Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grieve with Hope

Grieving with hope today.  Trying to let go a little.  All the while.... holding my precious baby in my heart until I can see his sweet face again.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Remember the Joy

I wake up every morning with the same pain in my heart.  It is a burning feeling.  I hate it.  I reminds me of my loss.  I lay there in misery having to face another day. I want the pain to stop.  I don't want to constantly remember what I lost but the incredible gift I had. 

I was so happy when I saw those two lines on the stick.  I felt joy.  I felt afraid.  I felt happiness. I felt some uncertaintity.  I felt alive.  I felt sick.  I felt really sick.  The morning sickness kind of sick.  Not this sick feeling I feel now in my heart.

 I went to an ultrasound and saw my baby in my womb for the first time.  I was in love.  I heard the heartbeat.  It made me want to cry.  Not cry sadness but cry happiness.  Grow little one I would think to myself. 

I felt that first movement.  Could it be that I just felt this little baby move?  Do it again.  Yes! And another time.  My tummy tickled so much I thought I would melt. 

I saw my baby again on the ultrasound.  It is a boy! She said.  I knew it.  I just knew it.  Look at that.  My baby is moving so much.  Did he just flip?    Yes....I felt it.  I felt pure joy.  The joy a mother expecting knows so intimately. 

Keep growing little one.  I feel every movement.  I can't believe I wanted him to settle down.  But I needed to sleep.  I massaged my tummy.  I love you little one. 

Seth and Mommy  March 12, 2012


I just want this moment today.  I will stop here in my writing.  I will stop here in my mind deep in my memory when I knew the joy and not the pain.  I just want to remember the joy of  my little one today.  The incredible gift I was so honored to receive.  I close my eyes.  There you are baby.  I think I can remember the happiness.  I am starting to cry.  I don't want to cry sadness today.  I want to cry tears of joy.  I held a miracle close to my heart.   It was you!  It was wonderful.









Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Darkness

I see my husband look into my eyes and beg me to come out of the darkness. He needs me. I know he does. Even he can't seem to take this pain. It feels like only mine to bear. It was in my womb my baby lived and died. It was from my body I gave way to death through the motion of giving birth. How could he feel what I feel? It just isn't humanly possible. Still, he hugs me again and wants me to come out. I don't know how.

I see my children look at me. I hear them saying "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" I finally answer them and try to take care of them. I feel myself going through the motions. I get them dressed. I feed them. I help them bathe and brush their teeth. I try really hard to smile or laugh at something they say and do. My attempts but fail. I am with them but in a fog. 

I talk with my friend on the phone and I hear the concern in her voice. I almost choose not to talk to her. She comes up with wonderful ideas about getting out, live among the living, believing God's truth. She wants me to believe that this grief will ease. It will be different someday than it is now. I am not sure I believe her. She knows I don't believe her. She prays to God asking Him to comfort me, heal me, carry me. He must be carrying me because I don't feel like I am walking on my own. Through the tears I think I see hope.

Yet, the darkness and loneliness are so overwhelming. I know I won't survive if I stay here. The darkness will swallow me up if I let it. I am growing weary. I am so alone. I am in so much pain.  Will I ever find joy again?

Abba Father I am trying to cry out to you. Please hear me now.


You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.

Hear my prayer, LORD;
listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.

Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
(Psalm 86:3-4, 6-7, 11-13)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grief's Journey

I am on a journey. If you had asked me to take this journey I would have clearly and quickly declined. I wasn't packed or prepared, this journey just took off. It began with the words..."I am sorry but Seth has passed away......and the rest of words trailed off. The flight attendant must have been telling me what to do in case of an emergency but I didn't hear what she had to say. And truthfully, the only way off of this journey is to go through it.

In the beginning, the journey was really all a blur. I was so surprised, shocked, numb yet full of some sort of pain I did not yet recognize. Perhaps this is grief I told myself. My baby is dead. I start to cry. I am going to grieve. I cry again. It can't possibly last. I understand now that all grief was offering me was the cruel ability to actually leave the hospital without my son. It forced me to leave him behind. It allowed me to make funeral arrangements. It gave me the energy to return to my life. I thought the grief would let me return home without it. It let me go home but insisted that I take it with me.

I thought I understood grief those first few weeks. I knew I didn't like it. It made me sad. It made me cry. It made me feel nothing at all. It made me zone off into another place. I tried going to sleep assuming that I could somehow make it through the journey quicker. But I would just wake up and it was night. What was this place? All I knew was it was dark and full of pain. I was determined not to stay here. I forced myself up in the morning. I tried to make the best of this place.

But grief just won't let me be. It reminds me over and over and over again of what I have lost. I try to pretend it is all a dream. I could not have possibly carried a baby to term to have him pass away at the end. There must be some mistake. Maybe I was never really pregnant. Maybe Seth didn't really exist. No one else knew him like I knew him. Maybe I imagined it all. I try sharing with my family and friends. I showed them photos of this cute little baby with ten fingers and ten toes. Look, see how precious. He is my beautiful boy. Look he even looks like Lydia and maybe little like Adam or Caleb. Oh and doesn't he look like his Daddy? I make sure they know he is real. I talk about him, enjoy him the only way I could now.

Then from out of no where the dreaming, the denial came to a hault and grief laughed in my face. It had a new destination in mind. REALITY. My grief forced me to really look at the pictures of my baby. I saw death. It hit me hard. I could barely breath. I felt so anxious.  Reality has brought with it  extreme loneliness and intense darkness. I feel so low that I can't even see the world the same.

The journey is far from over...but I need a break from this grief. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Raw Emotion

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
and His ears are open to their cry.
--Psalm 34:15 (NASB)

It is Monday and I am crying.  I am crying a lot and I can't seem to stop.  I am even experiencing anxiety that could at any moment turn into a full blown panic attack.  My emotions are so raw today.   It is just a Monday, but today is not just one of those days that is just hard, but one that is harder.    Is my body and mind trying to catch up with one another?  My body has been saying for weeks that I have just given birth to a baby.  My mind keeps telling me that my baby is dead.   But my heart just keeps screaming "I want my baby back."   Maybe I am just struggling my way through the denial stage of grief into the reality.  Am I just now realizing that my baby is not coming back?  Ever!

I don't feel much like living today, yet I don't feel like dying either. I feel nothing and then a whole bunch of something all at once. I feel numb. I feel pain. I feel sad. I feel mad. I don't feel like I am going to survive this. Why do I have to survive this?

Please don't be alarmed by my words. Yes, my emotions are raw and real. This is just my journey from experiencing greif to finding healing. Today, the tears will not cease, but eventually they will. It is just a Monday and I feel deep, deep pain.


Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and answer me;
For I am afflicted and needy....
To thee I cry all day long. Psalm 86:1, 3 (NASB)

You put my tears in your bottle;
are they not in your book?
--Psalm 56:8 (NASB)



"A teardrop on earth summons the King of heaven" (Charles Swindoll) 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Strange and Awkward

I feel like I have made it to some sort of milestone.  If Seth were with me, he would have just turned a month old.  But he is not with me.  And grief unfortunately doesn't really have time lines or milestones.  But yet time seems to help.  I know the grief isn't as fresh and shocking today as it was the day my Seth went to heaven. The pain is still deep and I don't think it will ever really leave.  It is a permanent scar on my heart.  No matter how hard I try to make this all only a nightmare....I wake up every day to the reality. And reality is not only painful but continues to be incredibly strange and awkward.

