It seems that I've had a lot of these lately.
Full circle moments that, at one point in my life, I never thought would happen.
This experience triggered my thinking on this. And after standing in the room where Grady and I spent our time together, holding Matthew in my arms, I started paying attention and thinking back.
Just last Wednesday, September 15th, I drove down to have lunch with Dr. Joe's crew. I didn't expect him to be there because I was told he had a meeting. But the whole point of the lunch was to celebrate mine and his birthday. I was a bit disappointed, but I love his office crew and was excited to see them and spend time with them. Not long after I arrived, Dr. Joe walked in, and I was shocked. He left his meeting early to come have lunch with us. :)
My full circle moment came when he was holding Matthew. He literally held him from the time he finished his salad to the time he left. He ate the rest of his lunch with Matthew in his arms, which was nice for me, but I felt bad for him. But the thing is, that's the way he wanted it. I made it perfectly clear that I would take Matthew back, but every time I asked, he refused my offer to take him.
I think it was a full circle moment for him, too.
If you're new to my blog, then you may not know that the night after Grady was born, Dr. Joe sat on my bed and held Grady for an hour, telling me how beautiful he was and how we shouldn't have lost him. I remember as clear as day Dr. Joe telling me that he hoped I wouldn't close the door on the possibility of having another baby. I never thought it would happen...that we would have another living child.
It was truly heart warming and soul pleasing to see Dr. Joe with Matthew, full circle from our last experience. When Grady died, he said, "your baby is my baby, too". That's exactly the way he feels about Matthew, and I'm so very grateful! I didn't have my camera with me, but I wish so badly that I could have captured the moment. Dr. Joe didn't talk much during lunch, but rather held Matthew's feet (because he said they were cold) and stared down at him. Absolutely precious!
Even my six week postpartum was a full circle moment. When I went after Grady, I prayed the waiting room wouldn't be full of babies. It was hard to be around pregnant women, but I definitely couldn't "do babies" then. Praise the Lord, there were no babies, and I didn't have to wait long with the pregnant women. Oh how I dreaded that appointment.
But this time, I was there holding Matthew. So grateful. Not taking for granted who I had in my arms and what he represented. To everyone else, I was just there for an appointment. But to me, this was an accomplishment. I felt like I had won a prize. I had survived one of the longest emotional roller coasters of my life. I had a living baby in my arms. And I got to have my picture taken. This may seem very silly to you, but let me explain...
In each of Dr. Joe's rooms and in the hallway, he has pictures of his patients and the babies they've delivered. He takes these pictures at their six week appointment. When I was pregnant with Grady, I would think about having my picture somewhere with the others. But that didn't happen. When I was pregnant with Matthew, I could only hope that mine and his picture would join the others. It all became a reality that day. I haven't seen the picture Dr. Joe took that day, but I'm thankful there was a picture to take!
As I was rocking Matthew the other night, I had another full circle moment. I used to sit in that rocker and cry. And cry. And cry. I would journal to Grady and pray to God to take the pain away...or at least help me learn to live with it. He was faithful in that, but I don't take lightly the fact that I'm now back in that rocker with a living baby. I still wish, so badly, that Grady could have stayed, and I could have rocked him. But it wasn't God's plan. I thank God for the healing that Matthew is bringing to my heart. But I'm also thankful that this healing and joy for Matthew don't erase my love and feelings for Grady. He will always be a part of me.
We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner last night. When Gib came home and announced that's what he wanted for dinner, I didn't dare tell him I had gone there for lunch, too! We went early because everyone was hungry (except for me!), and we wanted to beat the Friday night crowd. We literally saw eight families that we know (One of them was the family who has the little boy who is one week younger than Grady would be. It is still so hard to see that precious boy and what he represents to me. And he's so big! It's hard to imagine Grady being that big.). Everyone had to see and ask about Matthew. At lunch earlier in the day, I saw two people who also asked about and congratulated us on Matthew.
How is this a full circle moment?
Because after Grady died, I had nothing to show for my pregnancy and my baby who had been very much alive. My arms were empty. I would have tried to escape without much conversation and/or people would have tried to escape and avoid me. If there was conversation at all, it was very superficial and cordial at best. No one knew what to say. No one knew what to do with me. And I understand that. Shoot, I really didn't know what to do with myself!
But it was very different last night. And it felt good. It made my heart happy but also sad that I didn't get the opportunity to show off Grady the same way.
I know there will be more full circle moments ahead. And for me, that's what they are.
Moments that don't end, but keep going.
Moments filled with never ending love for both of my boys.
Memories of Grady and the hopes and dreams I had for him that will never go away.
Happy times to share with my precious, living Matthew.
All of these intertwined on a daily basis in my heart and in the moments we call life.