Eisley Antalya · Jami Joann

An empty cradle and an overwhelming battle.

(A photo Ted took while I was in labor with Eisley)

The emptiness overwhelms me. Empty womb. Empty arms. Empty soft pink “blankie”. Empty baby girl clothes. Empty cradle. It’s overwhelming and we find it even more so as her due date nears. (December 17)

We’ve boxed away most things which we had prepared for Eisley’s arrival. Until 3 weeks ago, I had a small bag of her “belongings” that sat next to my favourite recliner. It held things I had when I was in the hospital with her; letters I wrote her, words, notes and verses people gave us, ultrasound photos of her, her birth certificate, the little mold of her footprints, the gown they dressed her in when we first saw her, the soft pink blankie we held her in, etc.

I would go through the bag occasionally, most of the time I would find myself pulling out her footprint mold and reminisce of the moments I held her in my arms. In awe of her tiny beauty. Sometimes, when I was alone in the house, I would reach into the bag,  pull out her blanket, put my face in it and cry.

I now moved the bag into my closet. I can’t explain why, but one day I just moved the bag. I took out her footprint mold and put it where I could see it everyday (and out of reach of Chase). I put her blankie on my bed and now every night I fall asleep, holding it in my arms with the softest part on my face. It’s both heartbreaking and comforting simultaneously.

My thoughts overwhelms me. I constantly battle the feeling that I failed my daughter. I find myself still asking the “what ifs” and “if onlys” throughout the day.

Fear overwhelms me. I worry more than ever about losing Chase and Ted. Or a loved one.  I moved Chase back to bed since I’ve been home from the hospital and most nights I find myself reaching over to touch him throughout the night to make sure he’s still breathing okay. I am also terrified of even thinking about being pregnant again someday (The comfort of a healthy baby I long for, we want more children, just the pregnancy part scares me now).

The battle to sort through the emptiness, the lies of the enemy, my thoughts, the flashbacks, my fears, etc is apart of the daily grind now.

One way I’ve found myself battling the lies is by speaking out truth even when I don’t fully believe it or “feel” it inside. One evening I was driving home (with Chase) from dinner with my side of the family. It’s about a 25 minute drive and it was dark outside and the lies of the enemy were so thick. I felt overwhelmed and tears streamed down my face. I felt weak but decided to sing out; “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah our God reigns” and believed it with my whole heart and added, “You’re still worthy, You’re still Holy, You’re still worthy. You still reign.” 

When I find myself in those times where the lies of the enemy are feeling more like truth or when my mind begins to tell me of how I failed my daughter… I write, speak or sing out truth. It really helps me right now. It’s pretty much like “faking it til you make it” in some cases, but I am okay with that right now.

Father God, even though we may never understand or have the answers of “why”. Even though we’re broken-hearted and the emptiness is overwhelming we know You are still worthy, You are still holy. We know You still reign. Our world has been shaken, turned upside down and even shattered in some ways, but we know that You will see us through. {You are our refuge and our strength} You haven’t forsaken us. You haven’t forgotten our sorrow,  in fact, You’re probably holding our precious daughter as I write this, longing for me to see that she is indeed whole and healthy. Please give us a glimpse of her joy as she’s with You. Oh and, please kiss her tiny little nose for me, for I would be doing that right this minute if she we’re here with us!  Let her know how much her momma loves her.

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28 thoughts on “An empty cradle and an overwhelming battle.

  1. I’m crying for you, I don’t even think that my words can comfort you, bless you for finding comfort in Jesus, the same Jesus that is holding your sweet Eisley right now! The same Jesus that gave her to you for a reason, a special sweet girl with her sweet turned up nose. You can’t blame yourself, you just can’t do that to yourself, I know its hard but please don’t do that to yourself. Praying for you always!

    Love you,
    Rachel

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  2. I love you so much friend. And I hope it doesn’t sound weird but I am proud of you… and I admire your strength and faith. Thank you for being open and sharing your heart with me….

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  3. You don’t know me, and I don’t know how I found your blog.

    But, I do know my heart hurts for you. I am grateful for our Jesus who gives us his comfort and oddly, I am also grateful for these people who are strangers on the internet (to me at least!) who are surrounding you with love. From my heart, I am hoping for the blessing of the joy of the Lord to touch you in this bittersweet season.

    May Jesus’ arms be constantly around you in this tough time.

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  4. I pray that an angle will watch over you and your family, and also pray that Jesus will carry you through this, and let you know that you did not “fail” anyone. I also pray that he will “lift you up, and place peace among you and your loved ones.” I also thank you for sharing, and opening your heart to allow strangers to hear of your story. May you and your family find peace. With Love.

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  5. Hi Jami,

    We’re neighbors! I just moved here from Arkansas, and I read your blog there too! I am going through my own personal grief (my girls are with their dad in AR). It was THE hardest thing for me to ever have to do, to leave and try to make a better life. But all I can do is trust in God and ask him to hold my hand and carry me through. Hugs sweetie.

    Brandi

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  6. Sharing tears with you tonight… I can not even pretend to understand what you are going through, but I can pray and weep and celebrate all that she was and all that she will forever be- your baby.
    Much love and hope for you-
    Anna

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  7. Jami,
    Our Father’s truth is always true, isn’t it?, whether we feel it or not in the moment. I know you know that; I just wanted to say that I think you’re wise to call it into your heart’s memory in lonely and dark moments.

    Many, many prayers for you and Ted.

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  8. I ache for the little bean-shaped hole in my heart as it feels the void that will be there ’til I finally get to squeeze that little girl. I cannot begin to fathom how yours feels. I pray you are able to feel the ache and pain without guilt as God continues to heal you, and to remind you that I have no doubt that this scar is one that will shine the very brightest, and that the light will shine in the darkness and reveal truth in the face of the lies. I love you.

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  9. Jami,
    I love you and I’m sitting here crying for you. Keep singing out truth in your time of healing. Please dont blame your self friend, praying for you always! love you!!
    Danielle

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  10. Jami! so beautiful… I am glad you are speaking truth when you hear lies. I have gotten so tangled in negative thoughts before and am now battling that with truth, not allowing myself to dwell on the bad. If you ever get stuck in thinking this is at all your fault. Talk to any of us and we’ll tell you the truth.

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