I didn't sleep at all that night. How could I? I cried out, all night long, I cried out. I cried out to God. I cried out in pain. I just cried. Rick didn't sleep either and both of us were very sick. We were sick with a grief that we didn't know existed. A feeling of pain that made it hard to breathe. It was another day now but to me it was like time had not even passed.
I remember helping Rick make the bed as we both had heavy eyes and hearts. Our pillows were wet with tears from a night of pain. We just had to get up and face another day. Rick pushed back the curtain to let some light into our room. I saw that more snow had fallen through the night. That was when it happened...
I saw a shadow go by the window. What was it? Rick asked if I saw it and I replied "yes." There was a little bird flying around outside our window, back in forth, back and forth. It was playing.
In that moment, I felt such peace, such calmness. God had sent us a sign that He was with us. He had not forgotten us. He sent us a little birdie, a little Maddie birdie to remind us of our girl. To remind us that she was in heaven with the Lord. What a moment. And though it still hurt so much, I knew it would be okay. I didn't know how really, but I knew God would get us through this.
We went downstairs and saw the boys. They were eating donut's and watching t.v... I sighed. They seemed to be in their normal routine and I was very thankful for that. I wondered if they had heard us crying the night before. They didn't mention it.
Our Church and family had been bringing meals in to us. Our fridge was full of wonderful heartfelt meals. It was like no one knew what to say so they just cooked. And even though we had no apetite, I was so thankful for the food.
I remember my sweet Mother in Law (and Pastors wife) coming by to help us. She sat and held me while I cried like a baby. I know she was praying for me as she held me. She is one of the most amazing Women of God I have ever met. She is a prayer warrior. Rick always said it when he talked of his childhood. She would pray and pray. I didn't want to be anywhere else in that moment but with her while she held me. She is my other Mom and I love her so very much.
My Mom and Dad came by too. I couldn't barely look at them without crying.
I was heartbroken for them too. We all lost her. There is something about a Daddy's arms that just feels so safe. As my Dad held me, so many things went through my head. I thought about Rick and how he wasn't going to get the opportunity to hold his girl like this when she was hurting. I thought about how much I wanted him to have this bond. There was nothing like it. I then thought about how wonderful these arms felt around me and that my Heavenly Father had his arms around me as well. He was holding me up. He was holding Rick up, and I was so thankful for that.
The rest of the day is a complete blur... I know that the doorbell rang all day long. I talked with everyone, but I can't really recal what I said. Everyone understood and just let me cry.
Rick had to go that night to the funeral home and pick out the casket. I couldn't go. He said it was the worst experience of his life. I was so glad that his dad and mine went with him. I didn't ask the details, they were all over his face. The funeral had been set for January 11th at 6:30 pm. I couldn't believe it.
1/11/11 was a day I had wrote and spoke over and over and over. It was Madeline's due date.
Now this day would have a complete different meaning to me. It would be the day of my daughters funeral. A day of such grief and pain. I wondered if I could even go.
That night we didn't sleep again and just like the night before, we cried out to God all night long. I knew that my nights would just get harder. I was like a child again, afraid of the dark. Afraid of the unknown.
It was that night that I truly understood the meaning of God's will.
I guess to a degree I thought that I had my life figured out. I had it all planned. I will never again plan my life out. It is totally, completely and absolutely up to God. I surrendered to Him again. He was all I had.
I watched the sun come up again. Another day, I thought.
What do I do today? Where do I go. I got up feeling pretty bad. I really was feeling the after pains of the delivery. I guess in all this I had forgotten that it had only been 3 going on 4 days since I had delivered. I was tired and sore. Since I had started nursing, now I had to deal with all the things that came with that. It was just another reminder. I had a baby, but I had no baby with me. I felt hopeless.
Rick helped me through the day as we prayed and asked God's continue strength and grace. I decided I needed to get out of the house for a little while. We went to pick up some pictures at Walgreens. They were the hospital pictures of Madeline. They were gorgeous. For some reason, these helped me. I guess I was seeing her in the way I wanted to remember her. She was beautiful and full of life. Simply gorgeous. I'm so thankful for Bella Baby Photography and for these pictures.
We met up with my parents and my Mom had given me the most precious gift. It was a gold locket with the picture of a Mom holding her baby on the front.
I put it on even though it didn't carry her picture yet. I loved it.
I told Rick that we needed to go get the boys some outfits for the funeral. So, we went to Kohl's and bought them new suits and ties. Rick had said he wanted to pick out something pink to wear and so he went to the mens department. I told him I would be in the jewelry department looking for a bracelet.
I walked through that department over and over. I couldn't find anything "good enough." I noticed the lady who worked there watching me.
I was trying to stay strong. She asked if she could help me find anything and I told her I wanted a pink bracelet. She looked and looked and we couldn't find one. She asked if I wanted a necklace or earings instead and I started to tear up. I remembered the beautiful pink earings Rick gave me the day of Maddie's birth. I remembered the locket my mom had just given me. I touched my ears and then my neck. I told her no, I already had some.
Then she asked the question "Well what is the occasion you would like it for?" My heart sank. I looked up at her, tears streaming down my face. "It is for my daughters funeral." She looked at me in such dismay. And she stood there with me in the middle of Kohls, and cried. I couldn't believe those words had come out of my mouth. I couldn't belive I had to say it.
I went on to explain to her that my not even 2 day old daughter had passed away and I wanted to honor her by wearing pink everywhere I could. She went on to explain to me that "she too" had lost a baby shortly after birth. We wept with each other knowing that we could feel each others pain. Then she told me that it will get easier, one day at a time. I had heard it before, but for some reason, hearing her say it helped. She knew.
We went back home and tried to settle in for the night. We had many more visitors stop by. At one point our young adults were telling stories and making Rick and I laugh.
I almost felt guilty.
Although, I knew that they didn't know what else to say or do. It helped. It really did. As everyone left, I knew the inevitable was approaching. Another night.
Psalm 6:6 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with tears. (I just noticed that this verse God gave me was 6:6. My baby girl was born on the 6th at 6pm. Isn't God amazing!)
For it is in the nights that I hurt. I still do. Last night was one of the worst nights I've had. I will share about that experience in a later post. But for now I just need to write. I need to read my Bible and pray and write...
I wondered how I would get through the next day.
Again, God put his arms around me and told me He would help me.
Psalm 18:30;32 As for God, his way is perfect:
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.