You know that saying about how a baby won’t fix a disaster of a relationship?
It’s true of course, but often in the midst of, “If we could just have a baby…” it tends to be ignored. Because really, what wouldn’t a squishy new baby fix?
And then when it happens, you slowly begin to realize that yeah, that saying is right. This is still life, and it’s still hard, and as much as you love your kids – now you’ve got a lot more stress.
So this is the same as pregnancy after loss for a lot of us. Especially me. I’ve tried really, really hard to stay grounded about another baby after Kaden died. I knew that it wouldn’t fix the loss, it wouldn’t fix me, and it wouldn’t fix our life.
There was a part of me as time passed that began to fall victim to the, “If we could just have a baby…” mantra. I’d see other loss mamas become pregnant and even though I knew, I KNEW it wasn’t “problem solved, life perfect now” it seemed like it was really darn close to that for them. And I longed for normal, for any semblance of normal again.
But deep down, I knew it would be radically different than even being pregnant with Kaden, so I wasn’t sure how to feel when it suddenly hit me on a Thursday evening that perhaps my week of almost flu wasn’t flu at all.
My initial feeling looking at that pregnancy test was, “Oh.my.word.” Then just a second later, I had to remind myself out loud something I needed to hear, needed to make myself say, to be sure I understood down to that little place inside of me that can’t comprehend he’s gone:
And then I just sat and cried.
The shock of being pregnant when I’d been wrapping my head around possibly never being it again propelled me through those first few days. I was excited, hopeful, and determined to be as normal as I could. Then little by little, I realized that wasn’t going to happen past the first question of some poor, unsuspecting person.
“Is this your second child?”
Isn’t that a common follow up to confirming a pregnancy when one child stands beside you? I mean, I’d have totally asked it and never batted an eye. You don’t for a moment think someone is going to be like, “Nope, fifth.” And you’re like… where the heck are you hiding the other three kids lady?
The new feelings and emotions that have come with this pregnancy are totally unexpected. I find myself almost starting over in some areas of grief – which I’m ok with. It’s just surprising. I didn’t feel this much guilt and withdrawal in Kaden’s pregnancy from the twins. I understood and accepted their loss a lot more than I seem to do his.
I remember when we moved to Denver, I wrote about how there was a part of me with each new life change that seemed to hold onto that idea of everything being ideal after. I wrote to remind myself that I was still me, I still took me and all my ways with me to Denver.
It’s the same with so much of life. I think we all search for the new thing – new career, new announcement, new label, new house, new lifestyle, new beginning, new something – and when the new wears off and reality sets in, we’re left with – us. Maybe Us 2.0 because there are some life events that do change things, but not the essence of us.
Only Jesus does that one, and in this lifetime it’s not a 100% fix for our humanity.
And so this pregnancy, these next few months, whatever they hold – I’m trying to hold onto the small amount of identity I’ve found that doesn’t have to do with “next” or “if” or “when” but just what’s happening here and now. Where God has placed me right now, what I need to work on right now. Most of that is still dealing with the past 3 years, and that’s ok.
Yes, I’m terrified. I just want this to be over. These years – the locust years. I want them redeemed in some way that my head can wrap around as a mama. I don’t want to lose another baby. I don’t want to go through this again. I want Bella to have a sibling on earth, our families to have another grandchild/niece/nephew. I still want a little bit of normal. Even though it’ll never be all better until I hold them all in my arms, it would be so nice to have this one to bring home and love here on earth.