Count Down to Atticus’ Due Date.
Miscarriage is something I never knew I would talk about so much. I never thought I would be in this category. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Although there are the foreseeken inevitable moments that bring you down to your knees but we have also had some amazing moments that we relish in. We have found beauty in this chapter because it has brought us all so much closer and has strengthened our marriage. We’ve learned that Gods plan is strong for us, and that we need him.
We’ve learned to rely on one another. Believe it or not, but that we can also lean on our own children. They truly are blessings from God. Their innocence is beautiful and has a way of catching you off guard in all the right moments that just melt your heart. My sweet Ali-girl (Aliyna) has spoken of her baby brother every day. Not one day does she leave him out. She prays about him, plays with him, and has even gotten him his own cup, or plate from time to time.
She speaks of her baby brother like she knows him deeper than any of us, even me, she carries him with her and it’s quite beautiful. They say it’s the way to keep our families alive, is to keep them present here with us. It was difficult though, to get used to her speak of him so freely. It used to break us down, Josh and I would talk about how we barely could handle it. We didn’t want to tell her to stop and just assumed it would eventually go away, it hasn’t. Five months later, it hasn’t. So we’ve accepted it, and now find peace and joy in it. One day she was rocking him (a stuffed animal) in a carrier, I thought it was the cutest thing ever. I saw a glimpse of what my life would have been like. All three kiddos got around and kissed on him, sang to him, and covered him with blankets to keep him warm. It was cute to see Addie play along, bc I always wondered what she would do with a baby in the house, I thought she would be an angry type, but she chose to share her bouncy chair, didn’t throw a fit, and played along. Now if u know her and her bouncy chair , this was an incredible move on her part. I cried, wiped the tears from my cheeks and even played along, I think every mom should play along if they’re presented with this moment, it was healing in its own magical way. I thought every moment with him was robbed from us, that I’d never be able to delight in moments like these. Although they’re just pretend, they mean so much because I came to the realization that we can all still share intimate moments like these even though he’s not here. Not everything is gone or unattainable like I thought it would be. Yes, he’s not there, but the moments with the other kids aren’t entirely lost forever.
So to say the least we’ve learned to roll with this phase. We’ve set the table with food just for Atticus, placed bottles on the high chair for him. These little things that Ali-girl just randomly does to include him have become memories that I won’t forget. It’s also a sweet reminder to send my boy some love. That he’s with us, and will always be apart of our family.
So as we approached the due date I was nervous. I mean it’s all been such a process. First month- fighting against depression. becoming emotional stable again. 2nd month – Finding myself again, getting back to my core, finding my mission, spirituality awakening. 3rd month- spent focusing on Meditation, becoming mentally stable again. Fourth month I was trying to find passion again. I was deliberately taking steps that I believe to be necessary to stay healthy but every month anniversary it would seem like I would just get broken all over again.
I didn’t know how I’d be on this day, if I’d handle it so well or if I should even bring it up with kiddos. I knew I had to because they’re apart of everything. I felt like we needed to celebrate him in one way or another. After all, I celebrated Valek’s first birthday with friends and family, it was a great way to remember him, and I had to do the same to remember our sweet Atticus. I came up with the idea to have a chalk party to remember him by. I had purchased these chalk bombs for maternity pics for when my belly got bigger. I couldn’t wait to use them. So when he passed away we thought about using them at his funeral but then I decided to go with the balloon technique so the kiddos could write special comments to their baby brother to send to heaven instead. I’m glad I didn’t use them then, because I didn’t realize how much healing I would feel from this.
Now before I share all the awesome pics, I wanted to say, it was hard getting the bags out of the closet, getting all the supplies together, and setting everything up, getting the initial pics before sent me into tears. I could hardly swallow. It was one of those moments were you want to stop doing what you’re doing if it hurts that bad, but yet, I knew better- it was a moment that I had to go through. It was one of those moments I wore the tears proudly because I wanted them there, I wanted to feel the warmth of them, because they reminded me of why I was there to begin with. This was my something to recognize the day that I would have held him. Kissed him, brought him home.
I started thinking about what that would have looked like, and I thought well there would have been a thousand pics for sure, so I decided to take pics with a bear that we received in the hospital. After I delivered Atticus the nurses put him in a crocheted pouch blanket so we could hold him in. All of this little baby could fit in there with just a little glimpse of his face showing. It was a way to cuddle him and love on him before we could never hold him again. At first josh didn’t want to hold him. When my water broke and they told us what would happen he said he thought it be best to not hold him. But once he was here with us. We both wanted to. Had to! It was a must! It was also something we’ve been so happy that we did because there’s no going back. If we opted out and then buried him without ever holding him, giving our son kisses, or laying with him, it wouldn’t have been something we wouldn’t be able to live with. The blanket was a nice touch, and we were so thankful the hospital assisted us with this all.
