OK, this is gonna be a long one, a really long one. So grab a cup of coffee & put your feet up. Where to begin?
How about September 16th 2008....that's when I met her.
Oh she was so small & perfect, sure she had her "owwies" but I loved her all the same. I only was allowed to hold her close to me for a short time before having to let go of her forever. Or at least til we met again in Heaven. I studied & memorized every detail I could. Her tiny little feet, her pouty red lips, & even her little tooshie =)
She was beautiful, my little girl.
Fast forward three years later, & I can't celebrate my Hannah. Not the way I'm used to, the way our family does. Some people think me strange for celebrating her "birthday" & honestly I'm really not concerned with what others think on the subject. She is my daughter after all & I love her no less then my other children. Every year since Hannah's death my family gets together & goes to the cemetery with balloons & decorations in hand. We leave a few special balloons for her & fancy up her marker. Then we have another set of balloons to decorate & send to Heaven.
After, we celebrate Hannah girl with an OREO ice cream cake....mmmmmm. This year however, I began leading the Pregnancy Loss Bible Study at church. Guess what the date of the first day of the study was???
That was rough, I so very much wanted to just bail & run. I wanted to go "see" my daughter & love on her & ask God to give her all sorts of kisses from Mama. But I had a responsibility & it was important. So there was a good measure of guilt when we went the following day, but that's OK. God's grace is sufficient & we made it through another celebration. One thing that left our hearts a bit sad was the confusion at the end of the whole thing. We always release our balloons one by one & this year I asked if everyone wanted to release them together. It appeared we were in agreement but it turns out The Hubby wasn't. However, he didn't want to upset me so he said nothing. Oh well... =(
Before the balloons were released the younger girls ribbons got tangled & my little monkeys' slipped out of her hand. She was so upset & began crying, in my haste to comfort her I said it's okay, we'll all let ours go now.
BAD IDEA...now we were all down in the mouth. See we have that special little moment with Hannah before letting go of the balloon.
Sometimes it's just plain hard & this time it felt almost like losing her all over again.
All because of a stupid balloon.
The rest of the day was hard & I was struggling with guilt & anger. I was remembering all this pain & anguish. All the "whys" were flooding back in & feelings were rising up. I wanted to scream & cry, it just wasn't fair. Part of me was getting that familiar feeling of bitterness & cynicism. It's a slippery slope, & very easy to fall down in that dark chasm. Thankfully, I have people in my life that help me process these emotions & move through them. Thankfully I have a God who is patient & loves me through anger & questioning.
Then He reminds me of His grace...
September 16th 2011 I ached for my daughter in Heaven & two weeks later it looked as though God may take her baby sister to be with Him as well. I walked into my little mucnhkins room after her nap & she gazed at me through the rails of her crib. Sweet little thing looked so exhausted, she was getting over a bout with the stomach flu so I wasn't surprised that she wasn't real chipper. I was a little perplexed that she let me walk out of the room for an outfit to dress her in. She normally doesn't let me out of her sight after nap time but again I figured she was just out of sorts. When I got munchkin on the changing table I was somewhat concerned at her behavior. She just wasn't "right" I sat her up & she tipped a bit before up righting herself. I laid her back down & asked her to touch her nose which she did but then wouldn't show me anything else..eyes, ears, toes, etc. I stood her on the floor & she took two steps up & reached her for me so at this point I'm questioning myself & wanting to believe she's just really really tired. When I got her back on the changing table though she was acting lethargic & her arms were flopping down when I picked them up.
At this point I called 911 & explained the situation, I then called my husbands company & let them know our daughter would be going to the ER. Now mind you during these phone calls my sweet babe was getting progressively worse. She began shutting her eyes & wouldn't respond to me at all.
That's when the screaming began.
I can't tell you the terror of seeing what you think may be your child slipping away. I had no clear thought as to why this could be happening, all I knew was her eyes were glazed over & far away & as I screamed her name while 2 inches from her she continued closing her beautiful eyes. All I remember was screaming to her & screaming "please God, please please" At some point I called my sister hysterically & left a message which I assume was disturbing. Within minutes paramedics were in my house & one of them was telling me to calm down, I then continued my hysteria by screaming at them. However, his being calm did help for the moment. He told me to change her diaper then get the kids together to meet him & the baby downstairs in the ambulance.
