One month ago my world stopped ... seems weird to me now that a whole month has gone by. We were excited to be expecting another baby. We were talking names and dealing with nausea, thinking about what being due in November would be like. But on May 4th at my OB check we found no heart beat on the ultrasound. We had seen that beautiful blinking little heart beat just two weeks earlier and I was still sick as ever, but all for nothing ... my baby was dead. Its such a crushing feeling, physically it gets hard to breath and your mind just wants to scream "how can this be happening again???!!" I was and am so crushed. We have to re-think summer plans as I won't be pregnant this summer and Thanksgiving may be a bit bitter this year ... I won't have a newborn in my arms.
As I've prayed and cried and processed my grief these last few weeks I am so glad I went with my gut instinct to name this baby Journey. It took a few days to think of a name. I put away the list we had started before his heart stopped. Some how I could not use those names as they were names I wanted him to carry on into life and adulthood. I had dreams and visions of what this baby might be, might do ... dreams of kissing his toes, smelling his head and nursing him, but those dreams were lost a month ago. It was so hard still carrying my baby, knowing he was no longer alive. I'd rub my tummy sometimes or talk about myself in the plural sense and then remember ... its no longer "we" ... its just me again. My baby is not alive. At some point in those first few days after the ultrasound the Lord whispered the name "Journey Peace" to me, reassuring me that my baby was at peace ... a peace I could only imagine and not even hope to understand yet.
As I've let this name settle with me and added it to my list of angel baby names ... it holds a certain significance. Both my baby and I are on a journey ... well, all of us humans are on a journey. Some much longer than others, some very short lived. But all loved and created by God. For four of my babies their journey was quite short, they never knew the sight or smells of this earth and they never left a foot print on the ground, but still they journeyed ... their journey took them right from the warmth and comfort of my womb to the warmth and joy and comfort of Jesus' arms. I can't imagine the peace and joy they must live everyday. But my journey and my husbands and for my other 5 babies our journey continues here ... we have seen many sights and smelled many things on this earth, we have left hundreds of foot prints where we have tread. I believe we will one day join those who have gone before us, but for now our journey continues. My baby's journey has come to an end ... he opened his eyes and saw heaven.
Some times I just marvel at the things God whispers to me ... I should probably be quiet more often so I can hear more of his whispers. Journey Peace ... yes indeed, my tiny little baby did journey to peace. I will end my own journey there at peace one day, but until then I carry on here. I carry on to complete whatever work the Lord created me for. Some days its too hard ... I feel too heavy to carry on any farther. Those days I need to be quiet and listen, I need to pray and listen for those whispers from God, listen for what it is he has for me to do yet. While some may take very short journeys (as my unborn babies have), most often when we hear the word "journey" we think of a something that has taken some amount of time. When I hear "journey" it does not really have the same meaning as when I hear the words "trip" or "vacation". A journey is usually a process, and I think most journeys change us, many even challenge . As I a prayed yesterday, that is what the Lord reminded me. I am still on my journey ... my baby was and always will be a part of my journey ... a part of who I am. Because of that little life I am forever changed, everything that I do on the rest of my earthly journey will be impacted by the life and loss of my tiny baby Journey Peace. I am who I am because Journey was a part of me ... a part of my journey.
It has been a comfort to think of his name and the ways it relates to my life ... there seems to be much symbolism in it for me. But eventually I come to another question: "Now what?" So, now there is no baby living inside of me, we won't need diapers as christmas gifts, we will not be a family needing seating for 8 in 2012. So, now what? What do I do from here? I have confidence that God has a plan ... as He promised in Jeremiah 29:11. But right now ... right now I spend time feeling sad, feeling numb, even angry at times. I have this head knowledge and beliefs that My God is great and that His plans are wonderful, but my head and feelings are at odds today. Why must this be part of my journey? Why must I sit here so broken and sad? I don't have an answer today ... not sure I'll have one tomorrow or ever, but I will cling to my God, his promises, his word and I will pray, I will ask what it is He wants me to do today ... tomorrow ... and on my journey. Where should this journey take me? For what journey did my God create me?