Saturday, November 20, 2010

One Year


{song credit: "Smallest Wingless" by Craig Cardiff}

I am in a state of reflection today.  It was one year ago on this day that we met with the specialist at Primary Children's Hospital and learned what dire condition Michael's heart was in.  We were told he would not make it to full gestation, and probably only had a few weeks left as it was.  Then we were sent on our way after we had been given no hope.  We were devastated, shaken and scared but we both still hoped that our son would be able to make it through this.  After offering a prayer pleading for comfort and strength right there in the parking lot, we decided to make the most of the situation and enjoy every minute we had left with our sweet boy.  Each and every movement was such a relief and blessing from that point on.

Exactly one week later, Michael left us.  I was in the middle of making Frog Eyed Salad for Thanksgiving dinner the next day when I felt dizzy, sick to my stomach and just "different" all around.  I decided to go to bed to try and sleep off the nauseous feeling.  I realized I hadn't felt Michael move since earlier that afternoon, but prayed he was just taking a long nap.  After a very restless night of sleep, we decided to go to the hospital just to make sure everything was alright before we took off to Thanksgiving at the in-laws.

My fears grew as the nurse was unable to find a heartbeat.  The ultrasound tech then came in and confirmed that Michael's big heart was no longer beating.  We decided to go home and wait until the next day to deliver him, allowing our doctor to enjoy the holiday with his family and also allowing travel time for any of our family who wanted to be here.  After putting our Little Guy down for a nap at home, Jer and I sat on the couch and sobbed.  I have never cried so hard in my life.  The hole in my heart was gaping wide open.  It hurt to breathe and I wasn't sure that it would ever heal.

Labor and delivery was more of an emotional exhaustion than physical.  We had some very special moments with our sweet baby as we were able to hold his perfect little body in our arms.  An overwhelming feeling of comfort came over us at that time, and we knew that we would see our baby boy once again.

Michael's burial ended up happening the very next day.  I was discharged from the hospital that morning, and we buried him that afternoon.  We had many family members who had traveled a long distance to be here with us already and we didn't want them to have to come back a few days later.  We are so grateful and surprised at how many were able to come and be there on such short notice.

As I look back on the events of those three days and remember the immense pain that they brought along with them, I can't help but recognize the blessings that accompanied and followed that pain.  We were never alone through this trial.  We had a constant companion who was there carrying and comforting us the whole way through.  We have most definitely grown from the experience this past year.  The pain that I feared would never leave has been replaced with gratitude and peace.  I am still touched by so many of you who reached out during this time.  Friends, family and even perfect strangers provided so many words of encouragement and comfort.  I am forever grateful to you.

It is amazing to me, just how many people Michael's story has touched.  After sharing our experience on this blog, I have met women who have had the same or a similar experience and am so grateful for them and their courage, strength and examples.

Michael will always be a special part of our family.  We love him and miss him terribly, but we are so grateful for the hope that we will hold him in our arms once again.

20 comments:

  1. hilary,
    i hadn't realized the timing of michael's loss and new baby boy's impending arrival. my heart is hurting for you, but at the same time feels amazed at God's grace. you share your journey so beautifully and are such an inspiration to me. you WILL hold michael again and until then Jesus is holding him for you. take care sweet bloggy friend. you're in my prayers.

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  2. Hil, watching this video just made me cry. Unbelievable that it was one year ago. You are a great example for others. You really are amazing. I am sure Michael is very proud to have you as his mama and being part of your family forever.

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  3. It is amazing how one who lived for such a short time could touch so many. Thanks for sharing his story with us. I was so happy that I was able to be there that day. And the video is beautiful. (Everything except my red-head's mullet. Oh my...I never realized how bad it was. haha!)

