Monday, July 25, 2011


Grief is like a gigantic suitcase filled with weights.

You cannot leave this suitcase behind, you cannot walk away from it. It is with you for the rest of your life, it is your baggage. You must take it everywhere you go.This suitcase is extremely big and heavy. This suitcase is the biggest of the bunch, by far. When you are first given the suitcase, you cannot move it. You pull and pull on it and it never budges. Your body becomes weak, sore and exhausted. You push and pull on it every single day and try to move with it, but you cannot. Eventually after weeks, maybe months, you start to become a little stronger from all the pushing and pulling and you can budge it forward just a tiny bit. Eventually, after time, you can start to drag it around with you. It still hurts and you strain to bring it along with you. More time progresses, and you can carry it on your back, but you move so very slowly and your legs strain under the weight of this suitcase. After more time passes, probably years later, you are able to carry it with you, wherever you go. You move at a similar speed as you did before you were given this suitcase. However, you cannot move the same way as you did before. That is now impossible since you are strapped with this suitcase. As you carry this suitcase, you do not always move with the greatest of ease, but you lift it instead of drag it. Some days it hurts to carry it and other days you barely notice the weight of it, but it is always with you. It has become part of your life. You always know it is there. You learn to live with it. You learn how to carry it along with everything else you carry. It is by far the biggest and the heaviest suitcase you have.

The suitcase never gets smaller, it never gets lighter, you just become strong enough to carry it.

That is what this intense grief is like for me. Right now, I would say, I am at the barely dragging stage. At first, I could not even budge it. There was no way for me to even function in the world. I couldn't take it with me anywhere because it was just too heavy. Today, I can drag it, inch by inch. It is still almost too much for me to bear. Carrying this grief with me strains every single muscle in me. It hurts everywhere and it wears me out. The weight of the suitcase has injured me. Maybe beyond repair. But one day, I will learn to live with that pain. Just like I will learn to live with this grief. In the future, I will be strong enough to carry this around with me, most days with ease.

Today is not that day.

However, I will become stronger than I would have become without this suitcase.

I believe that the Lord is well acquainted with grief and sorrow. Jesus was described as a "man of sorrows" or a "man of suffering" in Isaiah 53. He truly knows what it is like to carry an immeasurable weight around with you. His weight was much bigger than mine, Jesus carried the heaviest and biggest suitcase there is in existence. I find comfort in knowing that He knows this deep and bitter anguish. He can identify with me; having this broken heart. He understands that right now, my suitcase is too heavy for me to carry it alone. But I know that He is strong enough, and so He gives me the strength. He gives me the endurance to carry this suitcase of grief. The beautiful thing is that I do not only feel grief; I feel immense and deep love towards Gideon, and hope because I will see him again and peace that the Lord gives. Those things never make this suitcase smaller, but they make me stronger. The Father makes me stronger every day. His strength sustains me.

Ten weeks I have had this suitcase and it will be with me the rest of my life. I cannot wait until we get to eternity and every single suitcase we carry with us disappears forever.

"It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure" 2 Samuel 22:33

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Days tend to go by slowly since Gideon died.

I mark each day off of a never ending calendar in my head...Thursday, Friday, Saturday(the last day Gideon was alive and the day of his funeral), Sunday (the day we found out Gideon died), Monday, Tuesday (the day Gideon was born), Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday....over and over. Every week, I think the same things on each day. Each Sunday I think "We found out Gideon died on sunday" and every Tuesday I think "Gideon was born on this day ___ weeks ago". And I cry.

Yesterday was Wednesday, not usually an extremely hard day for me.Though on this Wednesday there came a surprise. Something I totally didn't expect.

Yesterday was actually not a bad day. I had a good doctor's appointment filled with a lot of positives and hope. It was good. I also got a beautiful necklace that my mom ordered. One for me and one for her. The front is engraved with Gideon's name and his footprint, well, a much smaller version of his footprint. His whole footprint would have been too big to hang around my neck, I am not Flavor Flav. hahaha. On the back it has his birthday May 17, 2011 and his weight 2lbs 11oz.  I love getting to wear this necklace around my neck. It makes me feel close to Gideon. I carry him with me in my heart, but I love that there is something tangible I can take with me. Something that other people can see. I love that I look at myself in the mirror and I see his footprints and name around my neck. I can reach up to it and touch it every single day. I love that it sits so near my heart.

