Monday, June 08, 2009


This will probably be a week of sharing a lot of my thoughts. The Good. The Bad. The Downright Ugly. They are starting to pile up. Here goes.

I blame myself.

For Olivia's trisomy and ultimately for her death. Even if that doesn't make sense.

It was two days before Thanksgiving when the pregnancy test read positive. I purchased the test, along with all the groceries needed for my Thanksgiving dinner for 20. Oh, how I wanted to just cancel Thanksgiving. Can we please just call all the guests & tell them not to come? I bawled. I locked myself in the bathroom. I didn't even tell Hubs what the test said. Guess the red eyes, blotchy face & hyperventilating when I got out of the bathroom gave it away. This pregnancy wasn't planned {not by me at least}; it wasn't even Sebastian's first birthday yet.

Fast forward...
The words no mother wants to hear, "Trisomy 18", "Incompatible with life", "Fifty-percent stillbirth rate". And so I blame myself. I deserve this suffering. If only I would've wanted Olivia from the very beginning, God wouldn't be punishing me this way. That is the biggest If Only. There are other smaller If Onlys too. If only I would've taken my prenatal vitamins. If only I wouldn't have said in the ultrasound room, "I don't want to raise a child that is severely disabled." If only I would've prayed harder. It must be my fault because I'm the Mama; she was inside of me. At least I could've carried her to full term so that I could meet her alive, face-to-face. But No. I couldn't even get that right.

I recently opened my journal & these are the words I wrote, nearly one year ago:

I do think, often, that suffering in my life is because I did something wrong or is a punishment from God. It's not too often that I associate suffering for doing good or what is right. I do believe that suffering strengthens my faith in the Lord. When times are extremely tough, I find myself praying more than usual. I don't think I have yet learned how to "embrace" suffering. I need to have a clearer mind now about the peace and purpose of suffering in my life.

One year and heaps of suffering later and part of me still believes that. And then I read parts of Job. And then I read 2 Chronicles 31:20-32:1. And then I read Ps. 103:10, "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities" and Romans 8:1-2 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death". And His Word tells me something different than what my sinful flesh {and Satan} wants me to believe.

So what does this mean for me now? That even if I did sin by not counting Olivia as an immediate blessing, that God does not punish me accordingly. It's still just so hard not to thnk that 'I got what I deserved'. Most of me knows that it really wasn't my fault. That there really wasn't anything I did wrong or could've done differently to change the outcome. It's easier when there's someone to blame though, don't ya think? Even if it's ourselves? Because the alternative, well........the alternative would be to wrestle with God about why He allowed this suffering to pass through His hand. The rest of my journal entry from nearly a year ago gives me a glimpse at the anwser:

"Testing and suffering are not our enemies. In fact, they may be our allies in producing in us the sweetness of the character of Christ and in deepening our dependence on Him."


Anna said...

Oh Bec, NO! You are not to blame. When I read those first words..."I blame myself", my jaw dropped. Don't for a second let the enemy do that to you. Store those verses in your heart.

Laurie in Ca. said...

I am praying for you Becki as you work your way through this pain in your heart. I am pretty sure you already know the answers but this searching is part of the journey of healing through grieving. God hears you and will carry you through.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

chadandnikki said...

Even though neither you or I are to blame for the diagnosis of T18 on our daughters, it's so easy to blame yourself. I blame myself for not being able to give my husband another "perfect" child like our oldest.

Our situations are a little different as far as planning and desiring the pregnancy. But, the feelings of blame are the same. They are as real and as difficult.

Obviously we had nothing to do with the path that God chose for our daughters and our families. It's not our fault, and we aren't to blame. It's just hard to see that some days. Praying for you, and living you very much.

Erin said...

Its interesting how our human minds process things that happen in our lives. I have often had guilt thoughts...when sean lost a job, the kids didn't pass thier pre-k screenings, etc. I realize that none of these scenerios even come close to losing a child.

However, I want you to know...I felt so sad for you when I found out about Olivia. It shook me. Altered by world as I processed through prayer for your family and God's plan for Olivia. I never once thought that you or anyone did anything to warrant Olivia's T18.

God chose you. He didn't punish you. He chose you because he trusted you with the pain that you are going through...that you would still stand firm in your faith and be an example to others. I know this is true. I felt so moved by the spirit to come to Rainbow to encourage you and knew that it was God who moved me there. There was such a sense of awe that God would change my plans to work for his purpose. It was a clear picture of what he wanted from his people. That they would be able to stop what they were doing and follow his voice.

Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying often as Olivia is laid on my heart.

Anonymous said...

As I read your blog, I remember having a conversation with Anna a while ago, and I said to her, I don't think I would be where she is at in her faith, God chose you for he knew you would continue to glorify him. I know that probably doesn't make much sense but it is because of you and your faith through this that others dispositions have changed or their relationship with the Lord was strengthened. I know, I am one of them. I will continue to pray for you thank you for being so brutally honest as I know we have talked about some stuff and feelings before.
Love you girl

Monica said...

God did not take Olivia's life to punish you. God does not work that way. It is so hard because the human in us wants to place blame everywhere including God. One thing I have figured out through this whole process is God had a reason for Evan's life. I may not know why he took Evan so early until I am on my knees before Him, but I do know it was not to punish me. He has used the situation to teach and show me so much.

Beth said...

Although I have no idea what it was like for you to have to get that news and deliver Olivia, I can relate to what you are saying. After I found out that I was pregnant with our third child, something that was NOT at all planned by us, I did not think of it as the blessing it was. Instead, I thought of all the ways it would impact our lives. Afterall, we only wanted two children...selfish. I thought of all we would not get to do. So, when I started bleeding about two weeks after we found out (when I was running on the treadmill), I blamed myself. First for the thoughts I had in the beginning and second because it had begun while running. I thought I caused it. I felt incredible guilt. It took me a while to process all of it. I knew it was all in God's perfect plan...without the loss of Madelyn we would have never had Collin. It's still rough. Allow yourself to greve, go through those thoughts...go to God with them. He understands and cares for you more than anyone. Still praying for you.

Joan Carr said...

Philippians 4:8(KJV)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

God says it best, so I need not add or take away from He said, but notice the last 4 words.

Heather said...

Keeping you in my prayers! You are grieving right now and your thoughts and feelings will continually change and shift as you transition into this 'new normal' of life.

I can't help but agree with the comment that you are chosen, not punished with this. I'm sure right now that is hard to hear, but I'm thinking of how lucky she was to have you as a Mommy. So many women would have been feeling the stress you felt when she was concieved and taken her life then. Or would have gotten testing to make sure she was perfect and found out she had T18 and then taken her life. Or would not have put the thought, love and dedication into being the best Mom they could be to her while they knew her.

You have been and will continue to be the perfect Mommy for her and for your others. They are learning so much watching you go through this, as are we all. Rest in His hands and know Olivia does as well.