The Story of Our Third: Guest Post, Gloria2:47 PM
I am so excited to get to share another story with you that is not my own, but another Mama's story of love & loss. I love that people feel comfortable sharing their stories & want others to know that this is more common than we may have realized.
I met Gloria in high school. We were always friends, but never close. Gloria was our class genius, valedictorian. She was ALWAYS kind, always polite, always patient. Just a really sweet, genuine person. We graduated, I moved, she moved, but Facebook reunited us as friends. As I shared our story of grief & loss, emails & messages flooded my inbox with stories of loss from friends whom I had lost contact with, but who felt a safety in telling someone removed from their personal situation. Again, I'm honored to have been that person. Gloria was one of those who felt compelled to share with me, & then compelled to share with others. She shared her story on her new blog the other day, but I invite you to read her story here.
2013, almost from the very beginning, has been such a monumental year for our family. So much has happened, yet I lacked the words or confidence to share our story until now. How do I publicly talk about something that is often kept a secret? So I started writing. Writing about my thoughts and struggles has helped me process all that has happened.
When I had a miscarriage in January of 2013, I realized the story of this baby’s life on earth was over. No more unique pregnancy cravings, no feelings of somersaults or kicks, no gender reveal ultrasound…and the hardest part: no first embrace and kiss in the delivery room. I had only known I was pregnant for ten days, and already I had grown a mama’s sized heart for this little one.
First, I have to give you the back story. Since being married I have wanted three kids, not right then or all at one time, but in the next ten years- three kids. My husband, Mel, tends not to plan this far ahead, he is way better at enjoying each stage of life as it comes, and not thinking much about the next one. Simply put, we balance each other out and give each other a needed perspective. So, when Micah (my second) was born, I waited to see if the workload and demands of two would change my desire for a third child. It took me a few months, but I became just as assured that I wanted three kids. Not surprisingly, my husband was perfectly content with two kids. We had a problem, and decided that we both would start praying “God change my heart or change his/her heart.”
January 3rd 2013- two pink lines on two different pregnancy tests. For those of you who don’t know what that means…I was pregnant! I won’t go into much detail about this part, but I was actually quite surprised that this was possible. Then feelings of doubt and insecurity set in - this is not when I planned to get pregnant; Micah wasn't even one yet, I’d have three kids 3 ½ and under! I stopped panicking for a second…maybe this was God’s answer to prayer - a baby in His timing, not ours. But then I wondered…what would Mel think? Feelings of doubt and insecurity crept in again, would he blame me for this? Would he think I tricked him? When he got home from work, I showed him the pregnancy tests and braced myself for whatever raw emotion he might show. He said “Wow,” studied my face, and immediately embraced me and said, “How amazing that God answered our prayer in this way.” Ladies, I found a gem.
Upon finding out this wonderful news, we talked about how we would handle the surprise of it all and when we would share the news. We decided that we were going to choose actions that drew us closer as a couple. We were going share the news with very few close friends/family before sharing the news with the rest of the world right around 13 weeks or so….just like with our two boys. I think we both felt energized that this would be our last pregnancy and we wanted to experience it the best way possible. A few days later, I got my first cravings…sourdough toast with peanut butter and honey with green apple on the side, yum! Oh, and steak! This was my third and I knew better than to evaluate every craving- I just ate what I felt my body NEEDED DESPERATELY. I have two boys and most of my first trimester cravings were completely different with each of them. Also, I experienced waves of nausea, just as to be expected, this happened at almost five weeks exactly with my other two.
With my first pregnancy, I struggled with an intense fear of miscarriage. I was sure it was going to happen to me. This was my first lesson that there are so many things beyond my control as parent, and I all I could do was pray. With my second, I handled the feelings of anxiety better, but I amazed at how vulnerable my heart felt all over again. With this pregnancy, I decided that I was going to take every thought captive. Those feelings of how was I going to manage it all with three young children…I would turn those thoughts into prayers for God to sustain me. The thoughts of having a different plan as to when to get pregnant again….I would thank God that His plan is better than mine. The fear that I might lose this baby…I would thank God for this life that I had NO reason to believe I would lose. Sometimes I would have to do this hourly, sometimes every five minutes, but the feeling I was left with - OVERWHELMING excitement!!! I was going to have three kids!!! Naturally, I started looking on Pinterest and Etsy to become inspired as to how I would announce this baby. One week into this pregnancy I had meals in the freezer (for first trimester morning sickness and exhaustion), “Big” and “Biggest” brother tshirt decals ordered (one that would go one a onesie, I couldn't believe that I was going to be that person!), and weekly pregnancy photo stickers ordered. I also bought three pairs of sandals to announce our late summer (September 10th) baby. If you really know me, all of this preparation doesn't surprise you. At five weeks pregnant I scheduled my first doctor’s appointment and for good measure, our gender reveal ultrasound (I called too late to schedule Joel’s, my first, and vowed to never make the same mistake again). I was going to prove that I was not fearful of a loss by acting as though it would not happen.
At five weeks, four days pregnant, something felt different. The nausea that I had felt so strongly just a few days ago seemed to be subsiding. And that first trimester exhaustion that is UNMISTAKABLE? Yeah, hadn't felt it yet. Again, I decided that I was going to take these thoughts captive…every pregnancy is different.
At five weeks five days, everything changed. I woke up bleeding and I knew. I could barely talk without sobbing that day. The advice the nurse gave me was to calm down, that we didn't know for sure if I had lost the baby already. I hoped she was right, but she wasn't There is more to this story, but that’s another topic.
This was the story of the struggles and joys during the life of our third baby. Our miracle, answer to prayer, and precious baby number three. You might think I was foolish to love, plan for, and schedule appointments this early into my pregnancy. You might even ask if those things made the grief worse…quite the opposite, because of those actions and my decision to take every thought captive, with God’s help, I enjoyed EVERY day I knew I was pregnant, and felt NO regret when this little life was over.