I don't know if it's because I'm cold and I know how quickly those tiny bodies warm you up, whether they're still inside or snuggled up on your chest.
Maybe it's because today would've marked one month exactly until my due date. I'm sort of dreading January 3rd.
Or maybe it's because when I look around me and see Christmas all around my house, I feel the sting of how different things would've been right now. Actually, Christmas would likely not have been up yet. Or it might've been "in process" for a week or more. But just the other day I got the house all decorated in one fell swoop, probably because I didn't have a swollen belly limiting my mobility. When I stood balancing on the arm of the couch to decorate the tip-top of the tree, I could feel the betrayal of what should have been. I hung up the stockings in their normal places, but this year, the gap in the middle seemed awfully big. I had planned to get Joshua a stocking in case he arrived early, but instead four stockings dangle there. I fought back tears as I hauled all the boxes back downstairs, knowing it would've been Gary's job. My neighbor is due just 2 days before I was and came over while I was hanging garland outside. She said her husband won't let her decorate for Christmas, and like a dummy, I asked why. She's too pregnant. Of course. I couldn't fight the tears, and I think she felt bad, but I was supposed to be too pregnant also. (Um, although I would've decorated to the hilt anyway!)
I sat down at the computer tonight to do a few MOPS things, and before I knew it, I was sifting through emails I received in the days after we learned the news that our baby had died. I don't actually know how long I was reading them before I realized what I was doing. It wasn't until I couldn't read for the tears blurring my vision that I snapped to it and came back to the present. I could read them over and over again though, partly because I'm so touched - still - by how much love we received by our friends and family, and partly because I feel like it's all I have of him - my baby boy. It just still seems so unfair. I have pictures, footprints, handprints, and MY hospital bracelet (he didn't even get one and I just wish he and Gary would have), but those letters and emails from friends is often what affirms to me that this DID happen. It happened to us. We didn't read about it, we went through it. I know that sounds dumb and like I must be losing my mind to even need to type that out, but sometimes it truly feels like I just heard about it happening to someone else or read it in the paper or saw it on the news... when that isn't the case.
Emma was teasing Addie today with the crust from her peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I told her that she just CAN'T do that because Addie is allergic to peanut butter and it's dangerous for her. With the "why" that followed, I explained that Addie could get a bad rash, or make it hard for her to breathe. Well, Emma's smart, and said, "If she stops breathing, she will die! I don't want Addie to die!" I quickly eased her panic and said she won't, that we just need to be careful. She said, "Joshua died already and I don't want Addie to die too. But if she does then she can be with Joshua." I'm not sure if that was supposed to make me feel any better (!), but I just reassured her that Addie isn't going to die. And then I tried not to cry.
I don't feel sad for Joshua, in fact, I'm a little jealous. His little life sure has changed my perspective on heaven, that's for sure. Instead, I'm sad for me and for Gary and my girls, that we never got to know our little Joshua. Someday, baby boy, someday...
- - - - -
Glory Baby, by Watermark
Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…
Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do
Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…
I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…