Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Angels in Heaven

I went to Angie's blog and I started to cry. Let's just get an AMEN that it's 11pm at night and everyone is in bed or else I would have so explaining to do. AMEN!

Some of you that know me know that I have an all-out-there kind of personality. I try to be as open as I can to some extent because what is there to hide really?. Well, I was not prepared to be so vulnerable.

For those of you that do not know, October 15th is the National Day of Remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss. This includes all babies who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other infant death. I was unaware of this date on the calendar as well. Maybe you are thinking why did this get to you? I am a sucker for my blessing from God. I love my babies! When Chris and I were married back in September of 2002 and found out we were pregnant Halloween 2002, I was stoked! We couldn't wait to get started on enlarging the family. Then we found out we were preggers with number two 8.5 weeks into the pregnancy and were excited as well.

At this point Daddy was in anesthesia school when Tay was born and we were living down in Spring Hill which was a massive amount of time on the road for him. We were trying to make my stay at home business work (which was actually causing us to go into debt, but that is another post) and swallow the reality of him gone a lot with me home with two babies under the age of two. Looking back, I can totally see God's hand carrying us the entire way. Our marriage got stronger as we leaned on Him to hold us and to care for us. We had an amazing family living across the street from us and they quickly became our friends and helped us keep our sanity. We also had a good amount of family help as well. Don't get me wrong, I would not change a thing! I love having my children close in age and these times in Spring Hill will always be dear to my heart.

While all this was going on, we found out we were pregnant again with our third child in early September 2005. I was having some female issues and called my OB/GYN's office to speak to a nurse I had known for quite a while. She advised me to take a test if I had one lying around (again, if you know me...they are always around). I did and it was positive. My heart sank. I didn't know whether to cry or laugh. I ended up doing both. This was the first and only time I didn't tell Daddy. I kept it a secret because on so many levels this was the one more thing he didn't need on his plate. I shuttled both children in the double stroller into the ultrasound room and much to my wondering eyes did appear, but a baby with a heartbeat. Now my wondering ears didn't have to wonder any more because right next to them were two small little babies age 9 months and age 26 months talking and caring on. Tay and the soon-to-be baby were going to be 16 months apart the tech said. I didn't know what to do at this point. We were so financially strapped, yet God had a plan I kept telling myself.

So, what do I do...pray. I strolled the new photo of the baby and my two other ones out the door and to the car. Then I decided to call Daddy. We met at a close by fast food joint he hopped in my car and I handed him the pictures. I figure at this point it's better than telling him. Let the pictures to the talking. I can remember sitting in the car in silence. God has a plan. We have faith, so let's just keep praying and we'll save the freaking out for later. We begin to start embracing this new baby and plan ahead for what the future will hold for our new & quickly growing family.

Away we go into the next week and something isn't right. I feel different all of a sudden. People can ask if you know you are pregnant. I always say no/yes. Somethings just different. I was experiencing a different kind of feeling. One would liken it to a grandfather clock that just stops ticking. Everything just felt off. Like all the parts don't have a job to do anymore. Very empty.

I made an appointment to see the Dr. again for a check-up. All four of us go this time. I lay on the table and await the sound of the baby's heartbeat. Still waiting. The Dr. says that by this stage of the pregnancy, we should hear the heartbeat externally. My heart starts skipping beats. I feel it racing. What's wrong? Oh, it's just worrying for nothing. Surely. He tells us to go and have an ultrasound done for this might still be to early.

I do believe we had the most insensitive ultrasound tech in the building. She would not let us look at the monitor and was way to quiet. I was trying to occupy my thoughts with talking to the kids and Daddy. Finally, I give Daddy a look to let me know what's going on. He looks at the monitor and has a very sad look in his eye. I will never forget that look. One of hope that is fleeting. I hope to never see that look again.

The tech finally shared the news that our baby did not have a heartbeat. I now know what I had felt that day in those moments were the peaceful moments of our baby ascending into heaven to meet Our Father. The baby's physical body was left behind in me to serve as a reminder of his/her time here on earth, yet his/her spirit was now in heaven. Those moments there on the table, changing back into my clothes, going back to the Dr.'s office, trying/not trying to listen to him speak of a d&c, walking to the car, getting into the car, and the drive home were the hardest moments for me. Forget previous episodes in my life...this topped those.

