Let me start this off by saying this isn't a pity party for me and my husband or a pulpit to preach on...this is just where I'm at and what my heart feels. I also ask that you refrain from judgement and harsh words in your comments.
Sunday, February 19th, would have been my son, Xander's 6th birthday.
Three months into our marriage, my husband and I found out that I was unexpectedly pregnant. In the fourth month of my pregnancy we found out that our son didn't have any kidneys so there was hardly any amniotic fluid surrounding him. We were told that if he survived to birth, he would die shortly after. We were given the option to abort but chose not to. We were assured that he was in no pain or discomfort in my womb so really, why wouldn't I give him a chance at life rather than choosing to end it myself. I would never have been able to live with myself if I had.
At 32 weeks in my pregnancy, I noticed some odd things going on with my body and hadn't felt Xander move for several hours. I just knew that something wasn't right so we headed to the hospital. We found out that afternoon that Xander had passed away.
Each year around his birthday is especially difficult. As the years have gone by things have gotten progressively better. But for some reason this year it just hit me like a ton of bricks. Last Tuesday morning I woke up feeling horribly depressed and it continued throughout most of the rest of the week. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I knew Xander's birthday was coming up but I wasn't really dwelling on it. Then I remembered something that I was told during a grief support group that from time to time you may feel a deep depression for no apparent reason then realize that an important date in your lost loved one's life is coming up. This is a natural reaction that can happen for years upon years after their passing. I guess it's just that lost connection that my heart is longing for.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. I miss him dearly but I know that I will see him again someday in heaven. I know, of course, that not all of you will agree with me on that but I know in my heart that it's true. God is real. Salvation though Christ is real. The promise of heaven is real.
My husband and I wanted to find a way to help our other children who never had a chance to meet Xander to understand that he is a real person. We wanted them to know that he's very important to our family and we'll see him again. We decided to have a birthday cake each year and sing "Happy Birthday" to him. Last year was our first year doing this as the kids were just then getting old enough to participate.
On Sunday morning I told Tatiana that after we got home from church and ate lunch, we were going to have a birthday cake for Xander. On the way back home Tatiana said, "I told my teacher about Xander's birthday and his party. He's not here anymore...but he's not far away!" I about lost it. I had to hide my face so she didn't think she did something wrong to make me cry. How profound of a statement from a 4 year old!?! She does like to contradict herself when she speaks a lot of the time but this time it actually made sense. Xander's not physically here with us but he's not far away. We'll see him again.
My husband knew I was struggling but no one else did. I had plans for a party that I cancelled so I sent out a prayer request along with the information about the party being cancelled to the few friends who were able to make it. The next morning, Friday, I woke up with that deep depression lifted. I've always been a firm believer in the power of prayer and I definitely accredit answered prayer to my feeling better.
I hope to get back on the recipe wagon here soon so I can post some goodies that I have stored up but I'm just a little behind schedule due to my difficult week last week and a busy week ahead.
I hope you can read this and feel encouraged and not alone if you are hurting. I could write a book about our experience and all that God has done through Xander's story. Maybe someday I will, but for now this is it. If you would like to learn more, I am more than willing to share through email or if I get enough people that respond wanting to hear more of our story I can add another post sometime.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for your support.
Happy 6th birthday, Baby Boy!