Every Mother’s Worst Nightmare

I tell people I have 7 children; however, anyone who takes the time to count heads will notice there are not 7 children trailing along behind me. There are 6.

I am living every mother’s worst nightmare.

In February of 2008, I awoke to my 5th child, Emily, struggling to breath. She had been through so much the previous 3 months due to multiple surgeries to correct a congenital defect known as malrotation of the intestine; however, we were sure she was on the road to recovery. Yet, looking down at her at that morning, I knew something was dreadfully wrong.

My husband and I raced our little 7 month old daughter to the emergency room with me holding her and frantically calling her name over and over, willing her to breathe, to hang on just a little bit longer.

But, it was not meant to be. Little Emily passed from this world to the next that morning, leaving us grief-stricken and heart-broken.

It has been two and a half years since I watched in helplessness as my precious baby girl took her last breaths. I will never be the same woman I was before her death, but I do see true healing washing over my life in a way that is nothing short of miraculous

When a woman loses a child, she loses a piece of her future. I see Emmy everywhere. I see her in the children who are the age she would be now, I see her in children who are the age she was when she died. I see her every time I tell people I have 7 children. I am sure I will continue to “see” her until the day I die, when I really will get to see her again. Therein lies the Hope that gets me through.

I am a writer, so blogging about Emily is something that has just come naturally. It has been therapeutic to me in so many ways. Through my blog, I have met many other women living this same nightmare and many more women afraid of someday having to live this nightmare.

I ache for the first group of women because this is a sort of “club” no one wants to join, but once you do, you are forever linked together by tragedy and pain. However, to the second group, I find myself wanting to reach out and tell them something valuable, something that has to be said…

Don’t live in fear.

Don’t squander time with your precious children wondering if death is right around the corner. Don’t make choices based on fear and anxiety. Live life to the fullest!

I tell my story not to scare, but to inspire. You see, I didn’t know Emily was going to die. Our family continued to live and breathe like a normal family until that Sunday morning we lost her. I did not hover and hold my breath at every corner. I simply rocked her, nursed her, and loved her with all my might. For that, I am so very thankful.

If you have lost a child, I am sorry. I know your pain and I ache for you as you walk this path. You will never be the same, but in many ways you will find you are a better person.

If you have not lost a child, hug your little ones a little tighter, but avoid carrying around a pain that is not yours to carry. Don’t spend your days living a nightmare that doesn’t belong to you.

I didn’t sign up for this. I would never have chosen this for our family, yet this is what I have been handed. This is my story. What matters now is what I do with my story. It is the same for every other mother out there. She will have her own nightmares; she will have her own triumphs. Mothering has very little to do with what “might” happen. It is much more about taking your own experiences, telling your own stories, living your own life in a way that inspires others. Don’t spend your days living a nightmare. Spend your days living.

Amy is the homeschooling mother of 5 living children, with one on the way, and a precious little girl named Emily who left her arms at 7 months to be held for eternity in the Lord’s.  You can find Amy blogging about the joy and grief of raising these wonderful little arrows at http://www.raisingarrows.net

Wife to one, Mother to many. Read more about what life is like in a large Christian homeschooling family! RaisingArrows.net

Comments

  1. 2
    Kimberlee says:

    I needed to hear this… Thank you for sharing. I look forward to more of your posts.

  2. 3

    Amy, I didn’t know. I can’t imagine. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} and prayers (through my tears). Thank you for sharing.
    Love,
    Robin

  3. 4
    Lorell says:

    Thanks for writing about this and being willing to share your tragedy…my heart goes out to you. Thanks also for reminding me to cherish the fleeting time I have with my kids…they don’t stay little forever.

  4. 5
    Kathy Jackson says:

    Amy I always tell people I have 4 when my kids were little people only saw 3. John Michael my little angel was called home at 5 weeks. He was a victim of S.I.D.S I knowhow it hard going thru life with empty arms and a anching heart for your baby. You are in my prayers.

  5. 6
    mary beth says:

    OH I gasped and couldn’t breathe for a minute. How sad. I”m sorry for your loss. I’m so ever grateful you have leaned on the dear Adonai. Bless you and your family always.Every moment with our children is so special. Hugs??

  6. 7

    I do hug my children a little tighter because of Emily… ((((Amy))))

  7. 8
    Lynn says:

    I lost my frist daughter at birth. I never got to hold her or tell her how much I loved her and how much she was wanted. She will always have a place in my heart next to my three that I love dearly.

  8. 9

    I am so sorry for your loss. What an expression of love to your daughter. Thank you for using the experience to unite and strengthen other women and families who struggle with the same.

    Your reminder to not waste the time we have is a good one for me today. I have been praying for more patience, and the ability to more fully enjoy ever moment of motherhood.

