Oct 20, 2014

Even Nine Months Later

Oh I pray that your hearts have been blessed with the stories I was able to share in the last few weeks. I continue to pray for those mothers every day, each with their own story that the Lord has written for their lives. I also pray for the mothers who have experienced loss, but who couldn't quite yet put into words their stories. And for the ones that ares still working on putting their stories into words, feel free to share them with me at any time, it's never too late.

Today I wanted to share these words.

These are just a few words that I've written over the past few months. I'm sharing them today because they are a picture of what life after loss looks like even nine months later, even with another baby on the way. Some words are those written through tears and some are those of the continued hope and healing that I am so grateful to the Lord for.

September 17, 2014

Today was a hard day.

I didn't see it coming.

I didn't sleep well, but I think that's normal in the third trimester of pregnancy. I woke up tired, but I blame that on the cloudy morning and the lack of sunshine beaming through our bedroom windows when I woke. I got up and went to work just like I do every other weekday.

Today we were completing our health screenings for our students. I was at another campus measuring heights and weights of four-year-olds. Normal day for me. Then I got back in my car and I started to drive back to my office at my home campus.

And then I started to cry.

It wasn't because of a song on the radio. It wasn't because of something someone said or did. But for a few moments I was alone in my car and it was quiet and tears rolled down my face.

I made it back to my school and I sat in the parking lot trying to 'pull it together' but it wasn't working. Just about the time I'd dry all the tears, another round was welling up and puddling out. Some were quiet cries and some turned to sobs.

I was thinking about many things. I cried tears of joy as I thought about how blessed I was: wonderful husband, little baby in my belly, beautiful daughter in heaven. I cried as an outpouring of my heart that missed my girl, oh that somehow is the most powerful love I have. I cried as I thought about becoming a mother again and all the things I felt as if I was balancing and holding hoping I wouldn't mess up anything this time around.

I was overwhelmed.

And then I cried because although I've cried many times in the last nine months, this one felt different. This one reminded me of a very specific time.

It was the Thursday before Hannah was born. I went to the doctor and everything checked out fine. Heartbeat was perfect, she was measuring well, my body was getting ready for the day she would be born. But as I asked the doctor questions, I started to cry. I don't remember if I was scared or nervous or just so emotionally excited that I couldn't hold it in, but

I was overwhelmed.

And so today in my car I remembered that feeling. I've always wondered if it was God's way of preparing my heart for the days that would soon follow. For the news that our daughter had so unexpectedly died. And so there in my car I cried more tears, praying to the Lord that we wouldn't lose this baby too.

I sat there in my car, with red puffy eyes and a now swollen face and I wondered what to do. It wasn't just that I couldn't go back into the office with red eyes and expect no one to ask questions, but it was that the tears just wouldn't stop long enough for me to make it down the hallway of the school without crying.

I prayed and then I called my sweet husband and asked for his advice. He is so very wise and he loves me so well. He reminded me that I could call my boss and ask her what she recommended I do. He told me that he loved me and he supported whatever I needed to do. Even with my very limited amount of time off remaining and my very long list of appointments ahead, he told me that going home would be just fine.

My boss agreed. She looks out for us, and she told me to go home and rest and to let her know if I needed anything else.

So there I was at eleven o'clock in the morning driving back home in my little white car.

The sun had finally come out and as I neared home I stopped at the local nursery to buy a few mums for our flower beds. I spent time picking out the perfect colored flowers all while wearing my big black sunglasses and hiding my tears. At the register I made sure to take home some fresh-picked peaches and somehow the day felt much more simple.

I returned home to a good meal and spent the afternoon with my hands in the dirt in our front yard. The sun was out and the shade of my porch was just enough along with the breeze to keep me cool. After being completely satisfied that I had done something so very simple I went back inside to cool off.

Then I spent time crying and singing and thinking and praying. I spent time in the nursery reading to our baby in the belly and I spent time in the nursery praying to the Lord about Hannah.

I bit into the peaches that were now chilled and I let the juice run down my face because I absolutely love ripe peaches. I mowed the back yard because it was small and it seemed like something I could accomplish with little effort.

I didn't turn on the TV much at all, but I opened the blinds and I let the sun shine in and I laid down and took a nap to the sound of wind chimes.

Later I felt almost silly for coming home right in the middle of the day, only halfway through the week. But I knew it was what I needed. I saw the way the Lord used sunshine and nature and tears to heal my heart.

Today it has been exactly nine months since Hannah was born. I didn't even realize it this morning. And I know before all this I would have thought that someone would have 'gotten over it' by nine months. But the truth is, you don't just 'get over' missing your daughter. It's every day. Sometimes every day joy and sometimes every day sorrow.

I know I'll miss her for the rest of my life. I pray I don't ever stop missing her. But every day I'm grateful for those around me that seem to understand even in the smallest ways that I'm not 'over it' yet.

Even if before Hannah, I was one who may not have understood.

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