On Tuesday I went to Chapel Hill to order the headstone for Seth's grave.  It is something I would never imagined myself doing for one of my children. There weren't many to choose from so I guess it made this sort of decision a little easier.   I decided on the teddy bear stone. It is strangely adorable,  if a headstone should be described in this way...I don't really know.  His precious name Seth Josiah Schamburg will be engraved upon it as well as the date known as his birth and death March 18, 2012.  It will also say Our Baby Boy...as he will forever been known in our hearts.

Natalie and I also took some flowers, a dragonfly, and pinwheel to his grave.  Natalie has been pretty insistent that we go and decorate his grave.  Another strange and awkward.  I know all about buying things a baby needs...but knowing what kind of flowers to buy for your baby's grave was not something I was sure of.  I appreciate Natalie's insistence.  After we decorated Seth's grave and stood back to look I could hear the birds singing.  I could hear the water flowing in a nearby waterfall.  It was somehow a little bit comforting.   Strange and awkward, but comforting nonetheless.

I have experienced the loss of loved ones before but I haven't given much thought to their resting place for their earthly shell.  I haven't actually visited the graves of loved ones much.  And if I have I am not sure what I have thought about or talked about.  Yet suddenly, awkwardly I am trying to figure out what I should do when I visit Seth's grave. Do I cry? Do I pray?  Do I sit in silence?  Do I talk out loud?

See this place is a sacred place to me.  It holds within it's dirt my baby boy's precious earthly shell.  It is hiding in it's depth a memory box.  This white box contains the memories of a baby I once held deep within my womb. A baby who was knit together as my heartbeat in harmony with his.   It holds the memories of a little body that once kicked inside my belly.  It contains the memories of the hiccups and the times he sucked his thumb. 

It also contains the memories that were meant to come but won't.  It has in it the dreams I had of holding this baby and watching him grow.  It contains the reminder of the little things I will be missing out on like kissing a scraped knee or holding a little hand to cross the street. 

So when I visit this place known as "Seth's grave" it gives me a chance to visit this memory box in my mind.  There with it's pretty blue flowers, the dragonfly, and a pinwheel that is blowing in the wind, I can come and remember.  I can listen to the birds singing.  I can hear the trickle of the waterfall.  This will be a backdrop as I open this precious memory box in my mind and remember and dream about the memories held inside.  It won't be so strange and awkard afterall.

And as I am ready to leave I will pray.   I will thank God over and over again for allowing me to be Seth's mommy.  I will praise God for His tender mercy. I will ask Him to keep these memories safe for me.  And I will ask for His comfort and peace.  And I will trust Him.  I will have to. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Letters to Heaven

I have so many questions in my mind about whether it is ok to talk to Seth or if it is best to talk to God and ask Him to give a message to my Seth.  I read another blog the other day where the mom wrote a post about...If I could write a letter to heaven.  So I have decided to adopt this idea.  So you may see from time to time me post Letters to Heaven.  This will be especially important to me on special days like the 18th of the month, holidays, Seth's birthday, and really sometimes just an ordinary day.  It is my prayer that God will read them too.  And maybe, just maybe He might share with Seth my letters to heaven.



Dear Seth,

If I could write a letter to heaven I would tell you that I can't believe today you would have been a month old.  I can imagine that by now we would be in perfect step in our mommy/baby dance.  I would be so familiar with your cry. You would know my voice.  I would be able to comfort you just by pulling you close to me.  I would be covering you with kisses from the top of your head to the bottom of your tiny feet.  I bet your belly button would have fallen off and I would be giving you your first bath in the bathtub. You might still have had your nights and days mixed up...but I would have been right there beside you taking care of all of your needs.  Looking into your blue eyes would be making me melt.  I would be looking for that glimpse of a first smile. I would be so in love with you.  I would be holding you in my arms today in awe of how fast the time had gone.  I would feel sleep deprived and full of joy.

Instead time has been this strange combination of completely standing still and yet strangely moving forward.  I miss you today my baby boy.  And if I could write a letter to heaven I would tell you I love you so much.  I so wish you could have stayed with me. I would tell you over and over that I never wanted to let you go.

Enjoy heaven today my sweet baby boy.  I am thinking of you today and always.

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Will Carry You

I just finished reading the book I Will Carry You. It is the story about a family who knew that their daughter was going to die when she was born. They found out during her pregnancy that she had issues that would make it impossible for her to live outside the womb. The story is incredible and I was amazed at the faith they had through this journey. I am hoping for faith like this as I continue to walk through this grief on my path to healing.

For those of you who are in the For Women Only Sunday school class this is the same Angie Smith that wrote "What Women Fear".  So many of you would be familiar with the story.  Angie’s husband is a Christian Singer in the band Selah. They wrote a song in honor of their daughter, Audrey. 

This song "I Will Carry You" is bringing me comfort today.  It is so hard  to keep moving forward in my life without Seth. Yet today I choose to be thankful that I did carry Seth in my womb for 39 incredible weeks.  I choose to Praise God today for choosing me to be Seth's mommy.  God knows how much I love Seth.  He knows how much I loved carrying Seth in my womb. He knows the many plans I had for Seth to be a part of my life.  He knew I was going to love Seth like this.  And I know God loves Seth even more than I do and He will love him like this! 





"I will protect and carry you all the days of your life." Isaiah 46:4

Monday, April 16, 2012

Remember Your First Everything

Natalie was eating a dove chocolate the other day. Yes we are eating a lot of chocolate at our house these days. We love the dove chocolate because each piece comes with a little message written inside of the wrapper. Natalie’s dove wrapper said “Remember your first everything”

Natalie and I started talking about Seth. And we decide to come up with a list of Seth’s first’s while he was with us……..

First heartbeat sounds heard by Mommy. At my first prenatal appointment I had an ultrasound. I saw Seth for the first time and heard his precious heartbeat.

First food craving……Olive Garden bruscetta…so yummy and then from their anything with tomatoes…Mexican salsa and chips.

First Day of Kindergarten. Seth was there as Lydia went to her first day of kindergarten. He actually went to school about once a week while I volunteered in Lydia’s classroom and Ben’s classroom. And Seth was there when we went to the school to carve a pumpkin.

First Cardinal’s game. We went to watch Ben sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” We had nachos! And Seth was with me as we watched the Cardinal’s win the World Series.

First Movie Theater movie. The First movie was Spy Kids. We also went to see the Help, Courageous, and The Vow. We had lots of popcorn.

First Ram’s game. We got free tickets from my inlaws. We had nachos there too!

First trip to the Apple Orchard. Seth could hear his little brothers running through the apple trees and playing.

First time Mommy felt him move. It was an ordinary day. I was sitting in the living room watching tv with Daddy. It felt like he leaped. I couldn’t believe how strong he was.

First Christmas card. We announced we were pregnant and that he was a boy.

