Saturday, June 9, 2012

What's a mommy to do? ... (6/9)

     When a girl finds out she's going to be a mommy her world begins to change.  Some changes happen in an instant, some happen slowly over time.  When I found out you were in my tummy my love for you come in an instant and my presence changed too.  People were left wondering why there was a new twinkle in my eye, and a new bounce to my step, as if I was carrying around a wonderful secret.  I was, you! Slowly, they began to tell what was different.  My body began to change.  You changed my tummy, my hips, the size of my feet and fingers, even the size of my nose!  But other changes occurred as well.  You became more important than me in an instant so I changed the way I ate, moved, even the way I slept.  Celebrity gossip, sitcoms, and the news no longer mattered, but rather the the latest findings on immunizations, consumer reports on car seats, and how to learn your cries became my choice of late night entertainment.  When I found out you were sick, God showed me what the term "momma bear" really means, and how it's okay to say no to the world's mentality of convenience and selfishness, and yes to fighting for life no matter how it looks, to speaking for you no matter who or what I was up against because you needed me to, you depended on me to.  The night you were born my love for you exploded in an instant.  Over the next few months I learned you.  I learned I could be so in tune with another being I knew what was wrong by a single grunt.  I knew something had happened by the way my heart fluttered and tummy ached when I wasn't even in the same room as you.  You taught me that simply watching you or making sure you were you were handled with care, your meds were on time, you were fed at an angle, and not touched for at least 20 minutes afterwards, you weren't positioned in a way you disliked, not too much noise was surrounding you, and you were not ignored when you showed you needed help were more important than food, showering, dressing even sleeping.  My need to do things for you came in an instant.  The process of learning the best thing I could do is pray took a long time and no other baby could have made me pray as passionately or desperately or allowed me to feel God's peace the way you did.  My love for you has grown and changed who I am. 
     A baby changes a girl into a mommy some times quickly, some times slowly, some ways gracefully, some ways it's rough.  Baby boy, you have changed me to my very core ... but now you are gone and what's a mommy to do?  You took 12 months to teach me how to be a mommy but then you left me in an instant.  What's a mommy to do?  I still carry around a secret, a different secret now, the precious memory of you.  My body will be forever changed, no longer the youthful tightness, rather the markings of endurance only a mommy experiences.  But a mommy body without a baby in her arms feels so wrong.  What's a mommy to do?  You changed the way I slept, ate and moved but now you are gone.  I have all the time to sleep, there's no reason to stop and think about what I eat, and coffee is no longer something for me to dream about.  But my body requires less sleep, and doesn't like coffee or junk food now.  What's a mommy to do?  Now that you're gone no one is going to ask me how long breastmilk can sit out, or what's the best way to soothe an overstimulated baby.  Now I have this wealth of knowledge I can't use.  What's a mommy to do?  The need for this new strength you gave me to fight for you left with you.  A momma bear spirit with no baby cub manifests itself as a cranky, old grizzly.  That's not the way I want to come across, it's just that you're gone now and I don't know what to do with this passion and left over fierceness.  What's a mommy to do?  I have this constant ache in my tummy and flutter in my heart, but now you're gone and I have no one to check on.  What's a mommy to do?  For three months, I spent every waking hour by your side making sure you were okay.  Now you're gone and the hours painfully inch by.  What's a mommy to do?  You taught me the importance of quiet and stillness but without your "accessories" going off, it's too quiet.  When people get loud I have this need to tell them to quiet down but you're not here for them to be queit for.  What's a mommy to do?  You became the center of my world.  You became the forefront of my every action, thought, intention.  You changed me, I am no longer just a girl.  You made me a mommy in every definition of the word, but now you are gone and I am left forever changed.  A childless mother, it just feels awkward and so wrong.  I can never go back to who I was and I am so thankful to you for that  You have forever changed me, my baby boy, but now you have left me . . . 
What's a mommy to do?

20 comments:

  1. Oh sweet, precious Whitney - my heart breaks for you. How I wish I could hold you, rock you, attempt to comfort you. I am in profound awe of the great faith you and Eric displayed to the world...that faith continues to be a tremendous inspiration. You, Eric and your family remain in my prayers. Fling yourself into His arms and revel in the love of our Jesus. Love and many prayers ~ Julie Fager

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  2. Thatcher changed more lives than you will ever realize. Peace be with you.

