Archive for August, 2008
We were looking forward to visiting the cemetery as soon as possible after we left the hospital. Thanks to mom and dad’s presence, we were able to get a family photo.
Taking Morrow there felt strangely normal and natural. Of course I don’t like that one of our children is not in our arms. But there was something happy in a way about their “meeting.”
I had anticipated a whole host of emotions to rise up in my heart when this baby arrived and expected a fresh tidal wave of grief. I’m still waiting. It hasn’t been what I was preparing myself for at all. Mostly there’s been a lot of JOY, which is a welcome change.
My father-in-law wrote a lovely post welcoming Morrow into the world. He also scooped us a little bit, by partially explaining his name.
Morrow John Piper
Born August 22, 2008 at 12:22 pm
Weight: 7 pounds, 13 ounces
The first time I held him (immediately upon birth).
One proud dad.
Already fallen in love.
We came into the hospital last night and I received two small doses of a pill designed to soften the cervix and prepare for induction the next morning. We actually managed to sleep through our nervousness and excitement (after watching the men win gold in beach volleyball, of course).
This morning they started a very slow dose of Pitocin around 7:30 am. I hung out around 3 cm for most of the morning and after they broke my water, the contractions increased drastically (in amount and amplitude).
I opted for an epidural around 11 am, which, in my humble opinion, was amazing. I took a short rest after that, then Abraham decided to go get some lunch around 11:50 am.
Ten minutes later the nurse came in to check me and told me I was between 9 and 10 centimeters. I was absolutely shocked. I kept asking her, “Are you serious?”, “Are you sure?”. She said she’d let my doctor know. In the meantime, the resident doctor came to check on me. I told her I was feeling quite a bit of pressure. She checked me and said, “You’re ready to deliver. He’s right there.”
I immediately freaked out. Abraham wasn’t even in the room!!! So we waited and waited for him to get there, with nurses scanning the cafeteria looking for him. He was coming up the elevator, and someone asked him,
“What room are you in?”
He said, “I don’t remember.”
They said, “Are you with Molly?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“She’s already delivered!”
Abraham rushed back into the room with a pit in his stomach, thinking I was going to be so mad at him. I was only thinking about how heartbroken he would be if he missed it. Thankfully the person in the elevator was wrong—I hadn’t delivered, but only because he wasn’t there yet.
Three pushes later, on 8/22 at 12:22, we said hello to our precious baby boy, Morrow John Piper.
He is amazing already. You can see a few different pictures on Abraham’s site, too!
Since losing Felicity, I’ve had people ask me fairly often about pregnancy. We wrestled with this issue almost immediately after Felicity’s death, which was an issue all to itself. The following questions have either been asked of me, or I have asked them of myself:
When is it okay to start thinking about getting pregnant again?
In the weeks immediately following Felicity’s death, I remember berating myself for even thinking about pregnancy with another child. Part of why I thought of it so often was that my arms were empty, my home was empty (relatively speaking)—raising a newborn was what I planned to do during this year. All the plans I had made for our immediate life in October, November, December included planning for a newborn.
So part of why pregnancy was on my mind a lot was panic. What am I going to do now?!?!
I also thought a lot of things like this:
It takes so stinking long to get to the point we were (39 weeks)!!! I better hurry up and get pregnant, in order to catch up to where I thought I would be in my life.
Maybe we should just start the adoption process right now and try to get pregnant.
Many of the women I had been pregnant with the first time around had already had their second and some were even pregnant with their third. Women have such comparison complexes, and losing our child was not helping when I looked around at the people who were “ahead” of me.
Am I betraying my dead child to think of more children? Am I trying to replace her?
I was really afraid that if we thought of other children that we would be trying to replace Felicity. A week or so after we lost her, though, Abraham had a rich, God-ordained conversation with pastor/author Randy Alcorn, who was in Minneapolis speaking at the Desiring God conference.
Randy helped us understand something that has been pivotal in our thinking about subsequent children. He explained it something like this: There are at least two voids that you are living with right now. There is the void that Felicity has left in your family. That void will never be filled; it will always be there. A separate void is your desire for more children, which you hoped would be filled in part by Felicity’s arrival. It’s important to recognize that these are separate voids/longings—Felicity and more children.
That really freed us from the guilt we felt whenever we thought of our desire to add to our family. Another thing my wise mother-in-law mentioned early on as well was, “You’re no more trying to replace Felicity by having another child than you are trying to replace Orison [our living child].”
It’s just not replacement.
“I think I feel ready, but…”
I remember getting an email awhile back from someone I didn’t know who experienced something similar to us. She was asking me about pregnancy, saying she “felt ready,” even though it had only been a couple months since the death of their child.
When I read that I thought to myself, “I wonder if she really feels ready, or feels like she has to defend herself in saying that she feels ready?” If it had only been a couple months since her child died, at least in my experience with grieving, she hadn’t even hit the reality phase of the loss really setting in.
