Monday, February 13, 2012

Celebrating Life and Love

About a month ago I found out I was expecting number four. A new blessing to love! I have always wanted a large family, so my heart was overjoyed at the thought. Four children! Me, the mama to four little ones! I felt complete awe that God, in His goodness, had chosen to allow me to grow another tiny one in my womb. It was a very happy time. For the first time ever, I decided to keep my pregnancy a secret. Usually I shout my pregnancies from the rooftops (or yell excitedly about them into cellphones), but this time I decided to savor it. I wanted everything to be perfect. No blurting it out or making a fool of myself in my happiness. This time needed to be sweet and special.

I waited 48 whole hours before I told Boss. I didn't know when, exactly, I was going to tell him, I just knew that it needed to be special. A moment that he would never forget. 48 hours later and our moment arrived. We were standing in a space that has to do with some of our upcoming changes, when Boss suddenly pulled me into his arms and began praying with me for our family, our life, our children. This type of togetherness is new, and oh so special for us. It still makes me catch my breath when he draws me close and prays to our Father on our behalf. There are not many sweeter moments in life than praying with your love for your life together, so when he ended the prayer, I whispered it. I told him that he was going to be a daddy again. His eyes filled with tears and shown with such joy and tenderness at the news. Creating a new life together never gets old! Afterwards, we went out to dinner to celebrate!

The next month went by and we told very few people. A few family members knew, a few friends. But to most, we kept this new life growing inside of me a secret. It was actually kind of exciting! And during this past month we planned out how we were going to tell the children that they were going to be getting a new sibling. I decided that I wanted to tell them around Valentine's day. I have always wanted to incorporate a pregnancy surprise into a holiday, and this was my chance. Besides, what better way to celebrate a day of love, than by celebrating a new life that was created in love? I planned every last detail of our surprise party. There were going to be streamers, balloons, and confetti. We were going to have a bistro style meal of sandwiches, soups, and salad, with my mom's strawberry cake and chocolate trifle for dessert. I made each of the children shirts with numbers on them that told of their birth order. Emma 1, Kate 2, Jack 3, and a tiny onesie with a sweet little 4 on it. Each child would get to open their goody bag filled with their shirt and treats, and then together they would open the package with the onesie in it and see if they could figure out the surprise.

Besides our children, grandparents would be our guests of honor. My sweet and talented photographer friend, Heather, took pregnancy announcement photos for us, and we were going to gift the grandparents with a little album each. I could barely imagine the joy that was going to be surrounding our table once the surprise was figured out. My own heart nearly burst at the sight of four small shirts laid out on my bed! I had never felt more lucky or blessed.

All month long I had been talking up this surprise with the girls! Their guesses of what it was ranged from a tea set, to headbands, to a movie, a pony, a board game, a new brother or sister, to a trip to Disney World! My favorite part? They actually would have been happy with any of those gifts. But when I asked them what they wished for the very most, a new sibling and Disney World always topped the list! Our party was supposed to be tonight, and last night the girls were so excited they could hardly sleep! We were all ready for today to arrive!

My mom showed up early this morning to take the kids for the day, so that I could finish shopping, decorate the house, and cook. But as soon as she pulled away from my house it happened. I started to bleed. I knew what was happening before I even went to check. And my heart crumbled into a million little pieces. I called Boss at work and he came home to hug me. Since I had not seen a doctor yet, we decided to just go to the emergency room. And two ultrasounds later revealed what my heart already knew to be true. This tiny little one was not meant to be a part of our family here on this earth. Where I should be nearly eight weeks along at the very least, the screen only showed a pregnancy that looked to be around five weeks. There is a very slim chance that my dates are simply wrong and it is still too early, but combined with my bleeding that is not likely. Most likely I will never hold this fourth little one in my arms, and it is funny how you can miss someone so much that you never even had the chance to meet. We drove home in silence with orders to come back on Wednesday for a final blood draw, but my head already seems to know what the answer is going to be. My heart is simply having a hard time accepting it.

When we got home we pulled our bigger babies onto our bed and told them the news. That we had wished so much that we would be celebrating the news of a new life with them tonight. Sweet sisters cried over their tiny brother or sister that they will never know. We hugged and held, and my heart did begin to feel better. Somewhere in the midst of the hugging and loving, someone suggested that we celebrate anyway. Because there was in fact a new life created and we do in fact have love. So that is what we did. We ordered Chinese food and ate cake. Jack made us all laugh, and we talked about heaven and whether we thought this baby would have been a boy or girl. We did celebrate both life and love tonight, just not in the way that I had imagined we would.

I have not lost hope that this baby might make it, because I know that my God can do ANYTHING, but I am simply praying that whatever the outcome, that I draw nearer to Him than I was when this started. Isn't that really the point of anything? To find God in everything? And I know that He is here. Waiting to bring me to Him whether I end up rejoicing or mourning.

Oh, sweet baby number 4. You were already wanted and loved by everyone in our family. You will always hold a special place in my heart. I was so excited to be your mama! Your daddy and I had already talked of you often and dreamed about your life. My arms sure wish that they could hold you. We will always celebrate your life, no matter that it was short. You will always be loved.