Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Joy Will Not Be Stolen...

I said it then and I'm saying it now:

I will not allow my joy to be stolen.

No matter what happens with this pregnancy, whether I get to bring home a child to hold and raise, I will soak up every wonderful and miraculous thing I can while I am able to. Lord willing, that's a lifetime.

I will not allow fear to prevent me from thanking God every second for this blessing, and for rejoicing in it.

I will not allow my finite mind to conjure up things that will keep me panicked for the next 34 weeks. Goodness knows that there's enough to rock my world that I never dreamed could happen...I do not need to add to that list.

I will not allow my worries about what people will think to stop me from indulging in lavishing all the love I can on the sweet little life I have been given.

Which means that no matter how it may seem or how big the smile on my face is, the Matthew-shaped hole in my heart will forever remind me that it is a bittersweet joy I am experiencing. I've come to the conclusion that many, many mothers who have had children die feel that if they are not in a state of perpetual mourning, their love for their child may be questioned, or that the world will forget their child.

And I TOTALLY get that. I've had those same thoughts in my own mind. As I've said many, many times be able to smile when you have a precious baby buried simply doesn't seem right. It's like saying black and white are the same. It just doesn't seem appropriate.

But another conclusion I've come to is that I don't care. I know that I will never forget my son. I know that he will always and forever be priceless and precious to me. I know that a vital piece of my heart is in Heaven waiting for me to get there.

And while the rest of the world forgetting about how very, very loved and missed Matthew is would hurt...deeply...his place in our lives and our family will never be forgotten by US and that's most important to me.

Knowing that, and finding assurance in that, I refuse to let the heartache I have in missing my precious baby steal one second of the joy I have for Matthew's brother or sister.

Grief has won and will undoubtedly continue to win some of the battles, but I will win the war.

I have some really big guns on my side.

So, today I bought an outfit. It's for a little girl, because that's what I think we are having. Her due date is January 16, but we will not deliver any later than 38 weeks, scheduled c-section. It's even been discussed that we'd look at between 37-38 weeks. That means that she will be born sometime, God willing, between December 26 and January 2. We know what we will name her, but will wait until we officially find out that she's a she to begin calling her that. That won't be until around the end of August.

If I felt any better, I 'd take a picture of the outfit. Honestly, though, I've been up since about 4:30--wide awake. I've been like that for a couple of days now--and I thought it was the anxiety of the test. Apparently, the really yucky nausea and sleeplessness and flu-like feelings were not the test (or the flu). Very, very, very different than how I was with Matthew.

In any event, maybe a picture for another day.

It was very hard buying that outfit. I instinctively went to the baby boy things. It broke my, so many little outfits I own and imagined my little Monkey in.

It broke my heart because everything I saw (except the Panda outfit, though that had rainbows all over it, so even THAT was significant) reminded me of someone...little cherries, little ladybugs, little birdies, little giraffes, little lambs, little bears, little dragonflies and fireflies....and the BUTTERFLIES!!! Oh...the butterflies I've been seeing and saw in some of the little outfits today. I was so very sad for every mommy I thought of.

And sad for me...because for every smile I got from one of the sweet little girl outfits, I winced a little more each time I saw a monkey...or a blanket, toy, lamp, bib, or host of other things we have upstairs in Matthew's room.

This is going to be hard.

But my joy will not be stolen.


  1. WEEEEELLLLLL! said.... it is so hard to feel the complete and utter contradiction of emotion OF EVERYTHING!

    i've been trying to put all of this down in words on my blog for a long time now just haven't gotten it right yet... maybe i'll try again soon....

    sooooo happy and excited for you!!!!!

  2. That very different feeling you're describing? That is the feeling I had before I knew I was pregnant. With the boys. TTM. That's all I'm saying.

  3. So beautifully put. You are a strong, brave and miraculous soul Lori, and it is my deep honor to know you.

    p.s. what is your e-mail? I can't access it through this site. I am too dumb.

  4. Beautifully put. I love how you phrased everything in this post. Its acknowledgement of both ends of the spectrum. Lori, my prayers are with you in grief, joy and every emotion inbetween. Its so hard to explain the feelings--I feel sadness with my infertility---but at the same time great joy and thankfulness because I do have these incredible children that came to us through adoption. I too, will not let my joy be stolen. P.S. I've also heard a mom instinctively knows if she's having a boy or girl--through my friends I would say that's about 80% accurate.

  5. Baby outfit shopping has sustained my own hopes for many years. OK, I'll venture to predict that you are having a boy AND a girl.

  6. Sweet Friend,

    So happy that you have resigned yourself to live in the moment and feel the JOY. It doesn't mean that you love Matthew any less, but that you are "honoring" his life through his sibling.

    The fact that you were able to purchase an outfit is heart warming. I know that was very difficult and I applaud your efforts to not allow your Joy to be taken from you again.

    Know that I am in your corner cheering you on to the finish line. All the way!

    Much Love today and always,

  7. Lori I am so proud for you! You will be covered in prayer from now until your little one arrives. I know no one will ever replace Matthew. That being said, I hope you can relax and enjoy every second of this pregnancy! Hugs!