First Thanksgiving. Seth and I enjoyed two thanksgiving dinners.

First Christmas. The kids were watching for Santa on the computer on Christmas Eve. Seth was there. We spent Christmas morning together as a family playing games the kids got for Christmas. Mommy made a special Christmas dinner.


First Schamburg baby to become famous through Facebook. Natalie posted about Seth every week. She loved posting about her brother as he was growing. 

And many more firsts that I will have to update as I remember them…….

Seth and I also had lots of pregnancy cravings. I once read that the flavors of the food the mother eats actually passes to the baby. They believe the amniotic fluid actually contains flavors of the foods the mom eats. So here are some of the favorite tastes Seth had….Bruschetta from Olive Garden. Nachos….especially nacho supreme from the Mexican restaurant. Seth especially liked salsa. The best salsa had just the right amount of cilantro...... Banana Splits from Sonic...... Baby shower cake and punch...... Corn dogs...... More nachos...... BBQ Company B smoked chicken, green beans and mac with cheese...... Pepsi….and every time I would take the first drink I would hiccup. Seth got the hiccups a lot too.

I taught him some things too…like how to crochet pink booties and then go to the store to pick out yarn to crochet blue booties. How to do lots of online shopping. How read a book on a nook. How to do homework. How to worship God. How to talk on the phone. How to pick out a new washing machine. 

We were looking forward to so many more firsts…..

I know I will continue to be reminded of all the firsts we will be missing with him on earth. But I can only imagine the firsts Seth is experiencing in heaven. Like the first time he saw Jesus. Or the first time the angels sang him lullabies. Or the first time he met other loved ones in heaven. Or the first time he came face to face with God. I can only imagine all the firsts God is revealing to him.  Seth is there experiencing God's glory....what could be more beautiful.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalms 139:13-1613 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.


I have seen this verse a couple of times since Seth passed away.  When I look at his pictures I see his body so perfectly formed.  I know that God knit him together in my womb.  Seth was creatively created.  God picked out just the right color of brown for his hair color and even numbered the hairs on his little head. God decided he would be 19 inches long. God gave him the longest fingers that mostly likely were to resemble mine.  Wide hands like Dennis.  He gave him the sweetest lips which now I realize are his Daddy's.  He had the squeezable cheeks like his sister Lydia. His nose seems to look like Caleb's...but then again I think all of my children have the same Schamburg nose.  He had big feet just because God thought he should.  Seth was woven together perfectly and he was absolutely beautiful.

So as I stare at his pictures. I remember the few moments in time that I held him.   I look and agree that Seth was fearfully and wonderfully.  I am in awe of God's handiwork on him.  Yet, it makes me question God.  WHY?  If he was so fearfully and wonderfully made than WHY was his time on this earth so short?  Then I read the rest of this verse in context especially verse 16. " Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. " God created Seth and numbered his days.  I have to believe that even before Seth was knit together in my womb, before He made him the the secret place......God knew him.  He knew him by name.  He new he would live for 39 weeks in my womb.  That his first precious breath would be saved for heaven. 

I can even remember the exact moment his name was revealed to me.  I really believe now that it was actually revealed to me.  I had called the baby Faith when I found out I was pregnant.  It was my code name for the baby.  I had a strong feeling that either this baby was going to be named Faith or that God was going to teach me a lot about Faith because of this baby.  I can't believe I had those thoughts in the beginning without knowing what the future held. 

And yes, I know Faith is a girl's name.  Lots of people thought our baby might be a girl.  I did at times too.  I even crocheted pink booties. Yes...PINK!  But suddenly one day I stopped what I was doing and just knew the baby I was carrying was a boy.  And I said his name outloud, SETH JOSIAH.  "I really think I am going to have a boy and his name is going to be Seth Josiah," I was thinking outloud. I Praised God for my little baby and felt peace that he would be a boy. 

It was revealed at the 20 week ultrasound he was indeed a little boy and we did decide his name was to be Seth Josiah.  I know God already knew him by name.  He knew his beginning and He knew his end on this earth.  It hurts so much to have had this little boy for such a short time, but I must trust in God the same today as I did before Seth was conceived.  Seth was created for God's glory and purpose.

See I have to believe in a Sovereign God who knows exactly what He is doing even at the beginning.  I have to trust Him.  I can't believe that God placed Seth in my womb and then at the last moment, the last hour of my pregnancy changed his mind and took him away from me.  I know God can do as He pleases but I also believe He knows exactly what He is doing.  I believe his a God who loves me.  He is a God who has a plan and a purpose.  I have to believe that God knew Seth by name and that Seth was always His child. I have to believe Isaiah 43:1....“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine" I have to believe in a God that loves Seth even more than I love Seth. 

 What a blessing to have been chosen to be Seth's Mommy.  I know I will always be a better person, maybe even a better Mommy just for having held Seth every second of his life!    For every minute of every day for 39 weeks I carried him in my womb and now forever I will carry him in my heart. Thank you God for giving me Seth.  I don't understand WHY you wanted him in heaven so soon....but I give him back to you!  Please tell my Seth that his Mommy loves him so much!


I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the Lord. I Samuel 1:27-28a


Friday, April 13, 2012

My thoughts exactly....

The post I am including today I did NOT write.   I could not help but include this post..."When You Lose a Baby"...from Small Bird Studios. It is my thoughts exactly. At the bottom I have also included a link to "When Your Friend's Baby Dies". I have sent it to a couple of you but I thought it could also be included here. Thank you for reading my blog....hearing my thoughts.....listening to my words. Thank you for getting to know my Seth. I believe God has a plan to use Seth to touch others.  I can't wait to see the great plans He has in store. 


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,

plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11


 

When You Lose a Baby

You don’t know what to expect.

People surround you. For a couple of weeks. Making sure you are not going to kill yourself, refuse to get out of bed, or start rocking a baby doll like the crazy lady they heard about from a friend.

You get lots of sympathy cards, clearly written and designed to be sent to console a daughter losing her father. Not the other way around.

You get free baby formula in the mail. For months and months and months.

And free baby magazines. And free baby coupons.

You secretly envy every pregnant woman. But not without a tinge of guilt, because you know all too well that she might be one in four- expecting her rainbow child.

It seems like the whole world is expecting a baby.

You have baby stuff around your home. Because you never imagined you wouldn’t need it.

You feel jarred. In the grocery store. At a birthday party. At the dinner table. At Christmas. Driving.

The baby you never knew, but lost changes every part of your life. Every. single. part. Forever.

You see baby clothes and it brings tears to your eyes.

You get sick and tired of crying. You never knew it was possible to cry this much.

You find yourself angry at God. Angry at yourself. Just angry.

You sware you can feel them kick but they’re gone. They call them phantom kicks. I call them painful, all kinds of painful. But sweet too.

You know, or you have a strong feeling of knowing what your child would have looked like, and been like. You see a child in the store, or on the street. Their hair color, dimples, smile, their personality and suddenly you are reminded of your child. You miss your child even more, if that’s even possible.

