I’ve waited until the 3rd trimester to announce on social media our wee one’s coming arrival. I just wasn’t ready yet. I was excited for the new baby, but after losing our previous child, celebrating this life seemed…out of place somewhere in my heart.
How could I parade my belly knowing that this new life wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for the loss of another life? I felt like celebrating this baby somehow diminished the importance of their tiny brother who had lived for such a short time.
How could I celebrate and grieve at the same time?
So, I waited to announce.
Waited for my heart to heal.
Waited until I felt like celebrating and hoped that eventually I would.
Of course, this new life didn’t wait to grow and it wasn’t long before our friends and neighbors noticed what couldn’t be hidden…a big belly!
They naturally gave congratulations and I tucked each one away in my heart savoring the sweetness and grieving the remembrance of our loss simultaneously.
New babies were born around me; tiny, precious, healthy little ones who made me smile and ache at the same time, even as I felt my own tiny one dance inside my womb.
My unborn grew and my man took me shopping for maternity clothes and I smiled as I remembered all the shopping trips we had made together over the years for every pregnancy. Joy crept in and even the memories of being pregnant with Elijah made me happy.
I began to celebrate.
I caressed the stretch marks that remind me of the beginning of treasured lives.
I delight in the way my husband says I’m beautiful.
My eyes shine when I press a child’s hand to the unborn kick of little feet still being formed.
I’m relishing in the beauty of life, not just inside me, but all around me.
I still think about the son we lost every single day. I see his face in my mind, remember carrying his life inside, and I still ache to hold him. But as I’ve carried new life, visited my midwife, felt tiny kicks inside, shared our unborn’s growth milestones with our children, and started grappling with the reality of welcoming a newborn into our home, I’ve learned to cherish Elijah’s life, while rejoicing over this new little one.
I’m 28 weeks now and just yesterday I realized that I will be 30 weeks, the week where I’ve always started my mental “countdown”, at my next doctor’s appointment. This little one will be here before I know it and I’m looking forward to February with more anticipation every day.
Even though I’m counting down weeks, growing bigger, and looking up baby names, I’ve learned that 3rd trimester or not, I’m still not guaranteed a healthy little baby to hold and love on in 12 weeks. I’m not promised that my husband will come home from work safely today or that one of my other children won’t become dangerously sick tomorrow. What I am promised is hope. A hope that will not fade and can not be destroyed, lost, or stolen. It’s the hope of Christ that guarantees a perfectly redeemed life, one beautiful day, in a world that will be completely remade and restored. An eternal life that will shine so brightly with the riches of redemption that it will make every sorrow in this fleeting life seem miniscule in comparison.
I’m so grateful to be pregnant, so grateful to carry life, so grateful for the squirming little body inside of me that someday soon I hope to hold. I’m grateful for the little life that was my unborn son who went to be with Jesus. I’m grateful for my other fabulous five children who run crazy in my house, for my husband who loves me endlessly, for my friends who walk this life with me, for my Savior who gives me life for today to enjoy these gifts and certain hope for eternity with Him. As I’ve waited through this pregnancy for my heart to be ready to celebrate, I’m reminded that God is waiting to celebrate too. He’s waiting for the day when He will return and our fully redeemed lives will consume our transient ones here.
It will be a celebration worth waiting for!