Privileged. Today I feel so very privileged. Privileged to have walked this journey. Privileged to be Gabriel’s mama. Privileged to have a baby who is with Jesus now. Now know that I don’t always feel this. Actually, this is a rare feeling for me, but I have felt it strongly today. Often I feel sad, upset, angry, jealous, hurt, lonely. I also feel blessed, thankful, joyful, and even some times happy.
I feel a lot of things — often times things that are very conflicting. It might be a normal part of grief, I’m not sure — maybe if I ever read any of those grief books I’ll get an idea if I’m the odd one out. I’m guessing that I’m not, though. Most of the time I always feel 2 ways. I’m always thankful that Gabriel was born alive and that we got to spend time with him. And I always feel like it wasn’t enough time. Some moments, even some days, one of those feelings outweighs the other. But they’re always both there. Some times I learn about another Trisomy 18 baby that died in the womb and I’m so thankful ours didn’t. And the feelings of thankfulness for that outweigh the grief of his short life. Then the next day I see a picture of someone’s new baby, and I’m devastated all over again that mine isn’t here. He never was meant to be here long, but it wasn’t enough time. Some times one feeling outweighs the other, but they’re both always there.
I miss my baby a lot. Writing makes me miss him more. Being still. Thinking about him. Remembering the details of him, make my body hurt because my heart aches so heavily. But today, I had this glimpse that gave me a different perspective. Tomorrow, I’m sure my feelings of being privileged will be gone and I’ll be on to feeling something new or back to feeling something familiar. But today I am thankful for this perspective.
Sometimes when I watch my friends with their babies I am jealous. I am so thankful for their children and so thankful that their babies are healthy — I would never wish it another way! And most of the time, I don’t think anything about it. But occasionally, I find myself jealous of their sweet babies they get to love on and care for and raise into fine human beings. But today, I thought that I have something that they don’t, that most people don’t. My baby — my child of my own flesh and blood — is in Heaven with Jesus as we speak. And while there have been plenty of moments in the past few weeks where that doesn’t comfort me, today I find it a privilege. Today I feel as if a part of me is in Heaven and that’s a privilege not many people get.
We’ve been entrusted with this really important journey. And I’m really still not sure why. I probably won’t ever really know. I’m thankful that I’ve seen some fruit from it, and I hope that there continues to be much fruit that comes from Gabriel’s life. But today I was reminded of the great responsibility that comes with us being Gabriel’s parents. God didn’t just pick anyone to parent him, to walk this journey. And don’t misread what I’m saying here — I don’t think we’re awesome in any way, but I do think that Tommy and I were specifically chosen to be Gabriel’s parents and with that comes great responsibility. There’s a lot that I haven’t written about here. Gabriel’s birth is one of those things. I haven’t decided yet how much of the day I want to share and how much of the day I want to be sacred and known only in our hearts and minds. But one of the things that happened that day, was that we had a nurse taking care of us who had also lost her baby. I remember she came up beside me, at some point during that night, leaned in close and told me she lost her baby pretty early at 16 weeks, and that his name was Gabriel. She told me that she believes God chose us to lose our babies because we would love them so well. And that we did. We loved our Gaby so well. We still do. We always will. We also took and continue to take the responsibility of having this child, with his condition, and his story very seriously. It’s a story that is worthy of being told. It’s a story that has planted seeds and we will continue to sow them and watch them grow. It’s a story that needs to be stewarded well. And today I was reminded that it is a privilege to be the one who does that. To be the mama not with 2 kids in my house but the mama with one child here and with a baby in Heaven. If my baby is with the Lord, then surely that brings me closer to Him, right? So while these thoughts today have brought comfort, they have also brought a heavy load of tears. Being privileged is a blessing but it’s heavy and carries with it a lot of weight and heartache as well.