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  4. oh man.. what a lump in my throat and tears on my cheeks. hilary.. you always write about michael in such a loving beautiful way. the video is such a sweet tribute to his burial. how beautiful and graceful you were during such a traumatic difficult time. i am still amazed that you were so thoughtful to others (your doctor and family) during YOUR time of despair. of course, i should not be surprised, because that is so like you to be so considerate.

    i am thinking of you today and hope this gorgeous snowfall reminds you of the clean white heavens above. xo.

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  5. I have flowing tears right now, thank you for sharing with us. And thank you for your example of faith and strength!

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  6. That was so beautiful hilary...the video, the song, your words. Sometimes I wonder why people have to go through certain things, but then I see down the road how much they have grown and the things learned in the situation and its just amazing. I am so impressed by your strength! Good luck with the upcoming delivery!

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  7. Even though these thoughts are about a time so filled with sadness, my heart always feels so full after reading your posts about Michael. You're amazing, Hil!

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  8. my goodness, i've got tears running down my face ... i can't imagine how sad that must be for you. my heart goes out to you even though i'm a total stranger. i'm sitting in the hospital w/ my husband (and my kids are at home) so i'm feeling emotional as it is. i'm so happy your baby is coming soon, i'm sure he will be such a blessing for you. hugs from provo.

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  9. I can't believe that it's been a year, all though it probably does feel like a very long emotional year for you. I get it. Seeing the slide show and reading your thoughts, my slowly closing stitches in my heart are ripping open...it hurts! I'm so grateful for the gospel, and I know you are too! I'm glad to hear that pain will turn into peace, that's comforting to know.

    I'm so excited for you and this new little guy of yours! He will be a dream, and so adorable! Good luck with all to come soon! Thanks for being such an amazing example!

    -Megan J

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  10. You will hold him again. I believe that.

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  11. What a beautiful, bittersweet tribute. I cannot relate to the loss of a child. I can only imagine the immense pain. What a beautiful blessing that you have such wonderful family and friends to share your burden with you. My thoughts are with you as you remember your sweet baby. ~Lanie J.

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  12. Dear Hilary, your story breaks my heart every time I think of it. It feels like nobody should have to go through such painful things but I am continually amazed and the grace and faith you handle yourself with. You are so full of light and I appreciate the way you use that light to bless blogland.

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  13. Oh hil. This was a tender post. It's incredible what one year can do-- for healing, growing, and maybe even a little surprising how fresh the wound still is, as well.
    We love you so much and are so grateful to you for sharing your story. Raw, real, tender, and spiritual.

    xoxoxo

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  14. What a beautiful song to go with those touching pictures. It is amazing that it has already been a year. You and Jerry have set such a wonderful example of how to overcome trying times. Michael's sweet spirit will never be forgotten.

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  15. It was about this time last year when I found your blog. You amazed me then and now and all the while in between.

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  16. As I read this and watched the pictures from Michael's burial, and listened to the song, the phrase that kept running through my mind was "tender mercies." I really can't imagine going through this, but the love that radiates from you and your family...tender mercies. You are a reminder to me of Heavenly Father's pure love for us. I'm so glad I've gotten to know you a little bit. Thank you for all that you openly share.

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  17. way to make a girl cry. :)

    I am amazing by your courage. It would be easy to try and burry the memory so it wouldn't be as painful. But instead, you are sharing your story and touching others who may need a little inspiration and comfort. Thank you for sharing. You have touched us all.

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  18. Heavenly Father knows your strength and that you can handle this trial- but I cannot even fathom the pain and difficulty it must bring. Thank goodness for the knowledge we have- you are so right, you will hold him again.

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  19. That was such a touching video. I'm having a hard time coming up with what to say because I am so touched and can't stop wiping my eyes. That was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that and for sharing your strength with us. Michael is so lucky to have you as his parents and I'm sure is looking forward to the day when he gets to be with you and Jerry again!

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  20. I love you Hil. That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. I wish I could've been there for you. You are truly a special daughter of God, for he trusted you so much with such an enourmous trial. You are such an inspiration to everyone.

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