“No, It’s my 5th”
That is the answer I give to the question everyone asks – “Is this your first”. My burgeoning, pregnant belly is pretty obvious now. Not that I’m trying to hide it – in fact I’m pretty proud of it. My belly, and who wriggles inside, is so much more than just a baby. It’s a chapter in the process of our family’s healing.
I don’t know why it is so difficult to explain the feeling of being pregnant after the loss of a child. It is so incredibly different. Yes, I hurt. I can’t walk or stand for long periods because my legs and feet hurt. If I sit to take a load off for too long my hips and lower back get stiff. But it is so different this time around. The aches and pains of pregnancy are proof that my body carries life again. I can’t take that for granted. I always did take it for granted. With each pregnancy the process became more uncomfortable and difficult – so the complaining would increase each time.
Not this time.
I welcome you pain. Because the pain represents life, love and growth. Because the pain in my heart is so much more unbearable, so any physical pain can’t hold a candle to it. Because the pain in my joints are caused by my body not healing 100% from my pregnancy with Morgan to my pregnancy with this little girl. It’s sacred, this pain…strangely, I embrace it. Oddly, I welcome it.
A few weeks after Morgan passed away, Jeff asked the question about trying for another child. I couldn’t… no I wouldn’t even speak about it. It was too painful. Morgan cannot be replaced – she is irreplaceable. She always will be. It took several months of feeling that feeling – that by even entertaining the thought of trying for another child, we would be trying to replace her.
Then one day, I didn’t feel that guilt. I had prayed so much about this decision. It was 110% calculated by God’s design. He took a broken couple, full of love for a little girl who couldn’t stay on earth to grow up, and put the desire in their hearts to love another little girl who now grows inside me. I fully believe that Morgan hand-picked her little sister and sent her to us with God’s blessing.
Pregnancy is much more emotional and careful after loss. At least it is for me. While I put my faith into God’s plan, I am also a mother who has the natural instinct to worry. The worry changes from day to day. Some days it is worry for the life of this new baby – that she will “make it”. I have always feared losing a child to SIDS or Stillbirth. I still worry. But just like a baby could lose their life suddenly and unexpectedly, so can any child of mine. So living in that constant fear does no good.
I’ll give it to God.
Some days my fears lie in how I will handle having another baby girl after the loss of my Morgan. Will she look just like her? Will the birth be the same? Will it be in the same hospital room? Will the nurses be the same? How am I going to feel when the place this new little girl on my belly after she is born and I see her for the first time? My emotions go wild thinking of this – because I want so bad to feel that joy, happiness and love that washes over during these first moments. This new little girl deserves this. But my fear is I will break down in sadness. That I will lose it in grief and be overwhelmed with anxiety. That I will feel that overwhelming pain and suffering all over again like it was yesterday that we lost her… And that is just so scary. Because I love her so much already.
I’ll give it to God
Other days my fear is that our other kids will forget Morgan. That the memory of Morgan will be a blur with our new baby – and her life will not have meaning to them. She is important. She is their sister. She is her own person and she existed. Boy did she exist! She made such an impact in her short 88 days – but did she have the impact on her siblings?
I’ll give it to God.
I have to – it’s the only way to move forward. Some days moving forward is harder than others. Some days it is impossible. But sometimes life doesn’t give you the pleasure of choice. Choice chooses you. Because the only other “choice” would be to no longer live. Time stands still for no one. Not even the grieving parent. It moves so fast it makes my head spin.
The strange part about this process of grief is how, as a person, it has evolved me over the past year. I do long for Morgan – every day. But I have learned, in all of this, how incredibly blessed I am. Incredibly. Way more than deserved. Thanksgiving was yesterday. And boy was it different from last year. I was so fresh in grief last year that ALL I could think about was Morgan and how she wasn’t with us. This year was different. While she was thought about and talked about during the day, we enjoyed each other’s company a little more. Complained a little less. And genuinely thanked God for our family, our home, our careers, our freedoms and our lives. They are, in fact, very precious. I recognize this now.
I know, in my heart, I can do this again. That this little girl will be loved and cherished separately and as a family. She is our new little baby girl – the youngest in the group. Little sister to all of my kids. We are so excited to meet her – that is what I call continuing forward….