Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blessings along the way

Over the course of the past 2 years, I have tried my best to understand why our life story had to include the loss of 2 daughters. The normal (according to books on grief) questions pop into my head. "Was it something I did?" "Is it because I didn't..." Knowing life just happens, the answer to those questions are very clear..."No!" I have had to settle with the fact I will never completely understand the "whys" I have been left with.

There is one "purpose" in this difficult journey I will gladly accept: reaching out to others in similar situations. I have come to realize there are families all around us who know the loss of a child. Actually, it seems like they are everywhere. Is this occurrence on the rise? Or are more people willing to share their loss openly this day and age? I tend to think the later. Whatever the case may be, it is very easy for me to connect with people who have walked a similar path as mine. These are a few connections that come to mind...

*I get regular comments from 2 families (that I am aware of) who lost children years
ago. They both sent letters telling me of their losses. I have met with one on several occasions, listening to her story and talking about the grieving process.

*In March of '07, a coworker told me of a girl in Mississippi who lost her first daughter to a placental abruption within weeks of losing Finley. We have corresponded on several occasions.

*Then there is Blake's family friend, Corey, who battled infertility for years, suffering
miscarriage after miscarriage. She became my sounding board after losing Finley. She was
able to hear all of my feelings and emotions without condemnation or judgement. She allowed me to express my anger, frustration, fear and disappointment because she understood. She was there once again when we lost Caroline.

*There are 2 girls I met at Stallworth who share the the same PAI-1 clotting disorder I have. It was reassuring to hear their plan for future pregnancies was similar to mine.

*There are 2 girls from church that have met with me on multiple occasions. One suffered multiple miscarriages and the other lost a baby shortly after birth. They have taken me to lunch just to talk. They call, email, and bring food. Anything to be supportive.

*There are 2 girls I have met through the blog. They happened upon my story "by
coincidence" and have diligently shared their lives with me, offering continual support.
One lost twin daughters during her first pregnancy. Erin The other lost a little boy around
the same time I lost Finley. She then lost a little girl near Caroline's birth and death. Shellie

*Most recently, I met a girl while waiting for an ultrasound. We had small talk about the the length of our wait. I blamed it on people like me, who had to be worked in. She was a work in as well. We see the same doctor and both love him to death. Then one of us asked the
dreaded question, "Is this your first?" (I think it was me) I am not sure why I asked it
because I hate that question myself. I have to tell the truth and I suppose my response makes
some people uncomfortable. I was surprised when her response was similar to mine. She proceeded to tell me she lost her little boy in March, right after we lost Caroline. Instant connection. Melissa

*And you have met Karen, Chad, Izzy, Max and Kate over the past few weeks. They
have been a source of encouragement during this pregnancy. We have compared notes along
the way. "Is your doctor doing this...? "How far did they tell you the babies would need to be before..."

I received an email this morning letting me know Melissa has been hospitalized. Several of my "blessings" are expecting babies within the next few months: Corey, Shellie and Melissa. All considered high risk pregnancies, they are in my thoughts and prayers throughout each day.

I sit here, 33 weeks pregnant, feeling pretty confident that we will bring home a baby boy within the next few weeks. Yet, there is a tiny part of me that cannot seem to fully believe it will happen. I don't know that I will until I hear him cry or hold him, breathing, in my arms. There is a little voice in the back of my head that knows something could still go wrong. Is it lack of faith? Maybe. Or is it simple acknowledgement of reality? Life happens and sometimes it does not turn out how we planned. It could be a little of both.

Each of my "blessings along the way" know loss well. At this time, they are all hopeful for the future. But there is still the inevitable worry, doubt, anxiety, fear and concern that all will not go as planned. It may not consume their thoughts, as it does not consume mine. But, it is there. I wanted to share these families with you. Just as I have been blessed to know them, I have been blessed by each and every prayer you have lifted on our behalf. I would ask that you remember them in the next few days, weeks and months. I want so desperately for each of our stories to be different this time. If you could pray for them as well I would so appreciate it! I don't think they would mind my asking this of you!


Melissa said...

Thank you for your beautiful reflections and thoughts. You are a blessing to us all, and I cannot thank you enough for your friendship! Take care and may God bless you in the next few weeks-Melissa

Anonymous said...

I sit here and cry after reading this post. I am so sorry for the suffering that ALL of us go through, in one form or another. It just makes me realize that we are not home yet. I think that the tears are just an expression of longing for heaven... longing for a place where we live at peace, the innocent don't suffer, and we know our Lord much deeper than we do now. I am so thankful that one day we WILL be there! Praising God in His perfect paradise with all those who have gone before us. Some days I just can't wait to get there...
we love you and we are praying~

Carla said...

