Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Giving Him a Name

In April of 2008, I was given a due date for our third baby - December 18. 
5 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby - already in love.

On May 7, at 8 weeks along, I miscarried that baby.  It's hard to believe it's only been 5 years with all I have experienced since then.

It was the most horrible pain I had ever felt in my entire life.  And I didn't live a pain free life.  I have a colorful past that came with many heartaches and tons of pain, often self inflicted, which is sometimes the worst kind.  So to say that it surpassed any pain I had ever felt was a big statement.  And it was a true one.

I didn't sleep for days.  I cried the deepest, most pain-filled cry I ever had. I felt like life had been stripped from my womb, and it had.  I was no longer expecting a baby that I had been already so in love with - I was waiting for the remains to finish passing.  It was the first time in my life that I discovered that being a mother could hurt like that.

My pain was intensified by the crazy things people would say to me in an attempt to explain away my loss.  I am sure they meant well.  But it was hard. 

I needed to do something to memorialize this baby.  I bought a Willow Tree Figurine called "Remember" and ordered a special stand that said "In loving memory of Baby Aube" and put a little thing I made with Jeremiah 1:5 on it. "before I formed you in the womb, I knew you".  Matt bought me a ring with 3 stones to represent our 3rd baby and the birthstones to represent the month it was conceived and due because just a couple days later was Mother's Day.  My first Mother's Day as a bereaved mother.

A month later, I got pregnant with Samuel.  I was told to wait at least 3 months, but you know me and rules... I had 2 pink lines 5 weeks from the day of my miscarriage. I was so excited, but I was on egg shells, afraid of another loss... and at 6 weeks along with Samuel, I started to bleed very heavily.  I went to the hospital MAD.  I was so mad at God that He would take another baby from me. (remember what I said about my blue print?) When they told me his heart was still beating during the ultrasound, and that they could see a pocket of blood next to him, meaning I had a "threatened miscarriage", I was so relieved he was still alive.  As soon as I got to 8 weeks, I felt like I was safe - and at 12 weeks, I 'knew' I was in the clear.  Isn't that the only time bad things happen to pregnant women?  So I thought....

And at that point, I stopped grieving for that baby and moved forward.  I still always mentioned that baby in our 'count' - we referred to it as "baby Aube #3" but my heart healed and eventually, it was a sad thing that had happened to me, but I didn't miss that baby or cry for it anymore.  I do remember going to the Angels Walk for Wishes at the end of summer that year and crying as they read 'Baby Aube' in their Baby Remembrance Ceremony and desperately needing that recognition.  It was my baby.

When I first got Rachel's diagnosis, I thought that I *knew* what it was like to lose a baby.  Having been through my miscarriage and experiencing that gut wrenching pain, I prepared for Rachel with that as my basis.  I remember talking to my sister about my 'next baby' while I was still pregnant with Rachel and her saying she couldn't believe I was already talking about another baby.  But I think part of that was that I really wanted another baby before I was pregnant with Rachel - and now I wasn't going to get to keep her - so I wanted another baby as soon as I could.   I think in my subconscious, though, I was expecting that another baby would help me to heal and take away my pain - like it did when God gave us Samuel....  most people around me expected the same out of my 'rainbow baby' Asa...but it never came.

If you've been with me from the beginning, you know that at about 6 months after Rachel's death, I went through a period of anger.  I read some of those posts and I ache for the me that I was because I know now that part of that was I had this expectation that losing Rachel was going to be the same as losing Baby Aube #3.  Because they were both my babies and I couldn't imagine anything hurting worse than what I experienced with my miscarriage.  But it just wasn't the same.  It trumped it a million times over.  And nothing took away the sting.  I was pregnant again, even passed the point of being able to tell that Asa was healthy and yet, I didn't feel any relief.  I just wasn't expecting it - and there is no way I could have prepared for it. 

I have definitely learned to never assume that I know how something will feel - not to my own heart and certainly not to another's heart.  Grief is such a personal and unique road for each person and each loss. 
I've spent my entire journey with Rachel encouraging other moms to name their babies lost to miscarriage.  I've encouraged them to remember and memorialize their babies.  I've reminded them that their babies matter and were real.  I've remembered them with them and for them and I've even cried a thousands tears for their aching hearts.  I can empathize and understand in a special way because I know that pain - but all the while, I never did that for our baby. 

The day of Rachel's Memorial Playground opening was on Mother's Day 2011, which 'just happened' to land on May 7... 3 years after I lost our 3rd baby.  I remember mentioning how special that day would be as an opening when I first picked it.  But I was still pregnant with her then and that was before I realized that the healing process for Rachel would be completely different and much harder for me.

And that was the last time I really recognized that baby.  At times, I've felt guilty that I don't count it in our family count anymore.  I've struggled as I have realized in hind sight that I forgot to include our 3rd baby in things... like when I did Rachel's Race and never included that baby in the Remembrance Ceremony...two years in a row! Or when I ordered my Hankie and didn't ask for one for Baby #3....I just forgot.  Even when I got my tattoo, I had trouble knowing if I wanted to include an extra seed for that baby.  I don't know, it wasn't purposeful, it just went completely by the wayside as I came to know the grief of burying Rachel and the months and years that have followed.  It's like my heart couldn't do both.

Still, I have continued to wonder and pray about the gender of that baby - as well as if I should name it.  After trying very hard to convince myself it was a girl and even coming up with a girl name I liked.. I just never felt a peace about it.  I still tend to think of it as a boy - not sure if that is from God or just because I have so many boys, but I decided rather than call the baby "it" I would say "him".  That felt better already, so I've been praying about a name.

And the other day, while driving down the road, God gave me the name.  I wanted a middle name too, but I don't have one that feels right - and I figure since it's been 5 years already, I might as well wait and see if God gives us a middle name at a later date.  But for today, we have decided to name our third baby Silas... which means "Third".  It's a perfect and simple way to keep his place as Baby Aube #3 - our 3rd gift from God.

I didn't expect to feel so excited about it, but I feel really good giving him a name.  God's timing is perfect and I know this is probably part of my healing process with Rachel as well.  I told my good friend Lisa about it and she sent me a gift to buy something in honor of Silas and I'm working with a woman on line to create a special piece for him to go next to the Willow Tree Figurine I have.  I will post a photo when I get it. 

I do know that for my earthy life, the loss of Rachel feels so much bigger - and honestly, I'm thankful for the healing that I have in relation to losing Silas... and I'm okay with the fact that it isn't the same  weight on my heart.  And I am so thankful for the friends I have that have been vulnerable with me and told me their experience is the same so that I know that this is not unusual.  But I also know that when I enter the Kingdom of heaven, I will find two of my children there waiting.  No matter how long they live inside of my womb or out, what makes them 'real' is their soul.  And they both have one.  And now they both have a name.


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