Isn't it beautiful? I will treasure it every day of my life. I am so glad I got this precious piece of jewelry yesterday.

Getting the necklace yesterday was not the surprise I mentioned earlier. Something interesting happened. Well, I was visiting my parents house talking with my mom, dad, and sisters, having a good time. I was listening to my nieces and nephews make lots of noise playing and I thought "Wait, is today Wednesday?" And I looked at my phone and yes, it was Wednesday. Then I thought, "yesterday was Tuesday." I inhaled some air with a small gasp.

At no point yesterday did I think "Today is the day of the week Gideon was born"

What? How did that happen?? I said to my sister and mom "Yesterday, I didn't once think about that day being the day Gideon was born." I thought about Gideon all day on Tuesday, I looked at his pictures like I do every day. I thought about how much I love him and I thought about how it felt to hold him. I talked about him numerous times that day, but I never thought about it being the day I gave birth to him. I didn't once think "9 weeks ago I was holding him in my arms." My sister said to me "Stormy, that is a huge step, that's really good." And I know it is good, and I know it shows that God is continuing to heal the deep grief. But I felt guilty....

At that moment, tears filled my eyes. I blinked them away and pushed the guilt out as far as I could. I try not to feel bad for this. I am trying to not feel like a bad mother. I am trying to let go of these feelings and to give them to the Lord. I am going to focus on the good. I need to see this as God's healing in my heart. I need to see this for what it is, life moving forward. I will keep Gideon in my heart and in my mind as life progresses forward, as I learn to live with this pain. I know that is what must happen, but I am unsure of how it will get there. I guess the answer to that is simple (though it is not easy); take it day by day.  I still have a dull ache of guilt for forgetting on Tuesday, but the guilt is subsiding and in its place is coming joy because through this I know God is healing this gaping wound.

I don't know how next Tuesday is going to be.  Well, honestly I don't know how tomorrow is going to be, or how it is going to be in 2 hours. Some moments aren't so bad. Some are horrible. It just depends. There is no rhyme or reason why one minute might be hard and one might be easier, or why some days are more suffocating than others. But, as I choose the Lord every day, He will come through. And as I look to tomorrow, I wonder what it will hold.

Today is Thursday, tomorrow is Friday, the next day is Saturday (the last day of the week Gideon was alive, and the day of his funeral), then it is Sunday (the day we found out he died), Monday, Tuesday (the day I delivered him), Wednesday, Thursday.....

"The churning inside me never stops; the days of suffering confront me"-Job 30:27

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." -2 Corinthians 4:16

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Two months

Today has been 2 months since our son was born.

Two months and 2 days since our son went to heaven. I should be happy about that, right? Don't get me wrong, I am so very glad he is there, I am so very thankful that he is in Eternity right now, that for the last 2 months he has felt nothing but pure joy and peace. But I miss him. I want him here. I would rather him live here for a while and go to heaven later, after Todd and I are already there. That is the way I feel.

Its been 2 months and my heart hurts every moment of every day. We hurt in a way that cannot be explained. Everyday that hurt morphs and changes but it is always there. One day it may suffocate me, like today. Other days it is more manageable, where I can actually function. Sometimes the hurt is infused with hope. And sometimes the hurt is tangled in despair. However, all the time, this hurt is intertwined with love.Love for Gideon and love for the Father.

Even after 2 months, I want him back. I want our Gideon back. This morning I cried my heart out to God and asked for Gideon to be given back to me.  I know that it doesn't work that way. I know that God has a purpose in everything. But a mommy should be with her child. I laid, curled in my bed and I repeatedly asked God to give Gideon back to me. God, please, please, please give him back. Please give him back to me. I miss him so much. So much. I miss my baby boy. I don't want it to be this way. I don't want to live without him. Please. I want him back so much. I miss my Gideon. I love him so much and I want him. Please God, I need him. I need him in my arms.

