Our church is doing their Scars series once again. Last year at this time we were asked to share our story about Gabriel. They recently made a website to share all the scar stories in one place, and ours has been added! Just wanted to share the link with you all. You will see the video they shared (shot last year) and then under that is the written form of what Kyle and I shared on stage during that sermon. It was a great experience, being about to share not only about our son, but about how the experience changed our perspective and our relationship with God. Enjoy.
I was so fascinated by this, I just had to share it with you. In just a few days, Zoe will be two pounds and 14.5 inches long! I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has gone! Can't wait to meet my little girl! I will be 27 weeks on Saturday, which of course has got me thinking about how many more weeks I will have left...
My dad and his girlfriend came over today, and since he purchased Zoe's bedding, we thought it would be nice to put her room together so that he could see it. Her crib came last week, a present from my in-laws, and we moved Joel's white antique dresser and changing table over. Kyle spend the morning putting the crib together and making sure the bedding was perfectly on display. Yes, I know we have three more months, but it's brought us so much joy to see her room come together. Hope you enjoy these photos!! :)
As some of my very devoted readers may have noticed, I deleted a paragraph I had in a previous blog about how other mommas use the term "angel" to describe the little ones they have lost. I went on to say that I didn't really think Gabriel was an angel, and that it's just a nice thing to say... Well, the comment upset at least one person, so I deleted it. Weeks later, it's still bothering me, so I thought I'd further explain my reasoning...
Do I call Gabriel an angel? Yes. Do I think Gabriel is an ACTUAL angel? No.
Confused? I'll go on... By definition, an angel is a "being" stuck between this earth and Heaven. If you don't know this by reading my blog already, I'm a pretty spiritual person, someone who tries to live within God's will for my life, someone who uses the bible as a handbook. So, it's somewhat hard for me to lightly use the word angel to describe my son. Why? Because of the amazing hope and awe I have for the fact that I will see Gabriel again in Heaven someday.
The original greek word for angel literally meant "messenger." This is a better definition of something I can get on board with because of the things I've learned about God and all the ways my relationship with Him has changed due to carrying, meeting and losing my baby. In that sense, Gabriel has very much been a "messenger" to me. The experience has revealed more of God to me, has kept me Heavenly focused, and has helped me have a different, more ETERNAL, perspective.
BUT, I don't believe Gabriel is hovering over me, or even guiding me. I don't think that August 21st is the day he "grew his wings." All this lingo is very popular within infant loss circles, and I am certainly not trying to offend. I will repeat, I am not trying to offend. The term "angel," and all the visuals that go along with it, is all very comforting right after a loss. And, in many ways I still love that we refer to our lost babies as angels. I have an angel hanging from my rearview mirror with Gabriel's name on it, the Gabriel Walk/5k logo has big, amazing wings on it. I still think it's crazy that we named our son AFTER an angel before learning about his fatal diagnosis. But, I believe my son is in Heaven, not a creature flying around with a halo.
I have put all my hope, trust, faith and love into Jesus. I realize that for some "Angel Mommas" this is a different perspective. Infant loss is totally different for the person that doesn't have a belief that they will ever see their child again. They see THIS LIFE as all that there is. This life is nothing compared to the eternity we will have in Heaven, and for that I'm so very thankful, cause this life can be hard...
This rainy dark weather reflects how Kyle and I have been feeling this past week. Kyle's been frustrated with school/work stuff, and we've both felt more sad than usual - unable to really pinpoint why...
When we were pregnant with Gabe, we made a cd of songs after we received his fatal diagnosis. Some of these songs come on The Word FM very often, and I've been happy to notice that hearing them has put a smile on my face recently, a physical reminder of how far I've come on this grief journey. But, this week, I would hear one of these songs and it would bring me right back to the sadness I felt when I'd listen to the cd. Remind me of how, even on good days, it would make me bawl my eyes out, pulling off the side of the road, or waiting a few minutes before going into the house or store or wherever.
Finally the other night, Kyle and I were discussing our feelings and he mentioned that it felt like he was sad due to an anniversary that was coming up, but the 21st of this month had come and gone. Then it hit me - April marks two years since we got Gabriel's diagnosis. Well, there it is! Now it all makes sense. It's still a little surprising that being pregnant with Zoe can bring us so much happiness, yet it doesn't completely heal our loss of Gabriel. We still miss him, long for him, ache for him, think of him, wonder what our daily lives would be like with him in it, etc.
A few friends have asked me how emotional I think it will be to physically birth Zoe, and whether or not that will bring up the pain of the day I had Gabriel. Well, we have a brand new hospital, and as my amazing MIL pointed out, it will be nice not to have to walk those same halls, be in a similiar room, etc. Having a new hospital is just one more way that we feel like we're starting over with this pregnancy. But, I can imagine that having Zoe will be very emotional for both Kyle and I. I'm sure we will still have thoughts about the last night we were welcoming a baby into this world. I'm sure that seeing her face will make us wonder whether she looks like me, Kyle, Joel or Gabe. I'm sure it'll be surreal that we will be able to bring her home with us. It all seems too good to be true...