Will

[Site Creator’s Note: this is a compilation of posts clipped together]

Told by: Amy

The peace that the Lord grants does not announce itself.  In the depths of despair, you can’t feel it coming.  In times like those, you have to remind yourself that the Truth isn’t what it seems.  The truth is, God cares.  The truth is, God has a plan.  The truth is, God will carry you through.  While our heart is screaming, “IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!!!!  WHY DID YOU DO THIS?!?  ARE YOU PUNISHING ME?!?” somewhere in our head, our will? through sheer determination, we say, “This is under control.  God is on the job.  It’s going to be ok.  Good will come of this…”  Little by little, our head and our heart get together and the feelings catch up with the knowledge.  In many ways, the cloud of confusion is beginning to lift and I’m beginning to be able to see that, indeed, God is bringing us through.
Yesterday,  I talked with a lady who is the director of a local perinatal hospice.  I had talked with her before, when I was pregnant with the twins.  When she answered, I told her, “I never expected to be calling you up again.”  She told me it actually wasn’t that uncommon for a family to go through this kind of thing more than once.  Oddly, that comforted me some.  She also told me that with the first loss, families tend to lean on God and are able to trust Him and know He’s got a plan.  With the second, however, the families tend to be angry.  I can say, that is how it has been for me.  With Charity, there was always an underlying sweetness and peace.  This time, I got angry.  May as well be honest about it.  It’s not as if I fooled God.  I imagine that the anger will cycle through a few times, but,
right this moment, I can feel God’s peace begin to settle in around me, and I can feel Him again.
His body, the Church, is a beautiful thing.  We have been so blessed by our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Notes, calls, flowers, dinner…on and on.  And especially the prayers.  I know it’s hard when you feel like you can do nothing for someone who’s hurting, but never
underestimate the value of praying.  It really means a lot.  And it works.

~~~

After exploring options and feelings/leanings, we decided we would go to
Vanderbilt University to induce.  I’ve never used pain meds in labor, but this
time, I knew I wanted some.  With so much emotional pain, I just could not cope
with the thought of a very intense labor.

From the moment we arrived at labor and delivery, it was obvious that the Lord
had gone before us.  *Everyone* treated us with such respect.  No one pressured
us about anything.  They accomodated our children’s visits (even though we
exceeded their visitor limit).

~~~

Around 6:30 a.m., Thursday, May 20, I woke up in the hospital bed at Vanderbilt
University.  The epidural had allowed me to sleep during the night (albeit,
brokenly).  I realized upon waking, that I was feeling an odd new sensation.  I suspected Will was about to be born.  Kathy looked and didn’t see anything at first.  She asked the doc to come in.  Before the doctor came in, I *knew*…Will was coming…right *then*.  The doctor barely swooped into the room in time to gently help him out.  We wanted to be very careful with his body, as it was becoming very fragile.  It had been nearly a week since he
died.
As I lay there, it seemed like 4 or 5 hours (it was really just a couple minutes) until I was able to see my son.  My eyes roamed from Reid’s face to Annie’s, trying to glean any information about my boy.
The doctor (nurse?) carefully wrapped his body in a blanket and placed a tiny hat on his
head.  Someone handed Will to Reid, and then Reid held the baby so I could see
him.  After a few moments, he handed Will to me.
How the tears flowed.
I had told one of the children the night before, “Right now, we’re only going to deal with the physical.  I can’t handle dealing with both physical and emotional at the same time.”  I was referring to coping with labor and delivery.

There, on Thursday morning, holding my precious stillborn son, it was time to deal with the emotional.  I stared into Reid’s eyes, silently asking that question that just keeps coming up through all this:  “How do we go on?”

~~~

I had been a little concerned about Adam and Hannah’s reaction to Will’s body.
Obviously, he looked different from a healthy, full term newborn.  His skin was dark and his baby skin was beginning to peel a bit.
I shouldn’t have worried.
Hannah and Adam both just accepted their baby brother.  They held him and loved them, smiling into his little still face.  So precious.

~~~

All too soon, we had to relinquish Will’s tiny body to the nurse.  This was not the decision of the hospital staff–they didn’t rush him off–but it was obvious that we had to let his body go.
The moment the nurse left the room with Will, tears burst forth again.
We sat quietly for a few minutes.

Sometime in there, the doctor came in to talk about discharge.  She stated that
I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted, but also I was free to go.

Once I could toddle around some, I changed clothes and put on my shoes.  We
gathered our things and signed papers.Our nurse, Hannah :-), brought a
wheelchair for me.  Kathy had left to get the car to meet us at the front of the hospital.

Finally, we rolled into the lobby/waiting room area of the hospital.  There were people from wall to wall.  It was loud–t.v.’s blaring, children crying and laughing…people talking, cell phones ringing.
I thought, “Don’t you all know my baby just died?”  Then, I realized, “Some of these people are going through hard times, too.”  There is plenty of hurt and pain to go around.  We need each other.  We must “bear one another’s burdens.”

~~~

[The following day] We arrived at the funeral home around 4:30.  We met Damon, the director.  He was youngish–I guess about our age.  (That’s young, right?  😉  He showed such compassion and care.  Listened to our requests for the service.  Listened to us
tell first about Charity, then about Will.

We set up the service for 2:00 the next day–Sat., May 22.
Something that really ministered to me was the fact that he never called Will “the baby” or “the body.”  Damon always referred to our son as “Will.”  I had never thought about how important that was.  It was very honoring.

~~~

Annie and Meg had each contributed passages that had been a comfort to them since Will died.  It was such a blessing to me to hear all the different voices reading God’s Word.    Deep voices, quiet voices, young voices, Grandma voices, Grandpa voices…strong voices, weak voices…I felt a sense of, “We’re in this together.”
Obviously, the loss was more personal and intense to our family, but to know that others shared that sense of loss–that others hurt with and for us–made the day survivable.

~~~

[The following day] Today was our first day back at our church after losing Will.
So many arms…
So many hugs…
So many shoulders…
So many tears.

Shared burdens.

We are so blessed.

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