Fear

As my friend and I were talking about how we often fear for the health and safety of our children, I told her that after losing Silas, I was terrified that a normal, ordinary moment would turn into the worst moment of my life…again.  Now, I could usually talk myself through these fears and differentiate between which were rational and which were irrational.  But, the logical approach still couldn’t ease my fears because we lost Silas out of nowhere, unexpectedly, in a controlled medical environment with all the equipment needed to stabilize his life.

I knew trusting in God was the answer.  I tried.  I didn’t want to hand everything over to Him, think I could block out my fears and become ignorant to the situations that need attention and quick action should one happen to us.  But, the hyper-vigilance the fear created was exhausting and I didn’t have the stamina to stand guard every moment of every day.  I was in constant “fight or flight” mode and no one’s nervous system should be taxed like that.

Finally, I asked God to give me peace in the moments that were fine, but to allow me to know with absolute certainty when something was a true emergency.  I started to be able to trust and hand over the fear knowing that He would help me in those times.

So often, I wonder what I would’ve done if we’d been at home when Silas slipped away.  Would I have had him in my arms like I did at the doctor’s office that day, or would I have looked at him in his bouncy seat and seen my worst fear?  Would I have been helping one of my other children and been unaware that he was leaving us?  When would I have known it was necessary to call 911, because, when I handed him to our doctor that day, he was still breathing, but something just didn’t feel right.  I didn’t know he was dying, and that  alone causes me fear of possible emergency situations.

For months and months I wished I had taken Silas out to the doctor just moments sooner, thinking I had dropped the ball, that I had missed the window of time in which he could have been saved.  I felt like I had failed him because I lack medical training.  Tonight, as I was thinking back on these thoughts, I wished that before that day, I had known to ask God to help me to recognize a true emergency.

But then, I felt a peaceful reassurance as He said to my heart:

But you did recognize and know something wasn’t right.  Not only did I show you that, but I placed you in the doctor’s office that day.  

I have always felt as though God held us in the palm of His hand and protected us by placing us in the office that day.  Many friends have said we couldn’t have been in a better place or in more capable hands at that time and that they were so grateful we were there that day.  Being there allowed us to have every reassurance that everything that could’ve been done for Silas was done.  It assuaged a small piece of the unfounded guilt I felt.  I knew that Silas had been taken home by his Heavenly Father.  I just didn’t know why.

Tonight, I saw that providence had not only placed us in the doctor’s care that day, but that God was also answering a prayer that I would ask of Him in the future, for He helped me recognize the need for help while providing that help for us.

I still fear for the lives of my children.  I constantly have to hand that fear back over to God.  But, my trust in God is growing…


Silas in the NICU

New life and new life in heaven

In the days approaching the anniversary of the day I wish had never happened, I realized that even though I wish with all my heart that Silas were here with us, a happy 13 month old boy, I have grown accustomed to carrying him in my heart. My arms still ache, but my heart is forever overflowing with love.

i carry your heart with me

I began journaling after I lost Silas. It helped me make sense of the sea of emotions I was discovering. I had never know such devastating loss before. I’ve chosen to share the following journal entry from last September because I often wonder what heaven is like. That is where my future with my son is. We are all moving forward in this life, but some of us are also moving toward reuniting with those who left us too soon, or those we never got to meet. Death has lost its sting. I have begun to realize my future does hold having Silas again. Lily always reminds us, too, that we will be with the baby we never got to meet, as well.

 

September 4, 2013

When they told me my baby’s heart had stopped beating, I felt so much pain. It was like I was giving birth to him all over again. My heart and soul were torn from my whole being. My body tensed and wrenched just as it did in labor. The intensity was incomprehensible. I could hardly breathe.

As I reflected on this moment, I wondered why his passing from this life was so similar to his coming into this life. I began to think there was a deeper complexity to God’s plan when Eve sinned and God said woman would suffer during childbirth.

Natural childbirth is excruciatingly painful. That pain faded quickly as I heard my baby cry and as he was placed in my arms. Joy replaced pain as he entered my life. When he left my life, intense pain filled my body. But, I wonder if it was followed with joy in heaven as he entered his new life.

Silas, six weeks old

This is the last photograph I took of Silas. He was exactly six weeks old here, and we lost him two days later.

 

You can read the story of how we lost our little man here.

***I purchased the above necklace from StampedbyDesign to remind me I always carry Silas in my heart. 

Moving Forward

I often think of what I want my life to look like as I move forward. Even though it seemed as if my life could have ended the day my baby died, there really is no direction other than forward, and I want to be ready to step in that direction for my children, for my husband, for myself. But, it feels differently than it used to feel.

I think about having another child, growing our family to a family of six the way I pictured it to be, and now, having experienced the worst loss imaginable, it doesn’t seem like we have just have a chance of risks that could affect anyone. All of the many risks seem way too real now that we have lived it. Miscarriage. Stillbirth. Infant loss. Childbirth complications. Sometimes I want to say to God, I’ve experienced the worst loss imaginable, please don’t give me another baby only to take my child away again–at any stage of his or her life…

And thus begins my bargaining…

Since this tragedy has happened to me, I should be immune to such possibilities in the future, because the trials in life should work like vaccines are intended to work. I want to tell God, I could never handle it if in the future I would become pregnant and it should end sadly.

But, He knows this, and He has promised to be there and catch me when I fall to pieces. I KNOW this is true…it happened to me on August 8, 2013. I am reassured that He will bring me through whatever comes my way, for He has, and He is, and He will. Because of that reassurance, I will not tell God the things which I am capable of bearing.  I do not want to make choices in my life, choices based in fear, to try to shield our family from this tragedy ever occurring again, for if I did I would sever the opportunity for great blessings to come.

I am grateful that in my upbringing, I was given a good religious foundation, but I would not say my faith was concrete until the day my still son was placed in my arms and I was filled with pain and devastation seemingly powerful enough to cause my heart to disintegrate. God caught the pieces as my heart shattered, and I had not yet had the clarity of thought to ask Him for help.  God chooses the most unlikely hearts to witness of His love, for I always thought I would be the most bitter person in the world if I lost a child.

Since losing my Silas my heart has felt that nothing ugly and bitter could come from loving one so precious. In the anguish and sorrow, I have known and understood how blessed I have been by being Silas’ mother. Being able to see the blessings when consumed with grief is a gift.

Moving forward I choose to trust.

I choose to hope.

I choose to open my heart to the possibility of more love.

I choose to not let fear control my actions.

Though, it scares me to think I could fall from a broken emotional state, whereas before, I was more emotionally whole. I move forward while daily handing my fears and struggles over to the Lord for He is willing to bear them, and He is so much more capable than I.

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