Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A BIG Announcement!

WE. ARE. PREGNANT.



That's right, you read that correctly. This may come as brand new news for you, or (if you're someone we regularly see) you may be saying "It's about time you announced!".

You see, this is actually a difficult post to write. Pregnancy after the loss of a baby is so... different. It's difficult in so many ways. It's as if the devil has come in and tried (and sometimes succeeded) in stealing our joy and hope.

We are pregnant, but... it seems as if everything comes with that BUT this time. I don't feel as if I'm pessimistic, but I definitely feel more reserved and cautious in my thoughts and excitement. I didn't plan on seeing a doctor until I was out of my first trimester because... what could they do? If this baby died, there was nothing they could do to change that, and all I would be stuck with is more medical bills.

I did end up going in at about 9 weeks because I was SO SICK. Like, all day sickness. Like night sickness. Like, I couldn't raise my head much off the couch or bed without losing my food or at least feeling like I would. Like, my 3 year old started imitating my throwing up because it was happening so much (not cool), AND she was getting cabin fever. Poor kid. The only thing that I loved about sickness is that it meant that I was probably still pregnant- that the baby was probably still growing. So I went to see the midwife who works with my doctor. She prescribed me some medication (HALLELUJAH!) and also did a quick abdominal scan. Because the abdominal scan is so far away, she couldn't detect a heartbeat, but said that the baby measured on schedule. I said I was fine waiting until my 13 week appointment to hear a heartbeat.. .because if it stopped again, what could they do anyway? Maybe my experience has made me more bitter than realist, I'm not sure.

Right around 12 weeks, I begin to feel anxious and upset. Our last baby's heart stopped at about 12 weeks and 4 days- we were quickly approaching that date. What if this baby did the same thing? I found myself having little panic attacks, so I called a nurse friend who brought me a doppler the next day. We searched for the baby's heartbeat... no heartbeat. She assured me that it was still early and to try again another day and when my bladder was full. A few days later, Daniel tried... and found it! What an amazing feeling, hearing that for the first time again. Knowing that my husband and I shared that moment together.

For awhile, I was relieved. My friend said we could hold onto the doppler for a little longer to give us peace of mind. Over the next month or so, we checked for the baby once or twice a week, usually finding that little thump thump. But here is where the loss comes in... every time we looked for it, I expected not to find it. I felt calloused as I thought "well, we may not find it because it probably isn't there". I was not trying to be negative, but I could see and feel how fear and bitterness had crept into my heart. Every time we hear this baby's heartbeat, I am amazed that it is STILL THERE.

If you haven't been pregnant after a loss, this will be difficult to understand. Every day comes tangled with joy and sorrow, hope and fear. And sickness. Lots of sickness. Every time you reveal your pregnancy to someone, there seems to be a "but" attached. "yes, we are pregnant, BUT it's still early", or "yes, I am feeling okay, BUT I don't know if that's good or bad", "yes, we heard the heartbeat last week, BUT  we haven't heard it yet this week". Our joy has been shadowed by the "buts" and "what ifs". I wish it wasn't this way, BUT we can't help it. We have experienced loss and grief in the deepest way. We don't want to open our hearts to that again.

So, with that being said, we are announcing our expectation of a new, healthy baby in May. Our loss has taught us much, but more than ever I have realized that everything about pregnancy and my children is out of my control. The baby in my womb may be healthy and growing now, but that doesn't mean it will always be (see, there I go again!). My husband has constantly reminded me that ANYTHING could happen to any of us at any time. I cannot be afraid of what's to come- this baby could be diagnosed with something terrible, birth could go horribly wrong, SIDS, my children could be taken from me at any moment if that's what God wished... so I am trying not to worry, but I am also trying not to hold on too tightly.

Only a few know this story... the month that we conceived, I was driving home one night from dinner with the girls when the Lord spoke to me about our lost baby. I burst into tears because I felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks when I realized "these children are not mine...Piper isn't mine, Shalom was never mine... God wants me to hold them up to him with open hands". I felt both grieved and relieved by this realization, so I said to God "okay, they are not mine. I will do my best to hold them with an open hand to you, because I know that you know what is best". And there have only been a few times in my life that I felt God audibly speak to me, and this was one of those moments. All he said was "Good. You are ready now. It is time". 

Somehow in that moment, my hope was restored and I just knew I was pregnant that month. It sounds crazy, but it's exactly what happened. God had made a promise to me, and he always keeps his promises. Your promises may look different than mine though, and that's okay.

So as we move forward with this pregnancy, we will hope for the best but strive to hold our children loosely before the Lord and his plans. We pray that God "let's us keep this one", in the words of our 3-year-old.

And if this is a path you are walking too, first of all, I am sorry. I am sorry that you have to feel this way too. Don't expect it to be easy, but it is doable. If you don't have God with you, maybe it's time to let him in a little. If you do have him, maybe it's time to let him take control. I say this to you only because I am right there with you.

4 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness girl! I just felt like checking in on your blog today. I almost cried when i saw your post. So excited for you. After miscarrying a second time in July, we were shocked to be pregnant again in August! I was actually upset thinking i could not handle another miscarriage and I've certainly had my share of nervous moments. Every few weeks i feel i can breathe a little easier but God's also been teaching me that i have no control over this life and i just need to rest and trust. Thanks for sharing your journey. I'll be praying for you as well!
    Btw - I'm due in May also!

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