Today marks three months since the delivery of Samuel into the world at 19 weeks, and just over two months since the delivery of Noah at 23 weeks. I would have been 33 weeks pregnant today, with 7 weeks left to go.   Life goes on, as they say, but life goes on differently after a stillbirth.  It just seems like every couple of weeks I have a couple of depressing days in which everything around me makes me think of what could have been and what is no longer.  And I cry. And cry. And cry.

I am blessed with two beautiful, God-loving, smart, funny, creative children.

(Taken just two weeks after the loss of Noah – I am a mournful mess inside, yet still somehow, God gave me the grace to enjoy this day at the pumpkin patch with our homeschool group.)

Still, my heart yearns and longs for the beautiful and perfect two that almost were.  My mind is filled with “if onlys.”  If only Noah had held out one more week.  If only I had realized my amniotic fluid was leaking earlier.  If only I hadn’t gotten the infection that took Samuel’s life.  If only I had been better at being on bedrest.  If only I hadn’t had placenta previa.  If only my body had not betrayed me….

I know God has a plan for me.  I know that everything that happened was out of my control and completely in His.  I trust His plan.  I am not bitter or angry at God.  Just feeling melancholy.  The reality is that chances were high that even if Noah had held out one more week, he still might have died from being so premature. “If onlys” are just a snare from the devil, entrapping me in sorrow, instead of letting me focus on the joy of the coming season. All those Advent plans?  They are my way of not wallowing in the grief. It’s okay to grieve and I am letting myself mourn, but blaming myself and the wishing that things had gone differently aren’t helping me heal.

I am counting all the blessings I can as we approach Thanksgiving.  I have so much to be thankful for. That sounds so forced and contrived – a mask I am trying to wear to hide the sorrow – but really, I am thankful and for so, so many things.  Most of all, I am thankful that though I lost the twins, I did so at a point in my pregnancy when they could actually be held and admired.  Marveled at.  Yes, I am ever so thankful that I got to marvel at their perfection and God-breathed beauty.  I am so thankful that God was in all the details in the consternation that beheld most of August and September and that every day has joy-filled blessings as well as sorrows.