm not excited over this baby.  I am.  Don't tisk-tisk me if you think I shouldn't be worrying.  It's not where my heart is all the time, but it is something I have to face every day of my life.  Just pray for me.  I have a spiritual battle that I will be fighting throughout this pregnancy and I don't need pat answers, I need prayers - real prayers.  I need people bringing me and my heart to the Lord in prayer.  I need understanding and compassion.  I need friends who aren't afraid to be human - or at the very least are okay with me being human because I'm not the kind of person to pretend something I'm not.  And I should add that it's not a good idea to say "I told you so" if I get to come home with this baby either.  Because the only One who really knows is God.  The rest of us are just hoping for the best.  (thinking that WE know what that is) And I, am preparing for the worst.  It's just what I do and had you walked in my shoes these past two years, you might too.  Day by day, I just try to remember there is a time to grieve and a time to dance.... it's still time to dance.  I have nothing to grieve yet. 

My ultrasound is tomorrow at 11:15 if you remember, please pray.  Not that we will see a healthy live baby in there... God already knows that part... but that no matter what, He gets the glory.  That being back in that place will not break my heart. That if Baby E is moving around with a strong beating heart, God gets the credit.  And that if my fears come true, like they did with Rachel, that He will sweep into that room again and pick me up off the floor and carry me.... just like He did in August 2010 and always does.  And that I will be at peace.  That's all I want.  And it's all I need.  His great merciful love and peace that makes no sense. 

I hope to have some really cute pictures for you tomorrow ♥  Baby Aubes are always super cute :)


  1. Your thoughts and worries are all very valid honey, and I think no matter now many more babies you have, will always be there. They are not a sign of not trusting, they are just human. We have to try to trust (whatever that means once we've trusted God and lost our baby anyway) through those worries. I think 'trusting God' now means that we trust He will bring us through. And we know that, but we still don't want to go through it again! Ever!
    Sending all my love, strength and prayers of comfort and peace.
    Love to you and the Aubes.

  2. Your honesty is one of the reasons why I love your blog! You are such an example for trusting in God what ever life brings... Thank you!
    I will pray for you and Baby E. Praying for peace and a caring doctor tomorrow!
    Hugs and love, anja

  3. I understand you honey, stay calm and just write about your fears.
    We are here for you, ever e for ever.


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