Today my sweet George Mason would have been 9 months old. It has been 9 whole months and it feels like an eternity and a blink of an eye all at once. A series of questions from a dear friend has me sitting right back in that hospital room on George’s day. I don’t usually like to think about the list of things I would change or the ways I’m specifically disappointed in that day, but God has brought me there today. Tears, laughter, anger, frustration, disappointment. He has me there. So I’m going to dig in and peel back a few more layers.
I hated everything about his day. He was supposed to come in a very controlled, planned, thought out way. He was supposed to come when his doctors were ready for him. He was supposed to come in the most relaxed, stress free way possible. Supposed to. But instead he came on his own. I labored through an entire Thursday. Drove to the hospital that evening - in hopes that they would do something to stop the contractions - labored some more, and delivered a baby at nearly 5am on Friday morning, via c section. My doctor wasn’t there. His doctors weren’t there. Adam and I hadn’t slept. It took everything in my body to not just close my eyes and sleep. Except I couldn’t sleep. I was too worried about my son. I was too excited to meet him. But then the excitement became worry. And then the worry became fear. Hours passed before I got to even see a picture of him. And hours more before I got to be in the same room with him. And then hours more before I was able to hold him.
I hated everything about that day.
I sat at my dining room table on February 9th, across from a friend, and kept finding myself out of breath as another contraction would resonate through my body. I remember her begging me to call the nurse. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to admit that the end was nearing. I didn’t want to face the reality that my son was going to be born, which meant that he was going to die. I had spent the whole pregnancy wishing he would just be born. Because if he was born, if he was in a NICU, there were medical treatments they could give him to fix him. As long as he was inside my womb, it was a crapshoot. He was alive, for now, but they didn’t know for how long. They didn’t know how good or bad the situation was. They didn’t know anything except that things looked rough, to say the least, on ultrasound, and that he was going to be a very sick little boy for an indefinite amount of time. So when those contractions came on that dreary Thursday in early February, I wished and prayed them away. I did everything I could think of to get them to stop. Audrey and I laid in bed. I took a warm bath. I took a shower. I made Adam come home from work early. I didn’t want him to come. The end of my pregnancy most likely meant the end of his life and I wasn’t ready to face that… I’m not sure I would have ever been ready. I’m certain that more sleep and less contractions would have made a difference in my experiences on his day but they wouldn't have made me any more ready. I’m certain that I would have been a heck of a lot less nervous going into that OR if my doctor and his doctors had been there. But there was nothing that could have changed the outcome of that day. The numbers on his tombstone would have been different… but the day would have been the same.
This is why I don’t like to think about the changes I would make. This is why I don’t like to go back and visit my frustrations and disappointments. At the end of all of this, there were so many people that had to say good bye to a perfect little boy. There were so many people, who despite the medical prognosis, were rooting for that little boy. There were so many people who watched Adam and me say goodbye and cried out in disappointment with us. God heard every single voice that called out that day and those months leading up to it. God heard every moment of silent fear and anxiety. He heard every deep breath and heavy sigh. He heard every tear fall from my eyes. He heard even the deepest, most intimate worries and desires of my heart. I’m disappointed in that day. I’m disappointed in the outcome. But when I look over all of the things about that day (and any day for that matter) I can’t say that I’m disappointed in God. I don’t know why He let things happen the way they did, but I know that He worked, and is working, in that day and in my life. I know that He mourned the life of my son along side me. I know that he rejoiced when he welcomed that precious little boy into glory. I know that he heard me and that he answered me with the most resounding “I will love him for eternity. He is in good hands, Jillian, you don’t worry about him. You grieve him, but you keep living. You cry over him, but you keep telling my story. You will have good days and bad days, and I will be there with you through all of it. Your son is perfect and he loves you very much. And I love you oh so very much.”
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. - Psalm 19:1-3