This is week 2 on Walking With You.
If you are a mother who has heard the words incompatible with life, what happened next for you? Share about the waiting if your journey continued. How did you walk that path? What were some of your feelings? What did you do to form lasting memories? What were your struggles? Things you found comfort in?
After learning that Janie Beth would likely not live after birth, I just tried to breathe and make it through each moment. I sang "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" quite often because that is exactly what I was doing, and that is why I named my blog Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. Many times it felt like I was watching someone else walk in my shoes. We fell completely out of our routine in school. We maybe did a day or two after getting her diagnosis. (But, Josiah still learned an awful lot for not doing anything!) We didn't do chores like we normally did either. I was doing the bare necesseties while I tried to figure out how to walk this path.
I did a ton of reading online! I found many blogs and read and read and read. I found organizations, Sufficient Grace Ministries and String of Pearls, that helped women who were carrying to term. Thankfully, we were never faced with the question of whether to terminate the pregnancy because I was already 28.5 weeks. I read in my Bible. I had a couple devotion books I read. I taped Bible verses around the house. I pulled out a little notebook I have that has verses written in it that I read during the really hard moments.
My favorite part of each day was while the kids were napping/resting. I would loung on the couch with my computer and just feel Janie Beth. It was hard to feel her because of all the fluid, but she usually moved during that time. I will forever cherish those times! She moved the most in church. :) The only time that I was really able to see my belly move around was the Sunday before she was born. I even told Josiah to watch. Joey was working so he wasn't there. It was priceless! Church helped me a whole lot! The songs touched my heart. (There are still songs that make my heart skip a beat when the first few chords are played!)
I started my blog to keep people updated on everything that was going on and to have a place to write the many thoughts and emotions that were constantly running through my head!
I tried my best to cherish every moment and every day. We bought a journal that we engraved her name on that I wrote in every night. I told her what we had done that day and I often times wrote about things God was teaching me and Bible verses. (Just a side note, I can’t find this journal since we moved, so prayers that it is found would be appreciated!) I felt a connection to Janie Beth during this time in the evening. I didn’t speak out loud much, but I felt as though she could tell what I was thinking, crazy as that sounds.
We went to Build a Bear and let each of the kids make a Janie Beth bear. It was a way to give them something to hold onto when they were sad or to talk to when they wanted to talk to her. It was one of the best things we did!!!! Those animals are very well loved!
We took pictures with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Our photographer was amazing!!! I am so thankful for those tangible memories!
We made each special event Janie Beth's. It was her Thanksgiving, her AL v. AU game (a big deal for college football in AL), her first snow. We even went to a movie. I prayed daily that she would still be with us for Christmas. I still remember that Thanksgiving. We went to the normal family gathering, but I felt so alone. It was so hard. Josiah's Janie bear watched the football with me. Janie Beth got hit by a snowball. We were blessed to have her for Christmas too. We bought an ornament with a dad and pregnant mom and wrote her name on the belly. I found a pink lamb that became my Janie Beth lovey.
Watching the game...
You can see the snowball mark on my jacket. :)
We were blessed by so many!!! God wrapped us in His arms, and also in the arms of His children. Those were the hardest 6 wks!!! Every single thing was bittersweet. I felt stuck. Grief had already begun, yet I was trying to enjoy. It was a constant see-saw of emotion. I prayed daily, and often times multiple times a day, that God would write my faith! I told God exactly what I felt about the situation. I prayed for a miracle. I prayed for guidance and peace. I prayed for comfort. I cried. We bought her a dress and should have bought stock in Hobby Lobby because we got so many memory makers.
I did have a turning point in my journey when I was having pity party and God met me there. I was crying out to Him and I told Him that I didn't want to walk this road! He asked me, "Why don't you want to walk this road? You have no idea where it leads." (original post) WOW!!!! He was right! I had no idea where this road was going to lead. Little did I know how many prayers Janie Beth would answer or how many lives she would touch.
God always met me right where I was and always knew just what to say. :) He is awesome like that. As I re-read my blog posts from those 6 weeks I am amazed at what all God showed me. I am amazed that I even walked that road. I truly learned what God meant when He said that where you are weak, I am strong. I was carried through those weeks!!! I was groping to find my way. I was doing all I could to breathe. Do I have regrets? Of course, but I try hard to be thankful for the things that I did do!
What a journey those 6 weeks were! They were only the beginning of a very long road.