A few years ago, I found this cute printable that read “Do What Matters” in gold letters. It was pretty and I thought it was, of course, a great positive message. So I printed it, gave it a crafty little paper frame and pinned it to my cubicle wall. “Yeah, what I do matters,” I said to myself, like some self-motivating, successful phrase while focusing on whatever I was doing.
Two months ago, I lost our third baby. Out of nowhere, at 19 weeks and 5 days, I started leaking and cramping. It just felt like early Braxton Hicks tightness, but I was wrong. I was in pre-term labor. We sat in the emergency room waiting for the OB-GYN when I started bleeding. I cried as she told us what was happening and that her expectations were minimal. We asked for the options, and I suggested another one she hadn’t given – a procedure to sew my cervix closed. Although her outlook was bleak, she put me on medicine overnight to slow the process so she could attempt the procedure the next day. We requested another ultrasound to reveal the gender and there he was, Kohen Louis. Moving around. We prayed. But by the next morning, we received the news. I was still leaking too much, and the procedure was not possible in our situation. He wouldn’t make it at just barely 20 weeks. Since my contractions had stopped, I was then induced over the next few hours and gave birth to Kohen a little after midnight. He never took a breath here, but will forever be so loved.
So what really matters? Experiencing loss and wading through grief will give you that answer, and my perspective on that little phrase I pinned on my wall has since shifted a bit. Earlier this year, my dad passed after suffering from a very sudden, and rapidly progressive, dementia for two years. And just a couple of weeks ago, we lost a good friend because of cancer. Even during his struggle, our friend’s faith was so strong and he loved people so well. He would say “faith is not about an outcome, it’s about an outlook.” The latter of which we can choose usually far more often than the first. In the wake of so much tragedy, my outlook has been focused on what matters, and what matters is my outlook. Believing that God is still good, loving my family and friends the best I can, and helping others who have experienced a similar pain. Being thankful for everything I have and everyone who has supported and encouraged us, and making memories that will last a lifetime.