"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 9 and 10

From early on in our journey, it was a dream of mine to be able to share Rachel with our church family. I wanted so much for her to live long enough for this and it happened...we took Rachel to church yesterday! As we drove to church, with me cradling Rachel's little head in the back seat, I felt so incredibly thankful to God. Someday I want to write a list of all the ways that God has provided for us along the way. It will be a long one! I said something like this in the sharing time. I hoped that our friends would not pity us (and shy away from us) but feel our joy as well, our thankfulness for having the chance to know Rachel. It was so wonderful to see these people I care about holding and enjoying our little girl.

...Then Sunday afternoon happened...It didn't take much to topple me over. Just some chest pain. Every deep breath hurt. I was grumpy with Dave and the kids. Everything felt wrong. I didn't feel very thankful - I felt agitated and anxious. Sure, I will enjoy and treasure the time we have with Rachel. But after that? After that, my arms will still be empty. God I feel like a fake. I tell people that I feel blessed to have been given Rachel but today I'm just a hurting mother trying to make sense of this.

By Monday afternoon the physical pain had really increased. I talked to my Doctor and she suggested that I go over to Emergency to rule out a blood clot (because I had a c-section) so I did. I spent four hours there and no blood clots. Perhaps a muscle spasm or gas.. But as I stood waiting in the line for triage, all of a sudden I started crying..the kind where I didn't know if I could stop. I hadn't been away from Rachel much before today and the thought of what life will be like after she's gone, suddenly loomed before me. But as I stood crying in that line, a kind grandmotherly woman listened to me share about Rachel and I was reminded again that so often the people I have admired the most, are people who have gone through suffering. Thank-you God for sending this kind stranger.

I know there will be more of this to come - both times of praise - and of raw honest grief. Did you know that Job, when tragedy hit, tore his robe in grief and worshipped at the same time? This really surprised me because I don't think I would respond the way he did. God, help me to stay open to you even when my heart is fighting to close in on itself.


Hope's Blog said...

My heart goes out to you. I can't say that I know what you are going through, because I don't really. I can feel your pain and pray that God provides the comfort and support you all need through these precious days and into the future. God bless you all!

Angela said...

Oh Kendra, what a witness you are! You are not a hypocrite. You are torn, as any mother is in your situation. I still struggle with that. But thanks be to God that we are forgiven through Christ! That is a promise no one can take away.

As someone who does understand what is coming, try (and I know it's hard because I wrestled with it too when I knew the end was near) and focus all your energy on enjoying Rachel now. Soak in every moment, never turn down a chance to gaze at her beautiful face. When the time to mourn is upon you, God will give you the strength to get through it. But until then, make the memories that you will treasure in your heart forever. Already you have done way more than I got to with Hazel, it makes me kind of jealous! :) You are blessed and so is Rachel to have such wonderful parents. God be with you today.

Carol Taves said...

Oh Kendra, I pray for you. I was just re-reading the verse at the top of your blog - Isaiah 40:11. That applies to you and Dave just as much as to Rachel - He will carry YOU in His arms as well. It's okay (and normal) to fall apart sometimes - you are only human after all. In your weakness, He is strong. God will love you and care for you, in the times where you are feeling strong and able to deal with life, and also in the times where you feel sad and bitter and anxious. Give yourself permission to feel those things; we can't choose our feelings (especially with all those post-partum hormone changes happening), just keep giving them to God and be gentle with yourself. Love and prayers.

Valerie Ruth said...

Dear sister
i sit here at the breakfast table sipping my coffee through my tears for you and your baby. i can understand how it feels like she must be fake. she looks good even though the doctors say she is terribly sick. it's incompatible. my heart is in calgary with you all.

ssp said...

Dear Kendra, Thank you so much for sharing Rachel with us, both through the blog and at church on Sunday. She is so very beautiful. I am blessed over and over when I read your blog. I wish I could take away the pain, and the fear of what will happen in the future. I love you guys and am praying for you. I am glad that God has put people in your lives at places like the Emergency room, etc. I will continue to pray that God will keep doing that for you, that you will see Him and feel His comfort. And that you can enjoy this time with Rachel and feel God's peace.
God bless! Sylvia

Elmer said...

Love you Kendra! Don't be too hard on yourself -- you have been very brave and very strong, and it's only understandable that once in a while, it may seem like more than you can bear! 'Underneath are the Everlasting Arms....'May you find rest as He holds you.
Hope you find a little time and energy to focus on your 8th anniversary today as well. Congratulations! Love MOM

Erin said...

Ah, so happy anniversary!
Peppermint tea will help with the gas pain (if that is what it is). I am so jealous! I wish we had been there Sunday ( we ended up with some train confusion down town and didn't make it). Keep strong Kendra, it is ok to be sad and it is ok to feel hurt. It is not a lack of faith ,this hurts and it is hard. Just try to worry about today as tomorrow has enough worrying of its own. I know its hard to do but as many others have said just soak her up now.
Much love!

Crystal said...

I haven't seen you or talked to you in years but now I find myself reading your blog whenever I have a moment. What you're going through amazes me and I am in awe of how you seem to handle it all! I don't think I would have the strength. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Rachel is beautiful by the way and I'm happy that you and your family have been able to hold her and spend time with her!
Crystal Magnusson (Barkman)