Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grief at 15 months

It has been a while since my last post and to be honest, these last few days I have just been trying to hold myself together.

God has been really gracious throughout my pregnancy in really guarding my heart against anxiety. Sure, little bouts of worry would creep in here and there, especially before some of my appointments... but other than my 12 week ultrasound, I can truly say that I haven't been very anxious.

Somehow this week, that all is rapidly changing, and I am finding that my grief over losing Isaac is very intricately woven into my journey carrying Eliana. One always seems to be having an impact on the other.

Being 29 weeks and obviously pregnant, I have been getting a lot more comments from strangers about being pregnant, and undoubtedly I am asked if this is my first... to which I reply no, I have a son. I usually leave it at that unless the person, like the kind, unsuspecting checkout woman at Giant, asks more.

"Oh! I bet he just loved Christmas this year! How old is he?"

I wonder what Christmas is like in Heaven.

"Well, I wish he would have been here to celebrate with us," I say... "But, my son unfortunately passed away shortly after he was born."

Then there was the sweet woman at a holiday party who said, "Well, I see you're expecting! This must be your first since I don't see any other little ones in tow."

I wish it were that easy, and that that was a safe assumption.

"Well," I explain,"This is actually our second... we lost our son, Isaac, not long after he was born."
By God's grace, He has brought me to a place where I can just smile... thankful for the opportunity to even talk about Isaac at all.

There's this part of me, though, that when I go back and re-read posts from the day Isaac was born, I am just still completely shaken. I don't think I will ever be okay reading the words my dear friend Kirsten wrote after our doctor came out to speak with the family and friends gathered in the waiting room...

Family and Friends,
I sit with a lack of words.
Isaac Timothy Delisle was born and was with his precious mom and dad for 16 minutes and then Jesus welcomed him home.

So with Eliana's birthday approaching in no more than ten weeks, it's hard to even wrap my head around the fact that this time, the blog post could be different... that on her birthday, everything really could all go well and she could be okay. There's no reason to think that she wouldn't be, other than the fact that once disaster strikes, you become fully aware that you are not immune. Sometimes lately I feel like I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Recently in church we sang a song I have talked about on here before... "Blessed be the Name of the Lord." And as we sang, I just found myself stopping at the part that says, "You give and take away, You give and take away..." and I was just praying...

Lord, please give us our daughter for a while this time.

It is so true. The Lord gives, and He takes away... and really, whichever it is, is ultimately up to Him.

So this bout of anxiousness has caught me off guard. I would have thought that the pattern of not really feeling anxious, particularly in light of all the positive reports we have gotten from our ultrasounds, would have allowed me to walk confidently at this point. But the anxiety related to anticipating Eliana's arrival has started to increase, and I would really just covet your prayers in that.

Philippians 4:6-7 admonishes us,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I am so thankful for the promises in scripture...


42 comments:

Cate said...

Your entries are always exactly what I want to say but am not able to put into words. We lost our first under different circumstances, but I still cringe when someone assumes this is our first baby.

I still find myself having a hard time getting attached to our daughter who should be arriving in 6 weeks because I'm so scared of the "what ifs".

I'll be praying for peace for you over the coming weeks. Our God is an awesome God!

Anonymous said...

Stacy, I pray for you often. I pray that God will bless with his peace and comfort as you await the arrival of your precious Eliana. Isaac's life and your beautiful words have truly blessed me.

A scripture (Zephaniah 3:17) I'm working on memorizing, I pray over you.

The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

Elizabeth

Ang said...

I will keep you in my thoughts. I know the worry that happens after a loss. Sometimes it can make the pregnancy better, as you don't want to miss a thing, but other time the worry can appear right there in front of our eyes.

I will pray that even though it could be fun for Isaac to have a playmate, that the Lord will grant you years and years with Eliana.


Most of all just know that there are people out there that understand and are praying hard for you.

Franchesca Cox said...

When you said that "once disaster strikes, you realize you are not immune" it just rang true for my life as well. I am not overly anxious with this pregnancy but the more I show, and the more I feel this little one kicking and moving, the more aware I become of that lack of immunity. Sending you *big* hugs and I will be praying for your precious daughter and the next few weeks ahead. :)

My Quest said...

Hi,

Hang in there, the psalmist says: they that trust int he Lord shall not be put to shame.
And he who has begun this good work in you is faithful to complete it.

And remember Affliction will not occur a second time.

Remaim bless as you rest in him

Robyn said...

May God's peace fill your heart and soul in these last few weeks.

