Friday, December 18, 2009

an empty stocking

a couple of people have brought to my attention i have not posted anything for awhile. i've had many mixed emotions this holiday season. this christmas was supposed to be the first with our precious son, yet an empty stocking hangs on the mantle. while i'm out shopping for christmas gifts, i realize there is no need for me to head down the aisle that has toys for a 1-year-old. i walk by the display of "baby's first christmas" onesies and my heart breaks in a million pieces before i run out of the store. so maybe my blog silence has been part me sparing you from sad thoughts during christmas and part me not wanting to put my feelings out in the blogosphere.

i have been doing a lot of writing though, private journal writing to go along with a bible study i started with 2 other women who have lost infants. we are going through the book/study "grieving the child i never knew" by kathe wunnenberg. so far it has been really insightful and i enjoy diving into the questions at the end of each section. if you have lost a child through infant death, stillborn or miscarriage, i highly recommend it. each week contains 5 lessons that take between 15-30 minutes to do. i heard about this study through my counselor and after my study at church concluded i decided to dive right in so i could complete the 8-week study well in advance of our baby arriving. while many parents spend time preparing a nursery for the arrival of their child, i am focusing on God's word to help me further process the death of our son, so that i can be as prepared as i can be for this new sweet baby we will bring home.

speaking of a new baby, i wanted to address something here on this blog that has been on my mind since i got pregnant. a few months after losing matthew, someone at work told me the only thing that was going to make me "better" was to get pregnant again. in case anyone was thinking this same thing or wondering if it is true, i can 100% tell you that it is not. having 6 more babies isn't going to get me "better" or over losing our son. the fact is that we lost our first-born, precious son and no child will ever replace matthew phillip.

being pregnant will never make the ache and longing for matthew go away. i can still remember what it felt like to hold him for the first time ever at the funeral home. i remember his tiny lifeless body and wishing so much he would open his eyes and look at me. i can remember the tears we shed saying goodbye to him for the last time. the heartache you feel for a child you have buried will never go away.

please do not get my wrong, i am so thankful for this miracle baby that grows inside of me and cannot wait to meet our 'lil bug. i feel incredibly blessed that everything is going so smoothly during this pregnancy. and i can guarantee you we will love this child as much as we loved matthew phillip. but we're not looking for this child to replace matthew, nor did we ever think that being pregnant again would make us "better." what being pregnant has done, however, is to remind me that the Lord has not abandoned us in our desire to have more children. after we lost matthew, ken never really had doubts that we would have more children. however, i sometimes felt like God had decided that we would not be blessed with children and that in this category of life, i would just have heartbreak. i can't tell you that i am at 100% in believing that God will give us more children. i just pray for this desire every day. i probably won't fully believe this until i am holding that sweet baby in my arms.
there's no getting over the death of your child. there's nothing that will make it "better", not even other children. there is acceptance and moving forward, and that's what we're working towards.
ken and i have decided to stay in maryland for the holidays. we just weren't up for a big holiday celebration with family and wanted to stay close by my doctor. both of our families live in rural areas and we were not exactly comfortable with the medical care available if anything happened. assuming all continues to go well with my pregnancy, we will be traveling to austin on jan. 5 for matthew's first birthday celebration on jan. 6. i will do a separate post on this later to tell you all about it.
in case i don't get on here and write another post before christmas, we wish you all a very blessed christmas. hug those you love a little tighter this year. may you experience christ's birth in a new and refreshing way this year.

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