Todd and I are moving out of our apartment next week.
The apartment where Gideon lived his whole life.
The apartment where he left his body and went to heaven.
This apartment is where Gideon was conceived (I know, that's probably TMI, but thats how I am sometimes...oh ok, a lot of the times. hah.). I actually know the exact date.
The night before I took the pregnancy test, I had my suspicions that I was pregnant so I laid in bed and thought about the possibility of being pregnant.. First off, I just "felt" pregnant. And I could smell everything!! A few days before I took the test, I was driving with my windows down on 610. It was a cool day in October. Someone had run off the road and as I was driving past their car at like 50mph, I could smell the turned up dirt like it was right next to me! It was crazy how intense that smell was to me! So, the night before I took the test, I thought about that happening. I laid in my bed the night before I imagined what it would be like if I were pregnant, how I would feel, what Todd would do & say, how happy he would be. I imagined telling my family and my best friends. It was perfect timing too, because 2 of my best friends were getting married the next day and Todd and I were in the wedding party. So I imagined, while laying in bed what it would be like to tell them. My parents would be in town for the wedding too, and I imagined their faces. I was laying in bed hoping. Hoping and so excited. All those thoughts happened while I was laying in bed, in this apartment.
In our bathroom is where I took the pregnancy test that Saturday morning on October 23rd. I peed on the stick and looked at the test and immediately saw 2 lines pop up. But I didn't want to get ahead of myself and so I sat on our bed. I remember exactly where I sat on our bed. My heart was racing and I was so anxious. Todd was too, but he is so much more calm that I am. In my heart, I knew I was pregnant. After the 5 minutes were up, I stood and walked into the bathroom with my heart pounding loudly in my chest. I saw that the test was positive!! I said with a shaky voice and tears in my eyes, "Todd come look at this." He burst into the bathroom, looked at the test and I said "I'm pregnant." He looked so happy. And we hugged for such a long time and cried so many happy tears. That happened in this apartment.
In our bedroom is where I sent a text message with a picture of my pregnancy test to all my sisters and brother. And this is where I got each one of their very excited responses.
Todd couldn't go to my first ultrasound because he had to work, I called him right after the appointment, of course and told him that our baby had a strong heartbeat and that I could even see the baby's arms on the 8 week ultrasound!. When I got home with the picture, I showed Todd. The first time he saw a picture of our son, we were in this apartment.
In our office, near thanksgiving, was where I shared with the whole world that we were having a baby. I waited until after I went to the doctor to have my first ultrasound to tell everyone. I remember typing the words, and announcing to everyone our wonderful news. Right now, I am sitting in the same spot, in the same chair as I did that day.
This past Christmas, Todd and I decorated our tree in our apartment . I told Todd "This is our first year to decorate our tree with the baby, next year the baby will be with us and we can decorate it all together!" That will be our only Christmas with Gideon. The only Christmas where he will be with us on this earth. The only Christmas he would be here with us to decorate the tree. That happened in this apartment.
When I was 19 weeks pregnant to the day, I was on our couch. Todd was on the left of me, I was laying down and Todd put his hand on my belly. He used to do this all the time. He would constantly touch my belly to be closer to our child and to let the baby know they were loved. That day, it was a Friday, Todd's hand was resting on my belly and I felt Gideon move for the first time! It felt like a bubble popping. I didn't feel him again until the next day. We were sitting in the same places on our couch in the living room. Todd again had his hand on my belly and Gideon moved again! Three times in a row that time. This time it felt like a popping and fluttering feeling. And then later that day, same thing, Gideon moved while Todd's hand was resting on my belly. Gideon liked it when his daddy was close to him. All of that happened while in our living room in this apartment.
On St. Patrick's day of this year, Todd and I were in our bedroom, laughing and talking. I was laying sideways across our bed, across the pillows and Todd had his head on my belly. The next thing I know Gideon starts moving and kicks Todd in the head 3 times in a row! That was the first time Todd had ever felt Gideon move! Todd said "I felt that!" Todd was so excited to get to feel his child moving. Gideon kicked hard too. It was so funny that the baby kicked his daddy in the head! Then Todd rested his ear on my belly to see if he could hear Gideon. And he actually did. He could hear him moving around. I told Todd, "maybe that's just my digestive system" and he said "no, I know what your normal stomach sounds like, this sounds different, its like a sloshing." Todd was the only person in the whole world who heard Gideon moving inside of me. Todd felt and heard his son for the first time in this apartment.
I have a special memory of me and Gideon in this living room. In late March, Todd had gone out with some friends and I had a whole night planned for myself. I got some delicious take-out food and I sat at home on the couch and watched the concert version of my favorite musical, Les Miserables. I couldn't wait to introduce Gideon to theatre. So, I figured a little in utereo brain-washing would be in order. Ah, I love Les Miserables. As I watched, Gideon jumped up and down. Apparently he either really liked, or really hated to hear mommy sing along. I watched, listened, sang, cried and felt my son move within me. I remember exactly where I sat and exactly how I felt. I did that with Gideon. That happened in this apartment.
I spent my birthday with Gideon in this apartment. We welcomed my 29th year of life in this apartment, just me, Gideon and Todd. We spent time together as a family and just relaxed. In this apartment.
I saw Gideon move a lot of times while I was pregnant with him. The first time I could see him moving from the outside didn't happen here. But lots of the other times it did. Todd could see him move too. The first time Todd saw him moving was in this apartment. One time I had my arms on the top of my belly while holding a book and reading. Gideon started moving all around and so my arms were bouncing up and down and I started laughing and just watched my belly. I wanted to see every movement my son made. He was moving so much it had made my book move all around! I remember exactly where I was when that happened. That happened while I was on my couch, in this apartment.
