Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life, Interrupted

I had been married for 7 years, with 3 healthy children and a surprise 4th child on the way. Girl, boy, boy...and we could hardly believe it when the 20 week ultrasound showed a perfectly healthy baby girl! You can imagine how over-the-moon big sister was to finally even the score! Our family of 5.5 was already bursting at the seams as we adjusted to preschool and 1st grade, flashcards, morning {all-day} sickness, school fundraisers, Brownie meetings, ballet lessons, soccer practice, missions meetings, class picnics, playdates, work, church activities...you get the picture! Our busy world was spinning fast and furious.

And on Labor Day of 2006, our world stopped spinning. 24 weeks growing strong...interrupted. No heartbeat. Our baby Ruby was gone. Two days later, the earthly tent that would have been her was born to us, and we spent 6 precious hours holding her before we let her go. One year later, I would write these words:
Seems like if anyone could say it, I could...
after all, I'm the only one who felt your life...
Your kicking and growing...
rolls, hiccups, twitches...
I knew you, felt you,
loved you, wanted you...
weeks of feeling miserable, knowing it would be worth it...
back to nature, midwife and all...
couldn't quit the caffeine, though, brothers and sister to keep up with...
too busy to stop and enjoy,
to stop and feel my Ruby,
to watch my belly roll...
to realize you'd fallen still...
The world keeps turning for everyone else…
mine is still…
still…

This tragic interruption, this insertion of stillness into our lives, was such a paradox. In one sense, the stillness was the worst thing ever. It represented loss and hurt and pain and grief and absolute brokenness and devastation. Our daughter was stillborn. I will never forget her tiny body and the coldness and stillness. Our lives literally became still. I sat on the couch while family and friends swirled around me, taking care of the things that were oh-so-important to me just days before. The kids took turns crawling in my lap while I just sat, mostly in silence. Still. And in those moments, when I could hardly catch my breath in all my stillness, His command became my lifeline. "Be still and know that I am God." I couldn't move. I couldn't do. I couldn't speak. I couldn't pray. I could hardly breathe. But I could be still. And know, in deep places that had never been explored in me before, that He is God.

And as is the normal course in life, days and weeks of stillness slowly gave way to moving, doing, speaking, praying...breathing. That silent desperation, of feeling Him in each breath as He momentarily broke the utter stillness, of being completely dependent on Him to wake me up each morning and get me out of bed, slowly gave way to a new normal. As the hurt began to heal, I began to become more self-reliant again. There is a part of me that longs for the day when I will not only be reunited with my Ruby, my treasure laid up in heaven, but that also longs to live every breath in and for Him, this time without interruption, without tears and heartache. Lord Jesus, interrupt us soon!


11 comments:

Jeanne said...

I've watched you emerge from the stillness to go on with life... I know it hasn't been easy, honey. You are a very good mommy and I love you so much!

Jennifer said...

Melanie what a touching post. I can't even imagine what it has been like to lose a baby. May we all learn to be still and let God take control no matter what our circumstances.

Beth said...

Wow, Melanie - that is a very powerful post. Thank you for sharing that part of you.

Audrey's Mom said...

Melanie, I'm so thankful to you for using your loss of Ruby to teach us valuable lessons and letting God speak through you. You rock!

April said...

Your post was touching. I have just been reading your blog for a few weeks, but felt compelled to comment this time. I had a stillborn son in July 06. I also look forward to one day seeing him again. Your post says all the things I have a hard time saying. Thank you for saying that so eloquently. I believe, all of the little babies in Heaven are being cared for and held and laughing with Jesus. I am thinking of your family tonight.

Michael and Hannah said...

Been praying for you this week. What a beautiful tribute to your precious Ruby. I believe she will know and understand your love for her. Sitting here feeling this 21-week old girl bouncing in my belly, your words bring tears... and a reminder to be still and cherish. Thank you.

Susan Tipton said...

I'm so sorry for your loss of little Ruby.

Stillness... self-reliance. You've given me a lot to think about. Thank you for sharing.

April Kay said...

Oh, Melanie, I am SO sorry to hear that y'all had to experience this! I had read earlier something about a baby named Ruby and wanted to ask you about her. Your beautiful Ruby is in heaven right now with the 3 babies Marc & I have lost very early in pregnancies. That thought makes me smile, but yet my heart breaks that these precious babies are not HERE with us on earth. It is just not fair, but God works in crazy ways through our losses. Love you and your beautiful children!

Sarah said...

Beautifully written and I'm so sorry for your loss of that sweet little angel.

Valerie said...

I'm rereading this post today. You, Melanie, are such a beautiful person. I can't imagine what you went through. You know the reunion in Heaven's glory land will be oh, so grand!! Mommy and baby Ruby, together again. God's plan is perfect. Thank you for sharing your belief! Truly inspirational.

Lydia & Riley Jane's Mom said...

I have thought of you and prayed for you and your family this week as you remember your time with your precious Ruby Anne. I am so thankful for the promise we have with our Savior who will reunite us with our loved ones one day!