It's the middle of the night and I should be sleeping. Ultimately, I should be sleeping with baby Lucas dancing away in my belly. But instead, I am lying awake in pain. Physical and emotion. With Reagan, I was in shock at what I experienced after delivery. I certainly hadn't gotten that far in my pregnancy books to have a clue about labor, delivery, and postpartum healing. This time, I felt more prepared. And yet, I'd just done this twice with living babies. So, now my body and my heart know that feeling too, what it's like to be up in the middle of the night because of crying, to be bone tired because of caring for a little one (or two). And that makes these middle of the night wake-ups so much more painful. I know what I am missing.
So, I am angry. I keep hearing that I am strong. And brave. Well, I don't feel strong. I feel weak. I couldn't protect my child, couldn't keep him safe. I tried, but I failed. And it seems that God failed me too. I know he didn't fail Lucas - that Lucas is safe and happy and healthy. That Lucas has his Heavenly Father to care for him, and 2 siblings to play with. But it just doesn't seem like God is really for me this time, and I am so angry with Him right now. The moments of peace, the joy at seeing my son, they're there at times. But right now I just want to scream. I'm angry that I am planning a memorial service for the second time. I'm angry that I endured 12 weeks of daily shots that my body fought every step of the way - bruised and swollen and some days unable to walk. I'm angry that my morning sickness never went away, that I had 23 weeks of feeling so sick. I'm angry thinking of all I gave up to try to keep Lucas safe - the events we didn't do, the food I didn't eat, the time I spent resting instead of playing with my children - and that NONE of that even mattered. He's gone anyway. And all my attempts to protect him weren't enough. I would gladly give up anything to protect my children, and I naively thought I was doing that. I'm angry that God chose to take Lucas early, that this freak cord accident happened to us when we've already endured so much. I'm angry that this is my 4th, FOURTH, 2nd trimester baby. I'm angry that my postpartum body serves as a constant reminder of what should be but isn't. I'm angry that my milk coming in creates so much pain that I can't snuggle my children, can't sleep at night. I'm angry that I finally allowed myself to relax and start prepping for his arrival, that shipments are still coming in. That we were just picking out the few things we wanted new or different for this time around. I'm angry that I ordered a whole stack of maternity clothes, laughingly saying it was about time on baby #5, only now to face a stack of unworn clothes I'm going to have to return. I'm angry that my laundry is full of the few maternity clothes I did own and that they don't have a home anymore, that they are just sitting there in Lucas' nursery.
I KNOW the Truth. I know that God has a plan, a purpose. I know that His ways are best, that His plan is sovereign. But why? WHY? God can use another family now, because I just cannot anymore. Reagan forever changed my perspective on heaven and my eternity, and I am thankful for that in these early days. But it just hurts so much to feel. And so I keep bouncing back to numb. I imagine it's my way of protecting myself. But I don't want to be numb. Or angry. I just want my boy back. I just want to find a way to do something, change something, that would give us a different outcome. I want to go back to Monday when we got incredible ultrasound pictures of him, when we were reassured that he was healthy, when I saw him sucking his little thumb. To go back to those moments when I thought life would be okay. When the worst I planned on was being sleep deprived and overwhelmed. I want to go back to that time and beg God to spare his life. But I've been down this road before, and I know that none of that is possible. That I will spend the next days, weeks, years bouncing back and forth between places of peace and understanding, anger and bitterness, and utter despair. That I will feel Lucas' absence at every family gathering, every holiday, every birthday. That I will always keep track of what he should be doing - when he should be born, when he should be walking, when he should be going off to preschool. The knowing made the hospital time so special, allowed me to focus solely on him and our time together, gave me a chance to soak up and memorize every aspect of his little body. But now? Now, the knowing only hurts. I'm angry about things that haven't even happened yet because I know that they will.
It's been 72 hours since Lucas was born. Since I saw him for the very first time. My precious child. I've been questioning if we missed something on Monday's ultrasound. If we should have looked more at the cord. Not that we could have known anything was coming, but those doubts are there nonetheless. Reagan was 3 days shy of "viability." Lucas though, he was on the other side. If we had seen something on Monday, could he have survived? And would we have wanted that life for him? I just don't know. But oh, how I long for him. How I miss him. How I wish I could have heard his laugh just once. He looked like Warren - would he have Warren's giggle? Or seen his eyes. What color would they be? Would he start to get my freckles like Dean? Would he snuggle with me like Hannah? I'll spend the rest of my life wondering these and so many more. How can one sleep when I keep thinking of more?
Oh my sweet Lucas, your mommy misses you so much. So very much. Amidst the distractions of your siblings, amidst caring for them and managing their temper tantrums, I long for you. I don't know how to do this every day, when it hurts to much, to try to stay strong for your siblings, to put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. I'm so sorry son, so very sorry. I love you dearly, and this was not at all what I wanted.