I agree that you have certainly turned your losses into something positive by being able to reach out to people with similiar experiences. You are a wonderful person for that reason! :) I know that you will feel such joy when you get to hold that baby boy! Thinking of you & praying all the time for his safe arrival.

Karen Nikazy said...

I do not think you have a lack of faith in the least - in fact, you have been such an inspiration to those of us who are struggling with faith. You have helped me realize that God does not cause the bad to happen to us, but He gives us the strength to move on. I have no doubt that that precious little boy will be in your arms before long, and that in what someday will seem like the snap of a finger, you will be reunited with your precious angels and be able to spend eternity with all of your angels.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving us the names of those you hold so dear...they will certainly be added to my list of little ones that we are so anxious to meet! Faith is a funny thing....sometimes I feel so close to God and other times I shamefully recognize how far away I've put Him. Over the years, I've grown to understand that He has never left me and those times that I am not as "close", He is working harder than ever to get my attention. What an awesome thing! To know that the Creator of everything wonderful is pulling for me and cheering me on...nothing is more amazing! Sounds like your following in His footsteps. Even through grief, you are pulling for the "underdogs" and cheering them on...beautiful! (No disrespect to the underdogs....I am the leader of that pack!) XOXOXO~ jill

Chad Nikazy said...

You're doing great, Danielle. Hang in there!

- Chad Nikazy

Jennifer said...

I remember having a 20 week ultrasound almost a year to the day after having my 20 week ultrasound for Leah and the Dr. asked me, "Weren't you just here?" He remembered me. I told him that it had been a year and that I had lost that baby. I'll never forget his tender touch on my arm and his words. "I am so sorry about your loss. I understand that you won't be able to fully relax until you have this little one in your arms. That is okay." I just wanted to kiss him! He was the first person, it seemed to me, who really got it. Everyone else wanted to encourage me and to prevent me from thinking about the worst possible outcome. So any time I expressed my fears and doubts, friends and family just minimized them (and me) and assured me that it wouldn't happen again. From my standpoint, having lost Leah at 35 weeks, I realized that I never thought that THAT could happen and now I knew that ANYTHING could happen. Their well wishes and encouraging thoughts, at times, made me feel isolated instead of reassured. It was actually a relief to me to have someone "allow" me to feel anxiety and still call me normal. I'll never forget him. I imagine that you will not feel fully at peace until Baby Malone is out of you and in your arms. But I, like your other readers, am encouraged by your faith and perseverance. I know how hard it is to go on with subsequent pregnancies. I continue to pray for your baby and for you and Blake. I wish, like crazy, it didn't have to be this way for you. You have been faithful and honest with your heart. Thank you for allowing others in. . .

Anonymous said...

dear danielle...praying for you and "your blessings along the way"!!! you young women share a bond and belong to a group that no one wants to be part of and yet so many, many are! i love the way you all support one another, for you each understand the tenderness of heart and yet the ongoing hope that God puts in each human soul. oh ,if the things we learn from heartache could be learned without the hurt and pain...but, alas i have learned over many years that it just isn't that way!! i do know one thing for sure....God doesn't waste anything....the good, the bad or the ugly....we learn so we can help others walk through dark valleys and we suffer so we can have tender compassion on those who suffer in the same way. no nothing is ever wasted!
it's good to question, it's good to ponder....growth in the Lord comes from the highs and lows, the times we just know we have it all figured out...and He shows us how little we really understand and
the times we cry out..."Lord, what is this all about???" and He helps us see and understand, though now only through a glass darkly...but someday....someday...our eyes will be opened and we shall be like Him and all things will make perfect sense...and until that time....we hope and beleive and trust and hang on to the surest Hand there is and we are given the measure of strength and reassurance and faith needed to make it one more step and then at a time! you just keep on resting on the couch and mostly on and in the sufficiency of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is Able...He is Enough...He is Faithful to hold our hearts safely and sweetly in His Ever-loving Goodness and Mercy!He has proved this to me personally, not in the way He has had to prove it to you, but you don't get to be 61 years young and not think your heart couldn't take the hard times in this journey we travel...and yet Know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God...that God.. is a reality and will see us through and bring us out the other side where there is light and hope and grace. That's the side you are resting in....and in just a matter of weeks you will hold your sweet baby boy in your arms, warm and sweet and healthy and God will be there and be glorified!! you just keep have no idea how busy and hectic and fun and exciting this journey of parenthood is going to be. like it's been said..."hold on, it going to be quite a ride!!" know you and blake and your whole family are so ready for your ticket to be punched and the thrill to begin! love you all....the gobbles

Anonymous said...

Im praying everything is going okay. You are all in my prayers.