I know I've been completely missing from my blog lately. A lot of that is being busy, and another part of that is that I've been doing well, and I didn't want to mess it up by writing and opening up my own can of emotional worms. I'm sure some psychiatrist would tell me that is no way to deal with grief. My personal opinion is that, for me at least, it will come out regardless of whether I allow myself to rummage through Elias' few items for a good cry. As Angie Smith says "it takes a lot of strength to be that weak." Making a point to walk right into a situation, knowing you will lose it, but realizing you need to breathe in the hurt, feeling every ounce of it for that moment. Sometimes it just feels good, in a really bad way.
For the past week, well, I take that back, for the past 2 or 3 months, I've been anxiously waiting to hear what was "wrong" with Elias. What horrific syndrome took my son's life? Several days following his death we learned that through his autopsy, all of his organs were normal, and had functioned normally. Which I could have told them. I kind of prepared myself for a very minor heart defect, one not readily visible at the time, but that would have not been a major issue. But...nothing. He was perfect.
My doctor told me that we'd surely get the most answers when the genetic/chromosome results came back, which could take a month. This past Sunday marked 5 weeks since losing Elias...and still no answers. I've been basically, a nut case, calling the doctor's office at least once a day asking if his results are in yet. I'm sure they love me.
There were so many times that I said I believed there wasn't anything wrong with him, other than the obvious hygroma, and eventually, hydrops. The specialists were convinced that there would be no way for him to have such a severe hygroma without a genetic syndrome. There seemed to be no way we'd have a normal child. We were pushed to have in untero testing, but we denied. Although they weren't pushy about testing, they really didn't understand why I didn't want to have it done. For one thing, I didn't want to risk his already at risk life just so I could have "answers". It didn't make sense. But I also believed that if we could cross the hurdle of Cystic Hygroma and Hydrops -- who cared what the issue was!! I would have taken Elias with one leg, and a fascinating, 17 fingers!
But now...it's different.
He died. And I would like to know why. From a medical stand point, at least.
In our case, mommy did know best. I was told this morning that Elias had normal "male chromosomes." There wasn't anything wrong with him. No reason for his death, no answers as to why.
Even though, in my heart, I knew this, I was already prepared to hear "Down Syndrome" or something rare...something that wouldn't have allowed for a normal, healthy life. It might have been easier, brought more clarification as to why God allowed him to die, if there was a significant issue with development. And let me be clear here, Down Syndrome would not have been what I would call a "significant issue."
Forgive me for going here, but, what's the point?! The two answers I feared most were no answers and Down Syndrome. Why? Because they're viable. Those answers fit perfectly in the family portrait I had planned. He would have fit perfectly!
Along the way, since his death, we've received bits of information that have explained some areas of concern we had. For instance, his weight. I was completely distraught because they tried to tell me that he only weighed 3oz. "Well that's not right!" I tried to tell them. He should have been closer to 11 ounces. He should have been much longer than he was. "But the truth is, Trisha, that your baby stopped growing at about 14 or 15 weeks." And they just didn't catch it until he was born. This also explains why I only gained about 3 lbs the entire pregnancy.
His tiny hands should have kept growing. He should have continued developing. His heart was completely capable of beating...but it stopped, just the same.
This entire season has brought the invitation for fear in more ways than I ever thought imaginable. I was fearful before I even knew anything was wrong with Elias...yet I feared still. I was bombarded with legitimate fear when I found out of his condition. I feared what might have been wrong with Elias once he died. And now...oh now...I fear this nightmare, that has become my daily life, will happen all over again.
I fear the only thing I'll think about during pregnancy, is to make sure we have thorough testing done in the case of their death. Because I fear "am I destined to bury my children?" I fear "will God ever bless me with a baby that comes home with us, instead of downstairs to the morgue?" I fear "is there any redemption this side of Heaven?" I'm not trying to sound morbid, but you have to realize, this is all I know. I've never delivered a crying baby. All I know about pregnancy is fear.
And I hate that!
I don't just hate that I had a reason to fear, I hate that we fear at all! I hate that our world is so broken that we live with the reality that fear is real; that nothing is guaranteed. No life is immortal. We are all fleeting. Every life eventually comes to a point where we meet our Savior...oh I pray you're all ready for that day...because He's coming soon.
But until then, I can't live with this fear because of my lack of control. I can't allow anything but joy over Elias' life to live in my heart. There isn't room for fear -- but I can promise you, I will make room. Why? Because that's who we are. We don't know any better than to allow the brokeness of our world to creep into our hearts. But we have to try...
It's worth it.
If you want an even better explanation about hope in the face of fear...read this. Oh I needed it today. BIG time.