Stella's Story: Part 1

Here is the beginning of Stella's Story: Stella's Story: Part 1
The rest is coming soon!

Life Magnified

Experiencing one extreme makes the other extreme equally as intense for me.  Holding death in my hands has helped me see life so precious, so beautiful.  I can't voice or even describe how incredible it is to hold a healthy, perfect baby. I don't even know how to express in person how overwhelemed I am because I've been given this wonderful gift.  I feel like a first-time mom again.  I only wish that more of my friends were just as excited as I am.  It's so important to me that those who are close to me rejoice over the birth of my son just as much as they sympathized (or at least tried to sympathize) with me after Stella died.

Of course, I can't expect others to feel the same way, although sometimes it would be nice to have cupid-like powers.  :)  But, I've honestly been kind of surprised at how few of my friends, even close ones, have celebrated Finn's birth with me.  I'm sure it's routine for them - a the birth of a baby, but it's not for me.  There was no ignorant bliss associated with carrying and birthing a new life for me.  There's only the painful understanding that there is no taking life for granted.  Ever. 

I don't know if all baby loss moms feel the same way, but I know many who do.  It is so, so important to them (and to me) to acknowledge both the baby who was lost and to celebrate the baby who is here now. 

Is it too much to ask for friends to take just a little bit of time out of their busy lives to celebrate with me, or at least to say congratulations?  I know people are busy with their own lives - with health issues, adoption journeys, their own children..etc, but it is so hard to take a few moments to just "be there?"

I feel this joy of my new son and the pain of being separated from my daughter equally with a migraine-like intensity.  It's as if my head is pounding and every tiny sound is amplified as I'm laying there, exhausted. Except that it's not my heading pounding; it's my heart pounding.  The neverending migraine.
Life.  Magnified.  The joys and sorrows of life are now intensified to me.

I wonder if this is the way we're supposed to experience life.  Jesus felt deeply, loved fully, grieved with his entire being.  And since Jesus is God personified, doesn't God feel even more deeply than I do?  The pain I feel so intensely because of the death of my daughter isn't even 1/1000th of what the Father felt when His son suffered on the cross. The joy that I feel over the birth of my new son isn't even 1/1000th of what the Father felt when His people were redeemed. 

I am realizing that I dehumanize God in ways I shouldn't.  I have tended to think of God as distant, unfeeling, like a stoic ruler who sits on His throne calmly making decisions about the universe He created.  Now, I don't think that's what God is like at all.  In my grief, at times I think I understand God less and less, but I may finally be starting to understand Him more.  He is the only One who has fully felt what it's like to watch His Own Flesh and Blood suffer and die.  If this is true, why can't I feel closer to him than I do?

"Your Love, oh Lord, reaches to the Heavens, and your Faithfulness, oh Lord, reaches to the skies."
Psalm 36:5.  That's a heck of a lot of love...more than I can even fathom. 

Life is now magnified for me, but God's character, even more so.  If I feel deeply, He feels deeper.  If I grieve with every fiber of my being, He has experienced greater grief than I can even imagine.  And, I really can't imagine much more emotional pain than I've felt.  What does that say about God and His the sacrifice of His son? 

For Real?

Finn is four weeks old today.  And I'm incredibly sad.  While I feel like I've spent every possible second with my new little boy, four weeks have vanished like a vapor. 

The reality of Finn's presence still doesn't sink in sometimes.  I watch him snooze on my honey's stomach, and part of me still can't believe he's here and he's mine.  I fall asleep snuggling him close and awake to his sweet breath and close-to-hungry wimpers.  I blink and do a double-take, and I realize that he's real. 

At the same time, I fear that I'm losing my grip on the reality of knowing Stella.  I know so many baby loss moms who would have done anything for five days with their little ones, but the time I had with her still felt so short, so fleeting.  One of the ladies in my Bible study lost her husband a little over two years ago, and she said to me one evening, "You know, the second year is harder."  Just what I wanted to hear.  She explained that the actuality of what happened sinks in more, yet is easier to accept.  I'm not sure I agree entirely, at least not today.  Today, I feel like carrying Stella, meeting her, and watching her die was all a big nightmare.  I've had a hard time grasping reality today.  It's kind of a weird feeling.

Yet I know it was real because my heart really hurts.  Still.   There are reminders everywhere.  A coworker of mine's wife just had their first child, a baby girl, and her middle name is...what else...Rose.  A good friend tells me the other day that she's giving all her baby girl clothes to another friend at church who is having a girl.  No big deal, right?  That's great that she's helping out a friend; I just don't want to hear about it.  It hurts my heart because she was saving those clothes for my girl.  The list of the little things that remind me of her absence goes on and on...

My grief is so real that I know Stella was real, but there are days and moments when memories of being with her are fuzzy.  There are other times when the time with my girl seems so fresh and recent that having Finn seems unreal, or maybe surreal is a better word. 

I wonder if I am crazy for feeling like this...but I know no other way to describe it.  This "for real?" feeling happened after Stella passed away.  I would wake up in the middle of the night, and I didn't know what was real and what wasn't.  My subconscious told me she was still with me, and I was jolted into reality upon waking.  This time with Finn, it's the opposite.  I almost can't believe he's here with me.  I wake up and realize "he's for real."  This time, it's a happy reality.  An almost utopic reality, really.  The problem is that I now have a better understanding of the value of time, and my time with Finn is an excruciating reminder of my lack of time with Stella.  Spending time with Finn also reminds me that time passes so quickly, and that every moment I am blessed to spend with my rainbow is gone too soon. 


About This Blog

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This is the story of our daughter, Stella Rose, who went to be with Jesus after five days here on this earth. Stella was born with multiple birth defects due to a severe case of Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome. Although Stella is no longer with us in person, she has changed us forever. Stella's legacy is my journey on a new road without my daughter, and how God is working in our hearts.

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