January 16, 2015

The day our lives changed - take two

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Life is weird sometimes, isn't it?  Who would have thought that I'd be writing a second post about this...the day we found out we are pregnant.  When I wrote our first post when pregnant with Jackson, a looooong 9 months ago, I had no idea the turn my life would take in 2014.  No, it wasn't all good.  But it wasn't all bad either.  Being pregnant so soon after a stillbirth, a loss so deep and personal, is such a weird thing to wrap my mind around.   It's happy, it's crazy, it's devastating, it beautiful, and it's full of hope.  Here, I want to share the story of our new story, hopefully the beginning of our happy ending...

Once upon a time...

No, just kidding.

September was a strange month for me.  I started work in late August, after a whole summer of grieving and crying and writing and getting used to the fact that I am a bereaved parent.  It was a good summer, regardless of our loss, full of love and support and family and a beautiful trip to the Outer Banks.  I wasn't ready to start work and face the world of "normal", but it was the best thing for me.  I love my job and all the people I work with, they are AMAZING, seriously.  Lots of love and support there too, and a big welcome back but nothing too overwhelming.  

As I've shared before, the doctors kept a close watch on me over the summer, and after testing and monitoring everything, we were given the "clean bill of health" baby-wise, to get back to it and try again after the 2 month mark of losing Jackson had passed.  Dave and I were sure we'd have to wait a while for things to work themselves out in my body.  It took 2 years to conceive Jackson and Lily, we weren't really trying all that hard for them but we weren't stopping a baby from happening either.  So...this time around, we figured it would take a year maybe.  

Meanwhile, I tried everything I could to be healthy.  Not only to have a healthy body to give actual LIFE to a baby, but to aid me in my healing process too.  Grieving is really a whole mind-body-spirit experience.  I learned that for me, I had to work on each part of those things, or I wouldn't heal correctly.  I was walking and swimming and working out, I was trying to eat good and clean and healthy things, I was praying and talking with God everyday because if I didn't I know I'd lose myself, and I was even doing extra things to help.  I went to the chiropractor 3 days a week for adjustments and to work on a bulged disc in my back, I think triggered by Jackson's birth.  I went to a wonderful acupuncturist, who helped me heal and stay energized.  I fully believe that doing all of these things together helped me heal, but also jump started my body into some sort of state that was primed for a baby.  I just had no idea it would work so fast!

Fast forward to a sunny Saturday, September 27th.  Dave had worked the previous night and wasn't home yet.  I had felt...weird...all week, but didn't think it was pregnancy because one - I didn't think it would happen that fast after losing Jackson and two- it was still sort of early in my cycle and I wasn't going to test until the next week.  But...then, I was worried.  Dave and I were planning on going to the Rockfield Wine Festival that afternoon and evening.  Which meant, I'd be partaking in lots of wine tasting, more drinking than I normally do due to the nature of the event.  It's something we do every year and we always have a great time!  Anyways, I didn't want to go and do all that tasting if there was even a chance I could be pregnant.  I didn't want to give myself ANY reasons to question my health or the babies this time around, if this was "it".

I had bought some tests over the summer, a small but tough purchase to make after losing a baby, but I made myself do it as part of my healing, and the hope that one day we could do this again.  I woke up that morning around 6:30, and decided to take the test.  Dave wouldn't be home for a hour or so, so I could take my time and deal with the feelings that came, either way.  I thought I was being silly, but again didn't want to take my chances with the wine.  I took the test and afterwards set it on the nightstand (in a tissue) just like I had when I took it with Jackson.  I laid in bed, facing Frodo and the tv, away from the test.  I prayed, and I thought about Jackson, and I thought about having a baby again, and I thought about how silly I was for even thinking this could be happening.

Then, I heard a small but mighty voice in my head.  The voice said, "It's ready."  Look, I don't often hear the voice of God in my life.  My head is too full of myself and my wants and needs and my stupid thoughts and views on life to even have room for God most of the time.  It's terrible, and I need to clear my mind out more often so that God has ROOM in there.  But, when He needs it, He finds the room no matter how awful or crazy I am!  I didn't even need to look at the test, because when I heard that voice, I knew I was pregnant.  God wouldn't tell me that it's ready, if it was negative.  He was already preparing me.  But I looked anyways...


