Thursday, April 28, 2016

Baby #4

I know, no blogging for 2 months and then I just unload my entire life on you guys. But we went to my parents house last weekend and while the girls watched Frozen for what seems like the millionth time (but it's really only like the 4th) I blogged. Warning: Long post ahead...

So... baby. On December 7th, we found out that God had chosen to take our third child home to be with Him. That was the hardest thing I've ever dealt with but even looking back a few months later, I could see how much we grew through that experience and how our dependence on the Lord's grace is stronger than ever.

We decided to wait before we would consider the possibility of adding another baby to our lives. A few months went by and the pain started to lessen. I could share my story with new friends and not end up in tears. I could see how strong our faith had become through this loss and I was comforted knowing that God could bless us with more children, if He wanted to. But if not, I was okay with that too.

Pregnancy after loss

When I took the test, it was a faint positive but it was definitely there. I cried the whole day. I was happy for a new baby. I was sad for the one we lost. I felt guilty being excited for a new baby. It seemed like not enough time had passed (although at this point it had been 3 months). When I told Brian, he was so happy and excited and then minutes later was sad and grieving. It was such a weird feeling and not something that anyone talks about after experiencing loss.

As time went by, we slowly and extremely cautiously began talking about adding a new baby to our lives. I remember at about 8 weeks of being pregnant, Brian suggested a name and I was shocked. I felt like we had to make sure this child survived before we started picking names.

And there's the catch. We never do know if a child will survive, do we? Just because we've had Allie for 3.5 years and named her and loved her and taught her and disciplined her, doesn't mean we have any guarantee that we'll get to see her through the next 3.5 or 10.5 or 50.5 years. Same with Maddie. Same with this baby.

And it was this moment... this was when I truly held all of my children with an open hand. Losing a baby that we never even got to meet was hard, and we both knew that the lives of our children are never guaranteed. But it wasn't until this 4th baby that I truly trusted the Lord's sovereignty over our lives and our children's lives. It doesn't mean I don't sometimes fear losing them -- but my heart is turned to prayers that the Lord would just have mercy on them and save them before choosing to take them.

Fear

I can honestly say that I have not struggled with fear with this pregnancy until I was driving to my first doctor's appointment (which incidentally was the day before my due date). A sweet friend offered to watch the girls which was a huge relief. But I was a wreck the entire day. I cried and prayed the whole way to my appointment. I was fearful of going through a loss again and I poured my heart out to the Lord, begging Him for the strength to face whatever would happen.


My doctor asked me how I felt.
"Nervous."
"Tell me about your loss."
*Immediate tears as I tried to choke out what happened in December.*
Praise God I had the sweetest, most compassionate doctor and she really made things so much easier.

"Okay, ready for the ultrasound?"
*Nervous chuckle... I half expected to see nothing and half expected to hear nothing.

(Tells self: don't cry, don't cry, don't cry)
*look at the screen, see the baby moving and hear the heartbeat, and immediately start crying*

I can't explain the emotions that overwhelmed me but I was so thankful that God had mercy on me. The doctor said everything looked great but I didn't get much comfort from this knowing that everything had looked great with the last pregnancy until it wasn't. But I didn't need to draw comfort from that -- God gave me the peace I had so desperately been crying out for and for the first time, I felt truly excited about this new little one.

So. Now what? Physically, I feel great (a huge difference from the last time) just sleepy and hungry all the time. I've taken naps with the girls like 3 times in the last week and I love ALL. THE. FOOD.

Emotionally? I'll let you know. Some days I'm excited. Some days I'm still grieving. But every day the Lord continues to give me grace and peace. And I'm hopeful that we get to see this little one grow into someone who loves and serves God. But if not? I know God will still use their life, however long it might be, to strengthen and grow others as we trust in Him.

Lastly? My due date is 2 days after my birthday so, Lord willing, 32 will be a pretty memorable one. :)