One of my dearest friends, April, and I were discussing the conversation we had in the car after my news. It is seared into our brains. We share a common bond and one day if she blessed me to share the story of her sweet Molly's journey to heaven I will. It is a very powerful one.

Daddy and I spoke of having our baby the natural way and in God's time because we felt that is what He wanted us to do. The Dr.'s office called us and said that we needed to make an appointment, yet again we sat at our dinning room table and said that we were going to not take that option. You know when you feel God tugging at your heart strings like he is playing a harp...well that was what was leading me to stay strong on the outside while the inside was falling apart. I was wanting to have that baby. We were wanting that baby. We had come to peace with adding a baby to our mix in April. Now, it was September 23rd and we are looking to give birth at 10 weeks. What did I do wrong? Why this? Why now? Faith. That's why. As Angie has told me, "God is for me. Not against me."

On the following morning, September 24, 2005, I woke with my bed sheets red. I rushed into the bathroom while everyone was asleep and gave birth to my third child. Daddy soon woke up. We looked at the placenta which was amazingly beautiful. Such rich colors. The umbilical cord was a rainbow of wondrous colors. But the most awesome of sights was our baby. Baby Angel was perfect. Daddy dropped to his knees in awe and wonder with tears in his eyes and down his checks. The baby made the moment real. You know when you see things on a screen and/or in pictures...they don't seem real. It's like a soap opera. It's not real. Well, this is what we needed to make it real. God knew that we needed this. Not every family does, and if you had a d&c, I am not discounting your experience. God knows your needs are different than mine. Our families are different. This is what we needed.

I will spare you any other details other than we hadn't told our families the news until later. Daddy's sister was getting married the following weekend and her bridal shower was that day, so we pulled ourselves together and pretended we were fine as to not take anything away from her special day. We later informed the families and it wasn't mentioned further. Sometimes it's hard to bring up subjects that make people uncomfortable. Death isn't pretty. It's hard and hard isn't good conversation.

One happy note: Whenever we see white butterflies, they serve as a reminder of our baby angel. One day, I was praying to the Lord, letting him know that I believe we are all the better for having baby angel in our life and just then the most beautiful white butterfly flew up around the window I was sitting next to. The window isn't covered with flowers...actually we don't have any flowers in our yard. Just started crying and truly felt God's presence all around me. I really believe that he sends messages to those that are looking for one. I am a big believer in signs...and not like the krispy kreme hot-now signs (although, at one point I did think that was a great sign). My mom use to tell me that God can't call you on the phone, nor send a postcard, so you have to listen closely and keep your eyes open. Well, that was all the sign I needed that day that baby angel is doing great and that he/she watches over us until we meet him/her in heaven. Boo was playing in the yard a while back with Daddy & Tay and he came in to tell me that baby angel was playing baseball with him. I looked quickly up to Daddy and he nodded his head at me. He said, "Sure enough, a white butterfly (baby angel) was flying around us while we were playing." God is good. He is for me and my family and all who believe.

October 16, 1999 is another day that is one to remember for the Amick side of the family. My dear sweet grandmother, Dorris Amick, better known as Baca went to be by her Father's side. It is hard to fathom my mother has been without her mother here on earth for 9 years. I really don't know what I'd do without my mother. It's been hard enough to not have my grandmother. She was always one to make us laugh. My brother, my cousin and myself are all better for having her in our lives.

Thank you Baca for teaching me that it's okay to wear two different shoes with two different size heals at the same time as long as they are the same shade of black, to try getting out of a car with my seat belt still attached, to flip words around in a sentence and make it sound correct, and one of our favorite greet your neighbor with a burp as you pass them on the street. I can see you now making your slim fast shake with real ice cream just to make it taste better. :)


bethology said...

Even though you've shared this story with me before, it still made me cry as if I'd never heard it. I know God has Baby Angel in heaven and you ABSOLUTELY WILL see him/her again one day in flawless form. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story.


Kim said...

Brooks - I love how honest you are. Thank you for sharing your story with blogland. It really touched my heart and the power of God in all our lives. Thanks for that reminder.

Jennifer said...

I can remember like it was yesterday when you lost your baby. I prayed for you to heal emotionally. I prayed that I would never have to experience what you were going through. And I prayed even harder that if I did ever experience the loss of a child, God would grant me the strength to handle it with 1/2 of the love and grace in which the Reids did. I love you and miss you. Jennifer