I guess you could say that's how I'm doing.
Overwhelmed with grief. Sadness. I feel empty. Someone is missing. My sweet Abbie Grace is missing. She's not here. She's not in my arms.
Monday, August 14th, we went into the OB and found out what I think I already knew... Abbie's heart wasn't beating. I hadn't felt her move for certain since Wednesday the 9th. Our anniversary. She kicked me when I stretched and yawned at the same time. I could always count on her to do that. She didn't like being squished.
Even though I think part of me knew it, it didn't make it any easier. I was still hoping for a miracle. For her to be healed and whole on this side of heaven. I wanted so desperately to hear her precious little heart beating... but we didn't.
So we took the same walk we did the week before, but not quite as long... we stopped at Labor and Delivery and checked in. We checked in and started making calls and sending texts.
This was not where I wanted to be. Not in August. I wanted to be here at Christmastime. I wanted to have just seen Star Wars. I wanted to be wearing a really cozy sweater. I wanted my mom to get her Christmas baby (my birthday is December 21th and my older brother's is December 29th. Abbie's due date was December 25th.).
I didn't want this.
I didn't want to be induced at 21 weeks. I didn't want my daughter... my precious and beautiful daughter to be stillborn. I didn't want this. I don't want this.
Those same stupid bridal shows were on TLC so we watched those while we waited for people to show up and while we waited to get induced.
That's when I started to feel a different kind of overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed with love.
The text messages. Emails. Voicemails. Facebook messages. Comments on Instagram and Facebook. And the amount of people who showed up and visited. Helped pass the time. Told stories. Gave hugs. Held my hand. Told me it was okay to cry. Reminded me that she is healed and whole with Jesus. That Jesus is hold her. The prayers.
So many people came.
I am so thankful. We are so thankful. Forever thankful.
I was induced at 2 PM. My water broke around 4 PM. And at 2:36 AM, as my wonderful husband and one of my dearest friends - Abbie's Godmother - held my hands, Abbie Grace was delivered.
I'm still not sure how to describe that moment. I was overcome with grief. Overcome with emotion. Hit in the face with the reality that she was gone.
My baby girl. My precious baby girl. My beautiful, sweet baby girl was not alive. The doctors didn't make a mistake. It wasn't all a bad dream. This is reality.
They wrapped her up for us and let us hold her as long as we wanted. As long as we needed. Another dear friend of ours, Steven Wallace, was wonderful enough to come and take pictures. These photos I will cherish forever.
Overwhelmed with grief. Overwhelmed with love. So many people came to visit Tuesday, as well. So many. And they continued to hug us and listen to us and remind us of our hope. Hope.
Overwhelmed with hope.
Abbie is not here. Part of our family will always not be here. But she is in a place far better.
This is something our pastor and friend - Abbie's Godfather - reminded us of yesterday.
Yesterday we celebrated Abbie's life. All 21 wonderful weeks of it.
Once again so many people came to visit. I can't believe it.
Near the end of the time we worshipped and Pastor Copper read some scripture and said a few words.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
And he said many wonderful things, but what stood out to me the most is that she, sweet Abbie, simply went home before us.
Our miracle did come. She is healed and whole. And she is home. Home in heaven. Home with God. Home.
She went home before us.
That doesn't mean that we don't grieve. That doesn't mean that we aren't sad. That doesn't mean that we forget.
That means that we have hope.
Because of Jesus and what he did for us.
We are not home yet.
And though I wish so much that Abbie was here with me, waking me up every couple hours to be fed, though I wish that so much, I know that I will go home one day, too, to be with God.
And that one day Abbie, Tony, Tim and I will worship our good, good Father together.
Despite this tragedy, God is still God. His character has not changed. He still loves us. He still cares about us. He still promises us peace. He still promises to work things out for our good and his glory. He is still holding us. He is still our refuge and strength.
In these promises I stand.
In these promises I hope.
In these promises I move forward.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."