Monday, April 19, 2010

Held

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that Providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held


These lyrics by Natalie Grant have spoken volumes to my heart during my pregnancy with Isaac and in the months since,. They speak truth on so many levels.
Lately, I've been doing a lot of holding. I am sure this comes as no surprise, being the mother of a 6 1/2 week old. After feeding Eliana, Spencer or I hold her upright for a bit to help her tummy settle so that she doesn't spit up as much. I have come to love that time in the middle of the night; while tired, I love sitting up in bed, holding her close, listening to her breathe, and just taking her in. Ellie is just so cuddly and snuggly. She loves to be held.
This past week I received an email from a friend... another mom who knows what the pain of losing your child is like. She lost twin boys who would have turned 2 this past March. In addition to the beautiful little girl she had before her twin boys, she has since had another beautiful baby girl after them. She of course asks about Eliana; but in her email, she asked me something I have truthfully failed to ask myself recently.
How's the grief?
I was so thankful she asked, and at first I wasn't sure how to answer. I have been so preoccupied caring for Eliana, holding things together at home, trying to figure out my job situation... I hadn't really slowed down enough to really think about it, or to really let it in.
Her email caused me to reflect. As I did, it occurred to me that the grief has been intensifying. Perhaps it's because it was around this time two years ago that we were floored with Isaac's prognosis when I was only 12 weeks pregnant; hearing the words, "There's only a very slim chance that your baby will live" is absolutely numbing. Or, perhaps it's the fact that I am now walking through all of the things that I have missed out on with Isaac. It's no longer theoretical. I thought about what a gift it is to be able to hold Eliana whenever I want. She's here... and at any time I can pick her up, snuggle her, and love on her. It seems obvious, I know. And as glaringly obvious as that is, it is also equally as obvious to me that I don't have a toddler here to snuggle, too.

As I was holding Ellie while she slept this morning, my thoughts turned back to October 7, 2008. I remember sitting in my hospital bed, feeling my time with Isaac ticking away. I remember holding his body, even though he had already gone to be with Jesus, and feeling like I just didn't have enough time. And I remember so clearly the last time I held him... the last time I kissed his little face, the physical pain my chest as Spencer and I handed him to the nurse, and the sob that came out of me when the nurse walked out of our room. It was the most painful experience of my life... knowing I would never get to hold my son again.
And so the tears came, like they do; and in the midst of them I am just grateful for the chance to hold my daughter... and for a faithful Father who is not only holding me in my tears, but who is also safely holding my son.
What a beautiful thing... to be held.

20 comments:

Tammy On the Go said...

this is a hard day for me and as I read this it reminds me of the love of the father. A dear friend of mine lost her husband of less than a year on Saturday. Very young, he slipped away in his sleep. No news yet as to why. She is due in 8 weeks with their first child.... Joe is with the Lord, and she is a believer as well... she will hold her little girl soon, and I pray she looks like her daddy. I know she is being held by our Lord....

I love this post.

belle said...

so true, such tender words..... i remember waking up one of my babies in the middle of the night on several occasions... not too many because, well, you never wake a sleeping baby.... but i just HAD to.... at that point i had already lost 2... little did i know i would go on to lose 2 more.... i drank in every moment of those days.... and i'm so glad i did. they have brought me many rich memories that get me through the tough days of wishing i could have just one more.... i feel the absence of my missing children very strongly... and all the more because my living children are so dear to me and i know what i'm missing out on.....

side note, you might find comfort in the post on my blog this morning... someone at my church had something neat to share.

Misty said...

This song too "held" me so to speak when it was sent to me anonymously. I too had and still have very hard moments now that my rainbow baby is here. I dont think it ever gets any easier, I think we just eventually adjust to what is. Thinking of you and Eliana.

Nat said...

That was beautifully written. I can't imagine the feeling of losing a child. I hope you continue to grieve and at the same time cherish the moments you have with your baby girl.

The Fabulous Ms. Beth said...

I'd catch myself crying when holding my rainbow baby Kate because it seemed so unreal that she was still with me. I only got to hold my son for a short while when he was earthside and I know that impacted how much I held my Katie when she arrived. I think it helped to mend my heart a little the more I held her.

Jessica said...

hugs for you, stacy.

Miche said...

Before I opened your post I knew it was going to be in regards to that song.

It is on a CD another blogger sent me when I was pregnant with MG. Still to this day I listen to it often because the song itself makes me feel Held.