But I definitely don’t think that makes pregnancy a non-option for her. I think you can be grieving and pregnant at the same time. If I had to wait to get pregnant until I felt like I was “over” the loss of Felicity, I would never have more children. Then both of the voids are never dealt with and I’ve basically told God, “No! I will not pursue one of the desires of my heart, a desire that I feel is from you.”
Do Not Give Way to Fear.
Obviously the decision to add to your family after a loss is much weightier than prior to the loss. Many people lose children due to a genetic cause, making pregnancy very risky for them and/or their baby. Perhaps some women feel as though they can’t go through that much pain again. Maybe some feel, in praying through their particular situation, that God is not leading them to add to their family right away.
I think there is wisdom in waiting for some measure of healing to take place. I also don’t think it’s unwise to step forward quickly in faith and hope that God will add to your family if it’s His will, even as you weep. In deciding to move forward immediately or wait, I think it’s important to check our hearts continually for fear.
The motivation to get pregnant quickly should not come from fear (like the panic I referenced above). God is your provider.
The decision to wait for a season should not come from fear (self-protection). God is your defender.
A good reminder for all of us is Sarah, wife of the faithful Abraham. I love 1 Peter 3:6.
“…you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”
The verse doesn’t just say don’t be afraid. It legitimizes the fact that there are frightening things in life. It’s where we place our fear that makes us Sarah’s children. We are to cast our cares on Him, because he cares for us.
Life after a loss is so altered. Nothing is as black and white as it used to be, once the innocence of never having lost is stripped away. This decision is not an easy one. It’s important to trust God’s work in your heart to know how (and when) to move forward.
So you can pray for us. We go into the hospital tonight for a Friday morning induction.
Part of my enjoyment of this summer has been watching my toddler turn into a boy. He tries so many risky things now (be still my heart). But instead of stopping him constantly, I’m watching him develop and realizing that he is so much more capable physically than he was a year ago. He climbs ladders with relative ease, jumps off of everything, and is thrilled by all manner of boy games.
Here are some pictures from the last couple weeks that have had me laughing:
He had seen a hopscotch board while we were on on a walk the other night and when I drew him one, he thought it was so fun. He doesn’t actually throw a stone and do the game, he just jumps along the board back and forth.
Very thrilling when the dumpster arrived for our demolition work. Abraham let him go in there before we started the project and he had a blast!
Baseball and bike riding have been a huge part of this summer. Not sure how my running shoes fit into the game, but it makes sense to him somehow.
He’s also been growing his hair out with his daddy. This might be one of my favorite pictures in recent memory. This was also taken the day that he didn’t want to change out of his pajamas. I kept asking him, “Do you want to get dressed for the day now?” His response each time, “Not yet.” So he stayed in them all day—fine by me!
I’m sure others are experiencing this too, so I had to mention it. Abraham and I have spent every night this week staying up way too late to watch the Olympics. Here are some of my observations:
- They show the hottest events/sports later in the prime time slot (starting at more like 10pm) so that you watch the lesser-desired events/sports earlier in the time slot while you wait for your favorites. Perfect example: Beach volleyball, though interesting and pretty cool, just doesn’t come close to the women’s all-around gymnastics competition for most people. But you just keep watching and watching because you don’t want to miss a minute of the gymnastics.
- Sports announcers are driveling idiots sometimes. I think because they basically have to be talking every single minute, they just come out with some of the most off-the-wall stuff. They went on and on about how Phil Dalhausser made the transition from balding to shaving like a cue ball.
- I’m not that impressed with Michael Phelps. I mean, he’s an amazing swimmer, but it seems like it’s all about him whenever they show anything swimming related. I’m kind of tired of all the hype. Anyone else?
- This whole experience is causing us to lose lots of sleep. We stayed up so late every night this week that by Friday night we were completely crashed by 10:15pm. I don’t know how much more of this my body can take.
I heard about Etsy back in November when I met this awesome purse maker gal at my church’s craft fair. She explained it as kind of like Ebay for crafters, except you don’t do auctioning. It’s just a place where crafters can set up a store and sell their wares online.
Am I getting this so far?
I have yet to really explore this Etsy thing, not really for selling my stuff (Lord knows I don’t knit fast enough to make that worthwhile at all), I just want to explore for browsing/purchasing. I love the idea of unique, handmade gifts.
But every time I think to go there, I get really overwhelmed by the sheer volume of possibilities. For example, today I searched “necklace” (yeah, I know it’s too broad a term for a crafting site, but I honestly didn’t have anything in particular in mind). Anyway, do you know how many pages there were????
How in the world can I move on from there?
So if any of you use Etsy and can give me some tips for how to enjoy this site and celebrate the wonderful creativity that I behold, I’d be in your debt. Or maybe Abraham will be in your debt.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be exploring this site at all, for the sake of our bank account.