It's been four months since we said "see you later" to you, our little peanut. These months have been anything but easy without you here, and today gives a whole new meaning to the word bittersweet. Today we are moving in to our new house, but there is a big part of us missing, and that is you. I packed up your nursery the other night. It didnt hurt as bad as I thought it would, but it sure did remind me of all the fun plans I had for us as a family. Losing you was the hardest thing I have ever been through, and probably the hardest thing I will ever go through. I wake up every day with the stinging reality that it is another day I don't get to hold my baby, the baby my arms and heart ache for all the time. You have taught me a lot of things through the short days you were here, and I cannot wait for the day I can pick you up and give you the biggest kiss telling you how much I love you. I hope you know that - I hope you know how much I love you. You will be forever remembered and never forgotten.
Yesterday we also started moving. I was already emotional and after an argument with the carpet cleaners and being told HHGregg didn't have our oven- I was in rare form. I spent the majority of the afternoon with the MANY people who came to help us finish packing and take loads to the new house. A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out and helped, it was a lot less stressful to get it done so quickly. Moving wasn't the only new thing going on yesterday.
I've mentioned before that my best friend, Claire, is pregnant. Most people find it strange that I am best friends with someone who is pregnant. She has actually been one of the best friends through all of this, and it hasn't been weird or uncomfortable at all. Yesterday I got the text that she was in labor and would be having the baby soon. I told her "tell that baby she can't come now - we are supposed to be moving!" I finished packing my bedroom as much as I could stand and headed to the hospital. I know I didn't 'have' to go but I wanted to be there as much as, if not more than, Claire wanted me to be there. It took me about 45 minutes to get there and I was able to see her and say hello. My plan was to just stay for a few minutes and head back to finish packing and they had strict instructions to text me when I needed to head back. I left the hospital and headed home, tearful the whole way. I was so excited for my best friend, but also very much in the midst of grief on a hard day. I stopped to see Sawyer and just told him how much I loved him and that I missed him SO much. While all that was going on my parents were at our old house finishing up a load so I headed there. I got to the house, loaded a few things, and got ready to head to the new house when I received ANOTHER text saying it was time! I ran to my car and got to the hospital in about 30 minutes. She had the baby as I was walking in to the waiting room - perfect timing!
The whole way to the hospital I was freaking out. I didn't know if I was emotionally ready, but I knew Claire wanted me there. I prayed that God had a plan for me being a part of this and I felt like He was telling me to be there. I text a few people asking them to pray for a safe delivery and also that I would be able to keep it together. I'm not sure why I felt the need to hold it all together, Claire already told me she would understand if I cried. When I walked in to the waiting room they were all so excited - but I stood off to the side. I was excited too- but in a different way. I didn't want any attention on myself and I knew I would get emotional when people started talking to me. It reached the point where I had to go to the bathroom and just let my tears flow. I called my dad and he just listened to me sob. I told him how I felt bad that I was so upset and I didn't want any attention on me. I told him how fearful I was of losing my friend now that she has a baby and mine isn't here. I know this won't happen but it's a real fear because of my insecurity of where I even fit in. Him and several other people told me it was okay if I left - but it wasn't okay to me. I would have been just upset if I was at home, missing everything. I needed to experience something good as a reminder that God is good. In the midst of my grief, He was showing me joy. If I said next month would be easy I would be lying. Next month I will be grieving 5 months since saying see you later and they will be celebrating a one month birthday. That is okay though, it's a reminder that I too will celebrate those with a baby here on Earth. After I calmed myself down, Claire's sister came to check on me and we went back upstairs to wait until we could see Claire and the baby.
It felt like forever, but probably because I was working myself up about how it was going to be. I was afraid of crying too much. I didn't know if I should hold her, or even if I would be able to look at her for very long. The family went back and then it was my turn. I went in and was able to talk to Claire for a few minutes before I saw Charleigh Kate. She is so beautiful! Almost as beautiful as Sawyer, a definite close second! Lol. I knew when I saw her I would feel the urge to hold her. I feel that when I see babies around me, anyways. I always think maybe it will help my aching arms but I never have the courage. Tonight I did. I held her and I cried. I cried happy tears. I cried sad tears. I cried them both at the same time - the true meaning of bittersweet. I can now say that it doesn't help my aching arms but it is a reminder of God's love and His beautiful gifts and that He will fill my arms again, one day. I felt a complete peace while holding Charleigh and a wonderful reminder of those times I was able to snuggle my sweet boy. I cried because I miss him, but I cried because Charleigh will never meet him this side of Heaven. We decided she will call me "aunt Ashlyn", which I think is perfect because I couldn't love her more if she was my actual blood-related niece. I can't wait to tell her all about Sawyer, I know they would have been best friends. I said my goodbyes to Claire and Sam and decided to make my way home because I have another full day of moving ahead of me. As I left I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I drove home with praise music cranked up thanking God for the blessing of both Sawyer and Charleigh, and for the reminder that He will fill my empty arms again one day. I thanked Him for the strength that He gave me while I was at the hospital. I thanked Him for the peace He was flooding my heart with at the current moment, and something I am still feeling. It is a peace that does pass ALL understanding - because even I don't understand it. I don't understand how I am not falling apart like most people would think. I don't understand the sense of peace He gave me as I held another baby, the first baby, since my baby left my arms four months ago. These are the words I used in a text to describe last night:
"Four months ago I held my baby as he went from my arms to the arms of his Heavenly Father and tonight I held the new life God created. I've never felt His presence more."
I know that many people are going through things that aren't what they had planned for their lives - but let me tell you something: God loves you, SO much, and He wrote your story long before your existence. His plan is perfect, even when we cannot see and even when it is hard, He is still good. Use your story, your struggle, to bring glory to God and the blessings he will bestow upon your life will be more than your wildest dreams. He is forever faithful, forever constant in the trial and the change. I may not ever understand why He chose me to be Sawyer's mommy and why He chose me to endure one of life's GREATEST pains. But let me tell you something - He doesn't make mistakes, ever, and He has a plan for Sawyer's life regardless of if I can see it come to fruition. He is using my sweet boy's story to renew the faith of His children and we are using Sawyer's story to bring glory and honor to the God who has never left our side. He never promised a life without struggles, but He did promise to walk with us through the valleys. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2 NIV)" I am a firm believer everything happens for a reason, and that is because I believe God has already written out stories. I wish you all could experience what I did tonight. In the midst of my grief, my sadness, my disappointment, I was shown joy, love, and peace. I have to thank Claire and Sam for being some of the greatest friends and letting the birth of their daughter play a pivotal role in my healing. It means more than you will ever know and I am so thankful you have allowed God to work through you both and Charleigh to bring me another step closer to healing and learning to live this life without Sawyer. You three are a blessing, and I will forever be grateful to your family for what you have done in the last for Josh and I and what I know you will do for us in the future. I love you, so much.
Psalm 29:11 "The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace."
Isaiah 54:10 "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed" says The Lord, who has compassion on you.
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Psalm 89:1 "I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations."
Here are a couple pictures of me and sweet Charleigh Kate (don't mind my eyes being almost swollen shut from crying):