Thursday, May 15, 2008

Taking Down Hope’s Crib…but the memories linger

Events from Monday May 12

We woke up to a genuine late-season Noreaster this morning—stared yesterday afternoon. If this were winter, we'd be talking about historic snow, but alas the cool wet pattern waited until May as it has done many years recently. DOH! We've had several inches of rain and strong gusty winds. There was flooding and trees down around the area. Schools were delayed or closed because of the weather.

I have decided that my family and I need at least another week before I go back to work. So I will take a week or so of Leave Without Pay via Family and Medical Leave Act—since I have used up my vacation now as I discussed previously I really have no other option unless I want to go way into leave deficit that would take forever to get out of.

My parents came up and visited today and bought carryout food from the Boulevard Diner—a place Laurie and I have frequented over the years. While they were here, my dad and I disassembled Hope's crib and stored it in the basement. It was hard to do this, but necessary… and now seems like the right time to do it. We will need to use the nursery and we don't need to see the crib every time we walk in the room. Of course taking the crib down does not erase the memory of what we were planning for these nine months. I can still see the tack mark on the all where the little wreath that was made for Hope was hanging—Janet Menke threw a baby shower for Laurie and she had made a wreath for both Becca and Hope that we had hung in the nursery. Becca's wreath continues to hang in the room. Not only that, but we had chosen Noah's Ark as the nursery theme and so the decorations are all pairs of animals, which can't help but remind you that we were planning on twins.

And even if you could get rid of all physical evidence that we were planning for twins, the emotional impact of the past nine months would still be there. Laurie and I wrestled with the reality that we were going to have two more children and made the necessary preparations over that last few months. Now, we must readjust to the reality that we will only have one more child to raise. The irony is that when this journey began, we simply wanted a sibling for Brady and we worried when we found out we were having twins that two more children would be overwhelming. But that does not mean we didn't want our daughters. The sadness we feel at the loss of Hope testifies to our true feelings. We would give anything to have the challenge of taking care of two healthy infant daughters right now!

The fact is we worked very hard to prepare for the twins and welcome them into our lives and we're now shocked that we won't get the chance to raise them and still trying to figure out what happened and why. We will probably never understand why it was necessary to go through all we went through—a miscarriage last year followed by losing a baby this time around—if the end result was going to be just one child. Maybe it will make sense one day. Maybe this road we traveled will help someone else in the future. But right now we just don't know. I think it's best to avoid too many "why" questions right now. They just drive you crazy as you try and figure out how to pick up the pieces and move on.

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1 comment:

Sarina said...

Alan -

I am a PC(USA) pastor and my husband just recently got a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering. We also just lost a baby. I guess technically we had a miscarriage, but at four months we found out that Benjamin Gabriel had died. He was still born on Sept 5th. Your blog has been a breath of fresh air for me. We have lots of family and friends that have supported us through this tragedy, but reading your words is like reading verbatim what I am thinking throughout all of this. I'm not sure where you've come down they why question. I don't think it can be answered. I don't think there's a reason why Hope or Benjamin died, but I do know that through the gift of your writing, God has helped me. Thank you for writing these posts. I certainly could not do it, but it is comforting to know that other parents feel just as completely crushed as we do. It's also helpful to know that one year later the pain is still there. I had no idea it would hurt so much for so long. Anyway, I don't know if you're ever going to see this, but if you do, thank you.

In Christ,
Sarina Meyer

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