...that's what you'll find if you search long enough for a synonym of bittersweet.
A word that I use entirely too much, but don't really have anything else appropriate.
Tinged with sadness doesn't cut it, though...today has been drenched in sadness.
But also with so much thanksgiving.
A very, very sweet woman sent me something shortly after Matthew died. I've meant to write about it, and just cry every time I try. She had read in my blog that I was having a hard time listening to and singing to music--so many words seemed so significant and really, as significant as they were, they hurt and I couldn't listen to them or choke them out. However, certain lines from certain songs just kept running through my head...at THE * MOST * APPROPRIATE times...right when I needed to hear them. I heard them when I ventured to turn my radio on; I heard them as I went to sleep; I heard them in the middle of the night...I just couldn't get certain songs and words out of my head. This sweet woman reminded me that Matthew had loved music (oh, how he LOVED music!) and that she felt God was ministering to me through the words in those songs. She told me that God was talking to me, and that as I was in such a hurt place, His words were coming in the very way that had been so special to me with Matthew. She sent me MercyMe's Youtube video of their song, "Gotta Keep Singin'" and told me that I needed to keep listening and singing. For me and for Matthew.
Honestly--the day I got that message was the day I made sure my radio was always on...forced myself to sing in church even when I was crying, crying, crying through each line...found words that spoke to my soul and felt encouraged that they were from God Himself.
So today...this morning...going to church knowing that I have a sweet little brother or sister inside of me, I was just so thankful and grateful to God. And all the music mirrored that. We sang God of Wonders, This is the Air I Breathe, Forever (God is faithful) and It Is Well.
Every single one of those songs are on my iPod--songs I played in my car throughout my pregnancy and sang to Matthew all the time.
Oh, I was crying this morning...but singing. The words so spoke to me. From This Is The Air I Breathe--after Matthew died and I sang that, I broke down every time--crying because I WAS desperate for God...lost without God.
It Is Well...the version I have is a beautiful, beautiful a capella version and I just loved the purity in the voices as I listened and sang with Matthew. When he died, a special group of women put together the most amazing memory album...with the theme being, "It Is Well." I marveled at how those women could have NO IDEA how meaningful that song was to me...and yet, there it was...permeating this album...and admittedly, breaking my heart.
It was NOT well with my soul.
My son was dead.
My miracle was gone.
My heart was crushed.
It was NOT well with my soul.
But I desperately, desperately wanted it to be.
Today, 168 days after Matthew died, I was able to sing the words. All of them. Crying, but singing. And feeling that whatever is to come with this pregnancy will be well with my soul. God has been breathing for me for 168 days...He has sustained us and continues to do so. And though if I am really, really honest, it still isn't entirely well with my soul. I still want my son with me this very second.
I just have faith that one day, it will be.
On the way to Matthew's memorial, I cannot tell you how many songs played were songs that were on my Matthew playlist--songs that I played all the time and sang to Matthew throughout my pregnancy. God of Wonders, Thy Word, Forever, Awesome God...all songs Matthew heard his whole life. I sang and sang and sang. And then burst out crying.
John thought I was crying because we were on our way to his memorial but that wasn't it. I cried because I found it so amazing that all of these songs were playing and had been all morning. And I realized that these songs were playing because Matthew's brother or sister needed to hear them. I needed to sing these songs for Matthew's brother or sister. And I did. And will continue to do so.
Matthew's memorial was so precious. It was truly heartbreaking as the purpose was to memorialize babies...little ones that barely lived.
It was so evident, though, that in their little lives, those babies had touched so many people--and Matthew, though he was only at Georgetown for a few hours, was no exception. One of the two doctors who took care of Matthew that night was there! She remembered John, and embraced me like I was family. I thanked her for taking care of my sweet little boy and she told me she was honored to do so.
This woman came into John's and Matthew's life 168 days ago...in the very late hours of the night into the early hours of the morning. John and Matthew touched her heart. She remembered how long Matthew was. She remembered his big feet. She remembered how shocking his situation was and she remembered how long and hard we'd tried to bring a child into our lives. She told us she hoped we would be able to have more children and we told her we were expecting. She, and all the other staff who were there, truly couldn't have been happier for us.
She started asking all kinds of questions--"Where will we deliver?" "Why would we do a scheduled c-section prior to 39 weeks?" "Do we have appropriate monitoring in place?"
A true doctor at heart! There was no, no, NO reason for us to consider any hospital but St. Mary's. Labor and Delivery there have the best reputation for miles around, and I can now personally attest to the fact that it is a well-earned and deserved reputation. The need for a NICU was the farthest thing from our mind--he was healthy, happy and I was OVERDUE! Of course we could never know if a NICU would have made a difference, but several doctors, and now Dr. Ramesethu have suggested that we take no chances.
We are so torn.
Dr. Sweeney said between 37-38 weeks because he doesn't want me to get anywhere near to my water breaking. Personally, if the baby is healthy and ready at 37-38 weeks, I'd rather her be out sooner too. Dr. Ramesethu said that may bring problems we don't need necessarily have to have. Again, torn....but trust that Drs. Sweeney and Shonekan and Polko and Davis will do NOTHING that would not be safe...so we'll leave that to their decision making.
Do we have proper monitoring in place? YOU BET. I told Dr. Shonekan that I actually thought I would be able to relax a bit with this pregnancy because I knew I'd have so many OTHERS worrying for me! We go in for our 6 week ultrasound a week from tomorrow, and two weeks later we go in for another one and graduate from Shady Grove. Two weeks after that, we'll see our OBs and two weeks after that, Dr. Sweeney (unless I can talk him into letting us come sooner!)...from that point on, I'm thinking frequent visits will be in order. Proper monitoring is DEFINITELY on the agenda.
I plan to write a letter tomorrow to let Georgetown know just how priceless that service was. And I KNOW that my Matthew was there with me...at the front of the chapel, there were several little stuffed animals. A little bunny, frog, elephant, duckie, lamb, bear...and a BIG stuffed Monkey. Talk about twinged with sadness.
It has been a long day...as evidenced by this long post. And really, I didn't even scratch the surface of the things going on in my head today...because all of this went on as I carried around another precious miracle.
How is one to make sense of all of this?
One isn't. More and more presents itself simply as surpassing all earthly understanding.
Thank you, Lord...for the blessings of today and the grace You gave.