How do you live without something you need? Living without my son is like living without air.

Its been 2 months and every single day I weep. I cry as I look at his pictures, which I do every day. I weep when I look at his clothes. My heart breaks when I look at the clippings of his hair. I kiss his hat he wore because that hat touched his skin. I smell the blanket he had on him, even though it doesn't smell like he did. I cradle the clothes he wore in my arms and imagine I can feel him inside of those clothes.

Two months today since I had my son in my arms. Two months since my heart shattered. Two months since part of my heart went to heaven where he is. Two months since I kissed his face. Two months since I felt his soft skin. Two months since I held his hand in mine. Two months since I got to feel his weight in the cradle of my arm. Two months since I got to see his beautiful face, that looked so much like Todd. Two months since I got to touch his hands, eyes, mouth, feet, hair, chest, ears. Two months since I watched Todd hold our son. Two months since time stood still as I held him.Two months. It seems like just yesterday. How have we survived this long?

I crave to be back there, to 2 months ago. Because there I had my son in my arms. I had him. And every single day that goes by is a day where I am further from him. I don't want to be further away from him. I want to be closer to him...You know, I just had a thought. As every day that goes by, I am not further but closer to him because I am closer to death. That may sound morbid, but I don't mean it that way. I just mean that every day of my life, gets me closer to the day when my time on earth is through and closer to when I go see the Lord's face and where I will see Gideon again. No matter if you are a 33 week old baby still in his mother's womb or a 29 year old mommy, every day you live is a day closer to the day when you will pass away from here and go onto eternity. 

Its been 2 months and I cannot reconcile with the idea that Gideon is not supposed to be in this world. I cannot accept that. I mean, I know I have to accept it, because it is reality, but I cant wrap my mind around it. My son will never come back to this world. He will never be alive in our life again. How can that be? His purpose in life was not that he would walk or talk or breathe outside of my womb. He was not meant to live in this world. God intended for Gideon to live just those 8 months, and that was all.
I still cant believe Gideon is gone. I mean, I know it is true. I cannot deny that he is gone. But sometimes it just doesn't seem real. Like he can't really be gone from this world. That his death in this world is can't really be final. But it is. I just can't wrap my mind around it.
This is a child I longed for my whole life. This was the child that Todd and I wanted for years. This is the child we loved. This child is the child we knew; his patterns, his personality, what he liked and didn't like. This child was the one we planned to parent, the child we planned to grow with. Gideon was that child. Now he is gone. Gone? Really? I wont get to see him again in this life. Can that really be? How can that be? How can I have a baby that is dead? I am a mother of a baby that died.
Gideon goes everywhere I go. He is in my heart and Todd and I take him with us everywhere. I would rather have him here in his body and curled in my arms, but that isn't an option. Gideon gave me and Todd so much joy every day of his life. More happiness than we even knew was possible. He was and is loved. But I cant wrap my mind around the fact (and it is a fact) that Gideon was not meant to live in this world, that his time on earth truly is done.
If Gideon were meant to be here, then he would be here. God controls that. I just cant fully wrap my mind around it yet. Maybe I never will.

Its been 2 months and its like my life is back to "normal", yet has been radically changed. I hate that thing are back to "normal". Not in my heart or in my mind, but our daily actions. It shouldn't be this way. Gideon should be here and so our daily routine should be diapers, and feeding, and being awake all night. But instead, our routine is much the same at it was before. It is wrong. I hate it. I hate that it has to be this way. I hate that I have to live without him. Todd and I should be have a newborn at home. But Todd goes to work everyday and I am back to my daily life.  I go about town running errands and though I may look normal, my insides and my heart feel far from normal. As much as I want the world to pause for me, because when Gideon died my world did stop, life moves forward and there is nothing you can do about it. You have responsibilities you have to take care of. Things function as they did before; bills have to be paid, grocery shopping needs to be done and meals need to be cooked. But it feels so off. So wrong. Maybe it will always feel off? I think that throughout life, everything will always feel a little amiss. Because our family isn't complete. Part of us is in heaven.
Maybe it is supposed to feel this way, that our life is incomplete. Maybe we should be focused on heaven because this world isn't permanent for us. Maybe I am meant to feel like this place isn't enough, not because my son is gone, though that is part of it, but because this isn't truly our home.