Following you from afar and praying all the while ....

Michelle Karr said...

Stacy, I will send prayers up for you anytime you cross my mind.

Anonymous said...

Stacy,

I think that your anxiety is normal after a loss such as yours with Isaac. I know it was with me. But my second child was fine, as were the 3rd, 4th, and 5th; yet I worried each time. Once you have a loss, even though a Christian, you know you are not immune. I've been following your blog for awhile and wish you many blessings in the days and weeks ahead until you meet Eliana face to face. Rest in Him.

Joan

Misty Rice said...

Sweetly written and spoken. I hear your words. I hear your smile. I hear your tears. I hear your worries. I hear your excitement. I hear your sadness. I hear your gratefulness.

I HEAR YOU.....

And am praying.

Looking forward to meeting Isaacs little sister.

Sarah said...

Still praying for you guys.... Thanks for continuing to share your heart with us. I have only had one person ask me if I have kids since we lost Andrew (most people have no reason to ask or they already know), and I muddled through it so poorly. Though it must be hard, I'm glad it gives you a chance to talk about Isaac. I can only imagine what's going through your mind as Eliana's birthday arrives. I will just pray that God will meet you in the anxiousness and give you his peace. Lots of love!

Taylor said...

I totally know what you are talking about with the... "no, actually she's my second baby" kind of conversations. And just like you, I kind of appreciate the chance to talk about my Nathan. Praying for you and will e-mail you soon.

Amanda said...

Stacy,

Everything you are feeling right now is so normal. Be patient with yourself and know that there will be joyful days and other days that are filled with anxiety. When we sing that same song at church I struggle to this day to even sing the words, "he gives and takes away." I want back what was taken so badly that it still takes my breath away. My prayers are with you in these next ten weeks. Very soon sweet Eliana will be in your arms.

Blessings,
Amanda

Forever missing Gavin 4/7-5/3/08

The Bilslands said...

I totally get the "realizing i am not immune" feeling... it is sometimes difficult to feel joyful when you are fully aware that life can change in an instant... I often get, "oh, 3 boys!" and I don't know how to say, "well actually I now have a daughter too in heaven" It is tough...

But God is great and I believe you will get to enjoy your sweet daughter here for many years!! =)

Lots of prayer and hugs~ Thanks for sharing your heart!

Lily

Laura Ripley said...

Stacy I will be praying for you during these last weeks. I think of you often. I was working out the other day and the song "love them like Jesus" came on by Casting Crowns. I thought of you and my good friend Ashley. I lifted you two up and all of the women I have read about on blogs that have lost babies. I visualized Jesus wrapping his arms around you in that moment and giving you peace and a comfort that only he can provide. Sometimes I feel desperate for comforting and wise words. I don't have them but like the song says I can love you like Jesus. This is what I gladly offer. God is Love. Can't wait to see your beautiful baby on her birthday.

Desiree said...

Through your story I have realized that no one is "immune" and I cherish every precious moment. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am praying for your family.

Jen said...

Praying for you and your heart during this time of uncertainty and anxiety- be gentle with yourself.

mommara said...

Stacy. We were pregnant together. I with Jackson and you with Issac. Your story has touched me in a way I could not ever put into words. I am praying. I sobbed for you and grieved over your loss as a new mom. I am praying so hard and haven't stopped since we learned about Eliana. Issac will never stop being your first born, he will never not be in your life.I pray that, and have faith that. This birth story will be much more than an announcement from a friend but, a change for your family that will be so different than most families have when the bring home their second child. Once she comes home I can not wait to celebrate the first's she will bring but, still pray for the one's you didn't have with Issac. It will be sweet sorrow and I am just Praying for a peace that surpasses all understanding. Hugs and Love.

Mommara

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you Stacy...God is with you in this new journey. Trust him hold his hand in times of doubt and trust that he will guide your feelings and actions in the right direction. We will never understand why we go thru the things we do, but god knows why and maybe someday we will be priviliged to know why things happen the way they do. Only god in his everlasting wisdom, knows and my hope is someday I will be able to answer the "whys" of this life thru my lord's eyes. All the best to you, your husban and family

Anonymous said...

Stacy -

I know how it feels to have people ask if this is your first. I too can now answer without tearing up that no it is not my first child. I them tell them about Nicholas.
I also feel the same way...sometimes waiting for the other shoe to drop. When I think those thoughts...I just give it all to the Lord. It has become a little bit worse lately since we welcomed a son, Joseph on December 18. Even though he is healthy...I am a nervous wreck about everything. I just keep reminding myself that it is in God's hands. I will be praying for you for God's continue peace. Darla

Kathryn said...

