Christian Vir: 2017
We made a video when we found out we were pregnant with him: hope was so high. I was ripe with obvious expectation. I expected that conception would lead to live birth and a long life, and I allowed myself to dream with abandon. And then we found out he was a boy, and we named him Christian Vir because of the dreams we dreamed for him: that he would be Christ-like, a man, a husband, and a hero.
Then, at twenty-three weeks, he wasn't moving as much. I'd never been pregnant before, didn't know what was normal or not, but it felt off to me. People told me that as babies get bigger they don't move as much. It was normal. I had an appointment coming up, and I'm not the type to rush to the emergency room. Sometimes, I wish I had gone. MAYBE, something different might have happen, but they hadn't seen any problems with his cord in the ultrasounds we had had. I remember the tech saying his cord was perfect at the last ultrasound. Perfect. Not hyper-coiled. Perfect.
God knew the plans He had for us. God knew that when I got to my twenty-five week doctor's appointment, Christian, who had been moving the night before, would be freshly dead, and I would have the heart-breaking task of giving birth to our dead son. God knew how hard that day and night and the next morning, January 3rd, 2015, would be. God knew that I would lie in that hospital bed, and look at my husband's frame lying on the couch across the room, and wonder illogically, if he was still breathing. I wanted to call to him. To wake him up. I wanted a heart monitor on Matt to prove that he was still a living, breathing part of my family all through that sad night.
God knew that Matt and I would have thanksgiving on our lips. To the nurses. To each other. To our family. To our friends. Oh, how I wanted Christian to live, but God gave us our son, and God took him away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Christian is the one big thing in life that I wish I could change, but God knows better than I do. Christian is safe and perfect and in the presence of God who LOVES our family and gives good and perfect gifts.
Just like it was hard for us to hold his empty shell for the last time, it was hard for me to have a framed picture of him in our home. This Christmas, I gave Matt a framed picture of our son, and it struck me afresh how much his sister looks like him. He was only twenty-five weeks developed, but he was a full baby. A person. A human. A boy. He was a Nowak. I'm thankful we got to love him, even though loving him is the hardest thing we've ever been through.
EVERY time I think about Christian's death, I think about our God who loved us. He loved us enough to create us in the first place, and when we spat in His face and severed all ties to Him, He loved us enough to extend to us His Son. His Son had to die so that we could be reunited with Him, and I know what it feels like to have your son die. God the Father loved us tremendously. He and His Son had been eternally, forever, together, and letting Him die for us separated them for the first time in forever. He was willing to go through that separation to reconcile us to Himself. Such great love.
We're going by our son's grave as a family today, to leave a wooden toy made with love by his dada and weep a little together.