July 12, 2019

7 week do over

7 weeks. Just sounds like a random number right? Ya. It probably is for most people. A seven week old baby. For me this milestone has been one I have been scared to face. 

A few nights this week I dreamed it all again—he was seven weeks old exactly. Too young to do anything on his own, too small to even sleep through the whole night. It was just him and me in the quiet house...waiting for an answer I promised him we would find. It was his crying I remember the most that night. The rest of it with the detectives is still a blur. Somehow my memories are more clear in my dreams, but lately it has been a six week old baby that has made some of them so clear. 

8 years. I have spent doing everything in my power to forget that moment. Therapy, thousands of dollars. Time. Energy. Pleading to be able to let go of this feeling of helplessness and abandonment. Sharing my heart through my healing in ways that I didn’t want to . . . all with a promise that it would help me heal. And I thought I had. Then the last two years I have had to relive some of the feelings I thought had long since past. This pregnancy and these first six weeks of her life have been—as I wrote in my book about the moment in my closet—a “do over” I didn’t know how badly I needed.

This week as I have stared into the face of a baby getting closer and closer to seven weeks old . . . I have watched her innocent eyes as mine have filled many times with tears. I am here again. A seven week old baby in my arms. This time to heal.

These silent fears that I have carried, I am here again...to feel them, so I can let them go.

So here is to letting ourselves feel the pain, remembering the story, moving forward and walking away stronger. This “do over” has been my chance to come face to face with the fears of things that took me down that dark lonely road. Not all seven week old babies will lose their father. Not all post pregnancy bodies will be cheated on. Not all men are the same. Not all rough days will end in murder. PTSD is a real thing. Triggers you never thought would mean anything all the sudden become moments that try to take the air out of your lungs. Through these PTSD moments I have remembered things I had forgotten about that seven week old baby. He was my life line during that time, but the one thing I had given him for seven weeks, that was his lifeline, was taken away. The day after the funeral my milk dried up and I could not feed him any more. I didn't know it then, but these last few weeks as I have struggled with mastitis and cracking, and so so so much pain nursing . . . my fight  to keep going has been more than wanting to keep nursing. I felt like I had failed Tytus, not just in losing the milk, but in letting him lose so much. What is crazy, looking back, is how much I let myself believe that any of these hard trials in this story were all my fault. It has been so empowering to reflect upon them again and have these quiet moments to say goodbye to the guilt of things I could not control, the pain of things that still hurt, and remember the strength of a girl who made it through them all. 

I am so thankful for a Father in Heaven who answers our prayers. He knows me. He knows my needs. He heard my prayer that dark night. I asked him for a do over. Since that prayer, I have been in many of the situations I would have had to face had Emmett not died. Realities I said I would have done standing by his side. The second time around instead Heavenly Father told me I was worth more. I was worth more than being forgotten and used. I was worth more than having someone sneak behind my back. I was worth respect, but before I could find it in another person . . . I had to stand up for it in myself. 

Maybe I would have stayed, that gun made the choice for me. Maybe I would have had to stop nursing, maybe I would have been in a different kind of fog for a long time, had I just found out about the affair without the murder. 

We don't know what could have been in all the WHY's to our stories. Life isn't really something we can plan or try to figure out why things didn't turn out different, but this much I do know . . . we cannot do it alone. You have a Heavenly Father  and a Savior who know you. They hear you. I can promise you, the darkness that you find yourself stuck in, or the moments that try to bring you back to it . . . He is the light to change that part of your story. When you feel alone, or trapped in a place you didn't choose, turn to Him. When you feel too angry to forgive, or too hurt to let it go . . . it is through His grace that you can and will find that peace. There is no story too dark for Him to not come and bring it light. 

When the pain comes . . . those are our moments to feel, work through, and ultimately let go. Grace in action. "Do overs" sometimes aren't possible in the way that we think we want them, but they are real. Don't do WHY, it only leads to more unnecessary pain. Do life. It is pretty amazing. 

This seven week old baby just wanted to say hello. And yes I promised you her birth story, and I will carry that through, but right now we have been busy showing her what living is all about. TIME. LOVE. and family. 

Hope you guys are having an amazing summer. When nap time is a thing and all these kids are back in school I will do more with this blog. Until then please follow me on Facebook or Instagram "The Moments We Stand". I will be posting more there! 


Unknown said...

Love your story and what God has done for you and your family. He is a true miracle worker, and savior.

Unknown said...

Ashley I have followed your story since the first time I saw it on investigation discovery maybe a couple years ago. Its easy to get desensitized with all the things in the media, but this story shook me to my core. I cried for you and your children and pray for you. I too live in Utah and have lived through alot of trauma. You inspire me to be strong and keep going. Most of all...not give up on my faith in our heavenly father. God bless you

Unknown said...

You are so amazing . Your blog has inspired me in so many ways.god bless

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