Journal Entry: June 21, 2007 What should I tell him?

All while Charlotte was in my belly, I tried to be honest with the kids as to what was going on. But the more information that came, the harder it was to break it down to Zach. I wanted him to know what was going on, but also wanted to protect him. TyTy really has no "visible" concept of what is still going on, but he can tell you the name of "the baby in the pictures". But really, I don't know what goes on in his little mind.

So when Charlotte died, she stayed in my belly for 6 more days. During that time, I didn't say anything to Zach. He knew that "Char-wit" had "owies" in her heart. We prayed all the time for her. But she didn't come back to us. My nieces knew what was going on, even to the point of knowing that she died. After we came home from the hospital, I was terrified that the girls would say something to Zach about dying/death/dead. We never explained it that way to Zach. All we said was that Charlotte went to be with Jesus. She is such a lucky little girl, yada yada. We made a big deal out of the positives of where she is, but not how she got there. I never said that Jesus took her because I was afraid that might scare him, that maybe he would get "taken" too.

Then one day about 3 months ago, I was talking with Zach, not remembering really what was going on at that time, and I told him that Charlotte died. I said the "D" word for the first time. He looked at me, half startled. Then I freaked (internally) and moved the subject along.

While driving around recently, I had all four kids in the car (the boys and my 2 nieces) and as we passed by a cemetery. Zach asked what that place was and Dominique replied by saying.."That's where Charlotte is at"... This has happened twice. I just kind of quickly told Nique that no, that's not the same place where Charlotte is (she's at a different cemetery than where we passed), and Zach quickly adds "Char-wit's with Jesus." Now I feel like I need to say more to him, but I have no idea what to really say. How much can a 4 year old understand of the separation of body and spirit? There is so much that I can say, how can I be gentle and not scary? I just fear that I may have made things worse in the confusion.

I was sitting at the computer yesterday, going over the pictures that Larry sent from DeVaul, the ones from the cemetery, and Zach walked up. I tried to put it off screen, but he wanted to know what I was looking at. It happened to be the one of the casket. Prior to my tweeking them and putting them on the blog, this particular picture had people in the background. I hesitated in showing it to him, but then I thought maybe I should. So I pulled it on screen, and sat quietly for a moment. Then he asked "what's that?" and I answered him "That's Charlotte."

The look in his eyes cut me so deeply. He couldn't understand where she was. He said that he didn't want her to be in that "box". "Take her out" he said. I think that scared him even more. Why was his little sister in a covered box? I tried to explain that she was waiting in there for Jesus to come back to take her body to heaven. I told him that the part of Charlotte that makes her happy and smile and love mommy and daddy and sometimes sad is the part that is with Jesus...but her bones (and I tapped his elbows and pinched his arm muscles) this is the part that is in the box. But one day, Jesus is going to come back and take her bones to heaven too. And when he does, "that's when we get to go be with Him and Charlotte. Won't that be great, we are going to go up high in the sky and be with Jesus in our castles..."

His next question was amazing to me. He asked which man in the (background) of the picture was Jesus. I was proud of him and sad for him. He knows that Jesus is a real man and is alive! But he also wanted to put a face with the person. I had to tell him that none of the men are Jesus and that He is back in heaven, waiting to come back to take us up there too. I just don't know if I should say anymore.

Journal Entry: June 19, 2007 Sometimes Chocolate Helps

Boy, have I got some nerve. After all of that complaining about my weight, here I am, sitting in front of the computer at 11 o'clock at night eating a huge chocolate brownie. And man, is it good!

Today I got the pictures DeVaul spoke of from Charlotte's burial. I was so excited to see them, to see if it was what I remembered the day to be. And it was. But it was so very sad to me too. I put them into the online album for this blog. So now it's all together. Birth to Burial. I sent out a quick email to let some people know that there were some new pictures on it. But now I have to leave everything alone. I don't think it would be right for me to keep bringing her up to people, but I can't help it. They may want to move on, or already have. I'm trying to. I've actually made progress emotionally in my conversations about her. I'm able to now speak about her with out blubbering. Even if it's only one or two sentences. Baby steps, ya know?

