I thought I'd finish this week reflecting on where I found hope after we lost Cole and in the days, weeks, months and even years to follow.
In the first few days after we lost him I was just so shattered and yet so much in shock. I kept thinking that it must be a dream...well a nightmare. And when reality hit and I remembered everything that happened the tears would fall all over again. It was so hard to find hope in the uncertainty. We didn't know how Cameron was doing, didn't know what his prognosis was, didn't know how long I would remain pregnant. What got me through those times was Cameron... his kicks, his movements, seeing him moving on the ultrasound. Other things that got me through was the encouraging and supportive words of friends... the notes, the emails, the calls, the people who brought us food. This all gave me hope that the world hadn't crashed... just our world had. And likely one of the best sources of hope I came across was the people I met online who had been there. Speaking to theme, hearing their stories, hearing their outcomes..this all gave me such a sense of hope and took away the lonliness I felt.
Cole passed away just 12 days before Christmas..the season of hope. Everywhere I looked there were happy faces, people celebrating, laughter, love. I felt like I just had so little of this and really just wanted to crawl in a hole and ignore Christmas all together. But I had two little boys who could not possibly understand this, two little boys who didn't really even grasp that the 'two babies in there, right mom?' wasn't their reality anymore. They were excited, they were full of joy and hope and thankfully some of this rubbed off on me and I did find myself smiling. I also found hope and a connection to Cole in the lights of Christmas I saw.. candles, especially at church, Christmas lights etc. Thinking of Cole being in Heaven also gave me hope. Hope that he was free of pain, sickness, a life of medical complications as the doctors had all but assured us that this was the outcome given the damage to his heart and the hydrops on his brain that they saw. And hope that he was in Heaven with Jesus and I would see him again.
I began to feel helpless again though at New Year's. How could I ring in a new year, look forward to a new year, when the bottom had fallen out of my world. My dreams were shattered and my heart broken....where was the hope in that???
And then my water broke.
Crisis forced me to focus on Cameron and not on myself, not on my grief. My hope came in a sureness that this baby was not coming now or even soon. I don't know why I was so sure and I guess you could say that in itself was my hope.
In the days leading up to meeting my boys I was a wreck but I found hope in the reassurance from the doctors that Cameron's prognosis was excellent, no different then any other full term baby despite being 6 weeks premature. This filled me with hope in more then one way... obviously for Cameron but also that Cole had protected his twin and kept him safe in this waiting time. I was also filled with hope at the assurance that Cole was with Jesus, that only his broken body would be born, his spirit had left and gone to heaven. I was also filled with hope in the words and actions of support of so many family and friends.
In the days and weeks after meeting Cole my hope came in the faces of all my boys. In the healthiness of Cameron, in the light that shone in his eyes that I knew was Cole, in the contentedness of him, in the smiles of his older brothers as they met him, their adoration of him.
For many months Cameron gave me both hope and joy as he grew, became stronger and healthier, smiled, laughed and snuggled and yet at the same time seeing him alone, without Cole, stole my peace...but that is a subject for next week.
As time went on I found great hope in the fact that Cole was with Jesus and that one day we would be reunited. It really was the only thing I held on to sometimes, the only thing that kept me going. I pictured the life he had, no pain, no childhood struggles like bullying, sickness, scrapes, falls and stitches (I get this enough from Brycen LOL), none of the loneliness that everyone feels at times in life, the regrets, the doubts, the defeat and even the trials like the one his life being taken had caused for us. He would experience only the joy of paradise, only the perfectness of heaven. I hated that he could not be with me but I knew his life on earth, like all of ours, is just a small part of what he was meant to do...this is not our home, just merely a stopping ground.
When I became born again in Christ my hope was so renewed. I grew, I changed, I became more sure of what my place was, who I was in the Lord. That's not to say I didn't have doubts, questions, confusion, sadness, anger etc. But in all of that I had a sense of Hope, a promise of a full life and am eternal life where I would see Cole again!