Gideon would be 2 months old today. I was thinking today about what Gideon would look like. I cant picture it. I can't imagine what he would be like. I cannot picture the baby he would be today. Would he be rolling over? Would he be smiling? What would his smile look like? Would he have dimples? How much would he weigh?  What color would his eyes be today? What would it sound like to hear him cry? How long would his hair be?...In my mind, because that is all I have, I see him as a tiny newborn. Never changing. I wish I could see him grow. I wish I knew what he would look like today. What he would look like tomorrow or in 6 months or in 6 years. However, he will only be what he is in my memory, a beautiful little baby.

Since I hit the 2 month mark, I have been crying a lot. More than usual. My grief is more like it was in those first couple weeks. I know this is normal. At least that is what I am told. You take one step forward and 2 steps back. Right now, I am taking 10 steps back. Its awful. I miss my son with every molecule in my body. My pain is growing exponentially. I miss Gideon more and more each day. I wonder if there is a limit on how much I miss him & when I will hit that limit. Eventually, one would think, you would get to the point where there is no possible way to miss him more. I guess I haven't hit that limit yet.  I do think that there is no limit to how much I love Gideon. I love him more and more each and every single day. That will never change. My love for my son will always be the predominate feeling in my heart when I think of him; more than the agonizing pain and more than the hurt. Love will always come first.

Every single day for the last 2 months, when I ask, God gives me peace. I miss Gideon. I have extreme and endless hurt and I get so weighed down by my feelings, I sometimes forget to ask Him for peace. He is there always, but is waiting for me to turn around and ask for Him to help me. Because once I ask, He gives me peace immediately. When I ask Him, I feel this unexplainable peace come over my heart. He is the only way Todd and I have made it until today. He is the only one who grants us true peace. He never fails. He is always there to wrap His arms around me and tell me "I love you, I am here." When Todd and I call out to him, He is always faithful.

Wow, this blog is kind of all over the place today. But I guess it is because my emotions are all over the place.

But, this is where I am today. Two months later.

Gideon's life and death color everything around me. Because of him, I see things differently. The lens through which I see the world has transformed. Gideon changed my perspective on life, on death, on eternity, on love and on God. I love God more today than I did 2 months ago. I think of God and spend more time with Him than I did 2 months ago, and that is because of the change that my son brought about in me. Gideon made me want to be better. A better wife, mommy, sister, aunt, daughter, friend, and a better child of the Lord.  Gideon was so tiny, just 2lbs and 11oz and 15in long. But that tiny little boy has made such a huge impact. Todd and  I are changed because of him. Our hearts are totally different, for the better. From the moment he was conceived, Gideon changed my world.

I believe that Gideon is changing the world.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Psalm 46

Music has always evoked emotion in me.

I love listening to music. If it is a happy song, I will dance along and sing loudly...if it is a sad song, I will cry. It has always been this way for me. I also tie myself emotionally to music, if a song came out during a specific time in my life, every time I hear that song, my emotions go back to that place. For example, mine and Todd's song is "I Could Not Ask for More" by Edwin McCain. When I hear that song, my heart travels to our wedding day when we danced together to that song. All the emotions I felt then, I feel them just as strongly today. My song memory goes back to very early childhood. I can hear a song that came out in 1986 when I was 4 years old and it will evoke an emotion in me that will remind me of childhood. I love that I have that connection with music.

I am going to tell you about the song that holds more meaning to me than any other song.

About a year and a half ago I was listening to Pandora, and a song came on by this husband and wife duo, named Jenny and Tyler. The song was called "Season". The song's chorus says "show me what this season in my life is for, I've been trying to seek You, seems You're shutting every door, show me what this season in my life is for, cause I want so much more..." This song came to me at the exact right time. Todd and I were in the middle of trying to get pregnant but we were having fertility problems (at that point we had been trying to get pregnant for 3 years). We were trying to seek God in all of it and this song described our life so much. At that time we were trying to figure out what God wanted us to learn through that time of our life. The song encouraged me so very much. Now when I hear that song, it takes me back to that place, to where we were spiritually. I loved that song so much, that I looked up the group and downloaded all of their music. I love their music (you should go to their website, and listen to their music, they are so talented!)