I spent my first Mother's Day with Gideon in this apartment. We went out to eat that day to have a celebratory lunch. My first Mother's Day to really celebrate. After we got home. We just lounged around and watched some movies and television. I spent time with my 2 favorite boys, Gideon and Todd.
I spent many nights in this apartment, awake late, because I had a crazy sleeping pattern while I was pregnant. Gideon liked the nighttime. Both Todd and I like to stay up late (I usually stay up much later than Todd). Some nights, Todd would go to bed and I would stay up and Gideon would move around while I read a book, or watched tv. I loved feeling him move within me. I miss him. Gideon and I spent a lot of time together late at night in this apartment. Some nights, we would lay in bed, me and Todd and Gideon. I would rub my belly and Todd would rub my belly. And I would drift off to sleep thinking about all the things I wanted for my family after Gideon was born.
My doctor had me start kick counts about 2 weeks before Gideon was born. Basically you count how many times the baby moves in 2 hours and if they haven't moved 10 times, then you are supposed to call the doctor or the hospital because something might be wrong. I loved doing my kick counts. I would lay on my left side on my couch and count his movements. It was such a beautiful time, just to lay and concentrate on my son. To really focus on his moving inside of me. I loved every second of that. Feeling his kicks and punches and rolls and jabs. It was one of the most beautiful things to happen to me. Actually Gideon was one of the most beautiful things to have happened to us. It was so much fun that I could get to know what Gideon liked and didn't like just by feeling his movements. He always passed his kick counts with flying colors. Except for one time. That was the day we went to the hospital. That happened in this apartment.
The last night of Gideon's life was spent in this apartment. I came home on Saturday evening after my baby shower and put all of Gideon's new, wonderful, fun things into the nursery. We spent some time that night together as a family; mommy, daddy and baby. A family.We made plans to go through all Gideon's things the next day.We were so excited about getting his nursery set up and ready for him to come home. I had no idea that time would be some of the last minutes my son would be alive. Those moments were some of his last on this earth, inside my body. I wish I could go back and stop time so I could memorize every second and every moment of my precious son. Todd and I went to bed that night with our son alive. I believe that Gideon passed away that night while I was asleep. That happened while I was in our bed, in this apartment.
While our family was together, in this apartment, our Gideon died.
Honestly, I am so sick of living in this apartment . I am over a lot of things about this specific apartment (lots of leaking pipes all the time, neighbors who play loud music, etc) and I am so over this complex and the way it is managed. So as far as that aspect of moving, we are happy! And Its not like we were planning on living here forever.We weren't. Before Gideon died, we were planning on moving in December. Its not like we planned to raise him here his whole life. But the memories of his life, tie me to this place in a way that I have never been tied to a home.
Even though I no longer want to live here, it is hard to leave it. I am sitting here weeping as I relive all of these memories. My heart physically hurts because I wish Gideon was still here. Hurts more than I can express. With all of my heart, I wish we could continue to make more memories with him. But that will never happen. The memories we have are the only ones we will ever have.So, it is so hard to say goodbye to all of the beautiful and wonderful memories of Gideon's life. All the times that Todd walked through the door home from work, to give me a kiss and rub my stomach. All the times when Todd would lean over and say "I love you, Gideon" or jokingly scold him for making mommy's back hurt. All the times that Todd and I played dominoes on the floor in our living room; me playing a game with my boys. All the times, Todd and I sat on our couch or laid in bed making plans for our life with Gideon. Its difficult to move away from all the good times, the place where my son lived.
However, Its not hard to say goodbye to all of the horrible memories, the memories of this apartment after he died; of me crying myself to sleep, of me weeping on the floor in a ball, of Todd holding me so I wouldn't lose control, of Todd crying out in pain, of me breaking down while and getting physically weak because I got overwhelmed with emotion, of seeing the would-be nursery everyday, of being physically ill because of grief, those horrible first 10 weeks or so after he was born. So much deep anguish, so much intense pain. I know it is the right time for us to move. Not that these emotions and all of the hurt will stop when we move, because it won't. We will still cry and our hearts will still be broken. Our hearts are still feel deep and wretched anguish.. There are still many times when I curl in a ball and weep in agony and don't want to get out of bed. There are days when Todd and I cry and cling to each other. Those things won't be changing anytime soon. I will still weep every single day. I will still look at Gideon's pictures daily and sometimes hold his clothes in my arms. But a change of pace will be good for us. A different place, a change of scenery, will help us.
Gideon lived inside of me and I inside this apartment. And wherever I go, no matter where we live, I will remember that is where he lived, in my womb. Whenever I see my stretch marks on my belly, or feel that my stomach is softer than it used to be, I will remember that is where he lived.
For some people I know, it would be impossible for them to move from the place where they lived while their child was alive. And I truly understand that. For us, though it will be hard, we can do it because we are truly learning that everything in this life is temporary. I know that nothing on this earth is permanent. The Lord is showing us that this place is truly is not our home.
This building will break and this apartment will crumble and someday will no longer exist. But God will never break or crumble. He is permanent. The beginning and the end. And Todd and I, one day, will live with Him in His house with Gideon. Forever. And from His house we will never have to leave. Gideon has been living there since he passed from my womb. And where he lives now, that is way better than an apartment in Houston. Where he is now is better than a mansion in Hawaii. Gideon is in the Father's House in the arms of Jesus being loved beyond measure. Forever.
So we say goodbye to this apartment, but not goodbye to the memories, because those are always with us. As is our son, who is in our hearts wherever we go. Love is what really binds us together. Because of Him and because of the love that comes from Him, Gideon is bound to my heart. No matter where we live.
"My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."-John 14:2-4