It went very well. Being back at Children's was healing for us, somewhat. We went back to the 4th floor to drop off some gifts for the nurses and I told Jake as we left the elevator that I felt like I was going to see Molly there. We didn't go past the reception but it still felt very much like we hadn't been gone from her side but an hour or two. None of the nurses were on shift today, which was interesting that we would come on a day that none of them would be there. We left the NICU reception area and Jake told me that it was hard for him to be there. He couldn't quite put his finger on why, but it was difficult and I could see it in his eyes.
The support group was much smaller than I anticipated. Just 2 other couples, one of which was only half there because her husband was out of town. I assumed everyone who came would have lost an infant or young toddler, but in fact, both couples lost their kids in their teens. They split us up in pairs, with other people we didn't know, and had us listen to each other's stories about our kids and then when the group got back together they had us introduce our partner we had just met. It was very interesting to introduce someone else to the group, but very good in a way to be talking about someone else's pain instead of my own. The mom I met with had lost her daughter back in January and the tears were fighting their way to the surface of this sweet mom's eyes as she told me about her sweet girl who battled cerebral palsy her whole life. She told me how strong she used to be and now how lost she feels and without purpose. My heart just ached for her as the pain is still so very fresh. It also told me that I will more than likely be experiencing pain 10 months after our sweet Molly has gone to be with Jesus. I am assured that I will.
Each week will we have homework for the following week. For next week they asked us to bring a picture of our kids so that our kids could be at each group meeting. I thought that was very cool especially since I had had the thought that I would love to be able to meet these other kids who are no longer with their parents who are now grieving. "What a silly thought, of course you can't meet their kids. They're gone. Just like Molly is." But it was cool to think about seeing their kids in pictures and seeing the joy on their faces as they shared them with the group. We are also supposed to bring something that tells the group about our child. A blanket, a stuffed animal, toy, a hobby, or artwork they did. For us, it could be something we thought Molly might have done in her life, like be a ballerina, or love a certain flower, or something we dreamed for her. Jacob wants to bring her ballet shoes or a dress to show that she was his little girl and princess. I thought about bringing her blanket or footprints to show her big feet and talk about how tall she might have been. I haven't decided yet though. I guess we'll see next week.
Jake and I went to dinner just a few miles from the hospital and talked about the evening. It was good to debrief and share our thoughts from the night. I was somewhat distracted by a family sitting across the room from us who had 3 daughters, two of which were crying. I looked over one time to see the mom, face in her hands, sobbing. I have no idea what was wrong, but I could only guess since we were so close to Children's. We ended our dinner with laughter and tears streaming down my face as I tried to catch my breath. Jacob had suggested we play a game with a set of crackers, still in their packaging. It was like, can your cracker beat my cracker? :) So we held our crackers and tried to get the other's cracker without letting our own get smashed to pieces. I was laughing so hard at Jake that I had to put my cracker under the table so he wouldn't take advantage of my weak moment. :) We took a picture to capture the moment.
Thank you for praying for us tonight. It was a good night and something that I know we will greatly benefit from.
Hugs and kisses to our sweet Molly girl... we love you and miss you so much!