Well, months later, in October, I got pregnant with Gideon. I downloaded the most recent album of Jenny and Tyler sometime in November, I think. I listened to all the songs on that album many, many times. One song stuck out to me more than the others and it is called Psalm 46. It is based on that Psalm in the Bible. That song is absolutely beautiful. The music, their voices, the lyrics...gorgeous.  I listened to that album every single time I was in the car. It quickly became my favorite album and I would listen to Psalm 46 usually 3-5 times every time I listened to that album.

I had no idea a the time what that song would mean to me in the future

 It goes like this:
The Lord is my refuge and strength
therefore I will not be afraid
though the mountains give way and fall into the sea
He will come and rescue me

The Lord comes to me at break of day
He reaches down to guide me in His way
though this oceans roar in this dark and stormy sea
He will come and rescue me

Hallelujah, He is with me
Hallelujah, we cannot be moved
Hallelujah, He is with me
Hallelujah, I rest secure

Be still and know that He is God
He will be exalted over all
come and behold His strength and majesty
He will come and rescue me

Hallelujah, He is with me
Hallelujah, we cannot be moved
Hallelujah, He is with me
Hallelujah, I rest secure

When I would sing this song while pregnant, I would think, "Wow this is so true. Yes. Amen"  I would sing to the Creator of all things, the Father who cares for us, the God who rescues us. All the while, every time I sang that song, Gideon was listening to his mommy worship the Lord.

On the night of Sunday May 15th,  the meaning of this song would transform for me. I knew these lyrics to be true, however that night I learned deep in my heart what they really meant. That was the night we found out Gideon had died. That evening at the hospital, after they admitted me to a room to start my labor, this song came into my head. I started to think on the lyrics of this song. The Lord is my refuge and strength, therefore I will not be afraid...He reaches down to guide me in His way, though the oceans roar....He will come and rescue me....we cannot be moved, Hallelujah, He is with me...I rest secure...Be still and know that He is God. Those words revolved around and around in my head and in my heart.  I had to believe those words to make it through those 2 days. I have to believe those words to make it through every single day. Even though the ocean was roaring around us those days, the sea was dark, and our mountain was crashing into the sea, we had to believe that He would come and rescue us and that He was and still is with us. I very much believe He has rescued us and He is always with us. I have to believe that, or I would not survive.

The Lord came to me at the break of day on Tuesday morning, when the nurse told me "You are ready, it is time to push" I thought of this song in that moment. I felt an all permeating peace from the Lord. Don't get me wrong, I was scared and I was extremely sad, but I was so ready to see Gideon. Through those 2 days of laboring, God had equipped me for this moment. Therefore, I will not be afraid. As the doctor came in the room, I couldn't think of anything to pray, so I said the Lord's prayer as I held Todd's hand as we prepared to see our son. The Lord was my refuge and strength in those moments. Less than 10 minutes later, Gideon came out and they laid him on my chest and we cried. But I knew He was God. I wept as I put my hands on my son for the first time and I said "I love you". Hallelujah, He was with me. I handed Gideon to Todd and I saw the tears streaming down my husband's face. I know that He was Todd's refuge and strength in that moment. Through the following hours we spent with our Gideon, the Lord was reaching down and guiding us in His way.

Still to this day, exactly 7 weeks later, He is with us. Even though, the sea is still dark, we cannot be moved. Even though the mountain has given way, hallelujah, we rest secure. 

