I haven't posted in months. I know. Because it wasn't important anymore. Since Emelia joined our lives, well, they have changed drastically. Not because of her, but in spite of her really. I don't have the energy for a long, long post tonight, but finally, I must write, no matter how long it takes.
This has been the hardest 6 months of my life. Adjusting to Emelia was fine, good, great even. She was a dream baby. Full-term, slept through the night by 6 weeks, smiling, very content, so happy. She was just wonderful. (Still is actually.) But about the time she was 6 weeks old, our lives were flipped upside down, and they just kept flipping. Andrew learned on June 26th that the station he worked for was closing. Like that day. Talk about no warning. He was offered 2 more months of work (with a bonus as incentive to stay those 2 months) as well as severance, insurance, and more for quite a while. And while we were thankful he had those two months when others only had the 1 day, we suddenly knew life WAS going to change. We had no choice in the matter.
Then, the end of July, just after my birthday, we were going camping for the weekend with Andrew's sister and her husband, and we were running late, as usual when we're going someplace for a few days, and I had to run to the grocery store for syrup because I had spaced that out before. I pulled onto the street, 4 lanes, 5 really, 2 going both ways with a turn lane in between. I moved into the middle lane and realized the car in the other lane had stopped for someone in the crosswalk, so I stopped too. And looked in my rearview mirror, just in time to see a car switch lanes and be behind me, and they weren't stopping. I was rear-ended. The jolt of the impact sent me forward way past the intersection. Thankfully the pedestrians were not in front of my car. Praise God. But I freaked. I pulled into a parking lot and desperately tried to find my phone as I got out of the car crying. Because Emelia was in the back seat. I was so scared. She was crying, because she was scared I assume, but she was fine. I was fine. There was a cop driving by that the other driver (a very elderly WWII vet) flagged down. I got ahold of Andrew and he came with Levi. Praise God Levi wasn't with me. He would have freaked too I'm sure.
Long story short? Our car was totaled, we spent several weeks with a tiny rental, trying desperately to find a new vehicle we could afford while dealing with the insurance and estimates and checks and new carseats and ugh. It was a nightmare to me. It could have been HUGELY worse. The other party's insurance covered everything, including x-rays and carseat and a new/used van, even giving us more than we had originally paid for our car. But it was stressful, and physically painful. And in the process our house was being reroofed by volunteers from the church. Off and on for weeks, almost months. My kids were being woken from naps by pounding and shaking. Men were outside my windows every day.
Oh, and Emelia started teething at 3 months old. By her 3month birthday she had 2 bottom teeth. CRAZY. She was so good, but fairly fussy and we didn't know why.
And then, Levi got sick. I mean like puking sick. Off and on so randomly. Then he was better. But it was by then the end of August and Andrew was done working. And he didn't have a new job. Now, he was getting severance, but we were both stressed. So we decided to go camping. Family time you know? Except Levi kept puking, and pooping, and feeling generally horrible. The day at the campsite was NOT fun. We finally packed up after one day and night and drove home at 10pm. Not good. Dr.'s visits and ER visits and he'd be fine for a week and then randomly puke again. It was awful. No answers other than a bad bug that just wasn't working it's way out fast enough. No tests showed anything wrong.
By this time it's September, and I was losing it. I mean really losing it. Like can hardly make dinner and get my children alive through the day. It was awful. I didn't recognize the depression at the time. Looking back it just seems like "huh, that wasn't fun" but at the time, it felt like our entire world was falling apart. And our marriage? Oh man, not good. This is where you don't get details, except to say it wasn't good.
So not good that I was at my wit's end. I didn't know what else to do, other than leave, but I knew that wasn't the answer. But it hurt so much to keep living my daily reality. I honestly was just tossing up which would hurt worse.
We had our home group from church one Thursday night, and some things happened that day and that evening that made me so upset with my husband. So much so that we came home and got our kids to bed and had it out. I mean OUT. I've never seen either one of us like that. But it was needed. Sort of a "Wow we both realizes this sucks and we're hurt and we're angry so what's going to happen?". Your move Bobby. (chess reference from my youth, don't ask me why) And I was honest, with myself, with my husband. And he called our pastor, and set up an appointment for the next day. I was so angry and sad still I could barely sleep or deal the next day. But we went, and got help. And are continueing to get help. God is picking us out of the miry clay.
Oh, and ironically, Andrew's truck died this fall too. The same week we ALL got the stomach flu, BAD. So new car again. Praise God for that bonus paycheck. New/Used vehicle shopping was getting old, but once again God guided us.
