I'm not ready to write yet, but wanted to just post something small...
Our son, the beautiful Benjamin Joseph Swaney, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday afternoon, in childbirth. We remain stunned and sad and alternately numb and in agony, but there is so much grace sustaining us in the meantime.
We were not created for death, you know? We were not created to bump into it, to taste it, to experience it, to understand it. God created us for the Garden, for relationship with Himself, for friendship with the Eternal-- He did not design us for sin and death. It only makes sense that our bodies and spirits and minds would react with such violent passion and repulsion when it touches us.
I want to write about what happened, but I am not there yet. As a writer, I've never understood why someone couldn't "write about something yet" until now. Maybe I don't have the energy. Maybe I can't relive the whole thing again for the hundredth time today. Maybe I wish that I had answers to pair with my questions-- a perfectly balanced and composed piece. Doesn't exist, I know. Maybe I'm just tired. That's probably it.
But know this: we have no idea what happened. He was perfectly fine all night. I labored really well and it was looking like the vaginal delivery I was hoping for would happen (I know-- I'm crazy). They brought in an ultrasound just to take a look and make sure all was well with Ben and he was perfect-- even waved at us :) It was precious. He scored an 8 out of 8 on all of the points he needed to hit to indicate strength and health. But sometime during labor, near 12 in the afternoon, his heart rate started dropping. So they moved me in all kinds of positions and sometimes that would help... when it dipped way too low they pounced on me and rushed me into an emergency C-section. He was gone before they lifted him from my womb.
Maybe he was lying on his cord and his oxygen was cut off? Who knows? My fantastic midwife and doctor and everyone else are mystified. Somehow, I have peace with that part. I just want to know "why" from God. Medically, I can deal with the mystery. Relationally, I struggle with what was an honest-to-God miracle-- his conception and gestation--and why the author and perfecter of my faith chose to take this route with the baby Don and I had longed for. Still long for. Long for every second of the day.
So I wait.
I may wait until the day I enter heaven to understand, so my prayer is for more faith. More grace. To cleave tighter to God and to cry out for His mind. I trust Him completely, though I do not understand His reasoning. I have had glimpses of possible "whys" in these days, but I know that I am not even any measurable distance into this journey. I will carry a longing for Ben until the day that I hold him in my arms in heaven. I just hope that one day it won't hurt to breathe when I hear that name.
So again, I wait. And I am eternally, outrageously blessed with the husband God has given to me. I am filled with a thousand thoughts of how fortunate I am to be connected with this man in this life. The three-legged race I have always sort of felt that marriage was like has become a two legged race-- we are completely dependent upon each other, totally lost in our dependence upon our God. It is so good to be like-minded in this crisis.
And we are surrounded by the body of Christ. The community we live and work in has blown my mind once again. The friends and family who have rushed to our side have supported us in so many amazing ways. The love we have felt, so profound. From our sweet mothers and fathers, to our siblings and close friends, all the way to people we hardly knew-- and people we hardly knew before but who feel like lifelong friends now (the nurses in Labor & Delivery and Mother/Baby at Rockdale Medical Center. Their tenderness and mercy were the touch of the Father to me so many times...), we have been carried so tenderly. Our pastor has pastored and encouraged us. I cannot imagine walking this way without any of them. God has blessed us beyond measure.
But my mind always goes back to Ben. Blessed us beyond measure...but took our son. And my mind cannot comprehend...
But I don't have to. For now, it's all just faith. And not my faith-- it's faith that is a gift-- MUST be a gift-- from God....
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.