When we were planning Gideon's funeral service, we decided to have a memorial service for friends, family and all loved ones. Before that, we did the burial service for just family. We decided to go that route because seeing Gideon's tiny casket at the front of that big room with everyone in it would have been extremely hard for a lot of people. And very hard for me and Todd. The service was going to be horrible enough for mommy and daddy.
For the memorial service with friends and family we had the song "Glory Baby" by Watermark played. Its a beautiful song about losing a baby. I cry every single time I hear it. I love the chorus of that song. It says "We miss you every day, and we miss you in every way, but we know there's a day when we will hold you, we will hold you. And you'll kiss our tears away, when we're home to stay . We cant wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you. But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, till mom and dad can hold you. You'll just have heaven before we do...."  The bridge of that song is powerful too, "I cant imagine Heaven's lullabies and what they must sound like. But I will rest in knowing that Heaven is your home and it's all you'll ever know. All you'll ever know." Thank you Lord, that all Gideon knew was my womb, and He went from the warmth and love of my body, to the warmth and love of Your arms. I am so glad, even though it hurts so so so much, that Gideon is there, with You. 

As we were planning the burial service with our pastor, Todd and I decided to have the song "Psalm 46" sang. It seemed right. It perfectly described where our hearts were that day. It just fit what we wanted to say about our son and about what God was saying to us. Even when all seems lost and everything around us is falling apart and our world may feel like it is crashing down around us, God will come and rescue us. He will come to us in our darkest hours and bring light. We miss our Gideon and him dying has been the worst thing imaginable for us, but the Lord is guiding us in His way. Our son is gone, never to come back in this world, which if you haven't experienced something like it, is impossible to know how horrific it feels. But because of Him, we will not be afraid and He will be our refuge during these days and for the rest of our lives. So, during the burial service for Gideon, that is what we wanted to say. These lyrics, that are based on scripture, said it perfectly. I hoped that the song that had brought so much comfort to me, would bring the same comfort to others.

We asked a beautiful and wonderful woman we know to sing this song for us, to honor Gideon and to bring worship to God. Her voice is exquisite & I am so thankful for her. I am so thankful that she was willing to sing this at his funeral. I know it was hard for her, but she has no idea how much she blessed me and Todd that day. While she was singing, I was singing along in my heart while mouthing the words to this song that meant so much to me throughout Gideon's life. I was worshiping the Lord during the funeral for my son. Maybe that would seem strange to some, but to me, it was right. God is good not because of what he gives us, but because of who He is, because He is our salvation. That is why I could worship the God who gives and takes away during one of the darkest days of my life.

Even though, in that moment, I was looking at a casket that held my son's body and to think of him inside there tears my heart to shreds, I knew that my son was in eternity being held by Jesus. Gideon is resting secure. And even though my heart was (and still is) crushed into a million pieces that day because we had to put our son inside of the ground, I had to worship God because without Him I would be nothing. At all. He will be exalted over all. Even though, that day, we had to say goodbye to our son. And my heart was in agony. I will not be afraid. I knew on that horrible day and I know this today, that without Him, Gideon would have never existed. And without Him and the hope He gives, we would have no chance of seeing Gideon again. But we do. We do have a chance to be with our son again. Hallelujah, He is with me. I knew that from the moment they told us Gideon had died that He would come and rescue me, I knew that through my labor, I knew that while I was holding him, I knew that on the day of his funeral, I know that every single day when I look at his pictures, I know that every day when I weep with misery. I know. And we cannot be moved.

I am so thankful for that song. So very thankful. Those lyrics are the cry of my heart. That song means more to me than any other song ever because it has been such an important song through Gideon's life and death. In my mind, it is Gideon's song. It so very much reminds me of my son, but more importantly, it reminds me that God is our strength and even though things are unbearable, that he is still God. No matter what He will be with us in our agony.

Thank you, Lord, for our Gideon.

For about 4 weeks after Gideon died, I couldn't listen to music at all. I couldn't do it. Every song was too much. I just couldn't do music. When I was in the car, I would listen to talk radio only.  For the first time in my life, music didn't help me. I could barely handle my emotions and so I couldn't pile on the emotions that came from music. I also stopped singing. I usually walk around singing everywhere I go. When I was pregnant, I would sing to Gideon all the time, even in Target while shopping. People thought I was crazy, I am sure, but I didn't care. I was showing my son I loved him.
After he died, I couldn't sing. It hurt my heart too much. Too much emotion. My emotions were already raw and bleeding. But 7 weeks later, I can sing again. Songs made my heart hurt more just a couple weeks ago, but when I sing now, it makes me feel connected with God like it used to and it makes me feel closer to Gideon. I am happy that I can see the Lord healing me in that way. I am not to the point where I want to walk around singing everywhere I go like I used to, but this is one area where I can see God mending my heart.

