For You formed my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made – Psalm 139:13-14
My husband and I were all packed up and ready to go. We kissed the girls goodbye and got in to our car. As we pulled on to the highway my heart began to beat faster and I got a funny feeling in my belly. I didn’t feel ready for this. I was terrified of what was to come. This was the first time that instead of excitement to see one of our babies for the first time….I felt fear. This time was going to be different.
I spent the whole three hours of our trip asking not only myself, but also my husband what if? What if there wasn’t a heartbeat? What if we got bad news? What if we got good news?What if it was a boy? What if it was another girl? It was him that reminded me that we again had no control over any of it.
He was right, but that only made me panic more. Talking all these what ifs out….trying to take care of all of the situations/ answers before we even knew them was only adding to my anxiety. I looked out the window at the rain coming down around us and once again felt like I was looking at the storm within me. The storm that I have been fighting for months. In that moment, on that rainy Wednesday morning I started to pray, I began to pray not for my baby… but for my husband and I to be surrounded, at peace, and equipped for whatever answers we were going to get.
We arrived at the hospital not long before our appointment. I was thankful because that meant I did not have to sit and wait for too long. I would like to tell you that I felt a huge sense of peace…that I was one hundred percent ready to lay down on the table and expose my belly, but I wasn’t. I was about to face the reality that I had been trying to avoid. I was about to see the proof that another living child was occupying my womb. I didn’t feel ready, but God knew I was.
We entered the exam room and started to answer questions about our history. How many pregnancies verses how many children. It is an extremely gut wrenching question to answer when the numbers don’t match up. When your pregnancies far out way the number of children in your home. She squeezed some warm gel on my belly and pressed the probe to my abdomen and there (s)he was.
The moment I seen that little baby on the screen I immediately began to cry. The fuzzy black and white image on the screen was beautiful. I saw the flicker of the little heartbeat and instantly felt a sense of relief. We watched as a hand was raised as if (s)he was waving at us. I could count the tiny five fingers, and the reality of the situation hit me. Only I wasn’t terrified I was thankful.
They think this baby is also girl. I was worried about that. I was worried about being able to look at another baby girl and not see new life, but a life that I had already lost. That I would be angry at God for letting a little girl leave our arms to place another one right back in them….but I wasn’t. I am learning to trust his plan regardless of how crazy it seems. I feel nothing but love for this baby.
I did have my moments of weakness. Moments that consisted of looking at this baby and thinking back to just one year prior when it had been my thirteen week old Audrey dancing on the screen. A beautiful little baby who we had also just met for the first time and felt nothing but joy and anticipation to meet her. A baby who also grew in my belly and was now no longer on this earth. It was hard. It was painful. I missed Audrey, but I was able to acknowledge that this new life was not her. That this new life did not take away our love for her, or lessen our pain of her passing.
I am thankful for God. I am thankful for this gift. I pray that this precious child far out lives me and my husband. I pray that this next chapter brings more joy and less heartache. I am terrified of having to go through yet another loss but have also learned that I am not in control of that. I know that God loves this baby and that he knows the best plan for her life, even if I do not.
As we continued to stare at the screen, watching my husband smile and laugh at every little movement and flip put me at ease. He was allowing himself to acknowledge the precious life growing inside of me and to enjoy the moment. Seeing him be able to do what I had not made me realize that regardless of what can happen or what does happen… that tiny perfectly formed being in my belly is still our baby. That I can continue to live in denial of the fact that she exists or enjoy all the moments that I am given with her. Whether weeks, months, or years. I pray that this baby can continue to be seen not as a replacement for what we had, but as an addition to the four precious daughters we will always HAVE.