Your Babies R’ Us Registry is still active. There is no delete button on their site. The babies r’ us people don’t make a dime on people like us. Why bother right? You have to call them, plead with them to remove your freaking’ registry, because there will be no baby shower. There is an awkward silence. There is sadness. There will be no baby.

You get hospital bills about 3-4 months after you buried your child. You have to pay for the baby you delivered but didn’t bring home.

You find that moment of happiness in life for the first time, but the guilt swallows it up almost immediately.

You remember the size of the casket. The size of the plot. The face of the funeral director. The expression of those that attended the funeral. The feeling of raw pain, like your chest has literally been ripped open.

Somehow you convince yourself that you deserve happiness. Because you really do. But in the happiest, purest moment, there is still that hole that only they were meant to fill.

People compare your pain to their own pain. The loss of their grandmother, husband, their failed marriage, rebellious teenagers. Somehow this comparing leaves you stranded. If they can compare their pain of a situation to the loss of your BABY, they will likely never get it. Babies are not supposed to die. End of story.

You lost a dream. And it almost feels like you imagined their entire existence up. Their name becomes a distant memory on the lips of others.

There is awkwardness when you talk about your child in a crowd. No one knows whether to cry, walk away or pretend you never brought him or her up.

You lose friends. You find new ones.

You can’t believe that women have actually survived this and you never knew about it. Not really, anyway.

You would do anything for another minute with your child.

You cry when others bring up your child, not so much because it hurts but more so because it such a precious and rare gift.

You long for the rewind button, even after many many instances of acceptance.

You want to know what went wrong, and why…

You find a new appreciation for moments in life that make you laugh… you laugh harder and love stronger.

You know that you can die bitter, or die thankful. There is no in between.

You never ever, EVER get over your child. The one you hoped for, prayed for, carried and loved for the weeks and months they were with you.

You learn to live with the pain.

You are better for having known them at all.

 *******written by a beautiful angel mama named Fran. Her baby's name was Jenna. To see her blog please visit Small Bird Studios.  **********


I also invite you to visit this link When A Friend's Baby Dies.  This is a link to a free e-book written by an angel mama named Kristin.  Her baby's name was Cora.  She wrote this book about helping a friend through baby loss.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Surrendering the Pain

I didn't sleep well last night.  Immediately, after losing Seth I had a hard time sleeping.  I would fall asleep and then I would wake up in the dark of the night with the house completely quiet.  And my mind would not let go of what happened.  I would replay in my mind a thousand different ways life could of gone except the way that it did.  I struggled with guilt about that last week Seth was alive.  Was there something I should have noticed, anything that would mean he would still be alive.  All of this came in night when I was all alone.  It was rough.  I would dance around in my mind.  I could see the pain I knew was there waiting for me.  I could touch it, but quickly took my hands off of it because I didn't want to feel it yet. 

Finally, I got a break and for the last week I had been sleeping better.  Well until last night.  I woke and I was struggling with the loss of Seth.  I tried several times to go back to sleep.  I tossed and turned.  Morning came and I was in my bed feeling so alone in my pain.  It was all so fresh again.  I could feel the pain of them telling Seth passed away.  I could hear the silence after his birth.  I felt the deep regret of not placing him on my chest after I delivered him.  I felt the strange familiarity of having Seth in my room with me meeting my children.  But this was anything but familiar.  My Seth had passed away and we were only experiencing him like he was a baby doll. I remember how difficult it was to tell Seth goodbye for the last time. And I can feel guilt again and again that there must of being something I should have done differently. 

I struggled my way out of bed.  I got the kids dressed and ready for school.  And now the house is quieter again and I am feeling low.  I can't stop thinking about what I would be doing right now if Seth were here.  As noisy as my house is....I can hear the silence.  I miss the sound of a crying newborn who is desperate for milk.  I wonder what his cry would sound like.  Caleb must even miss Seth.  He came to me this morning with his arms cradled.  He told me this is how you hold a baby.  And that he held Seth in his lap. 

I have praise music on this morning.  I am trying desperately to move past the pain.  I am trying to praise God.  I haven't yet in this blog shared much about my faith.  In the past, I have always felt the amazing love of God when I was in pain.  But I have been so surprised at the numbness I have felt with God since this happened.  I am not sure why but I just wasn't able to fall on my knees and cry to God like I had been used to when life was so hard. Losing my son is like no other pain I have felt in my life.  I literally feel like a part of me died with Seth. 

As numb as I have felt, I have not doubted God's incredible love for me.  He has been at work long before Seth was even created in my womb to take care of me.  I do believe that.  He has sent people who I have never met with messages from Him.  The words I heard in a Bible Study while I was pregnant are coming to life in my heart.  The tremendous family and friends He has blessed me with are loving on me now.  My children who hug and kiss me daily are bringing me incredible comfort. 

God has no intention of letting me get lost in my grief.  But I do have a choice to make to.  God is there reaching out to me.  He wants to hold me.   I want to be held by Him.  I want to surrender this pain to my Savior.  So especially today when my pain is more than I can bear I am crying out to Jesus to take this pain.  I cannot bear it any longer all alone.  Please dear Jesus hear my cry and bring healing to me.  I know you love me Dear Lord.  I know you love Seth, too.  Please comfort my heart with the knowledge that you have a plan for Seth's life.  And although I do not see it yet, you my God can see the bigger picture.  Please do not let my pain or Seth's life go in vain.  Do your work in me and my life.  I love you Jesus.  I surrender to you today.  Let your mercy fall upon me today. 

All that I have written this morning reminds me of the song by Mercy Me...The Hurt and the Healer.   If you haven't heard this song I invite you to hear it here.  My God is speaking to me through this song. 


The Hurt and the Healer by Mercy Me 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Seth's Name in the Sand at Sunset






I have met several angel mommy's online since Seth passed away.  A common theme among us is to honor our baby's life.  One of the ways several of these mommy's have chose to do this is by writing their baby's name in a variety of creative ways.  I have seen baby names written in the sand, in the snow, by a waterfall, on a pumpkin, on a plague., etc.  I really like this idea and I have decided to do the same at least for this first year without Seth.  I have a page above "Seth's Name Gallery" that includes all the ways I have written his name so far. 

This is Seth's name written in the sand at sunset in Australia :-) The angel mommy who wrote Seth's name and took the picture is named Carly.  Carly's son Christian was stillborn in 2007.  She had a dream about her son after his death and was inspired by the dream to write babies names in the sand to honor their memory.  You can read more about her story here.


If you would like to visit Seth's Name Memorial on her site go here.

Retail Therapy

I hate to admit it, but I have been wearing the same clothes for days.  It just seems easier to get up and put the same clothes on.  I am not even really looking in the mirror much these days.  I don't feel like I look well so what is the point.  And I am so consumed with the pain and roller coaster of emotions I can't even notice what I am wearing.  Well, that is not exactly true.  I do notice what I am not wearing.  I am not wearing maternity clothes anymore.  Put those away.  I am not wearing the wardrobe I had planned to be wearing now....nursing shirts and capris.  Don't need those.  And every shirt I picked up seemed to remind me of a life before Seth.  A life before I knew what it felt like to have someone so sacred taken away.  So I just put on the same shirt everyday.  Well, my friend noticed.  She not only noticed I was wearing the same shirt.  But she noticed it was because of my grief.  So she set me up for Retail Therapy today. 