I have not been able to listen to the Psalm 46 song since Gideon's funeral because it makes me cry so hard. So I haven't listened to it. But today, it just erupted out of me. I was in my car listening to talk radio, and I was crying. I was missing Gideon with all my heart. I was driving down the road and I thought, "Gideon should be in the back strapped in his car seat, but he isn't, He will never sit in this car with me. Never". My heart ached to have him close to me. My car felt empty. My heart felt empty. I opened my mouth and I just started to sing the lyrics: The Lord is my refuge and strength, therefore I will not be afraid..... I sang that song 3 times through. I missed Gideon so very much in that moment and my heart was in agony and that is what poured out of me. Worship. Worship in the midst of pain.

That is the first song I have truly sang with all my heart, out loud, in worship since Gideon died.

I realized today that our sweet Gideon heard the song Psalm 46 significantly more than any other song during his life. Gideon's ears were filled with the music and the lyrics from that song frequently throughout his 33 weeks of life. Lyrics that spoke of God's faithfulness to rescue us and to be with us.

I worshiped God with that song more than any other while I was pregnant with Gideon.
I worship God with that song now that Gideon is gone from us.

Though the oceans roar in this dark and stormy sea, He will come and rescue me.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Due Date

 Today is my due date. Gideon was supposed to be born today. Born alive.

I was not one of those women disillusioned enough to believe my child would be born on or before his due date. I assumed he would come 2 weeks after. But this day, in my mind, since he was conceived has been "his day". The day we were anxiously awaiting. The day we were longing for. The day we hoped to get to see our son for the first time. I had no idea my son would die over 6 weeks before this day came.

This is the day where I am should be so hugely pregnant that I cant even bend over. I should be uncomfortable but I would be happy every moment. I should be feeling my son moving within me, giving me loving kicks in the bladder.  This is the day where I should feel contractions and have my water break. Today is the day where I would call Todd and say "Gideon is coming, get home from work and lets go!" This day we would be nervous, but so excited, to get to see our son. This is the day we are supposed to be getting my bag and going out the door to the hospital. This is the day we would take a 40 minute car ride chatting with excitement and I would be pausing to experience painful contractions. But that would be okay, because the pain would be worth it in the end. We would arrive at the hospital and get a room and this room would be where my family and friends would cheer and shout with joy when my son comes out. We would weep with happy tears to hear his first cry. This day we should be getting ready to welcome our son to the outside world. We should be, but we are not. This day will not come.Gideon, my sweet boy, I wish you could have been welcomed into the world like this, but you were welcomed into a totally different world. And your arrival there was probably filled with louder shouts of joy than I can even imagine.

Gideon's story is much, much different than this one.  Maybe one day I will have the courage to tell Gideon's birth story in detail. Though both stories, the one I imagined that would happen and the one that actually happened, have a few things in common; one being that they are both filled with an immense amount of love. Love for Gideon and love from the Father.

But, here I sit on my son's due date, with empty arms and an empty womb, the womb where my child died. The happy, carefree, ecstatic delivery day I described will never happen for Gideon. That breaks my heart. The first day we got to see him, was the day we had to say goodbye. We will not get to bring him home. To make our family complete

Right now, I am sitting in the room where there should be a crib. A crib where my son should be sleeping. This room was to be our nursery, yet, it is still our office. This is the room where I should be pacing at night holding Gideon, the room where I would feed him at 2 am. In this room, we would lay him in for his first night at home and anxiously and obsessively check on him every hour to make sure he was ok. This is where would kiss his sweet face goodnight. This is the room where I would sing him lullabies and songs about Jesus. We would change his diapers in this room and he would spray us in the face because we forgot to duck and cover....None of those things will happen in this room... This room should be decorated with a Hawaiian beach theme, but instead there are Rubbermaid boxes in the corner filled with all of the baby things. There is a box in this room, a fireproof box, where I have all of Gideon's things (I am so afraid these things might get destroyed); the clothes we dressed him in, the blankets he was wrapped in, the hat he wore, cds of his pictures, his foot prints, the locks of his hair, his death certificate. Within the four walls of this room, there is no crib, no changing table, no rocking chair, but, there are a lot of tears, heartache and broken dreams. This room is now filled with a lot of "what should have been." I have grown to hate this room because it is not the room it is supposed to be.

