It's 12 weeks ago. I know, I know. There are quite a few that believe I'm supposed to be past the loss of my Levi. Hurrying up and trying to get pregnant again does not take away the void of my womb and heart. Complying with the curse to deal silently - is also not the way I work. I've been amazed how instantaneously, I felt like losing a baby was something taboo to speak of. It was such a heavy burden. There are so many layers and facets to how this affects a woman's soul, or at least my soul. We've come through the first trimester since I became unpregnant. This experience is something I can only speak of in fragments. My purpose in starting this blog is to have a place that mommies and daddies can come and feel the pain, reconnect with their pain, if they choose to. I've come to learn that the pain of it is what it makes it real. I crave it daily. Why? Cuz everyone else has moved on or at least they appear to. Don't get me wrong, I am moving on too....but there are days and today is one of them that I don't want to. This morning, when I bent over on my hands and knees to water our Christmas tree, my tummy didn't get in the way, in fact, it gets flatter and smaller, and I get angry.
While in the University of Iowa Hospital, we were told of a funeral director that would creamate Levi's remains, for us to travel home with. We are so grateful for Dan Ciha. He entered my hospital room and commented immediately on how surprised he was to see bright red toenail polish, so stylish, on a woman's toenails who just lost so much. I had been sitting there for most of the morning, wishing I had done something with my toenails, cuz they needed done...badly. Dan came in, sat down and we proceeded to hammer out the details. Actually, he and my Stevo did that part. I just sat there, in disbelief that I was bringing my baby home in an urn. The time came when we asked him what this would cost us. His eyes softened so much, they looked melty. He wasn't going to cry, but it was as close as one could get to it and not glaze over with wet tears. I'll never forget this man's demeanor. He said, "It's no charge." He proceeded to explain how when he got into the funeral business, a woman friend of his, approached him and said about her son would have been 21 years old, if he had lived. He learned of the pain of his friend, and how not having a burial or something for him, didn't really make it real. Therefore, he determined when he had his own business, he would offer this service, or I call a ministry, to families that lose their babies. Steve and I just started crying. We hadn't spoken of it, but I knew how I had been imagining carrying some sort of container.... or what...??... would it be to take Levi back to Monona for Josh [a funeral director friend of ours] to prepare a service of some sort. The nurses also made it known to me that we could just have them dispose of our baby's remains....interesting how she knew we had named him, but wouldn't use his name. Even if we hadn't named him, it's another reason Dan Ciha provided this ministry...it's a REAL life and REAL death. Nine hours later, when I was finally being discharged, at 11:30PM, Dan met us at the entrance to the Uof Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. There we sat as he handed us our Levi, in a beautiful angel. It stood about as tall as Levi would have been from crown to rump. Dan left, and we stood at the final doors to exit the hospital. We were being kicked out, being left to figure out how to live, in the real world, without Jacob's baby brother, our second son.
Twelve weeks later, it does hurt much less. God gets the credit for that. I just pray that I can be a vessel of God's grace and healing balm the way Dan Ciha was for us that dark night. Oh...my toenails are still stylish red, only on the top half of the nail now. I haven't touched the paint on them since a week before our world changed. I will, when I'm ready to.
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