Eighteen months ago today, my baby Jude was born and died. It was truly the most difficult day of my life. It was tragic, horrible, terrible, heartbreaking, dreadful, and every other awful adjective that I can think of. I knew for a couple of months before he was born that his chances of surviving for even a day after birth were basically nil. But I went through those last couple of months, and pushed through each day. I took care of Savanna, tried to help BJ deal with the situation, worked, and then went to all of my appointments and to the several ER trips that I had. I didn’t push through with a smile…most days were tearful. Even now, when I think of Jude and all his poor little body had to go through, I’m still tearful.
But today, instead of focusing on my sorrow, I want to focus on something completely different…I want to share the joys that have come from the situation.
First, I was able to enjoy my baby during my pregnancy. Many women get annoyed by the baby kicking all night and keeping them up. For me, it was a joy. It reminded me that he was still there, and I cherished every moment that I got with him because I knew our minutes together were few and our time together was precious. It reminds me now that, in reality, our moments with everyone are numbered. And our time with all the special people in our life is precious. I need to take the time each day to remind people what they mean to me, and enjoy all of life’s little joys that I often take for granted.
Second, my faith in mankind was renewed through the whole tragic event. It was amazing to me the people that gave their money, time, prayers, and happy thoughts to help me and my family make it through the ordeal. People I didn’t even know brought us meals. People I’d never met sent cards. It was amazing, and it made me glad to know that the whole world hasn’t gone to hell in a handbasket, as I often had felt before.
Finally, my faith in God was strengthened. I know that not all of my friends are Christians, and I know that a lot of them would argue with me that such tragedy is a sign that God doesn’t exist, or that He doesn’t care. But it was the opposite for me. It drew me close to Him, because He was the only one I KNEW I could count on. If it was three o’clock in the morning, and I woke up crying for my baby, I could talk to Him. When my husband wasn’t there anymore, God was there. When some members of my family said that Jude “wasn’t real” because he didn’t survive, I could give that to God. When I had days that I didn’t want to get out of bed because I was so sad, I had comfort knowing that God was there for me, and that He had given me an awesome gift in Savanna, and that I still had a lot to live for. On days when I was ready to throw in the towel, God prompted my friends to call me and check on me, or to send me a text just to let me know He was there and that He was strong enough to support me through this horrible time.
So, even though it may sound weird…a year and a half after I gave birth to a beautiful, but very sick baby boy…I’m thankful for the tragedy. It shaped who I am today, and I know there’s a greater plan that will be revealed to me someday. I just hope that I can live up to God’s expectations for me.