Monday, March 19, 2007

Christopher's Story Part II

I scrolled through the archives and realized I never posted part two of our experience after our first son, Christopher died in September 2002. If you haven't been following along, please read part one here: Christopher's Story Part I

Part II

It was two days before my husband's birthday when we said goodbye to our little man. It was so incredibly sad to look at his bruised little body and his perfect little hands that no longer searched for something to grab.

I wanted to stay and bathe Christopher, but my husband wanted to go home. So we just left. There was nothing to talk about, nothing to look forward to, nothing to hope for, there was only an empty space in my heart -my life - that couldn't be filled. I lost interest in everyone and everything. My mom came to visit us in Hawaii for a week, so I put my game face on for her benefit. I remember even going to look at giant sea turtles and beach hopping for her enjoyment. But, on the inside I had died.

My relationships with my mom and husband all but dwindled to nothing. I truly didn't care about anything except how I felt. I didn't even see it as "our" loss ... It was mine. No one understood, no one could penetrate the depression I lived in. I finally went to a psychologist who listened, but couldn't give me what I needed most - a reprieve from the pain. I tried anti-depressants ... didn't work. Nothing worked. In the meantime, my husband paid the bills, cleaned the house and cared for both our needs. I laid in the bed. I didn't believe it was possible to live after this level of complete devastation. This went on for months, but I had my first big breakthrough, in October, about a month after the baby died.

I had been obsessing about having another baby, but husband said he didn't think I was ready. I told him he either needed to give me a baby or give me something else to pour my love into. We finally agreed on a small dog because he refused to budge on the baby issue (I can hardly blame him).

I poured through newspapers and websites in search of the perfect "baby" but all the puppies were always sold out. Just as I gave up hopes of ever finding a dog for less than $1,000 (Hawaii was a real hot spot for pedigree dog sales) a neighbor gave me renewed hope.

Through her, I connected with a cream and gold Shih Tzu named JoJo. He was 9 months old and has been the perfect companion ever since. Once I had a little helpless being to parent, I was able to find just a little motivation to live.

A month later, I nailed a job in a public affairs office which I absolutely loved. I was making a decent income and in December 2002, we were pregnant again. Now I had purpose, direction and thought I might actually survive the pain of the past.

I began Bible studies and a serious quest for Truth. I got involved at church for the first time and my life felt full ... I felt so good. But, five months later, we were burying that baby, too. He was only 25 weeks (I'll share Kasimir's story in a separate post).

Purpose was lost and I was back to square one, or so I thought. God stepped in and in my broken state, He helped me out of that seemingly bottomless valley and slowly began filling the void in my life. My attitudes changed. My marriage changed. My view of self changed. That transformation has continued throughout 2003, 2004 and 2005 when we said farewell to our precious Elyana. In 2006, we published Stolen Angels: 25 Stories of Hope after Pregnancy or Infant Loss - to help hurting parents find hope after a baby has died. This was truly a God-thing!

In 2007, God is doing a new thing in our lives. I stand in awe at His faithfulness and his plan for our lives even when I couldn't have - would never have - chosen the path we had to travel to get to this point in our faith and in our relationship with Him.

If you've read this far ... stay encouraged and know that we may never understand "why" but that isn't the question that matters. Instead ask: "What now?" If you stand firm in your faith, He will show you. Stand firm, stand tall and know that our tests and trials will make us stronger. Like it or not.

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