Today, I played back all of the events that took place one week ago. I knew exactly what happened at which moment. (This is what I would do most Thursdays for several months...and Thursdays weren't the only days.) I was trying to heal physically, but when there was no baby in our home, I really had no excuse to just sit around. I tried to keep busy outside by pulling weeds. No matter what I did, I was going to cry...there was no “taking my mind off things” like I was already beginning to hear...so I figured that I could cry and accomplish some work outside. I spent a lot of time on the swing with Heather those first days, too.
I emailed a friend to wish her a “Happy Birthday” today. In April, I finally got around to telling her that I was expecting. We didn't talk very often, but we kept in touch. I said that Bob, Britt, and Maddy were in WI and that I was home with Heather feeding the animals and healing. (She didn't know about Grace yet.) I also wrote that every birthday celebrated now must be even more special after surviving cancer.
Cousin Jenny called at just the right time. The morning was difficult and she listened. She's living with a sister in heaven.
Later that day, the friend I emailed called and left a message because she was concerned by my message. I called her back and talked to her mom that night. I explained that we lost Grace and her mom told me that her cancer is back. She found this out around Mother's Day. When I heard this my heart just sank and I thought, “What am I crying for?”
May 28, Friday
Bob called from WI this morning to see how things were going. He talked a lot about our friends from St. Paul's and the condolences offered. So many of them have suffered losses and understand our pain. It sounded as though Bob was really enjoying his time in WI , and I was happy for him. But his tears stopped days ago. I couldn't control mine, and I'm alone in TN with no one to talk to.
Our pastor's wife called and said that she was bringing out a book for me to read called “When Your Baby Dies”. She already read an article in June's “Forward in Christ” that she said would help me. “I will...rejoice and be glad” is about a family who is living with their baby in heaven. It is truly amazing how this article came to us only 8 days after we experienced something similar. I contacted the magazine and asked how to get into contact with the mom this article was written about.
Later this afternoon, I needed to take Heather to the doctor. She had been feeling ill for a couple of days, and I didn't want to wait till after the weekend. I had already sent my maternity clothes with Bob to give back to my sister when he went to WI. I kept one small maternity top that would hopefully fit. I hated looking at myself in the mirror, because I still looked pregnant. I was afraid that someone would ask me when I was due. After taking a shower and getting dressed, I sat on the bed and cried. I didn't want to leave the house. I was able to drive because I hadn't taken any medication since yesterday.
I was relieved when we got to the doctor's office because there was only one car in the parking lot. When we checked in, I handed the receptionist my debit card. I immediately felt sick to my stomach when I pulled it out of my wallet. It has an Anne Gedde's picture on it with an infant covered with roses, and it's pink. (The color pink reminds me of Grace.) The receptionist commented on the card and showed the picture to another co-worker. I didn't mention what just happened to us only 8 days earlier. I was too afraid of what their reaction would or wouldn't be. When Heather and I sat in the waiting room, she noticed the baby in the car seat. I couldn't look at the baby and tears were running down my face. I was so profoundly sad inside, and no one knew about it. I wasn't sure if Heather was confused and wondered why they had a baby and we didn't. She just kept staring and pointing saying, “Mom, look at that baby.” After Heather's doctor visit, I asked the nurse practitioner how long it would take for my belly to go away. I told her about Grace and she gave me a hug. I told her that I thought I'd look pregnant forever, but it was only 8 days after. She was very sympathetic and said to give it 2 months. If I still had issues, there were other alternatives that could help.
After the appointment, we needed to go to Walmart to fill Heather's prescription for her ear infection. It was so difficult carrying this pain inside. While we waited for her prescription to be filled, we walked around the store. I was pretty sore from the C-section. I was still wearing nursing pads and leaking because my milk had come in only 4 days ago. Slowly, we walked through the store. Thankfully, Heather wasn't feeling well and willingly rode in the cart. I wouldn't have been able to chase her around the store if she walked. We saw my friend who came out early today. She was doing a little shopping. I held in all of my emotions, because I was so uncomfortable crying in front of anyone especially when I didn't see their tears. I told her how painfully engorged I was. Innocently she said, “Why don't you just pump?” I started to cry. She had no idea how desperately I wanted to, how many times in the last 4 days I thought about doing that very thing. I should be nursing my baby! The breast pump sits unused in our home.
May 29, Saturday
Bob was coming home today with Britt and Maddy. The last time I saw Britt was the first part of April.
I received a phone call in the morning by someone wanting to know how things were. I can't remember what we talked about, but I remember wanting to get off the phone several times during our conversation. Some people don't even try to help. (I'll say this several times throughout my journal... “Thankfully, they have no clue!”) I can't forget her comment about having more children. She said with a chuckle, “You're done then, right?” It was more of a statement, like I'd be an idiot to have more, especially at my age. I couldn't even answer her. I choked back tears and eventually said, “We can't have any more.” Sometimes this is still hard to believe. Then, she went on to say how she had her two kids in her 20's, and if she found out that she was pregnant now at 44, she'd cry and be so angry. I wanted to hang up.
Before we got off the phone she said one more thing that I'll never forget, “Well, you'll get past this hiccup and things will be o.k.” HICCUP? Hiccups are annoying and go away after a few minutes. (Almost 2 years later, I'm taken back to this conversation every time I hear a hiccup. I think of how I still have my hiccup and how I want to tell her that mine hasn't gone away.)
I was already learning that our well-meaning, yet miserable, comforters feel a need to say something...anything, but usually what falls out of their mouths when they open them is a whole bunch of stupid. There are some who just need to talk about anything but what you're going through. The "thoughtless chatter" (that's what Bob and I call it) is overwhelming at times and it just sounds like "Blah, blah, blah," to us.
We had a living room full of flowers and were still receiving cards in the mail. The flowers were dying, and I had a hard time looking at them because they were a sad reminder. We appreciated the kind thoughts that went along with the flowers; however, I'll never send flowers again to someone who lost a loved one. Flowers die.
Bob and the girls arrived home that evening. He showed me the benches from our families and a plaque that reads, “Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever.” We would have liked it if the bench had a Scripture passage on it. What it says is absolutely how I feel. At that time, we needed some encouragement though.
“Our hearts still ache in sadness
And secret tears still flow.
What it meant to lose you
No one will ever know.”That night, I don't remember all that happened, but I know that there were many tears, we talked, and we held each other in bed.