Well, it's 4:30 in the morning and I'm not asleep. For the last five months I've been asleep by 8:30-9pm and now it seems so hard for me to get to sleep. So much has happened in the last month since my last post. I have been wanting to write it all down, but it is just too hard. Sort of like if I don't write it, it didn't all happen, that it's just a bad, bad dream. But it did happen, and it is weighing on my heart to share it all.
My last post ended with requests for prayers for our ultrasound. I know God heard our prayers, but things did not go as planned. Our appointment with the high risk doctor and the ultrasound revealed some very serious problems with our sweet baby. He left us with very little (none really) hope that the baby would survive. I think a part of me died right there in that room. I kept watching the screen, knowing that so much was wrong, and yet not really believing that this could be happening. Mark and I cried and prayed and cried and prayed. We finally were able to come to the point where we were able to pray and ask God to heal our baby. But if that wasn't His will, then we prayed that God would allow the baby to not hurt and to heal our baby by taking it home.
We made a conscious decision to enjoy the time with the baby that we had. So we did. Each kick was a sweet and precious memory, a most perfect gift from God. We savored it all and did all the things we knew we wouldn't be able to do later. We sang the baby all the songs that we have sung to Jonathan, read books, played the piano, went shopping, snuggled, hugged, talked, laughed, loved. Love, that is what we did each day. We told our baby just how very, very much we loved him or her and how very glad that he or she had come to be with us, even if he or she couldn't stay for long. Jonathan felt the kicks, talked to her, kissed my belly, and was a wonderful big brother.
Two weeks later, she was gone. Her heart had just given out, and I lost another piece of mine. Watching another ultrasound screen, and seeing no more movement. Such an empty, empty feeling. We went in for delivery and it was such a different experience. With Jonathan, we were so nervous and excited and happy and scared. This time, we were just sad. The nursing staff at Baptist was wonderful and took such great and tender care of us. Our sweet baby girl, Gracie Lynne Thomas, was born at 12:55am on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 20 weeks. She weighed 1 pound 1 ounce, and was 10 inches long. She is beautiful. Mark and I have prayed for another baby for so long and we love Gracie with our whole hearts. We were very blessed to be able to hold her, to love her, to talk to her, to sing to her. My Mom and Mark's Mom were there with us and were able to hold her as well. The nurses took pictures for us to remember her by and gave us several beautiful things as mementos.
We buried our baby girl on Thursday. We buried our child. I went to the funeral of a little boy I had treated last year. I understand now, I feel the pain that was in his mother's heart for it is now my own. Mark and my Mom planned the entire funeral and it was beautiful. She had a pink dress and blanket, a baby doll, a pair of shoes, and pictures of our family while we were pregnant. So many people sent flowers that it was breathtaking. And so many people came. It was bitterly cold at the graveside and there were all these people. The absolute hardest day of my life and I felt so, so much love from our family and our friends. Thank you, thank you, for coming, for loving us, for praying for us. My heart will never never forget.
I've had a hard time finding God and His will. It just seems so pointless that she had to leave us. But Mark has been a rock for me and is helping me to find God in this and through this. He reminds me of little things that were part of God's plan to take care of us and hold us through our pain. He said, "Gracie's in heaven now and doesn't need anything. God's not worried about her. He's worried about us, He has His hands around us." We told Jonathan that Gracie was gone and he said, "She went to live in heaven with Jesus? Cool." The faith of a 3 year old child. The perfect, unfailing, unwavering faith. It is something to strive for.
We are slowly, slowly moving through this. I don't think that this hurt will ever go away. Those pieces of my heart went with her and I won't see them again until I am in heaven and can hold her again. I do know, though, that God has a plan for our lives. I am holding on to that promise. I want to seek His will and His plan for us. I just don't know what that is right now.
I finally downloaded all the pictures of her from the camera tonight. I wish you could have seen her, she is beautiful. She has Jonathan's nose, and what a cute nose it is. I miss her every day. I miss her kicks and the little bit of her personality that we got to experience while she was in my tummy. From the first ultrasound, she was a mover. We said she was going to be the Dancing Queen next to Jonathan's Dancing King. I mourn for the fact that I will never get to see her dance, never see her run and play, sing, cry, play with Jonathan, give kisses, smile, or grow up.
Thank you for being a part of our family. For sending flowers, food, cards, emails, love, prayers, thoughts. They are all appreciated so deeply. I never expected such an outpouring of love. It really has helped heal my soul. Please do continue to remember us in your prayers. Two weeks later, we are doing some better. But we are not whole. Each day is a struggle of it's own. Jonathan brings us so much happiness. But there is a sadness of knowing that she is not here to share in that happiness. Pray that we can remember her without becoming consumed by the sadness. Pray that our hearts can heal. Pray that we can find happiness and joy again. Pray that this time will help us to grow stronger as a couple, and as a family. Pray that God will reveal His will for our lives to us and guide us on the true path for our lives.
December is always a busy month for us. In the midst of all this was Jonathan's 3rd birthday party and today was his actual birthday. My sweet baby boy is three years old. My heart is full of thankfulness for the gift that he is and will be. God truly heard our prayers with regards to Jonathan. Three years ago we were so scared and afraid when we learned of his birth problems. Now we can see just how wonderful he is. How God has and is healing his body. How far we have come. It gives me hope to know that God will help us in this storm as well. That he will bring us through it and above it for his glory. Thank you for always remembering Jonathan in your prayers. God hears them all.
Christmas is in just a few days. This year will be so different than what I had planned or hoped for. But I do hope that we can make it a happy one, that we can remember another baby, Jesus, that came to free us from our sins. Another mother who knew that one day her son would have to die as well. And we will make it happy for our Jonathan.
Hopefully I will feel like making another post before too long. I want to share about Jonathan's birthday and Christmas. The happy things are just so important right now. Thank you for reading our story, for being with us, for remembering us. We will remember you and your family and pray that each of you has a very Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year.
The Sanctity of Life - part 2
3 weeks ago