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  3. Whitney, I've never met you, and I know this is little consolation during this time. But you and Eric have changed me by sharing Thatcher's life with me. To me, he was so much more than a bookmark on my browser. Your blog not only gave me updates on how to pray, I received a new outlook on how God makes us stronger in the midst of brutal circumstances. I know you don't feel strong right now, but God and the rest of the world are blown away by your strength. Your story, your sharing, your mommyhood all bring me to tears, and I will continue to pray, pray, pray for your sweet family.
    ~Your sister in Christ, Candice

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  4. Whitney & Eric, the pain is real and the wounds are raw. It's okay to weep, to cry, to fall apart. Your precious treasure is no longer in your arms. But the knowledge that Jesus is holding sweet Thatcher brings a spot of peace in the middle of the heartache. I've walked in your footsteps and know that even though you'll always miss him. You'll never forget him. He'll always be your firstborn, but Jesus DOES allow the intense pain to soften into precious memories as time goes by. Our family has never met you, but continues to pray for your family. (The Woodlands)

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  5. What's a mommie to do...rejoice. the lives he touched BC you were changed the way he changed you. Rejoice bc of the scars he left behind. Rejoice bc he is sitting on his Eternal Father's lap laughing and telling Him stories of the AMAZING and perfect mother and father he had for 12 whole months. Rejoice bc he is waiting for you, in the blink of an eye to him and a lifetime to y'all, he will be in your arms once again- pointing out the LONG line of souls he and you changed at the few months he was in this decaying world.
    Rejoice. Bc the Evil One lost, you have not closed off your heart to the Healer and Savior. Rejoice!
    Much love,
    The Kronjaeger family(close friends of Robin and Blake)

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  6. Sweet Whitney, I have never met you, but my heart is aching because I've walked this path many years ago. Nothing any of us can say will ease the ache. Your friends are going to say things that, in our attempts to help, sometimes might make you twinge. But please know that people don't mean to hurt, that our attempts are to love you. Yet we all say inappropriate things at times that should be left unsaid. Fact is, there is NOTHING that anyone can say to ease this heartache. None of us, even if we have lost a child, knows what your family is going through. Every pain is unique as each person is different. It's okay to be angry and mad. It's okay to go into the woods and scream, or shut yourselves off behind closed blinds and cry. God understands tears. "Jesus wept." One thing that I held on to when I walked this path were the words of my Godly dad. One day he softly looked at me and told me to remember that God understood. He had watched his own child die. (And somehow that one truth, the knowledge that our heavenly father understands, has stuck with me for 29 years.)

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    1. What amazing words...
      As I sit here weeping for Eric and Whitney...who embraced Thatcher...
      You have walked the walk, but still have such compassion...and shared such a testimony.
      Your last 4 sentences speak of God's amazing grace...
      Eric and Whitney...may God's love and His promise sustain you...as you ache and as you long to hold your baby boy...just one more time...

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  7. I am so sorry. We will stay on our knees, praying for the Lord to hold you in His loving arms. Your familys story has touched and will continue to touch lives forever. Jay Aldy

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  8. Lord, because you are all knowing, loving and compassionate, and so aware of Whitney's tender, broken heart, infiltrate her with your presence and peace, your peace, that passes all understanding. Hold her in your arms as she lays her head on your strong shoulder and let her feel your soft blanket of love wrapping around her completely. We love you Lord. You are our very present help in time of need. In the strong name of Jesus...

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  9. Lord, God, you more than anyone else, know what it feels like to lose a son. God, as only you can do, will you please comfort Whitney and Eric? Help the rest of us to keep our mouths closed and our words few. Let only what you dictate we would speak come forth from us as blessings over Whitney and Eric and their parents and family. Lord, please be gracious to them.

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  10. Lifting you and your family in prayer.

