Sunday, August 5, 2012

An Emotional Roller Coaster

It is hard to put into words what I have been feeling the last week and a half or so.  On July 25, 2012, we were expecting the fun half-way-point pregnancy ultrasound that everyone gets.  We were going to find out the gender and start getting even more excited about the new addition to our family.  Although it was very fun to find out he is a boy and to see him moving around, we also found out that our little guy has some pretty serious heart problems.

That first 24 hours went by with a lot of tears.  I think both of us were in shock.  We have a few friends that have dealt with children with heart problems and we knew, to some extent, what that can mean.  It was an experience we never expected to happen to our little family.  I remember walking out to the car with Tim after the ultrasound and both of us just cried.  After a few minutes, Tim looked at me and asked, "What do we do now?"  I shook my head and said, "I guess we just go home."  It seemed so crazy to think we could just get back to normal life after hearing this news.

Probably the hardest thing to do was calling our mothers.  Somehow, saying the words to those we loved made it more real...and more difficult.  Fortunately, our mothers were wonderful enough to call each of our siblings and tell them for us.  It was so much easier for them to just know then to have to tell them.  However, once they knew, I think both Tim and I started to feel the prayers and love from each one of them.

This was probably the first time I have ever experienced "feeling the prayers" of others, at least to this extent.  Literally over night, I went from so sad and almost hopeless, to finding peace and the courage to simply stand up and do what we needed to to.  Just the next day, I was ready to see the specialists and start the process of learning everything we could about baby's heart condition so we could make the necessary plans to help him.   I have been at such peace ever since that day.  How wonderful it has been to realize that the Lord really does not give us more than we can handle and helps us through our more difficult times.

I'm not going to lie, though.  I have still had moments (and days) where tears and grief are at the surface.  I have tried to think about how others could relate to my feelings and the only thing I can seem to relate what I have been feeling is the grief cycle.  I started out in denial...days where I would wake up and think that the first ultrasound was just a dream.   Everything is fine and none of that terrible news really happened.  Then, there are moments of just sadness.  Sadness for the baby inside and what he is going to have to deal with and also sadness at the loss of the normal experience of a healthy baby.  There have also been moments of asking why, but I am grateful for the knowledge of the gospel so I don't need to dwell on this fact.  Mostly, I am grateful that Heavenly Father has helped me come to the acceptance stage quickly.  I know that it has been his spirit of peace that has helped me to this point.

Although I know that journey with this little guy will probably not be the easiest, I am so grateful for this opportunity.  I know that Heavenly Father does not send these spirits to just anyone to take care of.  What a wonderful and terrifying experience it will be.  I also know that my emotions have more of a roller coaster to ride, I know that it will be much easier with my Heavenly Father on my side.

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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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