Saturday, February 23, 2013

Coming Home

First, thank you to everyone who so kindly offered their prayers after reading Celeste's birth story.  Your stories and kind words meant so much to us.

I thought I would update you on what it's been like since coming home.  

The first day we came home was a difficult one.  We picked up Evangeline after we left the hospital and that was the sunshine in our day. We were SO happy to have our sweet girl in our arms again, happy to step outside into the sun, happy to be going home to the comfort of our own home.  When we walked into the house, and went through to put our things down.  Stepping into our bedroom and seeing the bed rumpled from where I had laid trying to ease my contractions made my eyes well up. On the bed were the pregnancy books I had read, hoping to find some explanation of what I was experiencing.  It was upsetting to have reminders of the fear and anxiety of that night.  

The next morning, my sister came over and encouraged me to shower, do my hair, put on some makeup, thinking it would make me feel better. I went to the bathroom to shower, and felt so sick just thinking about it. I thought about my chest, the last place Celeste rested before she took her last breath.  I wanted everything about me to be the same. I wanted to smell the same way that she last smelled me, wanted my hair to stay the same. I definitely didn't want to wear makeup. I felt like it was a lie to look differently than how I felt inside. I felt dead inside, and I didn't want to blow dry my hair and put on makeup and look like I was ok. I was definitely not ok.  

I did shower, but it wasn't until Sunday evening for church that I dried my hair and put on makeup.  

Before we went into the hospital, I had intended for weeks to take off the chipped red toenail polish I had been wearing since before Christmas.  Once I got home, though, it was really difficult for me to take off that polish, and I don't really know why now.  I think I just felt like my body was so changed already, I was desperate for something to stay the same.  I had delivered a baby that wasn't ready to be born, I had had surgery to remove my placenta, the one part of my body that still knew I was pregnant and didn't want to leave on it's own...I couldn't undo the changes my body had undergone. Something had to stay the same, and it was going to be that chipped, two month old pedicure.  

Today, almost two weeks after Celeste's passing, we're doing ok. I guess. We're taking it day by day and keeping each other smiling. If it weren't for Kemi's support, I don't know how I'd do it.  I think of Celeste for what seems like every second of every day, and miss her constantly.  Kemi and I were saying the other day that one blessing or lesson we've learned in this experience is how little value there is in our earthly possessions. I know to the depths of my soul that I would give every material possession we own to hold our baby girl again, just for a minute.  It puts it all in perspective for us, and keeps us focused on our true treasure. For that, we are thankful.  We are so thankful for our precious Evangeline, and the smiles she brings us every day.  We thank God for the special bond He's made between Kemi and I, and for the gift of the sacrament of our marriage.  We are so thankful for the family and friends that have offered so much support. Please continue to pray for us and for our continued healing. We'll be praying for you!


  1. Oh those early days....I remember them. You can only take them a day at a time. If all you can manage in a day is just getting out of bed then I think that day is a success and even if you don't get out of bed that's ok. There is no right or wrong way to do grief. Just do what you feel you need to in each moment that it hits you. Let God continue to carry you through it b/c we can't do it on our own.

  2. I had a second trimester miscarriage with my son Francisco. I remember waking up in the morning and before I opened my eyes, my first thought was "I'm not pregnant." Then I'd start crying. That is how big a shock it was to go from being pregnant to not pregnant. I'd start crying before my eyes even opened in the morning.

    I was so weak from the grieving that I'd get on my hands and knees, crawl over to the microwave, nuke my 2 older toddlers a hot dog, and then crawl on my hands and knees back to my bed. That was my only movement for the entire 8 hours while my husband was at work.

    You are in a profoundly holy place. Every breath you breathe right now, every hurting breath is a prayer. I promise you, this pain is not wasted. It will not always be this hard, but it will be hard for a long time.

    This mystical body of Christ stuff, it's a mystery, but its real.

    One of my blogger friends is an American ex pat who lives in China. Her baby died at 8 months in utereo while she was in America (getting ready for the birth) and her husband was still working in China. They were totally apart during the unexpected sudden death of there daughter. Years later, I was outside a NICU room and my daughter Tess was dying. It was so horrible to look at her green body that I volunteered to wait outside her hospital room for the priest who was coming to do her emergency baptism. I was all by myself and I started shaking. Out of blue, I remembered my friends little girl's name. It floated into my head like a bubble. I reminded myself that it was a grace that I had my little girl for six days and that she was here, so that she could be baptized. All life was a gift. That memory of another Mom's pain, that is what gave me the courage to go back in the room and stand next to my little girl's crib and love her totally, even though it looked like she was on her way to death. I had the strength to go love her when even the nurses were scared.

    The healing is coming. The Psalm on Sunday said "Wait for the Lord with courage. Wait with a stout heart." That's what you need right now--courage. The worse thing in the world happened. Your Good Friday came early. Now you need courage to wait for the grace of Easter Morning to start again in your soul.

    Have courage, little Mother!

  3. Just reading about you seeing those pregnancy books and ruffled bed made me feel the same sick feeling in my stomach. I had tried to drink a coca-cola to get Caleb to move on the way to my appointment that day. 4 days later, after he was stillborn, I climbed back into my car to go to Church...and the can of coke was still there! I had a panic attack and screamed at my husband, begging him to get rid of it. It was so unbelievable that something so little could sent me into a crying mess. Those triggers are hard. Keep leaning on the sacrament of your marriage, that is what got us through. Praying for you.

  4. Ryanne, Thank you. It's good to hear from someone who understands! Makes me feel a little less crazy...;) The triggers come all the time, and it's hard to predict. Thank you for your prayers.