Praying for you! I've lost 2. 1st one I had 29 hours with, second lost early. Now I have an amazing 2 yr old adopted son from Uganda. Can you imagine my response now when they ask if he's my first? I still haven't come up with anything clever yet. I just smile and say no so far...

I remember my '15 month' mark.. It's tough. March will be 6 years since my first and 15 months for my second, and it's still hard. I still grieve. But I have so much joy now that I realized God's plan for me and my family. So now I grieve and rejoyce all in the same.

The future sometimes is scary and unknown, but the fog will always lift eventually.

Blessings to you and your family.

~Kathryn

Miche said...

This was the very last thing I read last night before bed.

Your words made me ache for you. I'm so sorry. Right now I can only imagine how difficult that must be and I'm sure that doesn't even scratch the surface.

Big hugs, thoughts, and prayers to all of you!

Anonymous said...

praying and thinking of you.

Holly said...

The scriptures have given me a lot of comfort. There's always a verse for whatever I am facing. Praying for God to calm your anxious heart and envelope you in His arms.

Tammy On the Go said...

wow, this post is really powerful and beautiful.

Jessica said...

praying for you today, stacy.

lovinghenry said...

Stacy, you're an inspiration! I am praying for you and baby Eliana!

Sarah xoxo

Liz and Will Timmerman said...

As always, a beautifully written post that puts into words things that also weigh heavy on my heart. I am praying for the "peace that surpasses all understanding" to surround you and Spencer during your last trimester. I know all too well how anxiety can creep in. I was in the return line at Kohl's last week, and the elderly woman behind me asked if my daughter was my first. I said no, that she had an older brother in heaven. She then immediately teared up, and said her son was in heaven too. He passed away two Christmases ago, and even though he was in his 50's when he passed, she said it was still like losing her baby. She said now, anytime she sees a baby she just longs to hold her son again. So, I guess grief at 15 months, grief at two years, and grief over any lost child still hurts and the parents never forget. I had such a nice conversation with her though, and I got to thinking - if it wasn't for the awkward and dreaded question "is this your first" I would have never connected with this stranger. It is my hope that you are pleasantly surprised every once in a while too when asked those questions. I agree with you too - it is always nice to have an excuse to talk about our sons.

Praying for you,
Liz

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Praying for you, this morning, and always, dear friend. Praying for His peace to surround you...for His strength to carry you...for His grace to sustain you...for His love to fill you...for His comfort to relieve you.

Your words take me back to a time when I waited and wondered...knowing full well that "He gives and takes away". I remember hearing my preschool-aged son ask me during nightly prayers, "Mommy, do you think our baby will stay this time?" I can feel how my throat would thicken as I answered that I was praying he would, but we have to trust that God will care for us and do what is best. I couldn't promise him that our baby would stay...how I wished someone could promise me. Oh...the ache that was in my heart. I know the feelings you speak of well, dear friend.

And, I am praying for you...as one who has walked there...as you wait to meet your sweet Eliana. Praying...and waiting with you...

Walking by Faith said...

Stacy, congratulations on expecting a little girl! I haven't dropped in for a while, but I still often think of you & pray for you. I'm sooo excited for & your hubby! You serve the 'Prince of Peace' & he is the good shepherd who gives rest...I'll be praying for you to have peace & rest in your heart as the days approaches to meet your little girl...beautiful name by the way. This new little blessing will bring healing like you can't imagine. Healing that is Heaven sent...she will bring you joy like you never knew you could feel as you watch her grow & care for her. Bless you dear friend.~heidi

Mary said...

The heart follows what the mind knows. Your mind is steadfast and pointed to the truth. In time, your heart will follow as well. For now, God will grant peace...

The Knight Family said...

Stacy.
I check in on your blog ever so often , just to see how you're doing and how I can continue to pray for you. I so admire your honesty in your posts and your genuine sweet spirit. Please know that my family is continuing to pray for you and are excited about hearing about the arrival of your second child.
much love,
Cindy from Tennessee

Jenell said...

You will be in my prayers! After 2 pregnancies and losing my 3 girls I knew that He could take away my son as well. I also found that the anxiety got worse the closer he got to being born. Those last few weeks I was just crying out for the Lord to help get me through the pregnancy and give me strength. I will pray the same for you.
Jenell

Michelle R said...

