It's ok. He's still with me.
In my dream, I was searching our bedrooms for William. I couldn't find him anywhere and lay on the hallway floor in anguish. As I turn over in bed I'm relieved he's still here.
It was just a dream.
And then it hits me. One morning I will wake and he won't be with me any longer.
But not today, Ali. Not today. Today he is still here.
I make the choice to get up. My body wants to stay in bed all day under the weight of my sadness. I start small by telling myself to stand up. Once I stand up, I tell myself to walk to the bathroom. I do my morning routine step by step, convincing myself to face the day. By the time I am in the shower, I find myself singing softly to William, assuring him that I will love and carry him today and all my life. I am feeling a little bit stronger.
My sister takes me to the doctor for our weekly heartbeat check. I've felt him move so much lately, but not this morning. As we turn into the hospital, I feel a thump. It's as if William is saying, "It's ok, Mommy. I'm here."
The nurse squeezes cold gel onto my stomach and turns on the monitor. The galloping sound of my precious boy's heart fills the room. The nurse looks at me and smiles. I smile, too. Each moment with William is priceless.
As we walk out of the office, I begin to imagine what it will be like on the day they don't find the heartbeat. I'm so frightened. I blink away tears.
That day may come...but it's not today, Ali. Not today. Today he is still here.
We drive to my parents' house. My husband is at work and will meet us later for dinner. My mom, sister, and I are going to look at a cemetery. As much as we hope for a miracle, we realize that arrangements need to be made. We will be in no condition to make these decisions in the darkest hours of our grief.
We pull into the cemetery and pass through the large iron gates. The headstones appear just ahead and I take a deep breath.
Why am I here? How could I possibly be here?
We park the car and begin walking around. My eyes fall on a grave with a small stone. It says "Baby Boy". His birthday is the same as mine. I gasp and cover my face with my hands, stifling my cries. I compose myself and keep walking.
It's peaceful and serene. I see a small office attached to a two car garage. I walk that way to get information because I figure that is what you do when trying to find a cemetery. We arrive at the office and I muster up the courage to ask the man some questions about burying my infant son. He talks to me as if we are discussing the weather or some objects I'd like him to store. He's abrupt and speaks to me roughly.
Don't you see that I'm pregnant? Can you not sense my pain? I don't need you to cry with me, but could you just speak to me kindly?
He hands me a paper with all the pricing. I quietly hand it to my sister. She folds it in stunned silence. My mom, sister, and I walk away from the office. We say a few things to each other and then begin walking through the cemetery again. We are without words.
We each walk in slightly different directions, facing our individual grief. With the sun shining down on me, I feel the urge to fall to the ground. I want to lay with my face in the grass and scream.
Instead, I keep walking.
Again, I resist laying on the ground with outstretched arms. I feel like screaming out in surrender, screaming out in brokenness.
William moves within me and I breath in deeply. I keep walking. There will be a day for mourning.
My mom, sister, and I gather together and begin walking toward the car. We talk as we look at the graves we pass. Sometimes, we cry.
I sit on the couch in my parents' house, staring ahead vacantly. Silent tears fall down my face. I sense God working in my heart, giving me strength to keep going. Even when it's so hard, I still believe He is near to us. I believe He loves us and will guide us while we walk this road. I believe in His promises.
But it's hard, God. Today was so hard.
We are not abandoned. We are not alone. Not today, not tomorrow...not ever.