At the end of January I was asked to give my testimony about my journey with Micah. It was also a way in which to introduce a class that I had become aware of. This year my MOMS group has felt a lot of loss. I was so honored to give this testimony and be able to reach out to and grow closer to some wonderful women in my life. Here is the testimony:
Read 2 Sam 12:15-23
On Jan 12, 2008 our lives were changed forever. Before I go into more about that, I should give you some background. Our oldest (Zane) was born at 29 weeks because I was severely pre-eclamptic. He spent the first 52 days of his life in the hospital. When we became pregnant again in the summer 2007, I was scared! I did not want the same experience. I had also been researching more natural ways to do things. I knew that ever pregnancy is different and they can not predict if pre-eclampsia will show its ugly head in subsequent pregnancies. So we went totally different and decided on a home birth. We were very well taken care of, better than by the OB I had with Zane. We got to 30 weeks and I thought we were golden. There could be nothing that could go wrong now. When we got to the “magical” 36 week mark, our midwife came to the house to see where it was and where all the birthing stuff was. This was Thursday Jan 10. She checked the baby (still did not know sex) and the heart beat was 120. Then she checked me. My blood pressure was elevated and I had protein in the urine. So they put me on bed rest and started to prepare my body through natural induction. On Friday, my midwife and her apprentice, were in the neighborhood and stopped by to check on me and the baby. My blood pressure was still high and proteins high, but my body was responding to the induction. The baby’s heart beat was 120 still. So I continued on bed rest. Well, they came to check on me again Sat. morning, this time my midwife checked the baby and handed the stethoscope over to her apprentice. Neither of them could find anything. So I called David to have him meet us at the hospital. After forever, it was confirmed what we already knew, our baby was dead. I had to call my parents and say “Happy Anniversary! Your Grandbaby is dead.”
Micah Allen Perin was born Jan. 12, 2008 with red hair and tiny hands and feet. He was 100% perfect. Still bigger than his brother by less than a pound. He had quit growing at 30 to 32 weeks, but there was no indication of this.
To say I was in shock was an understatement. But right away I was seeing God’s work. The one that I treasure the most is how our hope that we would see Micah again was so evident, even in this sorrow. You see, the reason our midwife and her apprentice were in the neighborhood was because they had another stillbirth the day before. This was to nonbelievers. Our midwife is a Christian and her apprentice was not. When they were debriefing after a painful and unbelievable weekend, I found out that the apprentice noticed the difference and the hope we had. For she was not a believer. I pray that she did see the hope that we had and this changed her heart, for she was taken about two years ago. The other was in God’s provision. The generosity that poured out for us was unreal. From the funeral home to many of the moms that are or have been in this room and to complete strangers. We were so blessed.
The first real holiday we celebrated after loosing Micah was Easter. I did not want to put on a happy face and deal with people. So we started a new tradition, tye-dying! Yes, that is why Zane is always in tye-dye!
Micah is very much a part of our family. The summer I was pregnant with him my parents came to surprise me for my birthday (July 8). David and my Dad always have to have some kind of project. This particular time it was to dig a fountain in the backyard! It irritated me so at the time, but what a treasure! This fountain is now Micah’s corner. We planted an apple tree there and the boys can not seem to stay away from it. I tell my self this is their way of playing with Micah.
At Christmas my parents always get him an angel ornament and for his birthday they send him a yellow rose for how old he would be, this year we got 4!. David, Zane and I started on his first birthday by going to the Rain Forest Café and making cupcakes and singing “Happy Birthday” to him. We have now added putt-putt golf and sparklers. Zane is very aware he is missing a brother and talks about him freely, even at school.
Well, just like God blessed King David with another son, we too were blessed. This pregnancy was very stressful, on many levels. I was high risk, had to go to a kidney doctor once a month, and started going in for NST and Biophysical Profiles twice a week starting at 23 weeks. At 36 weeks, on my second visit of the week, the amniotic fluids were below 5 cm. So I was given the order to go straight to the hospital. After a very long induction we were blessed with our third red headed son, Cody Michael.
Every day I wonder what it would be like to have three red headed boys. Every day I know someone is missing from our home. Every day is a day I wonder what Micah’s personality would be like and know I will never truly know him. The night that he was born I wrote this: Micah Allen Perin was born Jan 12, 2008. He never felt the pain of this world. He only knew the warmth and safety of his mothers womb. He knew his daddy’s voice and his big brother. There was even fighting that happened. Micah did not like Zane pushing on him. So he would push back! Micah will forever be loved and with us. It is wonderful to know he went from my womb straight to God’s loving embrace.
I thank God for all the ways He provided for me to heal as I walk this road. The first was by having other women who have been walking the road for years or only months before I lost Micah. I knew I was not alone. In fact there were many poems and songs that I found that helped. The first, which is one we all need to remember is Please Be Gentle by Jill Englar:
Please be gentle with me for I am grieving.
The sea I swim is a lonely one and the shore seams miles away.
Waves of despair numb my soul as I struggle through each day.
