19 October 2010

Paradigm Shifting

It might be difficult to admit, but it's true. If Ewan were born healthy and whole, if I had sailed through my pregnancy over smooth waters and under sunny skies, I can tell you what the tenor of my dialogue might be right now.


4 days old
I'm so tired! My nipples are sore. Ugh, that was the nastiest diaper. And did I tell you about how it got everywhere when I was out running errands? I can't get even three minutes to myself anymore ... and the spit-up got everywhere!

Even if it were not my intention, I would quite likely be taking my healthy child for granted, making the minor complaints that I've commonly heard from those with a newborn. I probably wouldn't have stopped to take notice of each kick and movement like I did when I was pregnant, and probably would have been lamenting my sore hips a whole lot more.


But when you get news like we did, it cannot help but change the eyes through which you view not only your experience, but everything around it. Suddenly, everything I had been so worried about before seemed impossibly small. I could not even remember what many of those things were.

Before Ewan was even conceived, it was most definitely the case that he was wanted and deeply loved. We made every possible preparation we could to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. And what we learned was that what happened with Ewan's heart was entirely out of our control -- and I mean entirely, determined by the two cells that came together to make a new little person. There was not a single thing we did to cause it, nor anything we could have done to prevent it or make it better.

This is comforting. 
There is nothing we did to cause this, it didn't happen because of something harmful or wrong that we did.

This is aggravating.
There is nothing we could have done to prevent or change this, and nothing we can do to ensure it doesn't happen again

This is completely humbling.
We really have no control over any of it.

These are painful lessons, and it kills me that it takes something like this to get me to pay attention and to stop fretting over whatever those piddly little nothings were that were so terribly irksome before. When I looked into those blue eyes of his, I saw wisdom and beauty and love and everything that matters in life, telling me

This is now. Soak it in. Don't miss it, not a single breath or heartbeat.

Those eyes will be teaching me for the rest of my life. I don't want to miss it: not a single breath or heartbeat.

20 comments:

christianne said...

Your heart in your grief (and always) is so beautiful. You teach me so much.

I love you.

terri said...

He is teaching me too. Sometimes I'm just sleepwalking though my life, and I get to the end of the day and wonder where I've been. But then I encounter something as astounding as Ewan with those eyes and I wake up. I'll have to remember to thank him when I finally meet him someday.

Love you...

Janae Hanson said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story and whats in your heart! Your posts and Ewan teach me appreciate everything more and not to take what I have for granted.
Thank You for being so open and strong.

Erin said...

I came across this quote and thought of you.

"When you have come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly."

God Bless!

Sarah said...

So beautiful, your heart. It was hard to go back to work after we talked yesterday - I felt like crying like Christianne did . . . for you and with you and because the fall is somehow part of God's wisdom but I don't see HOW. Love you.

Papillon Sky Photography said...

What you have said is beautiful and so true. I was the complainer with all 3 of my pregnancies. And how guilty did I feel with my last that only lasted 13 weeks? I never got to enjoy it. I was so focused on how sick I felt. Then I had the ultrasound that delivered the news I already knew in my heart. 10 days later, I held birth and death in my hands at the same time, and was suddenly taught to live in the moment. Even though I held a tiny placenta and egg sac in my hand and my tiny baby inside was gone, I was in awe at what my body had done. Life felt so sacred.
But already, I seem to have forgotten and am stuck again. So thank you for reminding me of the sacred lessons that even tiny human beings can teach us.

I am thinking of you often. And your post yesterday and grief becoming part of us is so true. It doesn't go away. We still hold a space in our heart for that person we love even though we can no longer feel their presence.

xoxo

→Daniele← said...

It is so true that life is seen through the lens of perspective. When I had my first daughter, completely healthy, I had a lot of that same dialogue you mentioned about the fatigue, etc. There aren't many new moms who don't have that as they adjust to their new life, and you're right, you'd be in that boat too.
I did relish every little kick with both of my pregnancies...even my second pregnancy where I was blissfully unaware that my daughter was going be born with a vsd. We found out of her chd when she was 2 months old. I went through a period of extreme anguish over what you mentioned about "what did I do to cause this"- and then when I finally accepted that I didn't cause it, I had the anger and sadness as you mentioned over there being nothing one can do to prevent it.
I cherish every moment with my girls more than I could have ever imagined due to the new lens I look through since our daughter's diagnosis a year ago.
Sending hugs to you mama...

melifaif said...

Thank you for your heartbreaking reminder to love your babies. All.the.time. And be thankful. For.all.of.it! I am still and will continue to pray for you and yours...

hopeannfaith said...

...Thank you. I truly cherish having the privilege of knowing Ewan and you. I have learned and continue to do so with each eloquent post and comment.
Blessings and Prayers...<3
Andrea

Hope's Blog said...

He has taught so many of us through your words to cherish life and especially our loved ones more every day. I remind myself several times during the day to stop and enjoy each of my little ones...even when they are doing something that would have driven me a little crazy before. You and Ewan have done that for my family...THANK YOU!

Joelle said...

Ah. The joy and pain of being human. Of being woman. You are so real, and I think that is the most beautiful thing in the world.

Trent Hamilton said...

Beautiful post, your strength and insight is a blessing to everyone who reads your posts!

Nadine said...

Hugs <3

Gina said...

Thank you for this reminder. I needed it today. You continue to amaze and inspire me.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I ache for you, wishing you could have had normal with Ewan. But Ewan is certainly Extraordinary in every sense. You birthed and held such a wonderful boy. Since Ewan & your posts, I find myself saying thank you for the poop diapers. Sarah V.

Tara said...

Ewans story continues touching my life in so many ways through your wisdom of his journey. Your words are so very true. Blessings and continued prayers for you...thanks for sharing your heart.

mommara said...

Thank you for teaching us to live in the right now. Praying for you. It's always a great idea to stop and love everything about each moment. Thanks for the reminder.

felmleyfam said...

we continue to read your site, feel sadness over your loss and remember you before our Lord.

Wayne and Sue Rasmussen said...

Such important lessons from such a little boy.

Father in heaven, help me remember to live today and not just look forward to "the next thing".

God bless you and James as you continue to love each other through this time of grief.

Leslie said...

"This is now. Soak it in. Don't miss it, not a single breath or heartbeat."

Yes. Suffering can teach this - this knowing we are not in control, this deep appreciation of each joyful moment that is given. It is not an easy lesson.

Praying for grace to abound in your life today.