Its been 2 weeks since we received our heartbreaking diagnosis that has bottomed out our world. In that 2 weeks we've recieved incredible amounts of information. We are taking some time to process all the material we've inherited, its too much to think about all at once, so we are dealing with one thing at a time, just a little bit at a time. We have not picked a birthdate for our little one, we are waiting till we feel we are ready to let go and say good-bye. When we feel that time is right, we will let everyone know that we will be meeting our little angel. Right now we just aren't ready yet... we don't know if it'll be a matter of days, 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 12 weeks. We will know when the time comes, we have all your love and support to turn to.
This couple of weeks has been the longest most emotional weeks we've ever endured. Some days I feel totally at peace with what's happening to our tiny angel, while other days I feel overwhelmed with greif and sadness. There are some days I feel like an empty shell, unable to feel or process any type of emotion, while others I sit and enjoy feeling the little baby move and kick around inside me as if nothing is wrong. I have had a few days where I have no motivation to even crawl out of bed, let alone start my day, but somehow manage to get up and stare at my beautiful little girls face and know that I'm blessed in so many ways. I'm learning to accept each day's mental state and handle my day according to what I'm thinking and feeling, many times it changes throughout the day so my day's plans change too.
During the last 2 weeks we've also received unimaginable amounts of love and support from family, friends, co-workers and even strangers on the internet. The amounts of sympathy, encouragment and prayers are overwhelming in many ways. We've received cards, phone calls, text messages, emails, letters, facebook comments and private messages that have all been so comforting. Its nice to know that people are worried about us, thinking about us, and wondering how we are doing. I just want everyone to know that sometimes I just don't have the words to write back. Sometimes when I'm feeling emotional and overwhelmed, just reading someone's kind words and knowing that we have their thoughts and prayers, is enough to get me through. I promise I'm not ignoring you, sometimes I just don't have it in me to respond.
We both returned to work in the last week, trying to get back into a normal routine - at least for now - until we've figured exactly what our plan is. Derrick was nervous about all the customers he'd see that would ask questions about our new baby, not knowing what horrific thing we are going through... As it turned out, rumors spread quickly while he was out and he didn't get nearly the questions he thought he would. In fact, most people either didn't say anything or had incredibly supportive words for him. I had the same experience last weekend, my supervisors were so sympathetic to me and understanding. The first thing they did was give me a hug, tell me to let them know if I need anything and then allowed me to go about my day without having to talk about it every 5 minutes. It definitely made it easier to get back to comfortable at work.
We also have some news to share. We have picked a name. These are not names that we would have picked in a normal situation, but given our circumstances we wanted to find a name that fits. We are still cautiously assuming this baby is a boy because we've both thought that way from the beginning and given the statistics of Bilateral Renal Agenesis, its most likely a boy anyway. So we have chosen Gabriel Ray. Gabriel was suggested to me by my Doula. She explained that Gabriel is an angel who is mentioned many times in the bible. The official definition of the name Gabriel is "God's Strength". Both of these are so fitting for us it just seems perfect. We chose Ray as the middle name because that is my late grandfather's name. The thought of my grandfather playing with and holding our sweet little angel has brought me so much comfort through the last weeks, that it felt fitting to name this baby after him. When the baby is born, we may chose to switch the names to Ray Gabriel, but in the meantime we are referring to it as Gabriel. OUR meaning of the name is Gabriel (Angel) Ray (grandpa)... so it becomes "an angel for grandpa". If Gabriel Surprises us and comes out a girl, we will change it at that time to Gabrielle Rae.
Its extremely tough to be deciding on a name for your baby, and in the next moment talk about a memorial service and burial. How does a person get through those kinds of moments? How does a person deal with the overwhelming emotions that go along with both those things, and still manage to keep themselves semi-composed? Somehow we've managed to find strength in eachother and do just that... I'm not sure how, but we're doing it.
Please continue to pray for our strength during this time, for us to have comfort, peace and love while getting through this. And also for us to find strength, love and support in eachother as our relationship continues to change through every mountain we have and will have to climb.