My heart is heavy with sorrow.
I want to scream and shout and repeatedly as why?
At times, my grief overwhelms me and I weep bitterly, so great is my loss.
Please don’t turn away or tell me to get on with my life.
I must embrace my pain before I can begin to heal.
Companion me in tears and sit with me in loving silence.
Honor me where I am in my journey, not where you think I should be.
Listen patiently to my story, I may need to tell it over and over again.
It’s how I begin to grasp the enormity of my loss.
Nurture me through the weeks, and months ahead.
Forgive me when I seam distant and inconsolable.
A small flame burns within my heart, and shared memories may trigger both laughter and tears.
I need your support and understanding.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I must find my own path.
Please, will you walk beside me?
This was also the same time that Jeremy Camp’s song, “There Will Be A Day” came out, and Air1 and K-Love played it every hour. But you know, God knew I needed it. Still do and that is when it comes on still. The whole song is amazing and true but the lines that really spoke were “I hold on to this hope and the promise that he bring, That there will be a place with no more suffering. I know the journey seems so long, you feel your walking on your own. But there has never been a step where you’ve walked out all alone.” I know that even when I am feeling all alone, I am not! I have God right beside me and a friend, if I would pick up the phone and call. Again, the pain is so deep that it feels that nothing will ever heal it. Just as the saying goes “a person who looses their spouse is a widow, a child who looses their parent is an orphan, But there is no word for a parent who looses a child. The pain is too deep.”
I know that there are many in this room who have lost a child. Whether it is due to an eptopic pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, SIDS, illness, or accident, the pain is deep. I know that any one of us would have taken the place of the child. Every time I think of that I am also reminded of God’s love for us, for me. God willingly gave his ONLY son to die for me. FOR ME! Why? Because he loved me that much. WOW! And because Christ defeated death, I will be able to hold Micah again.
Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don’t worry about hurting me further
The depth of my pain doesn’t show.
Don’t worry about making me cry,
I’m already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I’m hurting when you just keep silent,
Pretending he didn’t exist.
I’d rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say “pretty good” or “fine”.
But healing is something ongoing,
I feel it will take a lifetime.
By Elisabeth Dent
On that I would invite any of you who have lost a child, at any point, to know that I am here to talk, listen, pray or cry with you, as are others. There is also a class coming up at Mission Church starting on Feb 23. It is called “Grieving the Child I Never Knew”. It is based off of a book that I received after Micah died and it helped me. I will be taking the class so if you are afraid that you will not know anyone, you know me. I have more information if you are interested.
This weekend I ran in a race, London’s Run, in honor of a little girl was battling cancer and ended up loosing her battle. While I was waiting for the race to start, I meet a woman whose daughter was just told that she only had a few more years to live, maybe less. In talking we came to the conclusion that it does not matter if you loose your child in the first trimester, before birth, during the first year or after 26 years with them. It is painful, awful and takes a lifetime to heal. The one thing I am sure of is that I will see Micah again, and if you lost a baby (or child that has not had a chance to hear, understand, and accept the gospel) you will to. Have hope, some days are harder than other. But God is our only hope to get through these days and gives us each other to help. To help those who are going through it, remember that birthday, due date, watch your words, for they can cut deeply or help heal. But most of all be there and truly want to know how they are doing. As I prepare for the fifth birthday of Micah, I am spending this year preparing to run my first marathon in honor of Micah. If any of you are wanting to, I would love to have you join me to honor my angel on (near) his 5th birthday Jan. 20, 2013.
Well, we are three weeks into the class and I have realized that I needed to do something to honor the babies of the moms that are taking the class. I normally don't go back and do this because it takes too long and I don't have the time, but I just felt like it was important, especially with most of the moms having the loss so fresh. See I don't like the traditional clothes, blankets, diapers etc to give as baby gifts. I make a birth announcement cross stitch, whether the baby lives or not (most live thankfully). But this poses a problem when someone miscarries. I want to remember their baby, because I believe that life starts at conception, but a birth record does not seem proper. So I have made stepping stones for those who have miscarried. Then they can plant something in honor of the baby they never knew. Well, I have started to make the ones for my group when I got some AMAZING news!!!! Remember this and this, well I am so excited that R and G are pregnant with a healthy baby boy! I was so excited that I went the next morning and bought this. I can't wait to start working on this. I love making these little treasures for mom's-to-be because it gives me a chance to pray specifically for the family and for the tiny little life. Plus, I can't give it to the mom before the baby is born because I don't have the birth day, weight or height.
Boy, with the loss of Micah so much has changed. I use to buy clothes and stuff off the registry. I really hope that the moms who receive the gifts I make them really do cherish them. I know that I love Zane's and Micah's (I am still working on Cody's: was really working on it then got caught up in Hunger Games-another post all together!). So as I am walking this journey, which is life long, I am so honored to be able to walk with other moms and help them and have them help me. The class is taught from the book Grieving the Child I Never Knew. going back through it 4 years later and seeing how things have changed and how much healing has taken place.