Monday, August 15, 2011

Up and Down

I decided to start this post off with the good news, since that seems to be in short supply these days. When I went to the doctor last week, the sonogram showed that I am probably closer to 16 weeks along. That's a lot further along than we had anticipated, but at least everything looks good- so far. (He also told us that he's pretty sure it's a girl this time. He's not 100% certain, but he's pretty sure. We'll see if he's right when we have the next sono.)

He started me on progesterone injections to help stop the early contractions I'm prone to, and we have an appointment next week with a specialist in Dallas for genetic counseling, a more in-depth sonogram and a fetal echo. Because of what Holden has been through, we are considered higher risk, and I don't know if I'll be able to sleep at night until we know that everything is okay. At last week's sonogram, the doctor said everything looked okay with the heart- as far as he could tell- but we'll need a closer look to be sure. I'm hoping and praying with all that I'm worth that this baby will be healthy. I want this child to have a chance... The chance Holden never had.

I still haven't shared much about the day we lost Holden. I may never be able to share the details. But I can tell you that I still hold on to so much from those hours that I have to daily lay it down in prayer, or I'd be crushed. I am forever thankful that I was able to hold my sweet boy as he let go of this world and all of the pain it held for him. I am forever thankful for the many doctors and nurses who frantically, tirelessly worked to save his life. We saw the true hearts of the people who work at Children's Medical Center that day, and we love them for that.

But that thankfulness doesn't take the pain away. I haven't found the answer for that one yet. I didn't turn to medication (as would have been so easy to do and, at one point, was heavily suggested by many people around me). I don’t want anything to numb me. The reality of it is that my son died, and I want to feel the void that he leaves in my heart. Not cover it up or medicate it, even for a little while. I want to remember every single thing about my little man. I want to remember what I miss so much.

I miss his open mouth kisses- when we were lucky enough to be on the receiving end. The way he held his mouth open like a little bird because he was too lazy to feed himself. Hearing him say "night night" with his cute little wave every time we headed towards the bedroom. Waking up to his smile inches away from my face- He woke up every single day with a smile, no matter how bad he felt or how horrible his day would be. The way he had to touch both Trent and me at all times throughout the night- one of us wasn't good enough, he wanted both. Walking behind his stroller for hours on end, guided by his grunts and squeals to let us know what direction he wanted to turn that day. His excitement about reading his books, and his love of turning the pages for me. I could keep going... There are countless things to list.

So this is my reality. It sucks, but it's mine. I think that’s why this point in time is the hardest so far…the shock has long since worn off and the harsh reality of what my life will be like for as long as I walk this earth is setting in.

What gives me hope to put one foot in front of the other is that I know my life doesn't end here. This isn't it. We have been given Eternity, where I'll be able to hold my sweet little man once again. That is what brings me hope even as I am crying. I sincerely wish everyone who mourns his loss finds that same hope. Hope is rewarded. Prayers are answered. Maybe not in the way that we ask for, but they are answered.

We prayed for a miracle and we got it. We prayed that he be healed and he was…perfectly. We're honoring His plan for Holden's life, and He will be faithful. Even when I can’t see the plan through tears and my entire body hurts with grief, He is faithful.

My devotion the other day was titled “Do you trust God’s Will for your life?” I thought about that a lot. More than I should have. If I'm going to be completely honest, I would have to say that sometimes I'm just not so sure I do. That's hard for me to admit. Nobody wants to be that “ye of little faith” person. But I'm sure that someone reading this completely understands. Some days it's just harder to find that trust.

Trust or not, our lives don't stop. We keep going, putting one foot in front of the other. Even when it hurts. And it often hurts.

We do it because it's God’s Will. And I'm learning to trust Him.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I wish I could say that things around here have gotten easier, but that's not really true. Will it ever get easier? I'm not sure that this kind of hurt ever dulls or disappears. We're trying to adjust to a new version of normal, but it's a big adjustment. So much of our lives revolved around Holden, and without him holding it all together, nothing is normal anymore. We have to completely change our way of living, and that's a very slow process. Many days, I don't even want to get out of bed, so I don't. Other days, I can manage to distract myself and make it through the day with a minimum of tears and mini-breakdowns. We have many friends and family who have made distraction an easy task at times, and we are thankful for that.

We don't have the autopsy results back yet. They said it would take 4-6 weeks, and it's been a little over four. I'm not sure if knowing why will help anything, but I can't move on without knowing either. Those results are one of the last things hanging over our heads, so I'm praying we have some answers soon.

I'm still not sure I understand any of this. We prayed so many times for God to make Holden's heart whole. Well, his heart is whole now. He answered our prayers, just not in the way we had hoped for. I struggle daily trying to live with and without him. With him, because he is still very much alive here in our hearts and our home, and without him because memories are all I have left to hold now. Balancing those two realities is impossible.

Each day we had him with us was a gift, and though I wish we had more time, I have to trust that God's plan for Holden's life was fulfilled in 17 months. That kind of trust is really, really hard right now, but we know that He has a plan for our lives.

That became evident when I went to the doctor last week. Much to our surprise, we found out that I am pregnant... At least a couple of months along. (We'll have a better idea of a timeline once I have a sono to date the pregnancy.) That means that all of this happened before Holden even went into the hospital the last time, and we had no idea. Trent and I had talked about having another child, and we decided to wait for a little while because we just weren't ready yet. The best laid plans, right? Indeed, the plans we make for our lives are not our plans to make. It's like He knew that we would need a reason to face each day again. Something to plan for. Something to look forward to, even as we try to sort through our grief. This is very much a bittersweet time for us. We are thankful and so very blessed, yet it's hard to be fully excited about anything right now. We are praying, and trying to keep a strong hold on our faith. It's really the only thing that's a constant these days.

John 16:33 "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

My mother uploaded the slideshow shown at Holden's service, for those of you who are interested in watching it. We had some technical difficulties at the service, so I'm glad that we can share the full show with you now. I don't know how to include the actual video in the blog, but you can follow the link here.

We thank you all for your continued support and prayers. I'm not as diligent about responding to every one's messages as I should be, but your encouragement is the only thing that has kept me going at times. We appreciate all of you, more than you know.