A lot. There's always something on my nightstand. Generally it's something for book club or just for fun. But I also read a lot to help me process stuff. And that's where I am right now. I actually tried to start my latest book club pick a couple of days after I had Hannah. Yeah, that was not happening. I'm sure it's a great book, but I decided that it's too hard for me to read about something other than grief and loss right now. It's just where my brain goes anyway, so getting into a different book was too hard.
My friend Leah went through a similar situation about a year ago and lost her sweet boy Isaiah at 20 weeks. I was able to talk to her after our fateful ultrasound and before induction. And both she and her husband Gary have been so wonderful to Dan and me in these weeks. Anyway, about a week and a half ago, I got a book in the mail. I had just gotten an email from Leah saying that she had ordered a book for me and that it might come that day. What a gift!
The book is I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by Angie Smith (you'll see a link to her blog over there somewhere >>>>>>>). Angie is the wife of Todd Smith of the group Selah. After enduring a miscarriage and going on to have twin girls and another girl, they found themselves pregnant again. At 18 weeks, they found out that their fourth baby girl, Audrey, had multiple complications that were "not compatible with life." Her heart didn't have four chambers, her kidneys were failing, etc. It was recommended that they terminate the pregnancy at that point, but they decided to carry Audrey as long as they could. She was born at around 30 weeks and lived for 2 1/2 hours.
I finished the book last night, and I feel like I need to read it again. And then maybe again. There is just so much to absorb and I know I didn't do it completely the first time through. To read Angie's thoughts and struggles, but also her faith and trust in God, is truly amazing. And inspiring for someone like me in the beginning of this journey.
Next on the reading schedule (if I DON'T pick up I Will Carry You again right away) is Henri Nouwen's Turn My Mourning into Dancing: Finding Hope in Hard Times. Angie actually references this book a few times in I Will Carry You and it was enough to make me want to read the whole thing. And I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with Henri Nouwen.