No mommy and daddy should have to sit alone on their child's due date in the would-be nursery and weep because their child is gone. No parent should have to experience this immeasurable anguish.

I knew today was going to be hard, my parents offered to come and spend the day with us. They came to Houston to be here for us to help us through this day. I am so thankful to have a family who is so supportive as we grieve. A family who mourns with us, a family who loves our Gideon and is willing to talk about him and include Gideon in our lives. That is so important to me, that people talk about our son. My parents took me shopping (I have to say it is very therapeutic, for some strange reason, to walk around and look at clothes you can't afford ) and then Todd met us for lunch at Rainforest Cafe. I really like going there. Something about that place is fun. It is pretty cheesy, but great at the same time. Its perfect for the hyperactive person that I am since there is always something happening; the robotic monkeys are making noise, the elephants are moving their trunks, the butterflies are flapping their wings. And every half hour or so they have a "rainstorm". It gets dark in dining room, it thunders loudly, lights create the effect of lightening and all the animals go wild. About half of my younger nieces and nephews are scared to death of that restaurant. One of my nephews would not even want to go in the dining area he was so freaked out, one of my other nephews hid under the table to get away from all the animals, and one of my nieces was so scared while we were there she was clinging to my arm in fear. Thinking about the way nieces and nephews are made me wonder if Gideon would have been scared to go to there when he was older. What would he have thought about the Rainforest Cafe? Would it have made him laugh or stare in fascination? Would he have cried and said "Daddy lets leave!" when it got dar and the monkeys went wild? Or would he have been brave and liked the adventure of it? It makes my heart hurt to know that I will never know that answer. Things like that just hit you. Strange things make you grieve. Who would have thought that lunch at the Rainforest Cafe would make me miss my son even more.

Honestly, It was nice to get out and be distracted. Though a little part of me did wanted to stay at home, I didn't really want to sit around my house all day crying. Getting out and living was a better choice for me. But no activity, no medicine, no television show or movie, nothing can really distract me from the hurt in my heart. This is not the day Todd and I imagined this would be. This day is not what I wanted it to be. I tried to make today as happy as possible, but I can't be happy today. I am sad and hurting and I wont apologize for that. I broke down and cried while my parents were with us at our house.  I am so glad they were there for me and Todd today. And every day... I told my mom "This isn't the day it should have been." And it isn't. This day should have been much different. But...I guess, really, it is the day it's supposed to be. God would not have allowed it happen if it wasn't supposed to be like this. I have no idea what God's purpose is, but I do trust him.

 I want my son here with us on his due date. I should be at the hospital with my new born son in my arms. Today I should have seen my husband change Gideon's first diaper. I should have fed my son for the first time today. We should be awake with excitement, staring into the face of our son. We should be anxious about how to be parents this new little life. I want to be the mother up late at night who is kissing her child's face as he cries. Not the mother is up late at night because she cries and longs to kiss her child's face. Oh, I miss his sweet, beautiful face.

I don't know how to do this, how to live like this. I love him so much and I hate this. I have this intense feeling in my heart that cannot be described. It is an unrelenting despair that reaches into and throughout my heart. This despair runs deeper than imaginable. Surrounding this despair exists an intense love; a mother's love.  There are no accurate words to tell you what this is like. I wish I could explain it. I wish I could explain how I feel, but it is impossible. There are not words that can give voice to this agony. Just tears
I just want my son.

A woman who I met on an online support group that lost her child to stillbirth gave me this verse and the Lord spoke to me through it. I think it applies so much for me today on Gideon's due date.
 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11