The past few days have been good. Reid and I usually visit Olivia twice a day - once during the morning/ afternoon and again at bedtime to "tuck her in" and say her prayers. :) She is still stable. The neonatologist told us that she's doing really well for a baby that's so small. Those words give us so much hope.
I've been battling a lot of guilt this past week (and I don't share this to try to get you to tell me I shouldn't feel this way). When it was time to leave the hospital last Monday afternoon several people said things like, "I bet you are so relieved this is over," and "Aren't you so glad you finally get to go home?" The truth is, I wish I was still lying flat on my back in antepartum. I wish I was still on magnesium in L&D. I wish I was still pregnant, feeling my babies move and kick inside of me. As nice as it is to be home, I wish I was still at the hospital. On Saturday when we walked in the hospital there was a birthing class that was touring the NICU. They were standing around talking about their due dates, their baby names, and I wanted to scream. I got in the elevator and cried to Reid, "I would give anything to still be pregnant." My pregnancy was perfect and I was so grateful to be carrying our girls. Still I have these feelings that I could have done something different. Something better. I play scenarios in my mind through out the day, wondering if I had done something differently would the outcome have changed. My doctor has assured me that there was nothing else I could've done. Aside from God ordaining their birth date before the beginning of time, my uterus was measuring beyond 40 weeks. My body did what it knew to do. I went into labor and there was nothing that was going to stop that. I also keep thinking about our girls. They were absolutely perfect in every way. If I had made it a few weeks longer would we be in a different situation? The "what ifs" play constantly in my mind. I know combating the guilt is something that will just take time.
In the last week I've heard several people refer to us as "heroes." If this is what it takes to be a hero, I'd prefer not to be one.
I think Reid and I are doing as well as can be expected. We've been making it a priority to get out of the house everyday and do something for ourselves - drive through sonic, have a lunch date, go outside with Samson. We went to church on Sunday morning which was really good for both of us. I thought it would be really hard and had even planned on us leaving early, but I had such a peace being there.
We finalized burial arrangements for Catherine, Madelyn and Mary Grace. I see the Lord's hand so clearly in the place He provided for them to be buried. If there's one thing I can say, as terrible as this has been, He has not abandoned us. It doesn't mean I haven't questioned His plan. I have. It doesn't mean that someday, as I work through this sorrow, I won't be angry with God. He is big enough to bear my anger. I would give anything for our story to be different, but through all of this horrible mess I can see He is still good.
Today my mom's life is being celebrated at a service in my hometown. I had planned to be there, but when it came down to it I just couldn't stand leaving Olivia for the day. If anyone would understand, my mom would. I made peace with her death a long time ago. The last time I saw her was February 26. We took pictures with the girls monogrammed burp cloths in the parking lot of the nursing home. I hugged and kissed her like it was the last time I would see her. When Reid and I drove off I looked in the side view mirror at my mom for the last time. That image of my dad bending down kissing on her cheek and wheeling her back inside will be etched in my memory forever.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV)