I feel like I can't breathe. I feel like the pain is sitting on my chest with its hand around my throat. This is not the first time however. I have felt this way before.
When the doctor told me that the only way to give the girls a chance to survive was to take them by emergency c-section at only 24 weeks I felt the air get sucked out of my lungs. I started to cry and said to the doctor, "This isn't good is it?" And he got choked up and said, "No honey, it isn't. I am so sorry." I knew then that my girls needed a miracle. I don't think I got my breath back for days.
When we were told of the girls' brain damage I couldn't breathe either. I just sat in my bed while Kirk held me crying "oh no, please no."
When Ellie was dying I held my breath the whole time I held her. I watched her gasp for air as she slowly left us. My heart broke for her as she tried to breathe but couldn't. I knew how she felt. The moment she passed away the pain of her loss was so intense it forced me to take a breath. I had to breathe again to cry for her.
When Aubrey was dying I felt so sick and frozen that it felt like I couldn't breathe or blink or even think. I was already anticipating the pain of her loss, wondering if I would even survive losing another baby, if the gut wrenching agony of grief might be too much for me a second time. I couldn't stop staring at her, wishing for time to stop so that she would not leave us. When she finally passed away I took a deep breath and let the numbness wash over me. It was simply too much to bare. I could not believe it was all over. Both my babies were gone.
As the numbness wore off the sorrow was overwhelming. All I could do was cry. I cried into the night and again the next morning. Sleep was my only break from my tears. During the funeral I quite honestly forgot to breathe. It was the worst day of my life. My heart ached so intensely that I felt nauseous and angry and empty all at the same time. All I could do was stare at their casket. I cried some, but mostly I just stared. I could feel the same heaviness on my chest then as I feel now. It comes and goes, leaving for days and then appearing again. Today I am practically drowning in grief.
Yet I feel God with me, holding my head above water so to speak, so that I am not completely overcome by the ocean of pain I am stranded in. I know God will sustain me and keep me from sinking while we weather this storm together. That does not make today any less painful, but it does give me hope that I will survive this, even on the worst of days.