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  11. The Hurt and The Healer

    Why?
    The question that is never far away
    The healing doesn't come from the explained
    Jesus please don't let this go in vain
    You're all I have
    All that remains

    So here I am
    What's left of me
    Where glory meets my suffering

    I'm alive
    Even though a part of me has died
    You take my heart and breathe it back to life
    I've fallen into Your arms open wide
    When the hurt and the healer collide

    Breathe
    Sometimes I feel it's all that I can do
    Pain so deep that I can hardly move
    Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
    Lord take hold and pull me through

    So here I am
    What's left of me
    Where glory meets my suffering

    I'm alive
    Even though a part of me has died
    You take my heart and breathe it back to life
    I've fallen into your arms open wide
    When the hurt and the healer collide

    It's the moment when humanity
    Is overcome by majesty
    When grace is ushered in for good
    And all the scars are understood
    When mercy takes its rightful place
    And all these questions fade away
    When out of the weakness we must bow
    And hear You say "It's over now"

    I'm alive
    Even though a part of me has died
    You take my heart and breathe it back to life
    I've fallen into your arms open wide
    When The hurt and the healer collide

    Jesus come and break my fear
    Awake my heart and take my tears
    Find Your glory even here
    When the hurt and the healer collide [x2]

    Jesus come and break my fear
    Awake my heart and take my tears
    Find Your glory even here

    Love and Prayers for you and your family.

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  12. Whitney-

    Ever since I heard about sweet Thatcher's home going, the words to Natalie Grant's Held have been going through my mind and I feel like I am to share them with you.

    "This is what it means to be held, How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it means to be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held"

    This is my prayer for you that God would wrap you and Eric up in his big daddy arms and hold and comfort you. How amazing it is that the Holy God of the universe loves us so much that he becomes our comforting daddy God when we need him to. He promised to hold you and He will.

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  13. Whitney and Eric, you continue to inspire others with your faith and your honesty! I pray that the Lord holds you in a supernatural hug just as He is holding Thatcher. Heaven is richer for Thatcher's presence! And you know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. But that doesn't make the hurt go away. We send our love all the way from Estes Park, Colorado and please know that you are in our prayers every day. Much love, Robin McCann

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  14. Your hold on God during this time has truly inspired millions. I know that your strength is more than mine and though you are mad and angry and just wanna scream at God (he can take it) your faith is still inspiring all. You give all of us something to live up to and something to aspire to in our hardest times. I am praying for both of you and that this does not tear you apart from one another but strengthens your marriage bonds. Thatcher will never be forgotten he is a precious baby that has brought people to Christ or through the faith of his parents strengthened the faith of many during his short life. Something most people can't say they have done with much more time on this earth.

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  15. Praying for you and your family!

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  16. Your story, your transparency, your clinging to the Lord has reached more lives than you can possibly imagine. You know what God is saying to your sweet boy, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done!" He did more glorifying and bringing people to their knees in his life than most people do in a lifetime. Thank you for being honest, vulnerable, and real. You are angels unaware and I, with so many, am praying for you constantly.

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  17. Whitney -

    Your post brought tears to my eyes because it describes perfectly the way I feel too. I lost my son, Riley, in February after living for 39 days. Being a childless mother is painful and empty. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for putting in words what I have struggled to describe.

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  18. I have been praying for your family for months..i had seen your blog on facebook through a friend. and i am just now reading the story you wrote...i cried during it only because i wish i had done this for my baby boy aaron...i understand that pain. Aaron would be 3 yrs old now..he lived for 5 weeks. i stayed by his side day and night. It is a very difficult thing to have the changes that has made you a mommy but no baby to show...God is so good though. I know He used baby Thatcher in so many ways to reach others..Just as He used Aaron...he was known all through TCH as soon as he was born. It melted my heart when he passed and his nurses came to the funeral as well as all the cards we recieved. From the NICU and CICU. The loss of a baby is difficult but God gets you through. It just makes you see the world differently, and closer to God. I just wanted to say thank you for all th updates and blogs. i am still healing and some of your words have encouraged me on my tough days...

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  19. I am left speechless as I feel the pain and joy you expressed in this post. You have TRULY blessed many lives and Thatcher is so lucky and blessed to have you as his mommy, as you will always be. I know one day you will see Thatcher again and get to hold him in your arms and he will have not one pain or ache, but strength and an overwhelming love for you. I cannot wait for that moment to come and I know hundreds will rejoice with you. I love you sweet Whitney and am so grateful for your example and testimony.

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