Pregnant.  1-2 weeks.  That means I was around 1 or 2 weeks into this, past ovulation.  This was an early detection test, I shouldn't have even gotten a result for another week.  But there it was, positive. Dear Lord I hope that's a sign that this baby is STRONG and MIGHTY and will MAKE it.  She (or he) was making their presence known early.  Hello there, baby.

Surprisingly, I didn't freak out.  I wasn't heartbroken.  I did cry, but small and warm, happy tears.  I am pregnant.  Again.  So soon. Wow.

I got into the shower and sat down to think, as I had done so many times over the past few months, and let the hot water run over me and let the feelings, and questions, come.  

Am I ready for this?

How did this happen so fast?

I was just pregnant 2 and half months ago!

Will this end well?

Should I take another test?

How will Dave feel?

There were a million more going through my head too.  I'm sure you can imagine, after what we had been through.  I prayed hard to God in there, begging him to let me carry this baby to term, and to be able to bring the baby home this time, but that I am still on board with His plan and what He wants for all of us.  No matter what.

I finished my showered, got dressed, and sat in bed.  I wrote a small note to our new baby, about how peaceful I was and how weird that felt.  About how much I loved this teeny, tiny baby already!!  About how I couldn't wait to tell him or her the story of their older sister and brother in Heaven.  I imagined this moment a lot since losing Jackson, and how it would make me feel, and it surprised me.  Of course, I was nostalgic and missed Jackson, but already my mind new and understood that this baby was new, and this pregnancy was different, and I'd have to get used to that.

Finally, Dave came home from work.  I let him do all his normal stuff downstairs like unpack and get water or whatever else he does as he unwinds, and then I heard him on the stairs.  I wanted to run, and I wanted to hide.  I hoped to Jesus he would be happy.  He came around the corner in our room and saw me sitting up in bed, and said his normal greeting to me.  I got up to greet him, and kept the test in my hand and after I hugged him, I gave it to him.  He just stared at it.  Then he looked at me, "Are you serious?"  Then he smiled, and hugged me again, and I cried (of course).  Yes, yes I am serious.  We are pregnant.  Again!

It was a blur, honestly.  Some of the feelings and reactions blend together in my heart and mind from the few months before when we went through this.  But, he was happy.  So happy, actually.  As we let the news sink in, together, it felt good...GREAT really!  He went to bed happy that morning, and I headed out to pick up my mom for our weekly shopping ritual.

I questioned whether we should tell our families or not.  They had all been through so much with us, and I didn't want to get them all excited only to let them down again - it was early in the pregnancy and I knew anything could happen.  But, I knew that if I kept the news from my parents, they would be upset.  So, when I got over there, I shared with them. Almost the exact way I shared with them with Jackson's pregnancy, I took the test over there as proof.  They were so happy for us too, and there were more tears shed.  Happy tears, but also nostalgic again.  We all still miss Jackson so much, and we would have been so close to meeting him.  But this new baby was bringing us hope, and joy...it was the start of a new season.  A happier one.

That was the day our lives changed again, after such a hard season of love and loss and sadness.  When Dave woke up that afternoon, I can't remember what we did to celebrate, but I remember how excited he was.  It filled me with happiness, and hope.  

I was, and still am, treading carefully though.  Those first few weeks I kept praying to God that if He wanted to take this baby from us, to please please please take him or her early.  Before I got too attached, before I went to the doctor.  I don't know if those prayers were answered by letting us keep the baby or not.  I am having a hard time deciding what to think and believe about my God these days, not because I don't trust Him, but because I don't trust Him to give me what I want.  I trust that He knows what He is doing, I trust that He will get us through anything, but it's hard for me to trust that He wants this to end happily.  I'm still working on allowing myself to hope that IS the case.  I'm...I'm working on it.

So there is our story of discovering that Baby #3 is on his or her way.  It's been a roller coaster so far, but one I am more than willing to ride.  Thanks for reading about our journey and praying for us!  Our scan is on Tuesday, and I'm trying not to think about it.  Pray for my sanity and peace, pray more for this baby to be ok, HEALTHY, because I'd love to come away from that appointment celebrating. That would be awesome:)  

Cheers!

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