  9. 10
    Lanita says:

    I’ve lost a husband to death and it was devastating. I can’t even fathom a loss of a child. To say how truly sorry I am seems so inconsequential….but I am so sorry for your loss.

  10. 11
    jennifer says:

    Thank you!!!! I was that mom that cried at my husbands and children’s ‘funeral’ in my mind. NO MORE! I thank God for you!

  11. 12

    Great post and site! I found your blog at blogfrog and am now a follower. I hope you’ll check out my blog and do the same! Look forward to getting to know you in blog world :) I currently am Mommy to three children and we’re adopting twins from Ethiopia so this was an awesome read!
    J
    http://www.gfinkfamily.blogspot.com

  12. 13
    Lindsey says:

    Thank you for sharing. I think of mothers like you every day, since I came so close to being in your shoes- the only difference being a lucky stroke of fate that when my baby stopped breathing in an ER at four weeks old, they were able to get her back, and she recovered. I think of it every time I hold her and every time I hear a story like yours, I put myself in the mother’s shoes… you and all mothers who have lost a child are in my prayers.

  13. 14
    Q says:

    Yup, got a princess in heaven myself. No, we wouldn’t choose this, but now that I’m many years away from it, I can say that I see God’s hand in it, and I can praise Him for it. God used my daughter’s death to bring me, my (now) ex husband, my husband, my four children, and my ex’s children – all to Himself.

    All things for the good . . . even if we can’t see it yet.

  14. 15
    Shannon Flora says:

    Amy,
    Thanks for sharing your stories,i read alot of your blog posts at Raising Arrows and i appreciate all that you shared.My sister had a Baby named kyle who passed a yr ago in his sleep due to S.I.D.S,,it was the saddest time in our lifes and as a mother i just know i couldnt be as strong as you and her is.Every night i look at my son while he is sleeping and i live with a fear that he will pass as well of S.I.D.S,your blog helped me in a major way to start enjoying the life and moments i spend with him now instead of wasting precious time worrying what might happen.Im so sorry about your beautiful baby girl.As you know you will hold her again one day just as my sister will hold her baby again one day.You have a beautiful family and i thank-you so much for your blog and the motivation you give others.
    Shannon Flora
    shannpf1977@yahoo.com

  15. 16

    I have not lost a child “permanently,” but recently I lost her for a short time and still struggle. Thank you for your post.

  16. 17

    What a breathtaking story. I admire the grace in which you told it. My BFF’s baby had the same surgery at 3 months old – so scary.

  17. 18
    Jessica Cox says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.I told lost a child its been 9 years and sometimes it still feels like yesterday.I would do it all over again just to see him again all the pain and grief.You never forget and I never want anyone to forget him either

  18. 19
    Brandy says:

    I also lost a child– my first born at full term to stillbirth. I can relate. It’s a world of hurt and I’ll never be the same. I’ve found an incredible network of women online that i’m so grateful for.

  19. 20
    CASS says:

    You will be in my prayers from this day on. Much love and God Bless you for your strength.

  20. 21
    Mary Blanton says:

    God love your heart. It takes a special kind of woman to go thru something like that and I admire each of you ladies that have told your stories for your strength. I can’t say that I know how you feel and I pray that I never have to know that kind of hurt, but I can say that I will pray for God to continue to give you strength and to bring you peace in your life! Thank you for such a personal blog post! :)

  21. 22
    Rachel Degenhard says:

    http://www.wral.com/bragg-baby-dies-during-child-care-tummy-time-parents-want-justice/12147611/

    I too will now belong to your club. I know and understand your broken heart.

    Sincerely,
    Rachel

  22. 23
    Kathleen says:

    This is one of the most heart-felt, moving, posts I have ever read. I am truly very sorry for your loss. I have three daughters (one named Emily) and I can NOT even begin to imagine losing a one of them. I had a second trimester miscarriage years ago and still to this day, mourn that loss. You are a loving, strong, Mommy and it was extremely kind of you to share your story with us. It is told with so much grace and is an inspiration to us all.

  23. 24
    Maryann D. says:

    So sorry for your loss of this beautiful baby. She will always be in your heart.

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] a moment to read my post entitled, “Every Mother’s Nightmare” at VillageOfMoms.com.  It speaks to not taking on the burden of fear when it comes to [...]

  2. [...] tell people who haven’t lost a child not to live in fear of a nightmare that doesn’t belong to them, but what do I tell people who live in fear of a nightmare that DOES belong to them?  What do I [...]

  3. [...] was a year filled with touching stories and great advice from a mom living our worst fears, a tear-jerking story of a mom trying to save her baby, and a hopeful, happy ending in [...]

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