I am not much for going places these days. I don't feel like myself.  The self I knew before Seth died.  The places I hate going to most right now are stores.  I feel overwhelmed in big spaces.     I will fall in and out of zoning moments.  One moment I can think normal, talk normal.  And then without warning I am zoning off thinking about Seth.  And I usually fall into deep thought trying to make sense of what just happened in my life.  At least at home I can stand at my kitchen window and stare out the window.  Or I can decide to log on here and blog what I am thinking.  But in public places there is no where to hide, no where to run, no where to cry.  But I know that I can't keep away from people and places forever.  There are things my family needs.  And there is a need to do things I used to do.  Today I chose to go to Wal-Mart.  I am so thankful my friend agreed to go with me. 

We were driving to Wal-Mart  and she decides that before we go there we would go to CATO's.  She said she thinks that I should go and buy a new shirt today.  Nothing like a friend being completely frank about your wardrobe.  "It is time to change your clothes!"  Ok, she didn't exactly say that but I knew she loved me enough to help take another step.  I said ok.  I went inside and it felt so good to just be a woman shopping for clothes.  It even surprised me.  I didn't miss my baby for the 20 or so minutes we were in there.  I wasn't even focused on being a Mommy.  Just a girl who needed a new outfit. 

So I picked out my first choice.  It was an outfit straight off the mannequin....because that IS how I do my best shopping.  Why not?  The outfit is all picked out and ready to wear right?  Sure I will just take it all....shirt, vest, tank, and jewelry!  It felt GREAT.  So I looked around the store some more...found another shirt....and another shirt....oh and a pair of jeans.  I will take it.  Ring me up!  It was incredible to leave my grief.  I mean really leave it.  RETAIL THERAPY!   I was enjoying the shopping. I was enjoying picking out something for myself. 

I did make it through Wal-Mart, too in case you are wondering.  I did find myself zoning out, but I was able to accomplish my shopping tasks.  And my shopping buddy was there to help me through it! 

I know and trust that my grief will not always feel this overwhelming. I know that I am changed forever.  I am having to learn how to go on living without a part of me...my son.   And I know as hard as it is  to take new steps I must keep taking them to find healing. 

My next step today is to take a shower and actually put on the new clothes....maybe even before my husband gets home.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lydia's dream

This morning I had a sweet moment with Lydia.  I was waking her up for school.  You have to understand that my Lydia is my little girl.  She is a  night owl just like me.  She would rather stay up half the night and sleep the morning away.  So I know when I woke her this morning she was still far away lost in her dreams.  I woke her up and she looked at me said. "I can't touch Seth's hair"  I said what?  "I can't touch Seth's hair."  Then she cradled her arms like she was holding him.  She looked at me and "Seth is in his bed"  I loved hearing her talk about him.  I asked her "Do you miss Seth?"  "Yes" she said. "I do too!"  I said.   Oh I feel so bad for waking her too soon.  She must have been having such sweet dreams with her little brother.

And I have to admit I am jealous.  I long to dream about my baby boy.  If I could just see him in my dreams.  I would love to know what he is doing in heaven.  I would love to hold him in my arms if only in my dreams.  I would love to feel his hair too!  I would love to feel the wait of his body.  Or smell his sweet skin.  If only in my dreams I would love to just be with him.  Maybe I will get my turn...I will hope for it everynight as I put my head on the pillow and sleep.

Sweet dreams my dear children.  I love you all.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Chocolate and Moments of Timeless Pleasure

It has been three weeks since my baby Seth went to heaven. I have been consumed with grief.  Every other thought I have is about my baby.  I have been forced to get back into life because I do have other children.  They have needed me.  So I have done what they have needed to me to do.....be their Mommy too.  Honestly, taking care of them has been comforting.  And I have even taken advantage of extra kisses and hugs that they wanted to offer.  To them we are back in our routine full force. 

To me the last three weeks have felt like a time warp.  For most of the time I was in a complete state of shock.  The shock protected me.  It only allowed my mind to think about certain things at certain times.  Eventually the shock wore off and the pain I felt was deep.  I felt as though I was going through the motions.  I felt like I was sure I was not going to be able to survive.  Then I read somewhere in a book about someone else living without a child.  She said she just kept waking up.  I can so relate to that.  Please don't misunderstand me I have never felt like I didn't want to live anymore.  I just wasn't sure how to live with joy anymore after the death of my son.  But I don't really have a choice.  I just keep waking up. 

Grief is strange.  As low as I feel there are moments that I do smile or even laugh.  And I even had a moment recently to indulge.  I wanted to indulge in chocolate.  I knew it.  I wanted chocolate.  So I was standing in Walgreen's in the candy aisle and I wanted chocolate.  Not just any hershey bar would do.  I wanted the good stuff. The stuff that just makes you let it melt in your mouth so you can enjoy every second of it.  So I started looking frantically through each shelf.  And one got my eye.  Ghirardelli Chocolate Masterpieces Collection:  Moments of Timeless Pleasure.  Ghirardelli says it all doesn't...this will be some good chocolate.  Then I looked down at the price...seriously it costs that much?  Oh I shouldn't get it.  So I started looking at the chocolates on the shelf.  Nope they would not do.  I needed the Ghirardelli chocolate.  It was begging me to take it.

And guess what?  I bought it!  I gave into impulse.  I wanted that chocolate.  I knew as I bit into it I would enjoy it.  I need so much to enjoy something right now.  And also don't forget that I have just delivered a baby.  My pregnancy hormones have gone from 60 mph to 0 in the last three weeks.  Top that with grief and I decided that I deserved this really expensive chocolate. 

So here I am sitting at the computer with my chocolate beside me.  I am going to enjoy a bite of it right now.  And I am not going to share it with any one, so don't ask!!! 

You maybe wondering if I am getting a moment, a normal moment without Seth being on my mind.  No. But it is a sweet moment, sweet like chocolate.  The box remember says "Moments of Timeless Pleasure"  That is what my precious son Seth brought to me.  Even in all the pain now...Seth never brought me pain.  While he and I were like one he brought me incredible joy.  Seth, my baby boy you brought me "Moments of Timeless Pleasure"  I will always remember them.  I love you Seth!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pathology Report: Do they know what happened?

I realize now that I am being asked a lot about what happened to Seth.  Why was he stillborn?  Do they know what happened? I understand that.  I have had those same questions as I was going through this.  My doctor even knew I would need to know.  His first response was that they are not always able to explain it.  They shared some ideas at first.....there may have not been enough fluid, they be something wrong with the baby genetically, there maybe an infection, there maybe something wrong with the placenta,  there maybe be kinks or knots in the cord.  We may know more after the baby is delivered.

Seth was delivered and there were no answers.  There were no signs of infection, there were no signs of anything being wrong with the placenta, there were no knots or obvious kinks in the cord.  And Seth was perfect and certainly there were not any signs that something was wrong with him genetically.   He weighed 7 lbs and 6 oz.  Obviously he had been growing and thriving in my womb. 