  8. I do hope that you are able to enjoy every second remembering that God is in control. Hoping you will post a pic of the outfit. After so many years of boy stuff (and LONGING for the girl stuff) I am finding that I am barely able to find girl clothes that match my expectations of how wonderful it would be to dress a baby girl. I still gravitate to the boy clothes and think they are cuter than most girl clothes I see in stores.

  9. All of us who visit your blog are wishing and hoping and praying that the essence of this post is visited for you. How much we all need to remember that today is precious, even when there is grief in having gotten to today.

    Kathy W

  10. You Go Lori!!

    That is wonderful that you bought an outfit for Matthew's siblling to be. You should have your JOY!! You can have your cake and eat it too!!-Cynthia
    God Bless your entire family!

  11. I like what Andrea said about you both honoring Matthew through this little sibling. That is true. I pray that God continues to heal your heart and gives you unexplainable joy over this new little one. I know you always miss Matthew...just praying it doesn't always hurt so much.

    Much love,

  12. I am sitting here in tears, because everything you're saying resonates with me. Thank you for sharing your heart. (((hugs))) Bless you!

  13. What a great example you are in your truthful thinking. I'm hopefully going to come back to this post and reread it when I need it. You go!!

  14. Yes Lori It is going to hard..god willing I experience that soon too .. but hard as it may be - nothing could be as hard as what you have already gone through.. and your 100% right - YOU will never forget your son, your sweet , handsome little man, this pregnancy is new, its hope, its a experience to be enjoyed (sounds easy when your typing it !!!!) you will have your ups and downs but you will get through this. Enjoy each day, enjoy each bit of sickness, each lump and bump, am thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. Keep going. Day by Day Xx

  15. I'm so glad to read this, I've been feeling the EXACT same way and a very similar post has been brewing in my head - I just haven't had time to sit down and right it out yet.

    Oh, and I was wondering the same thing a bout it being a girl. At first, I was convinced you were having twins, but then later I though...or it could be a girl! I know girls tend to give higher HCGs and make people more sick!! That's why I think I might be having a boy, because I feel different this pregnancy, too.

    You are an amazing woman, and I'm so glad you're in my life, albeit virtually!

  16. can't wait to find out what you are having!! :) you will have to be sure to keep us updated with pictures and such. i'm sure the outfit is beatiful. praying for you... how far along are you? have you experienced any morning sickness yet?

  17. I second all that you said. Love you! xxx And I will NEVER forget Matthew----a lot of people won't.

  18. I will never forget Matthew! I promise you that. I'm so happy that you have such joy! I understand that it's hard. I hate even going into stores with baby sections. My mom and I spent so much time there. Maybe that's partly because I'm not married and I feel discouraged because I wonder when and if I'll ever get the chance to try again. I can't wait to hear her name and see ultrasound pictures! She's due on my boyfriend's 26th birthday! :)

  19. Beautifully stated! I pray that if I am ever blessed with another pregnancy that I will be able to claim that my joy will not be stolen by worry or doubt. I am so very happy for you and praying for you, too :)

  20. I will never forget Matthew or your story. It has touched me, as well as others.

    Embrace and frolic and roll and be drenched in your joy!!! I am so happy for you!

    Love, Karen

  21. Lori - you are amazing and an inspiration - enjoy every joyful moment - it does not make your grief any less...
    will pray for you and your precious new life - matthew's sibling..

  22. Way to go Lori. I am happy for you and will always think of matthew with you, I will also be happy for you with this pregnancy. Thrilled and happy for you. Hugs Sweet friend.

  23. I love that you made your first baby purchase. I purchased something early on as it was important to me to have that experience and have something special for this child.

    We missed you in the chat room today. I hope today was beautiful and peaceful for you.

  24. My girl gave me more of the ickies and higher HCGs than my son AND my boy/girl twins. And she's been a handful since day 1 :)

    I am in so much prayer for you and today I added you & your family to my church prayer list.

    I'm glad you felt able to buy an outfit, I didn't do that w/my son (born 2 1/2 years after the twins we lost) but I did with my daughter. I was scared to death the whole pregnancy with my boy, but I, like you, tried to soak up every minute not knowing the outcome and whether or not I'd ever be pg again. (((love to you))

    I pray for a peace that passes understanding as a little life (or 2) grows within you. :)

  25. YAHOOO YAHOOO YAHOO!! SOO very excited for you and absolutely you go girl -- you enJOY every single moment you can -- what a blessing!!

  26. I know how hard it is to be excited after loss, and how easy it is to let the fears steal the goodness from the experience, I've been fighting it constantly. I didn't realize that monkeys were your "Matthew" thing, but now that I know I'll think of him often in Cala's room! I've been glad to find some cute girl monkey stuff.

    I'm SOOOO PROUD of you for buying a little something! That's HUGE HUGE HUGE, seriously! Keep it up and I'll be praying for the fear to stay at bay. "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound-mind!" Know I'm praying the fear away, and each time to feel it, know that is satan trying to steal your joy!!!

    Love and hugs sweet friend, it was amazing to hear your voice today!!!

  27. I can relate to this post. I am so glad and proud that you are choosing joy and not fear. As hard it is experiencing a pregnancy after a loss, I commend you for the courage that I know (and you have proven) that it within you. I am rejoicing for your expected end with you and am keeping you in prayer. Matthew would be so proud.

  28. I completely agree!

    love and prayers