This has been a brutally honest pregnancy all the way around. From our doctors, therapist, friends, family – everyone has really understood the high risks and respected what has happened twice before.
Rarely do I hear a flippant response anymore, except from someone who either doesn’t know our history or does but can’t process it and blurts out the first thing they think of.
But in our circle, there is honesty and tears, hope and pain. We are all in this together, watching Charlotte through pictures and monitors as we wait and wonder what the next few weeks will bring. Will she come home?
Sometimes, especially like last week with Kaden’s two-year birthday, I secretly long to be lied to. It was so hard to live through that day, see her on the ultrasound screen in my appointment, and keep thinking, “Oh, how much I wish he was standing here next to me, a little towhead who has dirt under his nails and maybe a paci he won’t give up yet. Chubby little hands and a sweet voice with just a few words on repeat.”
I want someone to grab me up and firmly tell me, “I know. I KNOW. She’s going to be fine, I can tell you this because I just know. You won’t have to grieve another child.”
I wouldn’t believe them of course. I’d probably bonk them on the head and ask them to back their certainty up with tangible evidence. Yet there is a small part of me that wants to hear those words so much. It’s almost daily that I remind myself, “We had signs with Kaden. Prayers. The best medical care. All the assurances in the world – so even if someone tells you, ‘I’m sure it’s all going to work out this time’ – no one really knows that.”
I often feel like “pulling a Gideon” – asking God to let the fleece be soaked with water in the morning. Trying not to test or barter with Him in exchange for her life: if you let Charlotte come home, if you won’t let us walk this again… I know He doesn’t work that way, but it’s so tempting to try.
Living in reality is easier than pretending or faking my way through this. Easier on my mind and anxiety in many ways, and easier because it lets me really long for and miss my sons without having their lives brushed aside. There is hope here, make no mistake. But hope grounded in a very real understanding of reality. And even so, even knowing that and being proud of how far we all have come in this together with our candid talks, your reaction here – there is still that wish that I could be told, “It’s all going to be just perfect, wait for it, she’s coming home, look at me – I know -”
And the wish that if someone did, I could believe it with everything in me.