So the doctor's told me that didn't know what happened.  Stillbirth happens and they just aren't able to explain it.  The next step was to send the placenta away for pathology.  And of course they took my blood to see if there were any answers there.  Did you read that?  They took my blood to see if there were any answers there.  See it must be something that I did wrong.  What did I do to my baby?  It must be my fault that he died.  I was afterall the one responsible for him.  My mind became consumed.  I was coming up with a 101 reasons why my baby died and all of them were my fault. I couldn't do anything but blame myself. They pointed to me and all I could think about was why I didn't do something to help him. 

Last week I called my doctor's office and asked if the pathology report had any answers.  The nurse said she could not read the report to me, but that I could come in and sit down and talk with my doctor.  I made an appointment and went in to see my doctor.

Going to the doctor's office was complete torture for me.  I was flooded with the memories and emotion of having gone there for months as my baby was growing.  There were other pregnant women there waiting to be seen.  My nurse called me back and the tears started flowing down my face.  She gave me a hug and told me how sorry she was.  My doctor came in and told me how sorry she was. 

And then she was ready to discuss the pathology report.....She said that yes that pathology report did show something.  She said the pathology report showed there were blood clots on the fetal side of the placenta.  She even game the medical term...but I don't remember it.   The blood clots indicate that Seth's cord was compressed.  This most likely happened while I was having contractions.  The cord was compressed between him and my uterine wall.  She said it would not take long for this to have cut off Seth's oxygen supply.  She wanted me know that Seth did not feel any pain.  He just closed his little eyes and went to sleep. And she wanted me to think about how I was cradling him in my womb when he passed away. 

There it is an answer.  Do I believe it? Yes I guess I can.I left the appointment and I had a sense of peace.  There really was nothing I could do.  It is still hard to not blame myself.  I am trying to work through this a little bit each day.  The guilt I know will destroy me if I let it.  Even with a medical opinion with how he died he doesn't explain to my heart why this happened.  I just doesn't make sense. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Printing Pictures



Today I went to print some of the photos of Seth. Maggie the care nurse from the hospital (she still calls and checks on me) told me to…she told me print pictures of Seth. Take them with me. Show the pictures of Seth to people who care about me. Talk about Seth. He was real. He was beautiful. Maggie said it is so important to share him with others. So yes I printed pictures of Seth. These photos were taken by a professional photographer. after he died.  I know some of you may not understand it….I will have to explain it another time. Today I need to tell you how the printed pictures impacted me.

I went into Walgreen’s and I was on a mission. I would print the pictures of my son. I chose instant prints as I knew I could not wait around an hour for them to be printed. I put my memory card in and began choosing the pictures to be printed. The photographer assistant came and entered the code. I showed her my copyright release from Bella Baby photography. She said “oh I am familiar with Bella Baby.” I became nervous. She knew I was making pictures of my baby. What would she ask me? Would she look at the pictures and ask me about him? Would she ask when he was born? Would I have to tell her that my baby had passed away? Oh please don’t ask me. I didn’t look in her eyes.

I paid for my pictures and a photo album that I had picked out. Then I went to the van. Before I could even leave Walgreen’s I was looking at the pictures and touching them. I began longing to touch my son again. I could see every detail about him. I placed them in the order that best told his story. I flipped through the pages again and again. See, he was real. My baby Seth was real. He was not only real, he was so perfect. The tears began to flow down my face. I just don’t understand. He is so wonderfully and fearfully made.

He was creatively designed by God. His little body was perfectly formed with every little detail. He had fuzzy hair the side of his face. The hair on top of his was a dark brown. It layed so perfectly in place. He had extra long fingernails. His feet were big and his toes were perfect. His ears were tiny. His long finegers were wrapped around mine. He looks like his Daddy and maybe a little like Lydia. I was so grateful for the pictures. . There he was….my son….my 6th child. And I love him. I love every detail about him.

But as I sit in the van and cry the questions consume my mind. God please tell me why? Wasn’t I promised him? Every detail about him was perfectly formed. I had carried him for nine months. God you had put your designing hand on him. You created every detail. You placed every hair on his head. Why wasn’t I able to give birth to him to give him life? I don’t understand. Why couldn’t I have him? Why couldn’t I see him take his first breath? Why did you take him away from me? Don’t you think I am a good mother? Did you choose me to be Seth’s mommy? Why do I have to now parent him here from earth while he is in heaven? So many questions. I hear no answers, I hear songs on the radio as I drive home about being led to the cross and accepting God’s strength not my own. Ok…maybe I do need to surrender to the Lord all of this grief, this unbearable pain. But that doesn’t give my Seth back.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Daydreaming

I miss my baby Seth.  I think about him almost every minute of every day.  I daydream about what it would be like to have him in my arms.  Even awake these dreams are so real.  I can see my self cradling my baby in my arm. I can almost feel it.  He feels so good there. I feel my breasts tingle as if they are ready to feed him. I can imagine the sensation of nursing him. I want to smell the sweetness of his breath after I feed him.

I want to caress the top of his head.  I want to look at him.  See the way he would wrinkle his nose or maybe his forehead.  I want to feel him wrap his fingers around mine.  I want to feel his warmth.   I want to hold his skinny legs in my hand.   I can imagine the closeness of his little head up against mine. I would be kissing him. I would be smelling him.  Don't you know he would smell so sweet, so new, so perfect. 

But he is not really in my arms.  I almost want to pretend that I have just layed him down for a nap and that soon he will wake up crying out for me and I can go to and pick him up. I want to hear him cry.  Please baby just cry so I can know your voice.

But this all only my imagination....a daydream.  I realize the tears are streaming down my face.  My baby is in heaven.  I know he is safe there.  All of his needs are being met.  He is experiencing love and joy that are beyond my imagination.  I know this should bring me comfort.  But all I feel right now is pain. I love you Seth. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grief

I just got finished with a bath. It took me forever to get dressed. I finally fit in my jeans again. I have been slumming around in the maternity pants for the past two weeks. I have a couple of shirts that I bought new last summer. I keep wearing them. But everytime I put them on I am reminded of being happy last summer shopping for them. I was actually doing something for myself. Then as I remember last summer I remember finding out I was pregnant. I was happy. Nervous yes....sick yes....but happy. I think I was even wearing these shirts at the beginning of my pregnancy.

So what do I do with that? Do I try and go shopping? Do I buy something new to wear? I had my wardrobe planned out with capris and nursing shirts. Everytime I get dressed it is a struggle. I usually just settle and just put it on. Accomplished! I am dressed. But I don't feel like myself or even care what I look like. I stand looking in the mirror. I can't tell if I should show off my flattened tummy or try and hide it. And then it occurred to me that no one will probably even comment on my flattened tummy. It is not like they would brave enough to say. "I can't believe how skinny you look after just having a baby." No they probably wouldn't say that. I probably wouldn't want them to say that as I would probably burst into tears. Will they even remember that I have carried six children?

My body is back to normal. There are no outward reminders of the incredible journey I have just been on carrying my precious baby Seth for 39 weeks. The place he lived and was so loved. They have no idea. To them I am sure my stomach just looks normal but they can't see the inside where my heart is broken. These are all silent reminders as I look in the mirror. I hate reminders of what I had and now I have lost.

