Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Having a Baby After Losing a Baby

Today is the final NaBloPoMo post and the final of my sometimes series on Confessions. And this one is kind of a big one.

I have been trying to figure out if I wanted to write about this or not and ultimately decided that I am going to write, not really re-read and do my best to not delete. I just want to get my thoughts and answers out there despite the jumbled, exhausted, twitchy, insomnia'd person who is doing the typing. (That person is me.)

We are 27 weeks pregnant now.
I have passed the one year mark of when I delivered Elijah and I was pregnant on that day. We have long passed the 16/18 week mark of Elijah's gestational age with this child. And, I am not carrying a boy.

Confession: I miss my son. Achingly so, on some days. It is possible to find me crying over our loss while driving and listening to any number of songs about Heaven. Or while looking at drawings of "Our Family" done by my children with Elijah included and hanging out in the clouds.

When we told people we were expecting this baby I am carrying now, I saw in many eyes, in the very background after expressing their joy, the question: Are you okay with this?

Most days: Yes.
Very few days: NO.

But how can I express the grab bag of feelings that comes with knowing that if Elijah had survived, this little girl currently being knit together would not exist? How do I express joy over my new sweet life when it only is possible because of the expiration of another soul?

Simply stated, I cannot.
There is no way to accurately document, report, communicate the myriad of sorrow and joy.

In September, my sister delivered her first child. It was only the second childbirth I got to watch and it was the most amazing thing to see her accomplish. Joshua Jordan gets his middle name from me just as my own Lucy Joy gets her middle name from my sister. And when they settled on that name, it was overwhelming to know that there was a being on the earth who was my namesake. I told Kristy that it is almost too much pressure to put on a person!

It was a few hours before I got to hold Joshua. Kristy and her hubby Kris were in their recovery room getting all settled in, all the grandmas had their snuggles and it was my turn. Kris's mother placed Joshua in my arms, the first newborn I had held in a very long time, and I choked on my emotions. I cried at his beauty, I cried at the amazing man I can already tell he will one day become. I cried because I was holding proof of God granting second chances.

And I cried because he wasn't MY newborn son.

I turned away, so very aware of all the eyes in the room on me. My sister knew-she always knows, even moments after giving birth-what I was struggling with. I wanted to take the baby and run out the door. Spend some time with him all alone and cry and cry and cry. But that was not an option. Instead, I swallowed the feelings as best I could so I wouldn't make a spectacle of myself and handed Joshua over to the next person in line.

That night, in my hotel room, I cried for hours. It was the sad, bitter, pity cry you have for yourself. It felt selfish and did not contain emotions I felt I could express in the daytime. I was feeling very sorry for myself and then angry at myself for being so selfish and then the sorry would wash all my chastising away and I would return to my pity.

I wrote a long e-mail to David, tried to convey everything I was feeling and that helped me to calm down.

I spoke to God in long run-on sentences that may or may not have made sense and were punctuated with the closing of my tired eyes.

And I slept.

When I woke up, I found the pity had diminished. I was thankful to go and visit my nephew. when I held him I felt that sense of completeness that comes with a newborn. I held him as if my arms had been longing for this little nephew all of my life.

God heard me. Saw me. Cared for me.

So as I continue on with this pregnancy, it is not unusual for my sister to get a text saying, "I think I might actually have this baby!" Not in a crass way but in a surprising way. My experiences with Elijah have left me raw but they also left me knowing to appreciate every moment. Even the current ones filled with exhaustion but no sleep and kicking and rolling and stretching. Each movement of this little girl is exactly what I am supposed to be feeling and I enjoy it knowing that at any moment, it could be lost.

If my pregnancy, dear reader, has caused you to wonder how I am handling another pregnancy so close to come after losing Elijah, then I would like to give you the "Yes I am fine/No, I am not fine" answer which is fairly unsatisfactory as far as an answer goes.

Instead, I will answer any question with honesty and I will be sure to add on that
God is Good. He has taken care of me in the time of my greatest need and I can trust Him with the life of this girl. Not because I "know" everything will be okay "because God wouldn't allow me to lose 2 kids in a row...." but because I know God loves me. He has proved it time and time again.

And a God who loves me will never hang me out to dry.


  1. You are an amazing lady. Brave to share something so intimate and important. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous is me, LaDonna. : )

  3. Ooooooh I love you. My arms are aching to give you a hug.

  4. Much love your way.
    I struggled with this as well, knowing full well Spencer wouldn't be here if our first baby had made it. Spencer is such a gift, I know your daughter will be too. But you know that as well.
    Thank you for sharing your most inner feelings about this. Honest, raw and real. This truth is beautifully brave, I pray it helps someone else as well.

  5. From Carol Fabarez (noted in case I come through as "Anonymous").
    You are an amazing woman. I echo your sentiments that God is good. Even in the hard times. Especially then! We will continue to pray for you and your new, upcoming-to-be-born daughter. We know God has great plans for you and your family.

  6. This is Tara Davis...
    I'm thankful you shared this! I put off reading it for a while, not sure if I could read it without tears. It gave me pause to reflect on a part of my life that is so real yet so distant. Thank you. Most of all, I appreciate the faith you shared, because it does take faith to KNOW that the Lord IS who He says He is and DOES what He says He'll do. Blessings, my friend!

  7. I LOVE you! I am praying for your entire family!