My plan was three babies, all two years apart.
There were a few bumps in the road on my path to motherhood, and my timeline was a bit off, but eventually I had two darling little girls, and one beautiful baby boy. He was the final piece of our family, I thought at the time. Our family was complete.
And then, when he was about a year old, I had that familiar nagging. That feeling that a mother gets when there is another little one waiting to be born… but I wasn’t ready.
Pregnancy is difficult for me. I am forever grateful for the blessing of motherhood, and for the opportunity I have had to grow my little children inside of me, especially when I know that so many women struggle with infertility. But the process of bringing a new life into the world has been, in my experience, a lot of stress and pain. I have miscarried three times, I have pretty intense nausea that lasts the entire nine months, I have to get injections weekly to prevent preterm labor, I have been on bedrest for two of my pregnancies, and I get contractions for months that I constantly have to monitor and stop with medication and rest so as not to have a preterm baby.
I remember telling my sister in law in the fall of 2015…”I think I’m supposed to have another baby, but I don’t want to tell RJ. I just can’t physically or emotionally do it yet.”
I didn’t ever get the courage to express my feelings to him. I never told him that I felt like there was another baby waiting to join our family. I probably would have eventually, but shortly after that conversation with my sister in law, my husband had a massive stroke, and passed away.
After he died, I convinced myself that I had been wrong.
Why would I be prompted to have another baby, if God knew that my husband was going to be leaving us? It was impossible, and it didn’t make sense, so I talked myself into believing that I was done having children, and that I had been mistaken. I gave away my crib, change table, and many of my big baby essentials. I grieved the loss of my husband, and a small part of me also grieved the child that would never be.
And then life changed again for our little family. I met and married my current husband, an amazing man who had been waiting for so long for a family of his own. When we married, we talked and both knew that we wanted to have a baby together.
But I was terrified.
After you experience profound loss, it is hard to imagine good things happening sometimes. I had trained myself to expect the worst, and to hope for the best. My body had been under a significant amount of stress, and I physically was unsure how long it would take for me to get pregnant.
But what scared me even more, was the thought of enduring yet another miscarriage. Each loss had been difficult in it’s own way, and each had left me hurting and aching. I didn’t know if I could emotionally handle any more than I was already facing.
I didn’t think I could deal with yet another loss.
As scared as I was however, I knew that it was meant to be. I had already had it confirmed to me. Before all of the trauma in the hospital, or dating as a widow, or before I even knew what my future was to hold, God knew. He had been preparing me all along. I knew that the prompting that I’d had earlier wasn’t a mistake. I knew that I had to rely on faith instead of fear.
7 months later, I took an at home pregnancy test. The answer was loud and clear, “PREGNANT.”
Since that day, it hasn’t been easy. We had a couple of scares in the beginning, where the Doctor wasn’t sure that this pregnancy would be viable. I have struggled with all of the same preterm labor symptoms and other conditions that I had in previous pregnancies.
But man do I feel like the luckiest girl ever.
This baby feels like a ray of sunshine after a very long storm.
And although a few years ago, I never could have imagined the trauma and change that our family would be experiencing, to me, this baby represents everything good that has come from such indescribable pain.
This baby is proof that hope exists after loss.
This baby is proof that God knows me, and hears me.
This baby is proof that love makes a family.
Baby boy is already so loved. By family in heaven, and by our family here on Earth. I have no doubt that just as Ryan has loved and has taken my children on as his own, RJ loves and knows this baby too.
We are a family. Perhaps a bit of a complicated blended family, but a family that loves fiercely, and a family that was always meant to be together.
Baby boy, I can’t wait to meet you. ❤