Then the nurse came in and gave us this box with all kind of things in. It was a box from an org called Luke Lives On. One of them is a swatch that matches the crocheted blanket that Atticus was in. So we could always have a piece with us. The ‘Attucus’ bear, paperwork explaining the org was created by parents just like us, a willow tree angel statue, prayers, and a book. All of it touched us so deeply that we couldn’t help but be thankful that these people went above and beyond to help others like them during this hard time. My favorite however and most meaningful gift, was a bracelet. A leather bracelet that had a verse on it, can u guess which one?
It had the exact verse that I have spoken of sooo many times. The verse that was read at my first sons funeral by two different people, the verse we have hanging in our house, the verse I have in the tag line on this site! It was a moment that God was there with us. I put it on and have never taken it off. However, I take it off when I shower and there’s always one person to help me put it back on, my son. No one else can do it but him. He’s said that. It’s something he likes to do for me, he said mommy I’ll always be here to put this on for you, I know it’s important to you, so it’s important to me. Are u crying yet!! These kids I tell you they just get to you don’t they!!!
He’s exactly right though, it’s a bracelet that I’ve found identity in, for so many reasons that I can’t even go into detail just yet. I’ve tried making a video and speaking about it but I guess I’m just not there yet. My main point though, I’ve kept it near because I feel like it’s God’s way of letting me know his hands are still on me.
Little did we know that that bracelet would connect us in so many more ways to Gods plan for us, let alone, for me. – Ashly Williams
We received a call about a month later from the Drs after they did an autopsy on our son. What they found has sent us to a whole other level of wow-ness. The doctors said that Atticus shared the same genetic disorder that his older brother in heaven had. G a s t r o s c h e s i s. Not only did he have that, but his liver, and his gall bladder were on the outside of his belly as well. Now, when I talked to my OBGYN once these results came in, she explained to me how rare this was. For a mom to have one child with Gastroschesis is rare enough, but to have the same mom give birth to two kids with it, ASTRONOMICALLY RARE. She sent my results to two Drs she knew and they all said the same thing. We have no idea what this means for the me, for our family, but we do know that I have to go see a geneticist to find out. This appt has been set. Can you imagine being told that you are an astronomically rare case and to hear these words come from several Drs.
I was confused at first, I don’t understand quite yet how that can happen to me. Especially after I’ve had three healthy kids. I didn’t understand why with my first and last boys. I’m still at a loss. One thing was made clear for me though, that this community that I moved away from before I was all of a sudden thrown back into. I was reliving Valek’s death, along with Atticus’s death. It somehow connected us all together. I was living in this loop that kept coming back to the beginning. The beginning were I found God. When I was pregnant with Valek I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. After he came home from the hospital I was baptized at Zilker park with him there with me, with my church HCBC along with my friends and family. I heard God speaking so loud to me, that this is where I’m supposed to be again. My faith needed to remain that strong, needed to be moved, and willing to do his good works again. I’ve rejoined with Hand 2 Hold an org that helps parents adjust during their time in the NICU. I’ve come to contact with someone who works, builds, and campaigns for Agape- a pregnancy resource center, where I accepted Jesus Christ. Discussed how crazy it was that we ran into one another at Re|Engage, a place we never would have been at if we didn’t have a miscarriage, and discussed volunteering there. I’ve rejoined Gastroschesis groups and feel like that voice that I had before is burning brighter and deeper.
We don’t have a lot of the answers, some we will get from the specialist, and some we won’t but I know one thing is for sure. That during this time in my life, I have never felt so close to God. I’ve wondered what would have happened to my son if my water never broke, if I carried him for another 15 weeks before they did another ultrasound to find out then what he had…I can’t even imagine the weight it would have put on our family, on Josh, on our kids. It’s so hard to try and imagine, there’s so many what ifs that it doesn’t play out just one way in my brain. I’ve thought about this loop He keeps putting me on, and how everything keeps pointing to one thing, HIM. He works in mysterious ways, His plans for us are so magnificent that we can’t even fathom. Through all this I’ve found a purpose again, and the will to pursue it. I don’t need the answers, I just need him.
I am < God I NEED Him
So, this brings us back to the Chalk party, crazy how the chalk I purchased for the gender reveal are the same colors as Miscarriage Awareness. The kids loved it, Aliyna ate some and her teeth and tongue were blue for over four hours no matter what she ate, or drank. LOL, and the coolest part, once again, my bracelet. Look how it turned out. I’m never washing it out!!! It’s just how it was meant to be all along.
I know it’s crazy to think a miscarriage has meaning, or that it’s all a part of a “plan” but I have to believe that all of this realigns together just so perfectly that I can’t help but know that all of it, all of this, is in Gods hands. If you have experienced a miscarriage, I send hugs to you, and am so sorry for your pain. I just say to you now, try and rejoice in the moments that bring you closer to your baby, remember them, and celebrate them. The healing from it alone is worth it. Plus you never know you might get an angelic visitor like we did during our chalk party. Call it what you want, but we think someone came to play with his family.
Do you see the glowing angel?