Stella's Story: Part 1

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

Not just my baby...My DAUGHTER

The word daughter still brings terrible pain to my heart when I think it, say it, or hear others say it.  You see, I didn't just lose my baby, I lost my daughter - my only daughter.  And no, having another son is not going to make it all better.  Because I didn't just lose a baby that can be replaced with another baby.  I lost my daughter, my child, my Stella.  There is a Stella-shaped, daughter-shaped hole in my heart, and the hole feels even larger now that I will not have a daughter in my life.

I know friends are trying to help, but I realize more and more that I have very few friends with enough compassion to be sensitive to the fact that I am still very much broken-hearted.  The excitement of looking forward to a new baby (as surreal as it still seems) does not cancel out the pain I feel from losing Stella.  Several friends have asked me, "Don't you think you'll be filled with complete joy once you hold your new baby boy?"  Joy, yes, of course, but complete joy, no.  I expect that I'll be overwhelmed with emotion, but conflicting emotion.  I can't help but think that when I gaze into our new little one's face, I won't be able to help thinking about my little girl in heaven whom I never got to hold the day she was born.

I went into the office today for the first time in a month.  As much as I enjoy my work, going to work still makes me so sad.  I am reminded that I can go to work because my baby girl isn't here, and I'm not caring for her like I should be.  The two hours commuting time gives me way too much time to think about Stella and about my boys. 

Every time I miss a day of my boys' life because I'm in the office, I feel depressed because I can never recreate the ten hours I was apart from them.  Yet, when I'm at home, I'm still sad, and I don't feel up to playing with the boys. I can't win.  I know my boys want their mommy back.  I don't know if or when they will ever get their mommy back.  I feel guilty because I want to be the mommy my boys need, but I can't be, and then I feel even more guilty.  A terribly vicious cycle. 

Taking care of my boys reminds me that I'm not taking care of my girl.  So, I guess really everything reminds me that she isn't here. I miss my daughter, and my insides still feel turned outward.  I know that my daughter was only here on this earth for five days, and I know that she was "only a baby," but she was (correction, IS) my daughter, my child.  I birthed her, living and breathing, and there will forever be an enormous chasm in my heart that can only be filled by her. 

I do believe that God's plan is for us to have another son, but I am still honestly struggling with understanding His plan.  Trust without understanding is the hardest type of trust.  Why God? Why didn't you give us another daughter to at least fill a tiny bit of the hole in my heart?  I am wearied by fighting to believe that He knows best even though the path He has chosen for us is filled with pain.  Please pray that I will daily chose what I know to be true over what I feel so intensely.

Still Need to Write, Still Need to Mourn

The past few months have actually been the hardest yet for me due, in part, I think, to my hiatus from writing.  Writing, along with lots of prayer and turning to scriptures, has helped me to work through the continual emotional battles that characterize my everyday life. 

A lot of why I haven't been writing is because so much of what I  feel is embarrassing to admit.  I've been afraid to share the full depth of my pain; I don't want to be judged as seeming ungrateful or trivial.

God has used a  new friend to help shake me out of this funk and encourage me to write again.  I hope you won't mind, Stacy (who authors the blog "Baby Rachel's Legacy"), but I'm going to quote you, because what you said to me really sank in, and there's incredible value to the advice from another sister who has travelled a similar road.

"What I have realized, although I have slowed down a lot on how often I write, is that the enemy does not want me to get through this in a healthy way.  He doesn't want me to grow closer to God and others, he wants the opposite... he wants to get me alone and wear me down.  He will succeed if I fall for the lie that as Christians we can't show pain, disappointment with God's plan, or mourn to the depth that I need to.  It's not true... God gave us the feelings we have and as long as we continue to hold onto Him, I think sharing those mixed emotions is not only helpful for us, but for others as well.  "  

Thank you so much for this advice, Stacy!

Unlike alot of my baby loss mom friends, I have not shared on my blog the news that we are expecting another baby.  I am 21 weeks along and expecting a boy.  I realized now that the news of the pregnancy marked the beginning of my time off from writing in my blog.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was excited but really shocked.  I felt like I was on you know you're there, but you can't really wrap your head around being there.  A disconnect from reality. 

Then the more being pregnant sank in, the more I began to sink into a deep despair.  It was like deja vu, but with a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach.  There's a baby growing inside of me, but it's not my Stella.  Many questions flooded my mind and still do: How am I ever going to love this baby as much as I love my Stella?  Is this baby even healthy?  What if God asks me to give up another child? Am I ever going to be able to stop calling the nursery "Stella's room?"  How am I going to feel if this baby isn't a girl?  And on and on...

I have discovered the answer to one of my questions:  The news that we were having another boy was absolutely devastating to me.  And to be honest, I'm still having a really hard time with it.  But, I don't really feel like talking about it with anyone, because at face value, it seems kind of stupid to be as upset as I am.  I can't help it, though.  Every little girl that I see brings sharp pains of grief...not only because I so desperately miss my daughter, but because I am now also mourning not having a daughter at all.  And the proposed solution to "adopt a daughter someday" may seem like a simple answer (and may friends have suggested it), but my heart is not there right now.  It's easy for people who have daughters and have not lost a child to offer this advice.  I fully believe that God has the power to change my heart in this matter if he wants to in the future, but I want my own flesh and blood daughter.  I yearn to see Stella's clothes on our own baby girl, to see my boys' hearts healed by witnessing a new baby sister wear the sweet little sleepers they picked out for Stella.  I dream of pink ruffles, princess dresses, and polka dots...painted fingernails and prom dresses.  I dream of everything girly.  All those dreams have been shattered.  My heart is still breaking, and it breaks over and over again.  I miss my Stella. 

And I feel guilty.  I feel guilty because I'm not happier that we're having another boy.  That I'm not thrilled by more blue, more matchbox cars, more craziness.   I pray all the time that God would help me to be happy, to truly love this little boy, and he would know nothing but love.  But, I'm not there yet.  And I need to work through this.


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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