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 before...to 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 heart...so, 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.