Monday, September 29, 2008

Two Blankets

I am waiting. I have been in this state of waiting much of this past year. First, we waited to see if tell-tale blood work was accurate with an ultrasound of our third child. That was one year ago this past week. We were devastated but then had more conclusive testing done to be sure. We waited some more. No good news came after we waited. So, then we waited for this child to possibly die in my wound or be born, whichever came first. And he was born and lived for six days filled with love and light but also with the waiting, the knowing that the days would end before they ever should for a child.

I sit on my bed and look at Sully's beautifully crafted box, the one made by his grandfather. On top of it is the blanket I made for him, the blanket that held and touched his sweet skin for those brief days of his life here on earth. And now, folded even smaller on top of it is another blanket. I found it years ago but just recently rediscovered it tucked away in a closet. It is so soft, a warm creamy color with intricate blue crochet work added to the edges. I bought it as a possible gift for someone having a baby boy but today I pulled it out and gave it to myself. I look at the two blankets as I am once again waiting.

We had genetic testing done two weeks ago and have anxiously waited for our results. But it seems our test cells are growing slowly and the results are taking a bit longer than we hoped. I broke down today when they didn't come in yet again. How long will I live waiting? I just want to hear something good, something hopeful. I want to hear that the child I have carried these past three months is healthy and whole. That this baby will stay with us, and yes, make us miserable with lack of sleep! That this baby will grow up to love and annoy his older brother and sister. That yes, living here, this child will know suffering and pain but that still, it will be here for my arms to hold. So, I wait and wonder if this blanket will hold a new life, a healthy life. Could I feel joy in carrying a child again? Could this new life bring healing, bring a sense of restoration? Will the waiting ever end?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


For our anniversary present Brad and I gave ourselves the gift of a special house cleaning - what a treat! I loved not having to scrub toilets! But, the best part of it all was walking back into our (lovely smelling) house to find my camera sitting on the table! I was so excited and so relieved. All of those pictures placed back on my table, just like that. I called to try and found out where it had been - still don't know - but I don't really care. I'm just glad it has been found!

So here is my Zane - my big three year old Zane! I am so absolutely smitten with him! Happy Birthday big boy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I've lost the camera I used last night to capture Zane blowing out his three candles for his third birthday. I've lost the image of him bursting through the streamers hung over his door and his excited smile over the balloons covering his floor. Brad insists that it will show up but I feel like I'm losing my mind. I feel like I've lost something forever. I know the camera can be replaced but none of those moments will.

I've searched our house high and low. I've gone through our trash twice now. I've gone through pine straw by hand, walked the yard at least five times. I've looked under couches and cushions, behind and below furniture, everywhere I could have put it and everywhere I know I absolutely wouldn't have put it. I can find it nowhere.

That's what I was doing this morning as I was supposed to getting ready for church. When we should have been leaving I just cried on my bed. I told Brad that rationally I should let it go and accept it for lost. But I was paralyzed. I couldn't get ready. I couldn't do anything. The world stops for me when something is lost.

I remember as a child my father's incredible rages he would enter when something of his was lost. Everyone had to stop what they were doing and at least pretend to look as he yelled and demanded of us to find what had been done with his lost item. I know I have a trigger for lost things because of this. In fact, I remember Brad asking me the first time after we were married where something was and totally flying into a defense of how I wasn't responsible for whatever he had lost. He was totally taken back and caught off guard by my "baggage".

I hate it when something is lost. In fact, when things are lost I feel unsafe. That makes total sense given the conditioning of my childhood. But on my hands and knees as I scoured the pine straw I realized that's part of what is going on in my heart right now. I have been questioning the "safety" of God, whether he really protects us, what his promises really are. He obviously didn't protect me and my family from the pain of losing a child. So, what does he protect us from? Is it just hell-insurance? What about right now? I see that I feel very unsafe right now because I will forever have to live with the fact that my third child is lost to me. Something great has been lost and I do not feel safe.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A moment alone

I had a moment alone today. I realized I don't often have them when I found myself in it. I've finished all the packing and preparation for our trip, Ella is at school and Zane is asleep. And now it's me, alone. I just sat down and cried. And then I cried some more and it just kept going. I'd try to stop but it feels like there is a never ending flood of tears that has been waiting to unleash itself. I'm anxious for Zane to wake up so I can step back into my role as mother, as needed care taker and tender of tasks. I see clearly how I'm operating like this with almost everyone in my life. I'm back in life, I see people, I answer questions, I fulfill my obligations but all from behind this thin wall that is just barely holding the tears in. I'll see a friend and feel the pressure behind my eyes increase as I fight for a sense of composure. In a phone call recently someone asked me simple but sincere questions and I found myself a complete mess. And for some reason it always surprises me. I always feel unguarded, like I'm never safe from the blow of raw emotion.

I just finished a book a friend gave me called Comfort by Ann Hood. I appreciated the raw honesty of this mother who lost her healthy five year old little girl. I appreciated her struggle and that she didn't try to give any of those silly answers that people try to give you thinking they are helping. In fact, the prologue of her book is an essay she wrote on all the lies she heard when it happened and probably the most comfort I have felt in these recent days:
"There are no words for the size of this grief. There are only lies.
You will see. Time heals.
In time you will sleep again and dream of beautiful things.
In time you will not miss her.
You will see.
Time heals."

Further on in the book I tagged this because it felt so very true: "Time passes and I am still not through it. Grief isn't something you get over. You live with it. You go on with it lodged in you. Sometimes I feel like I have swallowed a pile of stones. Grief makes me heavy. It makes me slow. Even on days when I laugh a lot, or dance, or finish a project, or meet a deadline, or celebrate, or make love, it is there. Lodged deep inside of me. Time has passed and I am living a life again, back in the world."