the ponderings of a mother

These are the ponderings of a mother in love with her children, both in my arms and in the grave. Some of these ponderings are quite emotional, some are funny, others contemplative and spiritual. All are sincere. May these writings bless you in many ways and bring you closer to the one, true God and Redeemer of all things.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Tuesday two weeks ago.
This was an odd day, the day after finding out Jonan had passed and the day before giving birth to him. The plan was for me to spend the entire day at Rez (our church) until Jeff got home that night from the gig he was working locally. I wasn’t going to be induced until Wednesday morning so Jeff could finish his gig and I could get all sorts of logistical things done, which was the perfect thing for me to do in order to keep my racing mind stayed on something, even if it was making final plans for my son.

I woke up to a text from a friend that she was coming over to have breakfast with me. Nobody wanted me to be alone at all that day, and I appreciated that. She and I talked and made some delicious protein shakes for breakfast. I received a call from my doctor to talk about our plans for inducing. She wrote down my desires to induce the following morning and said the hospital would call me with further details. About an hour later a woman called to tell me my appointment was at 4:30am. And that I “better eat before [I] come because after that [I] don’t get anything but ice chips til the baby’s born.”  Okay, I have to wake up at 3am and eat a load of food and potentially not eat again for 24 hours. Sweet, this should be great. “Oh, also, be sure to call no later than 3:30am to confirm you are on your way…and be there 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork”.   Oiy.

At about 11:00am I received a call from a Rez staff member asking where I was…this person was given information that I would be in the office that morning, and since I hadn’t arrived he wanted to know where I was and be sure I wasn’t alone…and that I was okay.  Ah, finally a little love on the other end of the line. What a wonderful phone call. I said I was wrapping up breakfast with a friend and would be in very soon. He then went on to say that he had done some work gathering information for final plans for Jonan and that this day had been ordered to be dedicated to Kimberly, so whatever I need he would help me with. I was in tears by the end of this call. God was, once again, going before me.

I gave a big hug to my friend and headed to church. I walked in to many kind people who knew what I was facing, and I knew were praying for me. There was even a gift waiting for me from a woman in the church whom I had never met. I was set up in an office, with a computer and phone to do whatever I needed to that day. Wow.  But before that I would end up spending hours with this pastoral care person who had called earlier and hear all that he had done concerning Jonan’s burial and funeral service. It was truly amazing. He did enough reconnaissance for Jeff and me to be able to make a decision without one phone call every being made by us.  You must understand that before this morning we had made zero plans regarding Jonan’s body. Neither of us felt right about the hospital burial where they would “take care of the remains.”  We wanted a private burial for our son; we wanted a place to visit him. We wanted to honor his short life and his precious body.  But we had no idea how this was going to happen. We had not really shared this with many people, if any. We did not know how we would pay for our medical bills, let alone a burial plot and funeral service.

Within an hour I had more information that I even knew I needed, including a local funeral home that cuts certain fees for infants. The funeral home directors, themselves, had gone through the loss of a baby earlier in their life and realized that most people at this stage of life do not have the cash flow pay for this sort of thing. They even had a place at the cemetery set for Jonan…a place especially for babies. How sad a place existed, but how comforted I felt.

I called Jeff and our parents elated at the news that everything was coming together and I was being so well taken care of on this, the weirdest of days. This comforted Jeff, and our parents probably thought I was a little crazy to be so energetic. It’s amazing how our bodies and minds can switch into coping mode when we need to.  We certainly are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

The afternoon came and I sent another mass email to friends and family announcing Jonan’s death and impending birth…the wrong order of things for sure. I pleaded for prayers in this email as the risks during birth were the most significant for me. Jonan’s short umbilical cord made significant bleeding a strong possibility for me, and the doctor shared all this could mean. I was genuinely nervous for the next day.  The drugs, the pain…meeting Jonan. It was all too much to take in, so I stayed very busy that afternoon.

As evening approached I packed up my stuff to head to Target before dinner at the Miller’s home (our pastors who have walked this journey with us).  I walked out of the office and first saw Kevin Miller. He said something about seeing me soon for dinner.  I looked out the windows at the darkened sky and realized the night had come, somehow I really thought it may not. Surely God would not actually call me to what is next.  I turned to Kevin and told him that “I have to go alone now. I know others will be with me, but only I am called to this next part of the journey. No one else can do what I have to do next.”  This really struck me. I had never felt like I was doing any of this journey alone. Jeff and I had so many people around us, we had the Lord, we had each other. Where did this feeling of being all alone come from?

I thought immediately of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane before his impending death on the cross… “Please, take this cup from me” he prayed through sweat and tears.  My challenge with Jonan was not even close to that of Christ’s death on the cross, but giving (still)birth to my first son, with all the potential and likely problems for me was my cross to bear…and I also had to walk that road alone.  Jesus, too, had people there who love Him and stayed with Him to the very end, but only He could fulfill what the Father had called Him to do.  As I looked at that darkened night sky, I felt comfort in the way that Jesus goes before us in our darkest of hours and that He knew what I was feeling.  And as Jeff and I had worked to submit our hearts all along, I prayed, like Jesus “…yet not my will, but Yours be done.”

That prayer was sincere, and I prayed it again and again as I gained strength from Christ going before me.  However, I walked about 20 feet further toward that darkened night sky and saw Karen Miller, who also said something about seeing me soon at dinner.  I blubbered some incoherent words and fell into her shoulder sobbing uncontrollably.  There were others around, but I just couldn’t stop. The terror had gripped me and I just didn’t want to go through with it. My heart was already broken in two, and now I felt like my body was going to do the same…surely, Lord, you could take this cup from me.

She quickly took my keys from me and made plans to get my car home and me to her home until Jeff could come pick me up after work. I told only her of my true fears of death in this situation. Each time someone would talk to me about anything concerning the future I would have this odd out-of-body experience. As in, I would stop hearing their words and think “wow, they really think I am going to live through this”…and then I would want to share all the very real risks the doctors had shared with me concerning giving birth to Jonan.  (I had even been told by the doctors that if, when in the delivery room, everyone starts moving really fast and they wheel me into the operating room…don’t worry, they know what they are doing and are “prepared for the worst”. I think this was supposed to give me comfort…but it didn’t).  I couldn’t even bring myself to tell Jeff how scared I was I wouldn’t make it. I just really could only think of how much I didn’t want to die like this.  I know this sounds so dramatic, but I really felt like this after all I had been told. I was just really, really scared.

After this lighthearted discussion with Karen, we went to her house and had dinner.  And then we did like anyone in this situation would do…we colored. Karen colored a stained glass window, I colored a tree, and Karen’s daughter (also an adult) colored a puppy.  We all colored for Jonan. The puppy, I was assured, was a great puppy… no need to be house-trained, he won’t bark, and he doesn’t need to be fed, and on top of that…every boy need a puppy.  She named his Sparky J

Jeff finally arrived to pick me up. We did our Target run for all the things you need when you have a baby (some of you know this list). Jeff dropped me off at home to shower while he went to borrow a really expensive camera from a friend. When he came home he had the camera in his hands and also a simple jar with a ribbon around it from my friend. In the jar were 3 yellow tulips…one for each of us. 

We slept for about 4 ½ hours that night.  That was Tuesday. 

No comments:

Post a Comment