Ever have that surreal feeling? Like you're in a movie & none of this can really be happening, everything is moving in slow motion? I thought that was just some dramatic thing people said. It's not.
That's how it felt when I walked past the ambulance & saw my baby girl laying there. All flopped in the stretcher barely coherent being poked at with needles. She didn't even care. I was terrified & felt so helpless. My sister pulled up & took my girls in the house for me as I went with my daughter to the ER. By the way, did you know that ambulances aren't like in the movies either? Family doesn't sit in the back with their loved one. No they sit in front & can't see a thing, nothing. All I knew was my munchkin was being frighteningly quiet. Shouldn't she fuss at least a little bit?? I was told her blood sugar was low, 30 to be exact & they need to get an IV in her to bring her back to a normal level.
Terrible things run through your mind when there's nothing to do but think. The paramedic that was taking care of her kept talking to me. Telling me he understood because he had four kids..*smile at the hysterical lady* I know he was trying to keep me calm which only scared me more because I was sure something was very wrong if he was being so assuring. Finally I asked if she was OK & he answered "she's stable" & that just freaked me out more. I know what "stable" means. It means things are alright for now but that doesn't mean it'll stay that way. I've seen enough hospital television dramas to know that (that was my weak attempt at a joke)
I think he could see he wasn't helping so then he told me "she'll be OK, I promise" I looked him dead in the eye & said "I'm trusting you" & he understood. Once we got to the hospital nurses were buzzing all over her. The heart monitor was put on & vitals were taken. They kept asking me questions I couldn't answer, I couldn't think. The one & only thing on my mind was "please God, please" They asked me some question & I went blank, I cried & said I didn't know what day it was. My Hubby came & put his arms around me & I'm sure he said sweet things but I can't remember.
It took about an hour & she started to perk up some, she began drinking juice & wanted to eat. The best thing is when the nurse came in to check on her & she wailed like a banshee. That was the most wonderful cry I'd heard since she was born.
We stayed overnight & it was then I found out the gravity of the situation we'd just endured. We were told that her sugar wasn't low long enough to cause brain damage but had we not brought her in it could have. We were told she could have had seizures & slipped into a coma. I was told that I moved fast & that was very good. Up to that point I questioned whether I was over reacting & now I'm glad for the choices I made.
Looking back on that morning I can see God's hand & how He arranged things. Whenever my little girl gets up from a nap she is in one of two moods. Either super clingy or super ticked. It's rare that she smiles sweetly & runs off to play. So when I heard her squeaking in the room my brain went into hyper mode of all the things that had to get done & how long I had to do it. I figured I had 15 minutes tops to do some dishes, wipe the counters, & peel potatoes. But for some out of the norm reason I thought I needed to pick up my princess.
That was the nudging of the Spirit.
Then there was the 911 call. Normally I would of called my husband first to get his input. I know a lot of people think why wait? Why not just go with you're gut? Simply put, when I'm running on emotions I can't think clearly & don't always make the best decisions. I don't think I'm the only woman in that category.
Can I get an Amen??
But in this case I didn't call him & instead called for help, something I wouldn't ordinarily do. Again, the Spirit.
At this point we're not real certain why any of this occurred. It's likely my baby was just not getting enough glucose in her diet because of her lack of appetite. It was the first time I've experienced this with a sick child, I didn't know the sugar could drop so drastically or so quickly. During our overnight stay some other tests were run but most of them have already come back favorable.
So how do these two events tie together?
Well, I had a lot of time to think at the hospital. It wasn't too easy to sleep even though my princess was slumbering peacefully. I just kept staring at her & thinking "why" But this time the bitterness didn't rise up, instead it was gratitude. Instead of thinking "why me God? How could you?" I thought "why me God, THANK YOU"
How many parents don't get to take their child home? Through the loss of my babies I've come to know way too many mothers that left the hospital with empty arms. I'm one of those moms. And through God's grace my daughter came home. Am I saying she was at deaths door? I really can't say, nor will I entertain the thought. All I know is it was dangerous, it was serious, & it was terrifying.
O praise God for His mercy. Praise Him for the blessings we look over daily. For the cries we long to quiet but then ache to hear. Praise him for jelly stained cheeks & sticky fingers. Praise Him for dirty diapers, temper tantrums, & pouty faces.
The Highly Blessed Supermom