And so far I totally agree with your post. I'm almost 16 weeks pregnant with this child and just yesterday I was telling my husband that the grief on many days is just unbearable.

I'm really bracing myself for what is ahead. Your blog really helps me to think through some of this instead of just being smacked in the face with it all at once.

Isaac, yourself, and Spencer help us all walk this journey on days when our Faith just isn't making enough sense. You always put it brilliantly.

Thank you!

Sonya said...

Oh Stacy, such a beautiful post as always. I don't even have words for you right now.

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Being held is a beautiful thing...thank you for so tenderly sharing your heart. Your words are so comforting to so many aching hearts, sweet Stacy...

Love and continued prayers...

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Dear Stacy,

I stopped by this morning to pray for you. (You don't know me personally. Just a loyal lurker.) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I want you to know that the pain and grief will lessen with time. God will turn your mourning to joy.

We were blessed with another son almost exactly a year after losing our first son. (Luke died at 36 weeks Jan. 2004 due to an umbilical cord knot.) When we were blessed with another son, I entered a new phase of grief.

I think part of it is that I finally gave myself permission to be human. For a year I needed to be courageous--for my family, for this new life growing inside me, for God's glory. I sprinted to the finish line, then collapsed.

Part of it was my new son reminded me of just what I had lost. And I think in some strange way, I felt guilt for loving a new baby--like I was betraying my first son by moving on. And the post-partum hormones didn't help much with my grief.

One more thing that I think made that time hard is that once our new son got here safely, I think my prayer support stopped. I don't think my dear friends understood that just because we had had a happy ending and our storm was over, that I was still hurting, that I had a massive post-storm clean-up to do.

Thus, I will continue to pray for you in the months ahead. I promise it will get easier. The pain will lessen. But the memory of your son will live on.

Much Love,
Kathie

J & A said...

I cried and cried after reading this post. It is beautiful. We lost our3 third child at 21 weeks. After being told he was fine. It was hard I never got to hold him. We I had our daughter I just cried when I heard her cry and to this day I never want to leave her. Just last night I stayed up and just held her.

As for Eliana's reflux. I had a fisher price baby papasan chair. IT was great for reflux. It was elevated a bit and helped with it a lot. It also snuggles around them and all my kids LOVED it. they never suffered with reflux but I borrowed it out to many friends that had that problem. Mine even folded up flat so you could stow it away for travels or for storage! I don't think I could have survived without it! you might want to look into it!

Kamaile said...

Thinking of you.

Liz and Will Timmerman said...

I am with you on this post Stacy. When you describe your time with Isaac, I am brought back to my time holding Luke. Wow, it hurts, doesn' it? Again, you put into words what is in my heart. Thank you.

Liz Timmerman

Ruth said...

Lovely post - thank you.

The Yates Family said...

This really strikes home. We are now blessed with a beautifully healthy 10 week old son, but we also lost a child at 16 weeks pregnant. I am so grateful every day that God knows the plan for my life and that I don't have to worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Only live for today! I look into my son's eyes and know that we couldn't have ever hoped for more.

You've been on my mind the last few days and I hadn't checked your blog in a while. Glad to see everything is going well. We will continue to pray for you and your family.

Nicole said...

"Time ticking away"...beautifully, accurately said.

Many others still think of Isaac too. He is just so handsome.

Thanks for sharing your story so honestly. It's helped me so much.

The Knight Family said...

Tears are flowing as I read this. I can still only imagine the pain you have, but am so thankful that He is seeing you through it all, still. You truly are an inspiration to SO many..

FSD said...

Wow. So beautifully written. I rejoice with you as you enjoy Eliana, but my heart aches for you as you mourn Isaac. (((HUGS)))

Ruth said...

I know. I love your writing. I love the song Held. Renner was two months and 6 days old when we let him go. I go through mountains and valleys with my grief. i am finally running the marathon I wanted to do last year one year after he was gone but now it is almost two. I run May 1st. I know that this will be very emotional for me as I feel like this is a physical manifestation of the last two years. I changed my ipod shufffle to only have christian music and my favorite is natalie grant and barlow girls. I feel God's pleasure, grace, love and mercy when I run. I am praying that HE enables me. One of the verses we used on Renner's memorial bookmark was Hebrews 12:1,2. Praying for perseverance. Just finished 10miles tonight. Must go to bed.

Holly said...

I'm sure with everything going on there hasn't been much time to deal with the grief even though it's there.