The Lord was gracious in the days leading up to Samuel's birth to allow circumstances to bring Greg and I to a place of closeness. We had been really busy with things and Greg had been gone A LOT. The day before Samuel went to be with the Lord Greg decided to fore go the church softball playoffs to stay home on the evening of my due date. That was the last night we felt our sweet son move around inside of me. That night I felt so cared for by Greg knowing that He could have been out, he chose to stay home and spend some time with his family. Little did I know how much more cared for I would feel in the next days as Greg was so strong for our whole family.
I will never forget him having to tell Louis, Caleb, Anna, and Jojo that their baby brother wasn't going to be alive with us on earth. I could never have done it... but Greg did. Greg prayed in the delivery room before I started pushing. I just thought there was no way I could start to push, knowing that the outcome of our sweet baby would be so different than what we were planning and hoping for. There would be no cry from this little one once he emerged from my womb. I was encouraged and strengthened by Greg's prayer. I was strengthened by God to push out our big 9 lb 2 oz Samuel Mark at 9:41 that morning on October 30th 2008. Later that afternoon after we all left the hospital Greg was so strong to go and explain to all of the neighbors what had happened to spare me the discomfort of running into all of them days or weeks later and then having to explain that we didn't have our baby at home with us. He has been a rock to me.
Yes, we have been through the fire in the last 2 1/2 months and it hasn't been easy. But PRAISE GOD our marriage is stronger than ever. The reason I mention all of this is 2 fold. One, I can be a fiercely independent person, sometimes to a fault. In the last months since Samuel's passing I have learned to really rely on my husband. He may not be grieving in the same way I am. But he has been there for me 100%. Now we laugh at the fact that I am way more high maintenance than I ever have been in the past. We both have enjoyed the closeness we have shared recently... I just wish it wouldn't have been a result of losing our child.
The second reason I mention it is because last week Greg and I went to see a Christian counselor. She was awesome. One of the things she mentioned to us was that 75% of marriages where the couple loses a child, end in divorce. WOOH! That hit me hard. I know you all can do the math... but that is only 1 out of 4 marriages making it through the death of child. Yikes... not good odds. We are determined to not let this tear us apart but to bring us closer together. It is no fun going through the fire, but I am praying the Lord is refining us both, making us, as a couple, more into the couple He wants us to be.
A couple of other things about the counselor. It is amazing how God provides. I was referred to her by MEND, a support group for families that have lost children by miscarriage, still birth, or in the first year of life. This counselor herself lost a baby by stillbirth a few years ago. His name was also Samuel. Her living son who has been born since... his name is Caleb. I thought that was pretty special. She was a blessing to us both.