Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not What I Thought

I was 25 when he died. It was certainly not what I thought I'd be doing at 25- planning my son's funeral.

I'll be 27 in a few months. This is certainly not what I thought I'd be doing at 27, even a year ago...I thought, well, I'll definitely be pregnant again by then...I'll probably even have a living child.

Yesterday marked one year since our second little babe went home to the Lord. Our little chipmunk.

Only 11 more weeks until the day passes when our third little one, our sunshine, should have been born.

And we're still here.

Still taking tests, waiting for the two lines to appear, waiting for the shocked cry and the happy homecoming ribbons stuck on the front door.

It's not what I thought it would be.

Yesterday, sitting in shocked silence, waiting for someone to recognize our babies, we listened to a couple with four (all living) children talk about how they were the only ones in our group with kids and it was different for us who had none...on and on they droned.

My bottom lip quivered, I took a few deep breaths, but didn't say anything. I guess I wondered if anyone would recognize the mistake. I waited for someone to speak up. I waited for my ears to stop ringing and I just sat there. Stunned silence.
Maybe the others were stunned too.

Such a blatant disregard for our babies, our children. So what if they didn't know our babies, so what if they couldn't even remember his name...Owen, our son, existed.

We drove home. More silence. Chris looked over at me and told me that I could let it out, that it was okay.
But it wasn't okay.

It's not okay. I will never be okay when someone ignores their existence. I will never get over them.

My mom called just an hour or so after we made it home. I hadn't cried until she called and asked how I was doing.
I did let it out then. My voice shook and the words stumbled out incoherently. 'Am I supposed to forget him? Am I supposed to ignore the 9 months I had with him? He's real, Mom. He existed and I won't forget him.'

My mom is the strong, silent type. She comes from a long line of strong women who don't show emotion easily, but she is so calming and has the ability to help me see perspective when I need it.
'Of course, you won't forget him. Of course not. You just can't expect people to be the first to mention him or talk about him. They don't know what to say or if you want to talk about him. You'll have to take the lead and do what you want to do. Talk about him the way you want to and don't let others dictate how you live. It's your life.'

It's not what I thought it would be, but she's right- this is my life. The one my Father has given me - the only one I have.


Mrs. MK said...

I am with you! Your mom sounds wonderful!

I want to scream when people, especially people with lots of kids, complain about being pregnant (again!!) like its such a drag.

What also hurts is when others have experienced miscarriage, but for some reason they just don't really take it that hard. My MIL is one of these, and I have a hard time relating to her now. She doesn't understand why I am heartbroken for the two children I will never hold again, and I don't understand how she can't be grieving them as her grandchildren, real people!!!

Anyway, I continue to pray for you and hope that God's peace is yours today!

Rachel said...

Ebe, I'm sorry you had to be in a situation like that. It makes me ANGRY!

Sadly, I used to be one of those people, wanting to make sure my babies were spaced 2-3 years apart and complaining through each pregnancy. Even though you don't know me (in the face to face way), I apologize to you, Ebe, since there's no way I can apologize to all the people I may have hurt with my words and actions. I was pretty self-absorbed. There's a couple at my church now that I don't know well, but since Felicity died, I've eyed them and wondered if they're struggling with infertility issues. I don't even know for sure, but I hurt for them.

Our children DO exist and DO matter, whether we were pregnant for a few weeks or they were born still. They are infinitely precious to us and to God.

I have to tell you to that I appreciate how you talk about your chipmunk and little sunshine in the same way you talk about Owen. So many people, even people who've had miscarriages don't want to talk about it and I'm glad you aren't like that. I refuse to "pretend it didn't happen."

Emily said...

I think that's one of the reasons I got a tattoo. I wanted a visual reminder, and public notice, that I have a son who died.

Sometimes I slip and talk to Matt about "When we have children..." but then I add, "...ya' know, children we get to take home and raise..."

Wendee said...

Remembering and thinking of your Owen, chipmunk, and sunshine today and everyday.

Sarah said...

Ebe, I'm sorry that you found yourself in a situation that caused you even further pain. Sadly, it took me losing my first baby to a miscarriage before I actually started to notice what came out of my mouth. We really have no idea of the hurt we can cause with our words.

But trust me, Owen, chipmunk and sunshine are very much remembered, even by people you have never met personally. I find myself telling all my friends and family about your story and just how moving your blog has been.

sjefferson said...

I hate that people are so unaware. It's unfortunate that it takes things like death and infertility to make you stop and think before you speak. It has really challenged me to be okay with silence and think through what I want to say before I say it.

Ebe, the things people have said to me have also cut me right to the salt on an open wound. Someone very close to us, with two children they conceived immediately, announced to us on Christmas day that they were pregnant. The worst of it was that they said they can now relate to our infertility because they tried for 3 months to concieve their third. I was so shocked by their insensitivity that I was speachless. All that came were tears. I can't relate to loosing a child, but I can relate to the loss of dreams and plans and thinking "this is not what I thought I'd been doing now". For me, this is the hardest part. I'll be praying for you.

Chris said...

I love you and our 3 little precious and forever-loved children.

Anonymous said...

Oh I am so sorry that happened to you. A couple of similar situations like that happened to me following my first miscarriage at 12 weeks. It's just so so hard. People don't think...
Thank you for sharing your story and the stories of your three beautiful children.


Keisha Valentina said...

Ebe, I am so sorry.

I am praying for their hearts to be changed and for their eyes to be opened, to know that it's not just about them.

What is truly loving another person? How far away from it we are when we do not think, when we do not live by the spirit...

Oh Ebe I am sorry. I am weeping and longing with you my friend. For children, for understanding, for hope.

You are loved, heard and understood and your three precious children, always remembered.