A friend asked me once this fall if sometimes I just felt like screaming. And the answer was "Yes, but what good would it do?" It almost felt like God was using a huge REDO card on us. Just wiping everything clean to start over. And frankly, maybe we needed it. I did sort of wonder if our house was going to burn down at some point though.
For the first time in a long time, I have hope for the future. Yes, I talked to my pastor and then saw my Dr. about my post-partum depression. I never thought that would be me, but between being post-partum and everything falling to pieces in our lives, I needed help. And it did help. It helped me sleep, something I don't think I had done well in months, and help me be excited about the day, about life. About living it.
But above all my hope is in God. He alone can bring us forth from the darkness.
And so we're here, December 8th, almost 9th actually. And I'm crying tears of overwhelming sadness. Because it hit me today. I missed it. The date in November, when I lost my baby. And I frankly don't even remember what the actual date is without looking. In some ways, this means I've healed. That I am and have moved past it. I don't think you ever "get over" it, but you can move past it. To where sorrow doesn't consume you.
But I'm crying, because I didn't mourn on that day. I forgot. And I'm angry I forgot. I never want to forget my babies. My 3 children who are with Jesus. Where there is no pain, no sorrow, and where there is no night.
And it's December, and this time of year always makes me cry. Ever since Levi was born. I remember those days, those days of waiting for his birth, and those incredibly lonely days after his birth. Of sitting in the NICU and just not wanting it to be real. To not want to be the Momma of a preemie, but to just pretend he would go home and we'd be fine. To hope against what would be the reality of several years of carefullness because he was so fragile, his lungs just not up to par. Even now when he coughs I cringe, waiting. The lonliness of that time can overwhelm me if I let it. The pure sleep-deprived willing myself to carry on emotions that threatened to overtake me. The memory of sobbing my eyes out in my car with my Dad because I didn't have the energy to drive myself back to the hospital by myself. It all comes rushing back and blindsides me when I'm not looking.
And so I sit here tonight crying. Remembering, and mourning again. Not wallowing, but letting myself return to those moments. With my newborn tiny son in the NICU. To that Saturday night after passing my baby, making my husband be the one to...To those days around Levi's 1st Birthday, loving and celebrating him, and mourning the baby we lost. Even to that June day when we lost 2 more babies. It all aches in me. And the ache spreads to the hurts in our marriage. The repair that is still being processed. The years of hurt and sorrow, and the years ahead of sheer work.
And then there was this song, "stumbled upon" as I started to write this post.
And God overwhelmed me. In a huge way. In these past 6 months, I have felt lost. From my God and my Savior. I've never questioned His sovereignty, I've even seen His blessings in my husband's life and changes and attitude. In the amazing way my sweet baby girl is so "Easy". In a new friend, a dear kindred spirit of a best friend who I never expected, but who has walked along with me as we go through our own valleys. And carried each other along the way at times. In providing us with the resources for 2 new/used vehicles. In so many things. In our son finally going several weeks without puking. But even while acknowledging God's blessings and sovereignty, I was still going "THIS HURTS GOD!!!" Screaming it, obviously. But He's still God, patiently waiting for me to realize my finite mind will never comprehend. Because if it could, if I could plan it, His Son would never have been sent to Earth. There had to be a better way right? But "oh, the glory of it all".
So I'm humbled, and this Christmas season I'm making progress. I'm ready to celebrate more than just a 3-year old's birthday, to celebrate more than just presents and a fun time with family and friends. I'm ready to let go. To let God heal my heart. To let God handle the whole picture. Because I just don't. And I'm sure I don't really want to.
Christmas isn't just the beginning of the story. It IS the story. Because as this song says
"Oh, the glory of it all
Is He came here
For the rescue of us all
That we may live
For the glory of it all"
There's the purpose in Christmas. The Babe who was Jesus was born, For the glory of it all. It would lead to the cross, and our redemption, but it was about Christmas too. The hope of the redemption to come.
So my heart needs to heal. I need to give forgiveness, and to beg for it. I need to mourn and remember, but to be thankful. Because there are lyrics in that song that get it so right:
"All is lost
Find Him there
Find Him there
Dawn is there
Dawn is there
And after all
I've been through so much night, but He was there. It's all fallen apart, many times over, but He repairs. And I'm so glad.
"Oh, everything will change
Things will never be the same
(We will never be the same)"
We will never be the same. Praise God. For the Glory of it all.