So Father's Day was hard, but not for Brian; well, maybe for him, but he never showed any thing. The day ended up being hard on me. I had a very long and very good conversation with my Dad. He really put me in check on a couple of things. I needed that. We talked about "Lil Miss" and he was saying that he is very concerned for me. I appreciate that. He really let me have it in regards to my state of mind in what I had chosen to believe about Charlotte's demise. It totally surprised me that he does not agree with the possible Trisomy diagnosis. I felt like I was being pulled back onto my feet after falling down. He said it looks like I may be giving up on my conviction of all that God had told me and done for me over those months of carrying Charlotte. Maybe I did. But like I said, I was surprised that he felt this way because I thought I was the only person on the planet that still cared and felt a burden for the ultimate truth to be acknowledged. And that is that God was with me in the most tender and amazing ways during that time (and still continues to be). That He had a divine plan for Charlotte and that there was nothing in this world that I could have done to change the will of the Father. And clearly, His will was for Charlotte to not be of this world, but only for a moment. He reminded me of what a privilege it was for me to be chosen by God to walk through that situation. I really needed a kick in the pants on that. I'm glad it came gently from my dad.

But I suppose I should clarify that I have not given up on my faith or in the belief that God healed Charlotte just as he said he did. People (generally) don't realize that the miracle God has/had planned wasn't contingent on Charlotte living and breathing outside of my womb. But it's so terribly lonely in holding up this torch. In our limited human minds we can not fathom that God would let a little baby die, or that he would cause me to grow a baby in my belly to never let her live. But John 9:1-3 says that these things can be, in order to bring glory to God, that His works may reveal who He is in them. But people don't seem to get it. And it's hard to "keep that up" when it feels like people just think I'm crazy. So I've laid off a bit. Publically anyways. I need to go to bed. My sleep habits have gotten all messed up. I can't bring it back to where it should be. I'll write more later.

JOurnal Entry June 3, 2007

Thinking about losing a few pounds (more like 25-30) has been on my mind a lot. Re reading my last post make me rethink the 6 pounds added (on top of my pre-pregnancy need-to-lose) because surely it must be more than that. Even my larger sized clothing is not fitting right. My gut is huge... all soft and jiggly. A goal of 25 pounds seems reasonable. I need to set a goal for myself, but I have no desire to exercise. If I could just do that, I'd be much better off.

I stopped at my friend's house the other day and as we were talking about losing weight and toning up, she mentioned how it's not like Mathias is so little that I could blame my extra chub on him anymore, and there is another woman in her group that has a 6 month old baby...now she has something to blame it on. I know that my friend wouldn't say something to me like that to hurt my feelings, that she just wasn't thinking. But that's what hurt most. She had forgotten that I too had a baby 6 months ago. I gently reminded her of that before she had her entire thought of it out of her mouth, but it's been nagging at me for five days now.

So I did make it out to see the girls this week. I was so glad I did. I went on a different day and met a girl who gave her baby up for adoption in December. She was so mature and approachable. I had a wonderful conversation with her for about an hour. I hope to be able to see her over the summer. She said that she doesn't have anyone to talk to and that her parents are not too supportive of her decision. I hope that we can become friends.

I talked with Brian's mom (DeVaul) on Friday. Just catching up on things. Eventually, the conversation turned to Charlotte and she mentioned that she took pictures of the funeral. I had no idea. On that day, if I knew, I probably would have not wanted her to, but now I am so glad she did. She said she would send me a copy of them as soon as she could. I asked her if there was a picture of the casket and she said yes. My mind flooded with the image of the casket and it's tiny handles. It was supposed to be baby pink but was so light, it looked almost white. And the dumb green tablecloth. All wrinkled and old looking. I can't help but wonder what Charlotte looked like in that tiny coffin.