The emotions and thought-processes come in waves.
There are moments throughout the day when I experience total denial. The doctors are wrong. They're just… wrong. I think things like: things like this just don't happen to us. This is a mistake. The whole idea that, for the rest of my life, I am going to be one of those people who've lost a child seems too surreal to be true. We have had the name Avonlea picked out since before we were married. Of course we're going to have an Avonlea to call by name… Why would the Lord make it so that we wouldn't have an Avonlea? Really, He wouldn't do that...
Then it hits me: we're not going to have a daughter to call Avonlea. This name that we've swooned over, spoke of in whispers in reference to this futuristic, hypothetical little person, and kept secret for close to five years… it will finally have a face, an identity. But we will never get to call it out when we hear suspicious noises coming from her room or when dinner is ready. And when this realization hits, it hits hard. For the rest of our lives, when we say her name out loud, it will be in association with someone who has died… it will be a sad name instead of a happy one. We really ARE going to be one of those couples who've lost a child. How is this us?
There are other moments when I'm overcome with a different kind of denial, as well. It must be a subconscious defense-mechanism: I forget how badly we want her, our Avonlea. For a split-second, all of the planning, prayer and desire that went into her creation, all of the joy shared over her coming… it fades and is replaced with a twisted feeling of apathy. It's going to be ok, I think. We're going to have her and she's going to die. Its going to be horrible, but we'll get through it. We'll mourn her, but we WILL move on. We'll try again, and eventually we'll get our baby. We just have to keep our heads down and
Get. Through. This.
The guilt that follows this mentality is enormous. What kind of a sick person thinks this way? It is obvious in retrospect that these are the moments when Satan is finding back-alley avenues to slip in and lie to me. And I do not appreciate it. She is not dead. She is alive! As long as her tiny, malformed heart is beating, she IS our daughter. We want HER! She will never be able to be replaced. We will not write her off as a failed attempt at the goal. She is still the goal.
She already IS our baby.
The worst of the emotional roller-coaster is the heavy weight of heartbreak. All over again, and over and over, we are reminded torturously that this is real. This is our reality. Not our friends' or families' …Ours. Everyone else gets a baby- normal, healthy babies… some that were not even wanted or planned the way Avonlea was. But WE have a baby with Trisomy 13. Our life is a series of long, drawn-out minutes that turn into hours, and long, drawn-out hours that turn into days… waiting to see if her heart will stop beating before we make it to 40 weeks, and wondering what will happen if we go to term. Our life is a 2-month long game of Russian-roulette, and the only options the doctors are giving us to bet on are: A) Our baby dies in the womb, B) Our baby dies during labor, or C) Our baby dies shortly after birth. This is happening to us. We are losing this baby.
God, I cannot believe that this is happening to US. It is…
WE are the 1 couple out of 5,000 who has to spend their third trimester deciding whether or not we can afford a cemetery plot. WE are the 1 couple out of 5,000 who has to call off their baby shower. WE are the 1 couple out of 5,000 who actually "unfollows" their friends on Facebook who post pictures of their happy, healthy infants because the jealousy and rage ignited in us by the mere sight of those images is soul-crushing, That's us.
But sprinkled in between all of these waves are glimmers of hope. God can heal her… He might heal her. And that's when we find ourselves in her little room, staring at the crib, crying out in prayer through our tears to our heavenly Father for a miracle of biblical proportions. A "dead raised to life," type of miracle. We beg Him for our Avonlea… for the life we'd dreamed of sharing with her. We beg Him to take this away from us, to take this away from her. And after we say "Amen," there's just a tiny, faint moment of something that mildly resembles peace before the waves begin again.
So, if you were planning on asking us how we're feeling anytime soon, please disregard what we say out loud. It's most likely that we're working through one of the above thought-processes and we're just too exhausted to get into it.
Just so you know.
Father God, today we are tired. So, so tired… from all of these lows, lowers and lowests. We are sick from worry, and downtrodden from grief. Please, Lord Jesus… heal our Avonlea. Let all of this be some big mystery that gets written up in medical journals because of how this Trisomy 13 just disappears. Let the doctors be baffled. Let Avonlea live and thrive and be healthy! Please, God… heal our baby. Heal our baby…
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
***PLEASE POST YOUR PRAYER(S) FOR AVONLEA IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
WE APPRECIATE YOU AS YOU STAND WITH US IN FAITH***