Hello friends! Just wanted to update and share what a great week I'm having thus far. I realized that unless you readers actually see me regularly, you may think that I'm always having one heck of a time based on these blogs. But, the truth is that I vent via this website, or through a Facebook status, because I know that letting it out will help me AND that being honest about being sad means I will be lifted up in prayer. So, rest assured, I do have many many good days...
So, the strangest thing happened. I got an apology from the individual who said all those hurtful things to me the other week. Hmm. I don't know if it was all of your encouraging words, the threats of violence (ha), of the miracle of prayer, but something amazing happened. Just wanted you to know... The nice thing is that this means I am actually able to let this go. This was the 2 percent of negativity surrounding the birth and death of my son, and now it's over. I can once again begin concentrating on all the positive that Gabe brought to my life. I can bathe myself in all the enouragement and praise that we've received since day one.
Just received this from a new friend, "I just wanted to send a quick message although I don't really have the words to express what I want to say. I spent yesterday morning reading your blogs and looking at your beautiful pictures and I was just very touched... It made me kiss my family a few more times and say I love you with a little more meaning. Just felt the need to let you know that and I really enjoyed meeting you. Thank you for sharing your experience with others, as hard as it might be, but knowing that you are helping others, strengthening family bonds, and bringing people closer to God."
And then this earlier in the week from someone I just met, "I just read your entire web site, and as you know it is amazingly beautiful. You and your husband are inspirational, and I truly admire your love for the Lord and your desire to do His will. You have a beautiful family, and your son Gabe was so precious. You will see him again so very soon. I will be praying for you and I wish you the very best. You are definitely changing lives. I am sitting here crying my eyes out! haha I hope I get the chance to get to know you better!"
And then this just today from a dear friend, "I can not find the words that I would like to say to you. You are an amazing person and I look at things differently and thankfully because I've meet you. Thanks for being such a loving person. You light up the room when you smile."
I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. I'm trying to convey to you all just how much positive, loving encouragement I actually receive. I think it's such a testimony to Gabe's life. We talked this morning in my Mom's Group about how it would feel to live right in the center of God's will. We discussed how it may be painful on us physically and emotionally, even though spiritually it would be for the best. How can I not think of my Gabey? It was obvious to me that chosing to carry Gabe to term and allow God to decide when his life would end was God's obvious will. Did it hurt? Oh yeah. But, ultimately I put myself in the center of His will and that's exactly what He asks of us.
I am moving into a new phase of "normal" since losing Gabe. It's the becoming-grateful-for-every-single-little-thing phase. It's nice. I recommend it. I hold Joel tighter. I no longer allow him to cry more than five minutes when I put him down for bed. I gush over my ah-mazing hubby even more than before. And, did I mention that I have the BEST friends a girl could ask for? Seriously. As one friend put it, upon seeing all the people who came out to Gabe's 1st Angelversary, "You could be mad at a whole group of friends and still have plenty left!" Ha!
So, the topic of death and salvation has been coming up in many circles of my life, particularly in our biblestudy group. It was a night of great discussion, but it in the end we were left with the conclusion that no one really knows another's heart, and therefore no one can know where someone will end up after death. WELL... I was on one of my many BabyCenter boards and came across this bible story:
2 Samuel 12:16-31 (NIV) - 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18 On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate." 19 David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked.
"Yes," they replied, "he is dead." 20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 21 His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!" 22 He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me." 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him; 25 and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.
Let us all take a look at verse 23, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me." David has come to the realization that he cannot bring his son back to life, but he finds comfort and joy when he realizes he will go to Heaven one day to be with him. For mothers and fathers of babies who have left this earth too soon, this is the ultimate story of HOPE.
I cannot describe how much better I feel today. The heavy burdensome weight of sadness has lifted. I have been overwhelmed with everyone's kind comments on my past blogs. So, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
I have been so upset recently that I thought about deleting this website, or at least making it into a Family Site to discuss our lives outside of the reality that we lost our son. But, you know what? This is all I have. This blog, these pictures, this story, is all that's left of my baby boy. I will not be able to hold him in my arms until I am in Heaven and I can only pray that he and I will recognize each other.
I have been so tearful today, crying off and on over the slightest things. Maybe at this point I will mention that I took myself off my anti-depressants. I know I will be judged by some, and I know that others will make their own assessment of my need for them. But, at this point I have to do what I think is best for me.
Only in an effort to help others, I will go into detail about my medication journey. (Once again I find myself in that place where I am just hoping that getting this out, via this blog, will help me release these emotions and I will feel better afterwards.) I got Gabe's fatal diagnosis April 29th, 2009, he was born August 21st and I started Lexapro around November. I was told that I had "situational depression" since I had never been on meds before, and was informed that I would only need them for a "season," probably through the Spring. Well, like many people, I decided I could stop them when I felt better, which was about three months later in January.
It wasn't until I moved into my "anger phase" of grief in May that it was suggested by family members that I go back on medication. I immediately made an appointment and started Lexapro again. After the first month, I was switched to Zoloft because we were officially trying again and, after many hours of research, I found out Zoloft was the safest anti-depression medication for pregnant women. I stayed on that a full two months and just stopped my meds last week. Why? Well for one, my counselor informed me that not being on a med for a solid number of months (about six), and the starting/stopping/starting process can actually make you feel worse emotionally. Secondly, I have also worried that being medicated has hindered me from feeling my emotions completely, therefore delaying my healing process. And, finally, I don't want any medication in my system IF we are fortunate enough to find out we're expecting again.
So, that being said, not tapering off my meds maybe wasn't the smartest thing ever. I guess I'm explaining myself to those who love me and will not pass judgement. And I am asking that you lift me up in prayers as I go through this weaning process, which has left me very emotional, moody and weapy. Now, doesn't that sound nice?
Thank you to all of you who have shown me amazing support and unconditional love. I hope I have good news to share soon.
Recently I was made painfully aware that not everyone understands the loss of a child. Some can't even begin to understand why we carried Gabriel to term, and believe he should have been aborted when we received our fatal diagnosis at twenty weeks. So, for the majority of you out there who do understand, or can at least empathize with us - please take a moment and make a comment on this blog. It would help me make a point to those who are casting such a negative light on this aspect of my life.
Here are some of the highlights of what I was told:
Other people (who are grieving) handle this better, without upsetting their families. I need to get over it and I sound crazy. I upset everyone around me, and need to be considerate of them. My support group isn't good for my mental health. I shouldn't be thinking about/remembering him every month, every year until I die. "He wasn't a real person."
If this has upset you, or you just don't agree with it, PLEASE make a comment on this post. This blog is visited anywhere from 30 to 300 times per day each month. So many of you remain anonymous, yet are consistant with your visits. Please take a moment and comment. Thanks!
I am so very sad this week, same as last. The week leading up to Gabe's birthday was very difficult for both Kyle and I. It all seemed unreal. It's crazy how I can remember so much from his birth, yet it also feels like it's so distant I doubt that it really happened. I question how in the world I had the strength to endure it. How did I carry him for nine months, knowing I wouldn't be bringing him home? How did I endure two weeks of contractions? How did I endure labor and the moments leading up to giving him away? Seriously. How did I physically do it?
I just want to be pregnant again. Somehow I think that having a normal pregnancy, a great birth, and a new baby will heal my heart. All I can do is pray to God, that he would be gracious enough to trust me with another child. Somedays it just doesn't feel like enough.