April 26, 2009

The Elephant Has Left The Building

I am not sure if Beth even knows this, but the day I found out I was pregnant with my fourth baby, before I told anyone, I called her. I let it ring and ring and then I’d hang up when there was no answer. I did that a few times. I don’t know why. I couldn’t tell you the last time we had seen each other or even emailed. Something in me wanted so desperately to share this moment with her and say Guess what? I’m pregnant, too!

We would be expecting at the same time, but I never got to see her pregnant with James and Jake. I only know the before & after Beth. From reading her posts, of course, I knew the “during” Beth in a certain way, I guess. The excitement and the life- lives - which filled her body. And then before I could truly cherish in this time with her, her belly and arms were empty. I never saw in person what carried her eyes from full of fun and mischief to the eyes where tears and hurt and immense loss had now made their home.

The night we finally arranged a girl’s night out, when Beth probably wasn’t quite ready yet, my soul attached itself to her in a way I can not explain. But the girls that were there know what I experienced. They felt it, too. Our very beings united and have yet to separate. I’ve never seen Beth more beautiful and radiant. There, sitting next to me full of heartbreak and grief. Me, with a baby kicking inside when she should have two kicking inside her, too. From then on I’d do anything for Beth. I ate a cheeseburger for her that night.

I previously had thoughts of hiding my belly. Doing everything I could to help her forget that I was pregnant like she should be. How can I be a good friend in this time when I might just be a hurtful reminder? But, if you know Beth, you know she is honest and raw and with her, there is never an elephant in the room. It is the very thing she is against. And if one happens to show up, she is the first to acknowledge it and call his fat butt out and make everyone laugh about it.

I was just with Beth the other night and saw a whole new light and dark within her eyes. She’s not just the after Beth anymore. I’m really not sure who she’s becoming right now, to be honest, but the deepness that is her heart and core is none like I’ve ever seen before. I’ve almost felt guilty that I’ve learned more from her during these past several months than I’ve been able to give back. It is never my desire to be the taker. But she draws you to her and reveals a spirit- a crystal clear window to look in and see her broken heart, observe it, poke it with a stick, and tell you how much it sucks.

And because there are no elephants allowed, I never feel like I have to caress her hair, feed her bible verses, and say it’s all going to be ok. Because to her it’s not ok. Yes, everything will eventually seem better… someday. Someday she might even be pregnant again and head down a whole new road and life expanding her family in the way she dreams. And I trust those dreams will come true. I also believe that James & Jake will always be a part of those dreams, too. No matter how long or short their time was with us, they will continue to sparkle behind Beth’s eyes- sometimes with laughter and many times with tears. They are breathed within her words on these pages. I feel their presence. And I know that James & Jake, whether we speak it out loud or not, will forever connect our magical sisterhood without end.

(Sarah's not pictured because she was taking the photo!- July 2008)

Originally posted July 5, 2008 at I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Today we are walking together as Team James & Jake.

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  1. I teared up a little...Hope the walk goes well today!

  2. Exactly! Take from her what she can give and give to her what you can give! I think the best thing is always to hold on to those that have changed our lives and just be who you are and when the chance comes to be one of those amazing friends, embrace and love it and love on her! Don't sugar coat it and don't play it down, always be real! Bible verses quoted are beautiful, when they are not the word-for-word, because it is an in terpretaiton because of life, Bible verses are not only beautiful but wonderful and amazing and life-giving! Enjoy Beth, enjoy being a good friend! Good luck on the walk today!

  3. She sounds like a very special person to you. You're lucky to have her and she is lucky to have you!


  4. Oh, I love this post, it said everything I felt and wanted to say. So beautiful.

  5. Beautiful post...I am thinking of you guys today.

  6. What a beautiful post. You captured Beth's spirit to a tee. I was so honored to be part of Team James and Jake today and to finally meet you and your mom.

  7. I cry every single time I read about James and Jake. It seems so unfair.

  8. I'm sure Beth feels the same. What a lovely tribute.

  9. Beautiful Steph. As one who has lost five children due to prematurity, having people around you who are willing to be themselves, willing to love you through pain and willing to talk about your children who have passed is SUCH A BLESSING.


  10. Best wishes with the walk!!
    Much love.

  11. This was a beautiful post Stephanie. Great seeing you today.

  12. This is super sweet! I hope it was a huge success! :-)

  13. Great post! I hope your walk went well! I have been involved with the March of Dimes for many years now and even ran the whole fundraising operation for our huge corporation. It is a blast to know you are helping save babies!

    This year is B's first year walking with me and he is doing great fundraising with me! I am so proud of him for wanting to help!

  14. Y'all are SO lucky to have each other...

  15. I seriously need to not come heer anymore. Steph you make my haert grow with every post! You two are so lucky, and I know how it feels. Here I am still pregnant and a once dear friend can't talk to me. I feel like I remind her of what should have been.

    What a honor to be able to wlak for them.

  16. OH, I know the before and after all too well. Who I was before and who I am now are so very different...not necessarily a bad different...just different. Such a beautiful post!

    Also, this is the first time I've ever happened across your site (not sure how I got here, either! lol), but if you are ever interested, I am a die hard babywearer and here is a post I did a while back about wearing my daughter, Emily, who died a year ago...


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