Elijah Timothy Stillman

February 7, 2018·

This is a personal post and I have chosen to share some personal details and decisions that my family has made surrounding our pregnancy loss. I heavily debated whether to share this, but as I’ve mentioned, writing is how I process things. I also want to save these memories for myself and my family. Additionally, my prayer is that maybe another woman or another family who has gone through something similar can feel as though they’re not alone in this journey.

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Yesterday, we said both “hello” and “see you later” to our sweet baby boy.

We named him Elijah Timothy… Elijah for the amazing prophet who did not die an earthly death, but was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. And Timothy for he was told by the apostle Paul that he was never too young to be used by God.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12

We were able to have the hospital chaplain join us to say a blessing over him. To hear his name said aloud was so powerful for us. The nurses and doctors were so compassionate and understanding and I was able to hold Elijah for about 30 minutes. I was even given the chance to see him and I chose to do so and I’m so glad that I did. He was so small, but still so beautiful to me. This time was such a gift. To be honest, I had a lot of anxiety around this whole procedure. If I’m really being honest, I have had a lot of anxiety around all of this.

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Holding our boy

At first I had been told that I would not be able to see him, that I would not be able to have any time with him, and that we would not be able to keep his remains. I was heartbroken and lost so much sleep over this.

We had prayer warrior friends praying for us over the weekend and we are so thankful that our prayers were answered. We found a funeral home and we have chosen to have Elijah cremated. John and I have not decided what we will do with his ashes quite yet and frankly, we are not ready to make that decision. For now, we will keep them, but we may choose to spread them somewhere, plant a tree with them, or do something else altogether.

I received another gift that I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around, but I will just share what I experienced. I have never been put under anesthesia for surgery before so I was really nervous. I already was upset about the whole situation… they gave me some Versed (which is like super fast acting medication that just makes you loopy) on the way to the operating room. I remember it was all of a sudden I could feel it kicking in and things began to get fuzzy. I remember being taken into the operating room and getting on the operating table and I remember crying. That’s the last thing I remember before they put me out.

While I was out I had a dream. An incredibly vivid dream. So vivid that the moment I woke up in recovery it was literally the first thing out of my mouth… In my extremely groggy state, I said to the doctors and nurses, “I had a dream.” The doctor’s said, “Most people don’t dream during anesthesia.” I said, “Well I sure did.”

In my dream, I saw my mom sitting in a rocking chair singing and holding Elijah. This was before I even knew that our baby was a boy. And she looked at me and said, “Don’t worry honey, I’ve got him.” Standing just behind her was Jesus with His hand on her shoulder. I couldn’t make out His face, but I knew it was Jesus.

And just like that, my dream was over.

Even in my groggy state, I knew I needed to share it. As soon as they brought John into the recovery room with me, I told him my dream. My memory has faded some since yesterday, but this was such a vivid experience for me. Who knows if it was real or who knows what it means, but it was a gift. Truly a gift. In such a dark time, it was a comforting gift that I needed. I’m not one to really ever experience stuff like this, but it impacted me enough to share it.

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Again, I can’t thank you all enough for your prayers and emails and comments and messages. I will be okay. We will be okay. We are taking time to allow ourselves to be sad and work through this and answer tough questions for Lilly and have tough conversations all around…

In the end, I know I will be stronger. I know we will be stronger. Little Elijah Timothy has already taught me so much about never taking a moment for granted, he’s taught me to trust, he’s taught me to let go, he’s taught me about true contentment, he’s taught me about what community looks like, he’s taught me to draw closer to the Lord every second and every moment of the day, and he has taught me to be grateful for so much.

I’m still learning and I’m still growing. I’m sad. I’m really sad. I won’t be sad like this forever, but right now, in these early days, I’m allowed to be sad. I know John is sad and I’m sad for him. He’s such an amazing father and an amazing husband and I’m more grateful for him today than ever. I look at Lilly and Amos and I am sad for them. I know Lilly was so excited for another sibling and Amos just loves babies so much, I was so excited to see him as a big brother. I think about what Elijah would have been like, what color his hair would have been, what his laugh would have sounded like, what his favorite snacks would be, what books he’d have loved read to him, if he’d be outgoing or more reserved, and who he’d take after more – me or John.

I pray that some day we may receive our rainbow baby, but even if we don’t, I’m grateful. I will think about those things, but today I’m choosing gratitude.

Thank you, Elijah Timothy. Your impact on our lives is already more than you could have ever imagined. We will always love you.