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


Heather said...

Beautifully written, Stormy. Love you and am so proud of you!

Love, Heather

Stormy said...

Thank you, my friend. I love you so much. Thanks for always being there for me. You are wonderful.

Lori said...

I am so, so, so sorry to read these words, and yet...I could have (and probably did at some various points) written each and every one myself...though my Matthew was overdue (my due date post was talking about how he was already a stubborn little boy, making us wait for his appearance!).

I am just sitting here crying as I read and reread your recent posts. So familiar. So painful, still. So, so deep in my memory as the darkest, darkest days of my life. I am just heartbroken another person is going through this, as I remember the horror of it more vividly than I can remember just about anything.

Again, I am just so sorry. I don't know what else to say, yet I know that there really isn't anything else to say. Just to let you know I am lifting you up--a stranger across the country knows, though not exactly as only you knew your Gideon as you did--but oh, so similarly, the pain and aching of missing your first-born son...your miracle and your every reason for believing God exists. Know that I never, ever, ever dreamed that any type of restoration could or would exist, and I even DARED God to do so because I just KNEW it couldn't be done without giving me my son back.

But He's bigger than that. And my dares. And my grief. And He HAS given healing in ways I am just truly humbled by and grateful for.

I pray the same for you in the days and weeks and months and years ahead.
With much love and many, many prayers,

Louella said...

Stormy, my heart aches for you as I read the words of a mother who's arms are empty. I think it is wonderful that you wish to talk about Gideon. I was six when my brother just older than me passed away. I wasn't allowed to talk about him after he passed. It was like he never existed. My brother existed and so did Gideon. Gideon existed and wrapped his little fingers around many people's hearts - even though some of us didn't get to meet him. We will meet him in eternity. Know that I'm sending hugs and prayers to you and Todd. Keep talking about Gideon. He was and is a very special little boy.

Stormy said...

Thank you so much. These responses made me cry. Thank you. You have no idea what it means to me.

Lori, Thank you. I have been wondering if the joy will, indeed, come in the morning. I believe it will, but I just dont see it yet. I can see him slowly, very slowly mending my heart. Like today, I drove past the hospital where I delivered Gideon, and both times I drove past, I didnt look at it. That is the first time I have gone by it without steps...I am so so so sorry that you have to live without your Matthew....your words encouraged me so very much. So Much! Thank you.

Louella, Thank you for praying for us. Thank you so much. Gideon was so special and I pray that God keeps using Gideon's life for His glory. I am so very sorry to hear about your brother, and I am so sorry that you were not encouraged or allowed to talk about him. That had to be so tough. You are so right, Gideon existed and so did your brother...they still exist, in Eternity! They both had a purpose and both were special....I love talking about my son. I am so proud of him. I am proud to be his mommy. Again, thank you so much. your words made me cry. Thank you.