Now, back to the journey…
It’s an interesting time when you are pregnant after losing a pregnancy. In our situation, we had one little guy, we lost a pregnancy, and now we were expecting again. So, was this new baby our 3rd or our 2nd? Obviously, it’s our 3rd pregnancy, but our 2nd live birth. Very confusing – at least I felt very confused.
Either way, we were really excited about the thought of adding to our family. Considering what had happened with baby #2 (who we know is in Heaven and we will meet someday), we decided to keep the news to ourselves for a few weeks. We wanted to get through the first 8-10 weeks and see the heartbeat before we shared the news. The good news was that Christmas was right around the corner, so it would be a great time to share.
A week before Christmas, we went in for a confirmation ultrasound, and there was our little bean (because that is what he looked like back then). He was growing and all measurements were perfect! So, we decided it would be okay to share with the family. We thought of fun ways to share.
With my husband’s family, we were playing a game of “Find the Card” – we would hide a joker in random places and see how long it took the other to find it. For example, one time when my in-laws were visiting, my husband taped the card to the ceiling in their bedroom, so when they went to sleep, they would look up and see the card. It was great fun to hear them hysterically laughing when they saw the card. Much fun! So, for them, we wrote on the card “We are Expecting Again!,” put a hook in the card, and hung it on the Christmas tree when they weren’t looking. We then brought them into the room and asked if they saw anything funny on the tree. At first, they just saw the card. Afterwards, they read it and broke out in tears of joy! It was quite fun!
A few days later, we were with my family. As a child, we didn’t have much money. So, if we NEEDED something before Christmas – like a winter coat – we would get it. In order to ensure we remembered that was part of Christmas, my mom would wrap up a little jewelry box and in it put a note reminding us what that was for. While we were always hoping for a new pair of earrings or something, it was a good way for us to remember all that we had received and should be thankful for. So, for my family, we placed a note in a box that said “you are going to be a grandma – again” and wrapped it up. We put it under the tree for my mom to open on Christmas. When she opened the box, she was definitely overwhelmed. She shared the note with the family and everyone was excited. How fun! We were able to “surprise” everyone with this baby.
Again, I wish that was where the story would end – joyful celebration of pregnancy and pending birth! Not our luck.
First – while at my in-laws, my husband ended up getting H1N1 Flu, so he was hospitalized for 2.5 days over the holiday. And, regardless of my pregnancy, I wanted to be with him. So, I slept on a hospital bed, with a mask on, in his room, because I didn’t want him to be alone. He ended up getting better, but it was a scary few days.
Second – a few weeks into January, we learned that a family member was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, it was fairly aggressive, and he would be undergoing treatments. How can we be celebrating a new life when we have someone fighting for his??? He started treatments, and showed signs of stabilization, but we knew that a bone marrow transplant was inevitable.
Third – the Saturday before Mother’s Day, I was driving to my prenatal yoga class, when a man driving a car in the lane next to me (opposite direction) had a heart attack behind the wheel causing him to tense up and drive his car right into the side of my car. The impact was literally 2 inches behind the driver door. I am still so very thankful that I was alone in the car as no one in the back seat would have survived. After 24 hours in the hospital and 3 subsequent weeks of stress tests, I was cleared to resume normal activity.
Lastly – we were also planning a family wedding that was to take place two (2) weeks before our little one was due. We tried to keep our focus on that because that was something so positive and loving and fun!
Well, our little guy didn’t allow that to happen. Eight days before the wedding, I started going into labor. Because we were still only 36 weeks, I received medicines to try to stop the contractions, but that didn’t work. This little one wanted out and he wasn’t taking “no” for an answer. So, off we went into surgery for an emergency C-section. Because he was so early, his little lungs weren’t developed, so he ended up needing to go to the NICU, get ventilated, on major antibiotics, etc.
We were supposed to be focusing on this amazing wedding coming up a few days later.
Why this? Why now?
The good news is that our little guy is a little fighter! He only needed to be in the NICU for 7 days before we were able to bring him home. Sounds great!!!
Did I happen to mention we had a family wedding???
Yep, he came home the day of the rehearsal dinner, and his first full day was the day of the wedding. Oh yeah, both my husband and I were in the wedding. What did I do?
My sister came up to my house to sit with our 8-day-old little boy, so my husband, our 1st born and I could still celebrate the wedding. What a weekend! So many emotions!!!
To add to that, we knew that within a few weeks, our other family member would be undergoing that bone marrow transplant.
I don’t really know how we all got through that time. Thinking back to the “Footprints in the Sand” poem, I do know there were only one set of prints in the sand at that time. Only through the Grace of God was I, were we all, able to navigate through those weeks / months.
I was listening to a radio pastor (Dr. David Jeremiah ) speak a few weeks back about his bout with cancer. Please know the following are my interpretation of what he said. It’s definitely worth listening to him speak of his experience personally. I’ll do the best I can to share here.
He was asked by members of his congregation – “How could God do this to you? You have brought so many people to have a personal relationship with Christ? Shouldn’t you be spared?” He answered (my words) – “Being a Christian doesn’t mean that I will not have trials and suffering in my life. The difference is how I am called to handle it.”