10 months ago I was faced with that moment of discovering that my son's spirit had already returned to Heaven. 10 months ago Sherri looked me in the eyes, after minutes of searching for Luke's heartbeat, and said "This isn't good you guys." 10 months ago our lives turned up-side-down in an instant as the future that we had anticipated was gone. Just like that. Gone.
10 months ago I was faced with the unbelievable task of having to give birth to my baby. Once a child dies you still have to do that. You have to still get the baby out of your womb where he had been growing perfectly for 9 months. It's almost unfathomable --to sit there in that moment--and realize your baby is gone, but you're still going to give birth to him. How? How do you do that?
10 months ago I got checked into the hospital by nurses who greeted me with a smile and cheerful faces...until they realized I was "Dr. Parker's [unexpected] patient."
10 months ago nothing happened like I had envisioned it would.
And now, here I am, across the country, where no one knows what I really went through ten months ago. Where no one knows that I can still see and feel the details of that day so vividly in both my heart and mind. Where no one knows that I am a mother. Where no one knows that I pressed forward with strength and was blessed beyond belief with an incredible birth because of my preparation, the support of those present (namely Trevor, Sherri, and the great nurses), and many prayers from friends and family members. Where no one knows that my sensitivity to those that lose loved ones has increased ten-fold. Where no one knows that I know first-hand the heartache of pregnancy loss.
Here I am. While part of my delicate and changed self is in Utah. Those memories. The people. The moments that have shaped me into someone new. So much of my life was there. And it's not that it isn't with me, of course it is all still part of me, but it's different now. It's different having to fill people in on who I am and what has molded me when now it seems like it's just a passing fact --a little tid-bit of information about me that I try to share when the moment is right.
"I have a son; however, he was stillborn."
There is so much more to it than that. And it's not a fact of the past. An event that happened 10 months ago. It's a fact that is just as much part of my reality now as it was when we heard the heartbreaking news. It's still a part of my life and it's most definitely still a part of who I am and who I am becoming.
My darling Luke, we may have left your precious body buried in its final resting place, but your impact on my life will not rest. You have given me so much --compassion, empathy, sympathy, strength, confidence, faith, humility.... And even greater than all of those you have given me a strengthened testimony in Jesus Christ. In His atonement for my sins. In His promise of a resurrection that will allow me to see you again --in the living flesh. Oh what a glorious day that will be! You will live again and until then you will continue to change my life, even if the people around me are unaware of this part of my life that could never be left behind. I love you more than ever.