Monday, June 8, 2009

Layah's birthday in heaven

I anticipated what I would experience today, in many ways it was better than how I had actually dreaded it. I know I had so many people praying for us, me and Luke in particular. I told some friends last night about a "scare", or rather a "paranoia episode". So, Saturday night, I was really feeling sad because Layah died on Sunday morning, but was fading most of that Saturday. She passed away early Sunday morning, on the 8th. This week has been VERY challenging. Yesterday, after church, we went to AL Adventure. I laid on the lounge chairs, and would get up from time to time to get myself wet to cool off, or go down the lazy river with Tobi. I had drank 2 bottles of water, and only went to the bathroom once since I didn't want to be walking that much. So, after I had gotten in the water to cool off and sat back down, i started having this feeling like I was leaking. I really felt like my water was leaking. I was terrified, and didn't want to upset Matt, but wanted to leave, immediately. Of course Matt was very upset. I ended up trying to calm him, and just wanted to get to the van. I went to pee before we left the park and went a lot, tee teeing that is. (Sorry this is TMI,but it is my story) I was praying the whole time, and started having that racing heart feeling, I had felt when I had the panic attacks. I slowed my breathing. I was so thankful I'd not had any spotting or cramping or anything, just that tee tee feeling without me thinking I was going. So we got to the van, I changed out of my swimsuit and put some underwear on, and we just sat in the van for a few minutes. I was fine. I think that I really was tee teeing and just didn't realize it because I'd held it for longer than I usually do, and my bathing suit was already wet. Matt was more angry that upset, just in the fact he didn't have any control over the situation, and in many ways, I don't have control over my own body. On our way into the park, Matt had made the remark that he knew how badly I wanted to have a baby girl, and I told him that right now all I'm focused on is getting Luke here safely, but that I always saw myself having 2 boys and a girl, and had always wanted them to be the older big brothers to their sister, but when Layah came, I just figured she'd have 1 older big brother. Anyway, once that scare happened, Matt was saying, "after this, no more kids"....then "I'm gonna get a vasectomy"....I know he was just scared and I doubt very seriously he wants this.
As believers, and I think Matt is still a new believer, this is really a testing time, and much harder than in my pregnancy with Layah, emotionally and mentally. We hadn't lost a baby before her, so there were fears, because of what had happened with Tobi, but we really didn't think it would happen again, having done all the things to reduce a premature birth that's available. We didn't have that true fear of losing a child. This time, getting to those markers, 23 weeks (Thursday) and then 26 weeks, is one of the biggest tests of faith I think I've every experienced. During praise and worship Sunday, I think that God showed me something comforting, (Matt thinks it's what my mind hopes for, but with the few visions I've had before, I believe this one as well). I saw Layah, as the big sister, with her dark hair, as I'd seen here before. She was sitting and playing with Luke. He was a baby in heaven, but could understand what she was saying. She was telling him that he would be coming to live with us, and would not be with her any longer in heaven and that she would not be coming with him. She told him he would live with us and be in our family, but that one day, many years from now, they'd be together again in heaven. She'd watch over him, and told him to watch over his sister that would one day come. Maybe it was "wishful thinking" but since I feel the closest to heaven, Layah, and our heavenly Father, when I'm in His presence during praise and worship, I feel He uses that time to speak to my heart and show me things that I don't receive from Him in other settings.
So today, I asked friends to pray that I would physically, not fall apart. I did not want the stress of my weeping or sobbing, to hurt Luke in any way. I wanted to be able to mourn her, and miss her, but to not fall apart the way I did smelling her things, the other morning. Tobi and I went to the cemetery. My mom was actually on her way out, when she saw us, and turned around to go back with me. I had been crying. I had tried to tell myself, that I didn't have to cry. I didn't need to cry, but that was not so. I did need to cry. My mom brought some tiny pink carnations. We hugged and she reminded me that we'd see her again. I told her I was meeting my "sister" Ginger at the funeral home, (the cemetery is so big, Ginger would not have a clue where Layah's marker is, even though she's been there before). Ginger arrived a little later. I took her back to the grave and we stayed just a few minutes. I had been there long enough, as I dont feel close to Layah there, since I know she is not there. My plan was to let Tobi release the balloon we'd left their on her birthday, but it was deflated, so he was a little disappointed. I assured him we'd be back and I'd let him take a balloon. We had a nice lunch with Ginger and her daughter Elyse, and ran a few errands. On our way home, Tobi and I were talking about what a special day it was, and I told him that we had celebrated Layah's first birthday in heaven. Tobi said the most precious thing. He said, "Mama, do you think Jesus made her a cake?" I just about cried. I told him maybe so. It was so innocent, so pure. Then this evening, mom took Tobi to her church's VBS. I was a bit nervous, because we don't go to that church, it's baptist, (not that that is bad or anything, but it is different than our church and what Tobi's used to), and it was a night. So my mom brought him home and as he came in the bedroom, I asked him if he had fun and he was grinning from ear to ear. He told me that he'd made a bracelet, and then said, "I had a snack. I had pretzels, and I had gummy bears, but I gave the red ones away!" I grabbed him and just tickled him. It was great. The thing is, Tobi has a weird chemical reaction to red dye in foods and beverages with that artificial coloring in it. Matt was apparently the same way, but he literally acts "crazy". He even notices he acts different when he's had something red. So that's what he meant. We try to always keep him away from the red products. So, tomorrow I go back to work. I will miss being off with Tobi, but it will be good to get back to a routine at work, since I was off for 8 weeks this time last year. I want to be back at work.
Please continue to lift me and my family up in your prayers, as we will still struggle with our human emotions and thoughts until we have a sweet little healthy baby boy, Luke Jeremiah Shelfer, in our arms, safely at home.

Faithfully His,


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