Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Countdown to the Hallway

I've been waiting on words...  always an odd thing when those are hard for me to find. 

I've been trying to make sense of this new stage in my loss...  trying to make decisions about what direction to go from here for my girl and her legacy.... trying to tell the difference between shear exhaustion, avoidance, and true healing.  Trying not to make any decisions I will regret next year with little understanding as to what I even want or need.

I've been slowly working on getting ready for this baby to join our home... I've been blessed to not be too fearful, but every once in a while it hits me.... I don't have a guarantee.  No promise this baby is mine to keep.  No definite that I won't leave the hospital empty handed again.  Every once in a while I find myself awake in my bed, staring in wonder and waiting for the baby to move again so I know I still hold a little soul in my womb and not just an empty tomb.

Being a bereaved mother - and a pregnant one at that - is so complicated.  Even for a mother who has been doing it for a couple of years now.  And if I still don't totally understand it, I guess it makes perfect sense that people who have not buried their child wouldn't either.  And as I walk through this pregnancy, I think back to Rachel and to Asa and I wonder how on earth I survived any of it...  God alone.

I can feel August 4th coming.  Usually the week before is extremely hard for me... starting with my birthday the week before until after D-Day goes by.  Every year I re-live that week... missing my bliss in ignorance of my baby's condition. Wishing I could go back to the wonder and happiness that I used to feel during pregnancy. The girl's day out for pedicures Des & I went on with a little shopping and buying that cute little dress Rachel would never wear....  and each year since we have continued that tradition together - and Rachel remains heavy on my heart. 

I had come home on my birthday that year and hung that dress on a nail already in the wall...  I left it hanging there for months upon months... I don't even remember how long it was before I took it down, but it was long after she died.  Maybe even after Asa was born?  The nail has hung there empty since and yesterday Isaiah took it down and gave it to me.  When I realized where he had gotten it from, I took it and put it right back...  why?  I have no idea, but even that empty nail reminds me of the hope I had while I was pregnant with her.  I looked at that dress hanging there every day and just prayed she would grow big enough to wear it.  I felt silly telling Isaiah it had to stay there cause Rachel's dress hung on it... but he seemed to understand me.

I thought when I found out I was pregnant the week before Rachel's birthday this year and then got the due date of August 3rd for this baby that God was giving me something to cheer me up during the two hardest weeks of my year...the weeks leading up to her diagnosis and birthday.  However, as the day approaches, I am not convinced it will do that.  I know He knows what he is doing, but I can't help but wish that pregnancy could be what it used to be for me...what it still gets to be for most of the people around me.... I've never wanted to be ignorant so badly.  Usually clueless people annoy me... but now I feel envious of them.  I wish I didn't know. 

I was telling a friend the other day how good my pregnancy and delivery went with Sam.  My 3rd baby, the joys of a growing family, the bliss of the anticipation of his birth without any worries of him dying during it.  Setting up a nursery with belief that he would sleep in it and I wouldn't find him dead one morning unexpectedly.  Thinking that very few (and certainly not me) people actually lost babies after the first trimester. 

Des is already asking me about our pedicures... I told her we'd have to go early since I could likely have the baby on my birthday (I keep joking that I'm getting a baby for my birthday).  This morning, I cut Isaiah's toenails and felt frustrated about the condition of mine and not being able to reach them.  I started thinking about our annual pedicures, my birthday, her diagnosis and expecting a new baby all at the same time and it felt so complex.  Suddenly, I realized how hard this was going to be...   Just like having Asa right before Rachel's 1st birthday.  I went about my morning chores and found a piece of paper that Des had written her login for a game she has...

User name: RachelAlice
Password: lived43

I started crying and continued crying through my morning tasks....  I know it's not for our best to be ignorant to how fragile life is.  I know God had great purpose for us in Rachel's short life and death.  I know that He has changed all of us for the better.  I know she is a blessing to us.  I truly believe that and KNOW it to be true.  But every once in a while, I wish it was different.  Every once in a while, I see kids who are just as clueless as their parents and I wish my kids didn't know what I wish I didn't have to know.  I wish we could have just kept her and walked along our merry way thinking that these things happen to other people.

My prenatal care will switch to Maine Med in two weeks.  I will once again drive that highway, where there is no exit 43, to the hospital that holds the only living moments of my daughter's life outside my womb.  They will do an ultrasound and tell me if I'm a candidate for another VBAC and then it starts... the countdown to the hallway....

Where so many knowing hearts break and the clueless ones just travel.  The hallway to the exit.  The hallway to the nursery or the funeral home.  The hallway to a life forever changed, one way or the other. 

I've traveled it both ways - with and without my baby and unfortunately, once you have done it without, it hurts no matter what.  And I feel like I'm waiting for so much more than a baby to be born.  I miss the simplicity of that with the others before Rachel.  I feel like I'm waiting for the answer.  I'm waiting for God to show me which door He will be leading me through. 

The miracle of this is that while I wait, I know He continues to use Rachel to refine me and draw me closer to him.  Because before her, getting ready to give birth was all about the strong woman in me who 'could do this' and resting in how God created my body to give birth.  Now I have to rest fully in Him and how strong He is... I have to rest in how He created my baby for a purpose and it might not be to make me happy.  I have to trust in HIS ability to get me through whatever might come my way.  And I have to completely surrender - not to my body as it pushes a life out of my womb... but to His plan as it breathes life into my soul.

And regardless of whether I travel that hallway with or without my little E in my arms, I will praise the Great and Holy God Who created this life to begin with and has allowed me to spend each moment I have so far as this precious child's mama.  And no matter whether He leads me through the door to my life with another baby in my arms - or has to drag me out the door towards another funeral and a baby in my heart... I will praise Him.  I will.  And I pray that from now until then, while I still am uncertain of which it will be, that I will be able to praise Him as I wait and thank Him every day for what He is doing in this hallway as I learn to trust him with another piece of my heart.


  1. Love you. Thanks for always being open and honest.

  2. As always, such strong and powerful words. It is SOOOO hard walking this hallway that seems to never end. I continue to have hope though.

    I've got some pretty big triggers coming up and at this point, I'm praying that God will continue helping me just breathe. Kaitlyn came home this past Saturday with a loose tooth. In that instant, the breath was immediately knocked out of me and tears filled my eyes. Erik never lost a tooth, so with that and the fact that my girls will soon become older than he was is almost too much to handle.

    Praying for you in the weeks and months to come. <3


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