Thursday, May 29, 2014

No longer my only

At 11 weeks I got bloodwork to find out this baby's gender. They said it would likely take 6-10 business days, which meant we had two weeks to wait it out. I had almost convinced myself that this baby was a girl.
But it's not.

Our baby is a boy.
He is due this November. Seven years to the month after I gave birth to my first baby boy.

Typing those sentences out is so surreal. I honestly can't wrap my head around all that I'm thinking and feeling, and I've been oddly quiet about it- which is unusual for me, but I honestly feel like my brain is still processing it all.

One thing that is for sure... I'm ten times more nervous about him now that I know he's a boy. Right after I found out the gender, I told three of my closest friends, and all three responses I got were the same. "What?! Oh my goodness! How are you feeling about this???"

Shocked. Overjoyed. Amazed. Terrified. Thankful. So.freaking.anxious.

Other thoughts and emotions creep in when I start thinking about this baby boy... I don't want Owen to be forgotten... to be left out. He was my first baby. And for years, my only son. I know this is no one's intent, but as his mama I am fiercely protective of his personhood. I feel so thankful because I have not felt as though he's being left out of our family count, but it is a deep fear of mine.

My anxiety for this baby's health and safety slowly ramps up as each day, each week passes. I know
most women feel calmer and safer as they reach each pregnancy milestone and enter the second and
third trimesters, but this is not true for me. Honestly, I'm envious and I wish it was.

I carried Owen the longest. He was stillborn at 36 weeks 1 day.
Hannah was born a week earlier, at 35 weeks 3 days.

There is never a moment I feel safe during pregnancy. And rarely a moment I feel calm. My only option is to keep moving forward, praying and rejoicing and falling on my knees remembering who is in control... remembering in whose arms this baby boy is safe.

So I guess that's where I am now. Vacillating between fear and excitement. Joy and anxiety.

When I was pregnant with Hannah Mae I literally (as much as I tried and tried) could not imagine what having a living baby after pregnancy was like. I could not imagine taking her home.

It's a bit different this pregnancy...
I can imagine bringing this baby home. I can picture two big sisters with their little brother.
I can imagine a happy ending and I pray for it every day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

And in the morning...

The morning after I wrote this post about not feeling done, I woke up and took a pregnancy test.

I sat and waited in the bathroom, listening to the early morning sounds of my two girls and their daddy in the kitchen making breakfast. I had never used a digital test before, and watching the timer blink was weirding me out a little.
I tried to process what I was feeling.
I found myself praying it was positive, and then I thought, "Am I crazy for wanting it to be positive so badly?"

If you read this blog four years ago, then you'd know that my pregnancy with Hannah was terrifying, and she was born five weeks early because my doctors saw signs that she was beginning to struggle like Owen did before he died. I was a nervous wreck, a basket case the whole pregnancy. After she was born, I honestly felt like pregnancy was something I didn't want to experience again.

When the desire came to have another baby, I knew God was calling us to adopt. As crazy as it may have seemed (and sometimes felt) to adopt during graduate school, we knew it was right. Ruby came to us a year and a half later, and she is our treasure. We are so thankful that God called us to be a part of something so amazing and beautiful. Our experience adopting Ruby and meeting her birthmom was one of the most holy things I've ever been a part of.

And so, it was so very strange that I started to think about pregnancy again last fall. The thoughts, and the desire took me by complete surprise. I started praying about it... late night praying in the dark... pleading for clarity and wisdom... and honestly, asking the Lord to take away this desire if it was not going to happen for us.

And also... I started feeling sorry for myself too. Why did things have to be so hard for us? Why couldn't it just be easy to decide to have children? Why does pregnancy have to be so scary and difficult, and a trigger on top of all that?

Waiting in the bathroom for the test results that morning, all these thoughts and feelings, memories and fears swirled in my head.

And then the test read 'Pregnant'. And then the test read pregnant.

You can probably imagine how excited, nervous, overjoyed and scared we are...
I'm thankful that The Lord has been preparing our hearts for this, though we both had no idea we
would ever have another biological child. These past few months have been so nerve wrecking and exciting. I've been trying to decide when and how to share this happy news and now seems as good a time as any!

Please pray for us. We covet your prayers for peace and for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Brushing the dead grass away

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I spent the day with my girls, my mama, and my grandmama. It was the first time in six years that I have recognized that it was Mother's Day at all.

I snuggled and laughed with my daughters.
I hugged and kissed my sweet mama, who has been so patient and gracious and loving to me as I have been ignoring Mother's Day since Owen died.
I went to church and wept as the choir sang the song we sang as we buried Owen. I let the words wash over me, my tears falling silently.
I knelt at my firstborn son's grave and brushed the dead grass off his marker.

As I hugged my mama and wished her a happy Mother's Day, I thanked her and whispered that this day is finally starting to get easier. And it's true though a part of me felt bad for saying it. It felt like I was admitting that it is easier now to not have my first baby here with me for Mother's Day- which I don't think could ever be true. But I am learning to live this life I have been given... I am learning.

Brushing the dead grass away... wiping his marker clean with my hands. I ran my finger over his name, and washed it with my tears. I whispered secret words to my firstborn son and told him that I love him, and I miss him.

I ache to see him, to talk to him and hug him, for us to be together as a whole, unbroken family... and I have great hope that one day we will do just that.