Thursday, November 27, 2008

Feelings Versus Obedience

Last night our church group had a Thanksgiving Eve service. I was tired, whipped, exhausted both physically and emotionally, but I knew the Lord wanted me to go. I haven't been able to go to church in 3 weeks, and now after all this?
I went with a heavy heart, knowing I have much to be thankful for, but wanting to shut out the last few weeks altogether. There were sweet songs and hyms of praise and thanksgiving. I sang quietly knowing the words were true, wishing I felt them in my heart. There was a time of sharing testimonies and the Lord's faithfulness. Many shared, and as the pastor closed this time, he asked one more time, if there was any one else who wanted to share. I didn't want to share, I didn't feel thankful, but I knew God was asking me, no, telling me to stand up and voice my thankfulness. I stood up and said, I don't "feel" thankful tonight, but thankfulness isn't a feeling. It's a command. "In everything, with prayer and supplication, give thanks." Scripture tells us... And so tonight, even though everything in my body is fighting it, I choose to be thankful for the seven beautiful children I have had to priviledge to meet and hold, and for the two whom the Lord has chosen to meet and hold first. Who better than Christ to hold my babe, if I cannot.
Obedience sometimes needs to come before your heart has actaully changed. I do not "feel" any different than I did before I shared. But I know it's a step in the right direction. Pray for me, as I walk this battleground in my life.
I thought it was fitting as we closed with, "Great is Thy Faithfulness." I sang with tears in my eyes as this song has come to mind many times the last few weeks. Faith will carry me through, and my "Baby Faith," I believe, wants me to know that and rest in Him.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm not even sure what to write. My mind has been going a mile a minute with my to-do list the last week. And at the same time, I feel numb trying to shut out the pain.
I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time in many years and for the first time ever with my sister and her family. I've been looking forward to this for a long time, and I have much to be thankful for. The list is endless.
But today, I need to share if even a shred of my heart and my frustration, my fear, my pain, both physical and emotional, I need to share the life that I don't get to share with you later. No June 8th calls, no early May scares, no tiny toes to count, or tears of joy to shed, no friends to welcome our babe. Just this. Just this tiny short life that left us before we could ever be loved back. So sit down. Open your heart, cause' this is all I ever get to share with you. A blog, maybe a few dedicated to this baby here and there as I journal our family's life and share it with you...
I was told almost three weeks ago that I was losing my baby if the babe had not already passed away. I was shocked. It couldn't be. This has happened before. I'm sure they're wrong. The Lord's timing is just different for my body. They'll find the baby soon. But deep down, I wondered. This was the first pregnancy to feel different. Except for a few waves here and there, I really hadn't felt sick. Oh, to be sick and crawling from room to room would be a joy now. I've tried to be thankful in the past, but I must say, I'll be thrilled to feel "that way" again if the Lord should bless us with another child.
I started to bleed on our tenth anniversary. For a week I bled and bled and bled, wondering when it would all be over. The next Thursday afternoon, I started to feel awful, and by that evening I knew it was time. My body had been bleeding a week now, but this was it. I was in labor. I'm sure it's different for every woman, but I'm shocked after having several children what I didn't know about miscarriage. Yes, it feels like labor. But with no excitment. You don't know if you're crying because it hurts or crying because your heart hurts worse. But as least I was crying. I hadn't shed a single tear in two weeks. It took holding my precious baby, completely intact to shed a single tear, and cry I did. I wrapped baby Faith in a beautiful handkerchief embroidered with pretty flowers. It was just the right size for him. Yes, I named him Faith. (and no, I have no idea what the baby's sex was) But he was beautiful, like a picture in a magazine. I could see his head and his rump and tiny winy arms and legs. I had no idea this was even a remote possibility - to "pass a baby this age 10-13 weeks completely intact." Apparently it is. And it's shocking and scary, and I had no idea what to do since I wasn't about to throw or flush him away. I called my doctor and my nurse, but I don't have any nice things to say about them, so I'll just not bring them up anymore. I will say the Lord finally brought Korsmo Funeral Homes to mind because of another tragic loss some dear friend's of our endured. They were so kind and respectful and compassionate, and the first person on a professional level to offer any kind of options for my husband and I to honor the short life the Lord had blessed us with. We started loving that baby 3 months ago, and thoughts and plans and prayers and giggles and worries, but most of all, love had already enveloped that life and ours. We're forever entwined. Faith is an arrow in our quiver just like any of our other children. It's too bad not everyone sees it that way. We Christians say we believe life begins at conception, but why do we treat this life any different than another loss? Conversations go on between people... Well, she was only 4 weeks, or it wasn't planned anyway, or at least they'll have more space, they have other children. When do we stop comparing for someone else how much it must hurt or not hurt, or how tragic it must be based upon how far along someone is? That is a tragedy in and of itself! It's a life poeple, and it's a loss that only that woman is allowed to measure. Not the doctors or nurses or friends or family. People dissapoint, this I know and have felt on many levels this week. And then love creeps in when you leat expect it from the funeral home lady or the sweet anestesioligist who cared enough to reach out and touch my leg before surgery, and said,"I feel your pain. I lose two this way." Monday morning, I began to bleed uncontrollably and made my 2nd trip to the Er in two days. The pain was excruciating, but since this was the only thing that I ever get to feel for this baby I was determined to do it alone and by myself. And not because of some pride thing, but because I so badly wanted to feel anything, even pain if it meant still being connected in some strange way to my baby. Clot after clot they tried to take from my body. Screaming in pain outloud, screaming inside "Why God?" Even Job asked why. "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me." He whispered. I sang, "Peace perfect peace..." as they prepped me for surgery. And then I was out.
"Where's my baby? Can I see my baby now?" I asked repeatedly. I was getting frustrated. Jill said she always saw her babies right away. "Go back to sleep dear." "She's dreaming." I heard them say. But now I wasn't dreaming. I was fully awake now, and completely aware that I had not had a c-section. I had surgery. The doctor was able to find the source of bleeding and completely remove the remaining tissue that my body was still trying to feed with blood. My hormone levels have abruptly gone from 17,000 plus to zero. Jared can attest to that. And now, I feel numb sometimes, devastated the next minute, and distracted with a million things to accomplish the next. I need time to grieve. And unfortanately, for this type A girl with a schedule and a calender, grieving doesn't abide by any of society's rules about time. It comes uninvited, stays too long, and then leaves without a moments notice. And then, wham, it's back, a minute, a day, a week , a month, or a year later. June 8th, please bring me joy. Joy indescribable and full of glory. I'm tired now, and you probably are too. No need to walk on glass for me. Just love me. Recognize my loss. That's all I ask. If not for me, for your baby you've lost, for your sister's baby, your mother's baby, your daughter's baby. Choose to recognize life at conception - for real this time.