Worrying about my wardrobe, my clothing, my outward appearance seems so trivial in the scheme of what I lost. But this is my grief. It shows up in even the littlest of details.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Seth's Memorial Service


It was a reality.  I would have to make funeral arrangements for my baby.  I had just given birth or rather I had gone through labor and delivered my son.  This should mean life.  But my son's life had ended before birth so delivering him merely meant he would pass from my womb to the ground.  He went form life to death all in the same day.  His little spirit was already in the arms of Jesus.  I was left with his beautiful shell to bury.  I cried as I said "casket" to my friend.  I could not believe that I was actually having a discussion about funeral homes in the hospital a mere hours after delivering my son.  I hadn't even completely accepted the fact he had died.

It was time to leave the hospital.  I got in the car.  I asked Dennis if we could call the funeral home right away and go there today.  He agreed.  The funeral home was willing to meet with us in the afternoon.  We arrived and began to make the plans.  We decided to have the memorial service on Friday.  The funeral home was so generous.  They would provide to us free of charge a casket, a gravesite and a graveside service.  

Yet we would have to decide where we would like our son to be layed to rest.  We walked out to the cemetary.  The first choice was surrounded by other infants who had left this world too soon. It was near the road and by a tree. It seemed peaceful.   The second choice was farther away off of a gravel road.  I quickly realized the first spot would be his resting place.

The next step to was trying to decided what his memorial service would look like.  It became a mission.  This would be the only event we would plan for our son.  There would be no birthdays, no christmas', no graduations, no weddings.  I knew this event had to be special for him and for me.  This is what we decided to do.

I had said goodbye to Seth at the hospital again.  But I really felt like I needed to place a couple of items in his casket.  I found a little teddy bear.  I wrote him a letter.  I went to the funeral home and explained how I was not expecting to see him, but that I would like to place a few items for him in the casket.  They thankfully agreed. 

I went into the room to see his casket.  Seth had not been placed in it yet.  I was so surprised when I saw his casket.  It actually reminded me of a cradle.  It had white bedding and a pillow.  I slid my hands over it.  I could do this.  I was helping to get his little bed ready.  He would be comfortable in this bed.  I placed the letter I wrote him under his pillow.  I placed the teddy bear beside where he would lie.   I placed a note at the foot of his bed that said "Seth Josiah, Mommy Loves You".  I kissed his pillow and I walked away.  I felt peace.  I had helped to made his bed for him. 



We invited our family and our closest friends to attend the Memorial Service.  We especially invited those who had already made an impact in Seth's life.  Those who loved him while he was in my womb.  Those who talked about him.  Those who asked about him.  Those who had felt him move.  Those who had heard his heartbeat. 

The service included a reading of the meaning of his name.  "Seth means appointed of God" Josiah means "Fire of the Lord".  While this was read Natalie helped Ben, Lydia, Adam, and Caleb take a block letter to his little casket to spell his name S E T H.  Next the pastor offered an encouragement to us.  He shared about David who lost a son.  He reminded us that when David learned his son had passed away he had a feast and ate saying that "My son cannot come to me but one day I will go to him"  It hurts to hear this.  My little Seth can never come to me again but one day I will hold him again in heaven.  I will go to him.  We had Vicki read a poem.

In the Arms of Jesus
Daddy, please don't look so sad, Mama please don't cry~
"Cause I am in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies."
Please, try not to question God, Don't think he is unkind
Don't think He sent me to you, and then He changed his mind.

You see, I am a special child, and I'm needed up above
I'm the special gift you gave Him, the product of your love.
I'll always be there with you and watch the sky at night,
Find the brightest star that's gleaming, That's my halo's brilliant light.
You'll see me in the morning frost, that mists your window pane.
That's me in the summer showers, I'll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a little breeze, from a gentle wind that blows
That's me, I'll be there, planting a kiss on your nose.
When you see a child playing, and your heart feels a little tug,
That's me, I'll be there, giving your heart a hug.
So Daddy, please don't look so sad, Mama don't your cry.
I'm in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies.

This was followed by a recording of my reading a letter I wrote to Seth.  The song "I Can Only Imagine" began to play and we gathered around this little casket, his bed, his cradle to say goodbye.  We let go of balloons to send them to heaven.  I actually felt a release as I let the balloon go.  My little boy is in heaven.  We spent a few more moments there and said goodbye. 

And Jesus took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them Mark 10:16.

We met with our family and friends at church for a visitation and lunch.

A Letter to My Son

Here is the letter I wrote just a few days after losing a piece of my heart to heaven....



March 22, 2012

To My Precious Seth Josiah,

I was so happy when I realized you would be a part of our family! You were such a pleasant surprise! You made yourself known to me right away. I was so sick as you were growing inside of me. Oh how now I don’t mind. And from the beginning you were a very active little baby. I got my first glimpse of you on the ultrasound. I can’t believe how much you kicked, flipped, and bounced around inside of me. I can even remember the exact moment that I felt you move for the first time. It tickled my tummy. 

You even impressed your siblings, the doctor, and the ultrasound tech with all your flips and leaps. Natalie, Benjamin, Lydia, Adam, and Caleb got a kick out of watching my tummy move to and fro. We knew you were excited to be alive and growing inside my tummy. You so enjoyed life! And late at night when the house was quiet you would do your best moves to keep me awake. And just when I thought you had settled down you would get the hiccups. I loved every minute of it.

We found out that you were a little boy and named you Seth. It would be a houseful of boys that would outnumber the girls. Even Daddy smiled a quick smirk at the thought of another son. We loved to say your name. Everyday I would hear Lydia, Adam, and Caleb spell your name. Ben would tell them if they spelled it just right. Natalie would capture our thoughts and memories and post them on Facebook. They all had special ways of talking about you. It was so sweet. We could not wait for you to arrive. It was almost time!

Now I wish I could go back in time. If I had known that I would have been saying good-bye, maybe I would have closed my eyes for a few more moments and held you in my belly tight. I was not expecting to meet you face to face for the first time only to say goodbye. My heart will forever be broken. My plans for you were not to be. You would become an angel instead. You took a piece of my heart with you to heaven. I hope you hold on to it tight. My precious Seth I hope you always know how much I love you and never wanted to let you go. I pray dear God that you are enjoying heaven with all of its love and joy. I look forward to the moment that I will hold in my arms again. It will be the longing of my heart until we meet again.

I love you Seth Josiah! You are my precious baby boy. You have brought me incredible joy that will bring me comfort while we are away. I wish I could kiss you all over and hold you tight. Until then I will hold you in my heart and close my eyes remembering the time that we were like one you and I.

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meeting My Son for the First Time


SHOCK!  I had just learned that my baby boy had passed away. It not only changed my life for ever in a mere milisecond but it changed the whole atmosphere around me. The baby bed was removed from the room. The nurse tells me I can get an epidural when I am  ready. We will be inducing labor eventurally she said. How do you want to see your baby for the first time. Do you want to have him placed on your chest or taken away to give him his first bath? Are you ready yet to induce labor? I am hearing all the questions and answers are being expectd.  But all I can do is watch myself going through this.  I feel nothing.  I barely feel the pain of the contractions.  I must deliver my baby and he has passed away. I will not hear his cry as he is birthed from my body.He will be silent.  I am scared. I don't know how to experience this. I have no choice.


