Today I am going to cut straight to the point. I am here to tell you that I was wrong.
Right after we lost Lucy, I would hear about pregnant friends and see a lot of baby bump photos, pregnancy announcements and gender reveal parties on Facebook. I looked at all of these other girls and in my head thought, this will never be me again. Yes, I will hopefully have more children, but I won’t be like ‘that’ again. You won’t find me in baby bliss, obsessively pinning baby things on Pinterest or decorating a nursery in preparation for our next child. Instead, I’ll be the one crying in the corner, afraid to be attached, afraid to plan, afraid to be excited, afraid that my baby will die just like his/her sister. It will be forty long weeks of being a wreck; anxiety, fear, doubt….
As we have grieved the loss of Lucy and I have come to know and feel God in a new way, I am changed. It didn’t happen overnight, the beginnings of it did but then it sunk in over time. The cracks in my broken heart were filled up by my Savior. He holds me together.
As parents, losing a child is pretty much one of the most devastating things you can walk through. Yet somehow, two of the biggest lessons I have walked away with are that God is in control and that God loves me. These are two things I never gave Him nearly enough credit for before we lost Lucy. There is such a deep freedom and an intense comfort in these two things.
When your baby dies, you fall into one of two groups. The first is feeling like you want to try to conceive again as soon as possible and the second is feeling like you want to wait years. We fall into the first group. Oliver was two-and-a-half years old when Lucy died. We were very ready for another child; for a sibling for Oliver to grow up with. I admit it sounds a bit crazy, but for those wanting to conceive again, it’s normal to want to do this as soon as possible. We can never replace our Lucy, and we don’t want to. She will always be our daughter and our second child, but we do desire to have more kids. We were ready to be raising another child alongside Oliver.
Obviously, it takes time to physically heal after a full-term pregnancy. In the case of losing a child, both doctors and counselors alike advised us to wait six months before trying to conceive again. Physically, I would be fine sooner but the concern is more about emotional healing. If you lose a baby full-term, heal up, and try to have another right away, you’re likely to end up with a due date way too close to when your last baby was born. This can be very overwhelming to have to face the delivery of your new baby while mourning what would be your last baby’s first birthday. It’s just too similar and too much and it is why the six month wait is recommended.
Six months felt like an eternity to my empty arms, but Shaun and I agreed to wait until July and hoped and prayed for an April baby. We found out very close to what would have been Lucy’s six month birthday that yes, I am pregnant again. So much joy. I felt God’s love for me and I felt His joy with me. His love for me didn’t rest in the plus or the minus sign on the test. I felt God’s love for me deeply when Lucy died; when she was taken away, and I felt His tears with mine. Isn’t He a great God? The same God who cries with me, smiles with me. This baby is a gift, just like Lucy is a gift and just like Oliver is a gift.
I won’t sit here and tell you that I am without fear. I am still human. I still worry and get anxious sometimes. At times my mind starts spinning around in circles and I forget to trust God in the way that I should. I am so thankful to have family and friends who are here to remind me of God’s love and promises when I start to forget.
So here I am now, telling the world that I am pregnant for the third time. I am sharing the news with joy and I am even including a bump photo. I am thankful that God is allowing me to have a third child. I am ‘that’ girl, the one I thought I couldn’t be. I am planning a nursery, thinking of names, and it feels good. I can be joyful because God is in control. This baby isn’t promised tomorrow, but neither am I and neither are you. What we have is today, and we have the opportunity to live, to trust, to feel joy and thankfulness.
I am 15 weeks pregnant, due in April, and I am doing well. We had an ultrasound this week and saw our sweet, little, wiggly baby. Seeing this precious gift, alive and well, floods my heart and soul with gratitude. I have had less fear and anxiety thus far than I had anticipated. Truth be told, as the weeks press on this is likely to increase, so say a prayer for me and brace yourself for the posts to come. I only desire to be honest here, so as you walk with me through this I want to be able to share with you what it feels like. Thanks for your love and support!