Monday, May 20, 2013

More of the journey

April 16, 2013
We have made it to eleven weeks.  Time moves as slow as sludge when you're pregnant.  This first trimester has seemed like an eternity!  One more week and I'll be in the second trimester with still a long way to go.

We've had two ultrasounds so far, and both times we were able to see the baby's little heartbeat.  There is life!  Praise God for life!  After one miscarriage and one stillbirth, life seems so improbable.  It's a miracle.  I pray this baby makes it out into the world alive and well.  I never thought I'd have to worry about that.

Even now, I have trouble imagining myself holding a live baby of my own.  My heart is still slow to go there.  It's terrible that I half expect to lose this child.  O me of little faith.  It's shameful.  Yet I'm learning that faith is having confidence in God's ability and power to do great and mighty (and even terrifying) things.  He is able.  I will trust.

May 1, 2013
A subsequent pregnancy after loss is a unique experience.  Thankfully, I have been surrounded by very excited and supportive people.  Not all have the blessing of such community.  Still, no matter how much support I have, this continues to be a very lonely valley through which no one can really journey but me.  Not even my beloved husband knows the full strain that pregnancy after loss inflicts physically, emotionally and spiritually.  He knows better than most, though.

When, God willing, this baby arrives, Cora would have been one year and three months old.  It's strange to be a mother and have no real concept of what raising a child is like.  I can't even successfully imagine having a three month old, much less a crawler or toddler.  My heart is sluggish to go there, and the scar tissue aches as it stretches to have hope.

This time last year, I was six months pregnant with Cora Lane.  We had just moved into a new house, and I was eagerly putting the nursery together.  Now I'm three months pregnant, and I haven't touched the nursery.   It represents a kind of certainty that I just don't have yet.  Dare I say that room may even represent my faith?  The emptiness of that little room convicts me daily.  Each day that my trust in the Lord grows stronger, I think more frequently about dusting off all the baby stuff and giving that room life again.  It will happen eventually.  Perhaps when we find out if the decor will be blue or pink.

I have heard this baby's heartbeat several times with our doppler.  It's such a comforting sound, but now that I've heard it, I fear not finding it one day.  I fear living a replay of that day when we failed to find Cora's heartbeat.  By the time we listened for it, she already had a heavenly pulse.  Even as we hope to welcome this baby into the world, we will be loving and missing you, precious Cora Lane.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"What's in a name?"

March 17, 2013
I have made it to seven weeks exactly.  Lord, keep this baby safe!
Thoughts of Cora come much more often now.  I remember what it was like to feel her move.  I remember every bit of excitement at the thought of holding her.  Unfortunately, I also think often about those last days.  I keep going back to them, like somehow there's a secret to unlock or some clue to discover.

Evan and I have been mulling over baby names.  "What's in a name?"  -Ever so much (in my opinion anyway)!  We think Cora Lane was the absolute best, but this new baby has his or her own precious identity.  And the coming name will be just as sweet to us.  We have become big believers in naming early.  We named Cora as soon as we found out she was a girl, and by the end, her identity and personhood were firmly established in our lives.  And as soon as we said her name out loud, that was it.  There was no question.  It was as if the Lord named her, and I believe he did.  We'd like to do that part the same this time around.  I guess you'll just have to wait and find out what the next sweet name will be!

Everyday is a struggle for peace.  I realize fretting won't do any good, so I pray and wait.  Every day.  Pray and wait.
I've changed doctors, and I pray that my new Dr. will take great care.  I am anxious to first have an ultrasound to see if all looks okay so far.  I think then it may be easier to begin the bonding process.  I haven't really let myself dream of a future with this little one yet, and I know that's not fair.  Our dreams were so cruelly dashed with Cora.

I am thankful for each day I have with this baby, though.  Had I known what was to come, I would have cherished each moment of pregnancy with Cora.  Now I'm reminded daily to thank God for this baby and pray for thriving health and safety from danger.  I just can't wait to pray with his or her name in mind....a name soon to be determined.  The Lord knows what it will be.

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Developments

One morning, back in late February, Evan and I paced and gave each other nervous looks as we waited what seemed like an eternity for a digital pregnancy test to tell us what we already suspected.  And suddenly (pregnancy tests have no regard for nerves) in one instant, we both looked down and then back at each other, and big grins spread across our faces.  "Yes+" is what we saw.  That moment was so joyous, but no sooner had I smiled, laughed and said "Praise God" than I thought of Cora Lane.  Love and loss, sweet and bitter, peace and longing, joy and pain.  It's this tangled, beautiful, painful mess of life.  I remember getting the positive test that told me Cora was on the way, and now she has a sibling coming.  I will cherish both of these moments forever.

I have journaled since February, but for obvious reasons have not posted about my pregnancy.  Now that we're feeling a little more secure and the word is out, I can share with you some of my chronicles along the way.

February 26, 2013
Just a few days ago, Evan and I found out that we're pregnant again.  O Lord, have mercy.  Almost seven months ago exactly, we lost Cora.  It has been impossible for me to think about this new pregnancy and the precious little one growing inside without thinking of Cora and how ecstatic we were to be expecting her.  I cry every time all over again.

So the fears have already started cropping up.  I figure naming them is better than letting them fester.  I'm afraid I won't get past six weeks....another miscarriage like the very first, before Cora even.
I'm afraid that if we do get passed the first trimester we'll lose the baby somewhere along the road.
I'm afraid of some sort of abnormality -Downs Syndrome or Trysomy- not that we would love that baby any less.

Lord, have mercy.
There are more.

What I must figure out (and this sounds awful) is - am I afraid to lose this child for the baby's sake or for fear of another broken heart?  I think it's a little of both, but mostly the latter.  I firmly believe that babies who die go directly to our Savior's arms, so it's not necessarily for the child I fear.  I'm afraid of the engulfing and unbearable sadness and shock at losing a baby.  I know it so well.  It's breaks my heart and hurts my soul.  I'm afraid of once again falling into that harrowing chasm of emptiness and loss.  It's a selfish fear.  May not be right, but it's honest.

I do know now, though, that God in his love, does not relinquish me to the depths of dark despair.  He does not give me more than I can handle through his strength.  But, that does not mean I don't fear going there again.  And I may.  The truth of the matter is that I don't know what tomorrow holds...."but I know who holds my hand."