Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Today

Yesterday was not a good day emotion wise.  I cried a lot.  Grief is such a weird thing the way it leads you through so many different thoughts and feelings one right on top of another.  Sometimes one of the hardest things to deal with is that life just seems to keep right on moving on like he (Gabe) wasn't even here.  Even my own body seems completely traitorous in the fact that it has snapped back into shape (don't throw rocks at me) without a sign that he was there.  I just want to slam on the brakes because I don't feel ready to move on just yet... makes me want to climb onto the roof of my house and scream "does ANYONE understand what just happened to me? "  And yet, one of the comforting thoughts is that life won't always be like this - the sting and sorrow won't always be this strong.  Even on not good days, I am noticing little glimpses of the joy that will be restored to us again in small ways.

So today was a better day than yesterday and here are the little things that helped make it so:

Kisses from Joe & Blitz
Taking a real hot shower without fear of "stimulating" things
Watching Angie Smith's video and feeling like I know her personally - what a lady!!
Downloading Beyonce's "Put a Ring On It" and Britney's "Circus" (don't judge me)
Finding this verse and of course applying it to Gabe: "But now,thus says the Lord, your Creator, and He who formed you, 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.' " Isaiah 43:1
Granny's soup - I swear it's better than a magical elixir
A spring-like day
Loving and understanding family
Sweet emails in my inbox and cards in my mailbox
The DVR simultaneously recording Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares & The Office
Freshly washed bedsheets

Baby steps.  But it's good.  Here's hoping it continues on in that direction.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gabriel Joseph

Well friends, there has been a dark cloud over our heads here since October 14, 2008.  So dark in fact, that I considered stopping this blog all together.  But one of the things that I like best about this whole bloggy world is the transparency that comes along with it - to a certain degree anyway.  I know that the bloggers I feel the most inspired by and connected to are the ones who lay it all out there.  When tragedy struck me was I going to run and hide, or be honest about it and maybe, just maybe my experience might be able to help others?  

I decided that I would keep the blog going, and I know that it will be a good tool to help me deal with the hardest loss I've ever had to face.  Bear with me dear readers, I will fill you in with segments on the journey that Joe, myself, and our precious son Gabe went through the past 2.5 months and how God has been mightily at work in our lives in a seemingly hopeless situation.

For now, I will tell you that on December 30 at a routine Dr's appointment, they were not able to find Gabe's heartbeat, and that he had passed away due to heart failure - I was 6 months along with him.  Prior to that in October we had received the devastating news that he had a random chromosomal disorder (Trisomy 18), which was basically a fatal diagnosis.  We were hoping that he would make it full term... here's the email we sent out after the doctor's appointment on 12/30/08:

Friends and Family,

Kate and I found out today at our Dr's appointment that Gabe passed away due to heart failure.  We were hoping for him to make it to full term (he was at 6 months now) and get to at least share a few moments if not days to hold and interact with him, but it wasn't meant to be.  The next step is we will call tomorrow morning to schedule an appointment in the following few days to induce labor.  Please pray that the labor goes smoothly and for strength for Kate during the labor and delivery which the Dr expects to last 24-36 hours.  One thing that we praise God and are thankful for is we got the results of the amnio, and Kate and I are not genetic carriers, so there is no increased risk for a Trisomy 18 baby in future pregnancies.

As King David said when his and Bathsheba's son died, "I will go to him" looks like we'll get to go hang with Gabe in eternity.  Its a comfort to know where he is and that he already has a new body and is not feeling any pain or suffering.  Thank you for all your kind words of encouragement and prayers throughout this journey.  Look forward to seeing all of you soon and we covet your prayers and our relationship with each and every one of you.  Your support during this time has meant the world to Kate and I.


Joe and Kate

"Gabriel" means God is my strength....  Psalm 18:1-3 conveys it well:  "I love you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call to the Lord who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies".

So I was induced on January first, and after 22 hours of labor delivered our sweet boy, Gabriel Joseph, on the 2nd at 1:21pm.  He weighed 1 pound and 7 ounces and was 12.5 inches long, with dark hair.  I came home the following day, and now am trying to recover.  It is hard to have the remnants of pregnancy to have to heal from and deal with, and not have the baby.  But God is so good friends.  And do you know, if I had to do it all again, I would.  Now, that is not saying that I want another Trisomy baby or anything like that... but if it was between having Gabe in my life or not, I would definitely choose to carry him all over again.  I am amazed at how God used a little boy who didn't speak a word or even open his eyes to change me and Joe and all who heard about our situation and in the process, to reveal Himself to us.

Be patient with me.  This whole time has been filled with some good days, some bad, and that is still the case.  Don't be offended if I don't read your site right now or don't comment... I will eventually.  But in this healing process, I need to protect myself too, and for whatever reason, there was a large group of us in the blog world who were all pregnant at the same time, and that is just too hard to deal with right now, though I wish you all nothing but the best.  And my own posting about how all the events unfolded may be rather slow... as my body mends and my head clears I will try and get back into the swing of things.  I know it will come.