Don't get me wrong my doctor and the nurse was as compassionate as they could be in the situation. But all I could hear was the instructions. I did survive the delivery of my silent baby. It was relatively a painless experience and it went quickly. I closed my eyes as I pushed him from my body. I couldn't look. I was scared. I did not choose to place him on my chest. I regret this now. But I was so scared. I wasn't sure what to expect. So I did the best I could do in the moment. I asked that he be given a bath and then I would be ready to meet him. The delivery was over. I survived it. I was being stitched and taken care of it. It was so quiet in the delivery room. The silence as deafening.


Waiting to meet my son for the first time took awhile. How was I ever going to be ready to look at this face/  I knew I would be saying hello only to say goodbye. About an hour past by and somehow I mustered up the strength and asked to hold him for the first time.


They brought him to me. He was wrapped in the footprint blanket. He had a hat on his head. I felt the weight of him being placed in my arms. It felt so good as he was placed in the cradle of my arms.

I looked at him for the first time. He was beautiful. I mean he was absolutely beautiful. He was perfect in every way. I could not stop looking at his face. He looked just like one of my babies. Of course he did he was my son. He had 10 fingers and 10 toes. He weghed 7 pounds and 6 ounces. He was 19 inches long. Everything about him was just as it should be except for the fact he was not breathing. He layed limp in my arms.



I began asking the questions...why? I don't understand. Can't you see him? There is nothing wrong with him? Why did he die? I don't understand. Please explain this to me. He is perfect. Can't you see? There is nothing wrong with him....this just doesn't make sense.


I touched his cool skin. I don't know what I expected. He didn't open his eyes. It looked as though he was sleeping. I was touching him, exploring him. His skin looked white and too big for him. His nails were red. His lips were burgandy. Is this what death looks like? I don't know. I just see my baby. Look at his chubby cheeks. Whose little nose does he have? Can't he just wrinkle it for me just one time so I can be sure? He has gorgeous brown hair. There isn't a lot of it. Just enough.Feel how soft it is  Look at how big his feet are. His fingers are so long. He is laying so comfortably in my arms.


I held him. I kissed him. I smelled him. He was my baby. I couldn't see death yet. I didn't want to let go. I knew I had to let him go. It was time to move to the next room. Where was the next room? Oh please don't let me go where the mommy's have their crying babies. My baby is so silent.


I somehow found more courage to let go.  I let him go.I sent him away with the nurse.  I did not know if I would ever see him again. I was in such shock. I was watching all of this but I could not feel myself participating. I felt void inside. This cannot be happening. Maybe when I move from this room they will bring my baby to me....breathing. I must move on now.


I got to my room. I took a sleeping pill. I fell into a deep sleep. I so desperately wanted to stay there. I only wanted to wake up if the nightmare was over. But I woke with an incredible pain in my heart. It was real! My baby died. My baby died. My baby died. I started to cry. The tears rolled down my face. I was going home today without the baby I had held within me for nine months.


Thankfully, the hospital I was at has a grief program that went into motion immediately. The care nurse came in to meet with me. She said that she didn't think I should go home today. She told me to stay.  She told me to see my baby again.  She told me to hold him again.  She told me to study him.  She told me to try and remember every detail of him.  She told me to take some pictures of him. 


So for the next day and a half I did just that. I held Seth. I introduced him to my other children. I held Seth. I had pictures taken of him. I held Seth. We had a name ceremony. I held Seth. My friends came to see me. My mom came to see me. I insisted they hold Seth. I talked about Seth. I held Seth. I cried. I laughed. I held Seth. I rocked Seth. I put lotion on his body. I held Seth. His body was so cold that it was striking. It is a sensation I can still feel against my chest. It was our moment. It was our dance into a memory. I loved Seth. I finally built up the courage to tell him goodnight.


The next day it was time to leave the hospital. I would leave my son forever. I held him one more time. I closed my eyes and I tried to forever etch in my mind this little boy. I once held him in my womb. I now held in my arms one last time. As I pressed him against my chest I tried to memorize the feel, the cold, the weight of his little body. The tears streamed down my face. I breathed in the moment. I kissed him. I let go.

Silence

I am not used to Silence! I have a very noisy home. I am very blessed. I was about to give birth to my 6th blessing, a son named Seth. Yes 6 children. I told you I wasn't used to Silence! I couldn't wait. I was 39 weeks pregnant. I was enduring and enjoying the last few moments of my pregnancy. It was almost time. I had everything ready for Seth to come home. All of his clothes were washed. His bed was made. My hospital bag was packed. The cameras were ready. I had child care lined up for my other children.

My labor had started.  I had some contractions Friday night.  But they had eased up by Saturday morning.  My contractions picked up again Saturday night.  Whenever it started for sure I was in labor. I was excited.  I was finally going to meet my baby.  Through the night I would wake up with contractions, get up, take a bath, go back to sleep repeat!! I was just waiting for the right time to go to the hospital. Morning came and the contractions slowed down again. I went to church with my family that morning.

I came home and told my husband we would be going to the hospital soon. I went to take a bath and this incredible, overwhelming feeling came over me....Seth is not moving. I tried to make him move. I tried listening for his heartbeat...... Silence. I became hysterical. My husband helped me and we found what we thought was a heartbeat. I decided we should go to the hospital right away. I was in labor and the contractions were coming closer and closer.

At the hospital when she put the monitor on and it was quiet...Silence...I knew. They thought they found a trace of a heartbeat. But then they determined it was heartbeat beating about 125 beats per minute. I went into complete shock. I know they did an ultrasound. They asked me my baby's name. I said Seth. And then she told me. "I am sorry but Seth has passed away." I just froze in that moment. It was like I wasn't even there. They continued to look at my baby with the ultrasound. I couldn't even feel the wand on my belly.

The next couple of hours were a bit confusing. They kept telling me that when I was ready they would induce labor. Hello...I came into this hospital in labor. After they couldn't find his heartbeat they didn't check me nor monitor my contractions. Finally, my doctor noticed I was having them. I got an epidural and potocin. But before even a drop of the potocin reached my arm they checked me and I was complete and ready to deliver. I delivered Seth at 7:48 p.m. on March 18. There was Silence. He weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz. and was 19 inches long. He was so beautiful. Perfect in every way...except for the fact he was not breathing. I can't stop thinking about if I had just gone in sooner. Maybe?

I spent my 2 days in the hospital. I held Seth often. I introduced him to my other children. We had pictures taken of him. We had a "Name Blessing" ceremony. I talked with the care nurse and chaplain often. I was surrounded by my closet friends and family. I said goodbye. We left the hospital and went straight to the funeral home. We made all the arrangements for his memorial service. We had the memorial service last Friday.

Someone please wake me up and tell me this has been a nightmare. That I can go back in time and everything will be ok. I should be holding my precious Seth Josiah. I was not supposed to make his casket his cradle. This Silence is still haunting me.