::crying:: I pray too that He will grant you MUCH more time with Eliana. I pray as well that I ask the same of our Heavenly Father EVERY morning. That, just because my little ones are here with me now, today, that I won't take for granted their presence. Thank you Stace.

Anonymous said...

It is always what I prayed first and last, and any time given a "make a wish" over a fountain or a birthday cake with candles always my wish was "long healthy and happy lives for my kids" they are 3, 10, and 15 now... I still take each day as a blessing and am always grateful, thankful and careful with my babes. This month I would have celebrated another baby turning 5 years old! Too hard to let myself dwell on, so I cherish what I do have. This baby of yours is going to be just fine and all yours. Just pray for her every day and watch over her carefully but LIVE in the LOVE, try not to let your fears take over. I think once you are holding your baby girl she will get your undivided attention, I think Isaac will always be his own person to you and not always mixed with your daughter on every level, it will all even out once you have her! It's just hard right now because you haven't met her yet, and taken her home. It will happen! It's ok to have bad days too... we all do. But know there is much good in store.

jacks grandmom said...

Stacy- i read your blog today with tears in my eyes- i know this must be such an anxiety-filled and at the same time joyful time for you but God is good and is giving you a healthy little girl to have and to hold and love and cherish. Even though i know that you love and cherish Isaac-I wish you could have had him for a long lifetime but God had other plans for him- and i think his plan now must be for you to have his little sister to hold and love.

Loraaf said...

I have been thinking of and praying for you more often recently. I understand the worries you are facing and am praying for peace of mind and heart for the rest of your journey with this pregnancy! You are an inspiration to so many!!

Lora

Connor's Mom said...

Your post brought me to tears today. May the peace of God calm your fears and put your mind at ease as you look forward to the safe arrival of your blessed daughter.

-Staci

Karol said...

Saying prayers for you tonight. We recently lost our 2 1/2 year old daughter and though we each have our own unique situations, the pain is great for all. God is Good, even in this God is good.

crystal theresa said...

((hugs)). thinking of you tonight, stacy. i hope God's faith and promise calms your anxiety and His peace washes over you as you wait for Eliana and remember Isaac.

Michal Ann said...

Stacy, I believe you'll be deeply blessed by the honesty and wisdom of Christina Levasheff whose brilliant and adorable little son Judson died 5 months after diagnosis of a neurological disorder, Krabbe Disease. ("crab-bay." Christina has written a book and has a wonderful and God-breathed blog:

http://www.storyofjudson.com/christina

I read her post (January 10, 2010 Fresh Fear) on newly developing anxiety and thought of you. The following is my comment on her post.

Love and blessings of peace, Michal (no blog....immichal AT yahoo.)

Dearest Christina,

I so appreciate your wise words. I began memorizing that section of I Peter 5 many years ago and it's blessed and informed me so many times. It gives my mind something life-giving and nurturing to dwell upon when my discouraged and anxious thoughts carry me far from the Truth. Yes, verse 7 (Living) says "Let Him have all your worries and cares for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you."

Verse 8 goes on "Be careful--watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart." I realize that I become double-minded when I fail to leave all my worries with Him. Therefore, I cannot be alert to satanic attacks. God is not the One who is trying to devour me. V.9: "Stand firm when he attacks. Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too." We are not unique in our suffering but telling us that we're alone in our pain is one of Satan's most effective lies. What do we expect from the deceiver, the liar, the accuser of the brethren who comes, even disguised as an angel of light to rob, kill, steal and destroy?

I Peter 5:10-11 "After you've suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you His eternal glory. He personally will come and pick you up and set you firmly in place and make you stronger than ever. To Him be all power over all things forever and ever. Amen."

Please try soaking in Psalm 139. I will join you.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 26:3

belle said...

beautifully written. hold His hand everyday. i'm praying for your precious daughter and for your heart as you experience this time. nearly 10 years after the death of my 2nd child, and the birth and/or loss of #3,#4,#5,#6,#7 and #8.... i feel the same way. i want to talk about them, share them, not forget and always love each and every one of them and no celebration is ever experienced without the sadness of what is missing.

God is an amazing God and He will hold you through this...... with the birth of my last daughter i begged and He answered... He held me as i delivered. it was an amazing experience that nearly defies words. i pray that though your circumstances are different, He will gift you with His awesome presence at your time of delivery as well.

Sonya said...

I always cry when I read your posts. My heart goes out to you in so many different ways. I cannot imagine how it would feel to carry a baby with the hope of bringing her home after not bringing Isaac home. I wish you and Spencer all the best and just rely on God. He will bring you through!