2016 was the most difficult year for us, so in a way I am glad to see it go. It's also the year Calvin was brought into our lives and will be difficult to feel further away from that time. We are praying that 2017 brings much happiness!
I hope everyone had a good Christmas with their families. I know we did, as much as we could, for missing a very special person. On Christmas Eve, Calvin would have been 10 months old and I was 11 weeks pregnant. If you didn't already know, we are expecting and I am now currently 12 weeks :). We are beyond thrilled but it doesn't come without fear. Fear is an understatement. I am trying to fully trust God and be at peace with this pregnancy. The only way to have peace is to fully accept any outcome. Yeah, easier said than done and it doesn't always mean it's a happy ending or your choice. I pray every single day that I get tomorrow with this sweet little one. I prayed that every day with Calvin as well, that he would be a healthy baby. He was, but God had a different plan for him. I'm praying that God's plan for this baby is for us to have him/her here on Earth with us. I have hope that this is His plan.
We missed Calvin on Christmas so much. It was hard not to think about him all day. We lit a candle on Christmas Eve in remembrance of him, a sweet friend bought me a decoration with a poem on it to set out every season, and I did have a stocking hanging for him because he is a part of our family. We also received a couple other ornaments from family members for Calvin which helped me feel like he was a part of it all. I think it will help even more when we have ornaments for future children so I don't ever feel he was left out. We spent Christmas Day at my parents with my brother and his family. Jude added such a new element to Christmas and it was such a joy to have him. It was hard not to picture Calvin crawling around with him. In fact, I did picture that all day.
This new pregnancy has brought a lot of mixed emotions. I know that all of you have prayed and hoped for another pregnancy for us just as much as we have. I knew that this baby would never replace Calvin in any way and I knew it wouldn't take away the pain. Though you always have a sense of hope, I was hoping that this pregnancy would take away a little pain. When you have so much sorrow, you cling on to any little hope that might make some of it go away. For me, it was another pregnancy. James and I found out on November 1st with an at home pregnancy test. It wasn't that normal "YAYYYYY WE ARE PREGNANT!" screaming and jumping up and down kind of thing. It's more of a cautiously excited feeling. Let me say, as I have said before, we are SO BLESSED, and fully recognize the gift we have been given to conceive. Thankfully, we have been able to conceive very easily. I KNOW there are so many couples out there that struggle to get pregnant or who have never been successful. My heart breaks for them but I can only hope they have trusted God's new plan for them. Even though there are others out there with more struggle, or a different struggle than us, doesn't make our struggle any less difficult. I am telling you our story, I know it's not the worst story. I will never forget the night it hit me. I'm sure hormones helped with a play in this but a few weeks after we found out I realized that this baby isn't Calvin and he/she isn't going to replace him. Stupid, I know. I obviously knew it wasn't going to be Calvin but you almost have a hope it would take some pain away. It hasn't. I am overjoyed that we are pregnant and I get to carry this new life. Our second child. But it doesn't take away the pain of losing Calvin, it just gives us a new joy in our life. It's really a bizarre feeling and one you would never understand unless you have gone through something similar. I hope you never do. Every single person who has had a second child has had the fear of not loving the second one as much as the first. I have heard that more times than I can count. It's so true. I didn't even get to raise my first born and I still feel that way! I know I will love this one just as much, but right now it is hard to imagine. The coolest thought is to know Calvin already knows his little brother or sister.
Which brings me to the question I get asked a lot. Do you prefer having a boy or girl? I'm going to answer honestly. This is tough to say my honest thoughts out loud because I know people will judge. When you were younger and imagined yourself starting a family, everyone thought "I want ____ many kids, and I want a _____ first and then _____, etc" How innocent and completely naive we all were. I have talked to many mommas that have lost a child and had been given the gift of another pregnancy, only the opposite gender. They said they went through "gender disappointment." They always said it just takes time to accept and realize the blessing of even being pregnant again. I know this will also be us. Of course, a healthy baby is our biggest concern. I always wanted a boy first because I loved having an older brother growing up that would protect me and just be the "big brother." We secretly hoped Calvin would be a boy, and we were ecstatic when we found out he was! We had so many visions of Calvin growing up as the big brother and working right along side his dad. I have always thought that having another boy might help our pain of losing our first boy. But again, just like I thought another pregnancy would help, maybe it won't. Yes, we have a nursery full of boy stuff, but that is my least concern. I want what God wants for us. Would I love to have another boy, to be the protector, the "big brother." YES. But would I love a little girl just as much? Of course. It might take us a minute to completely switch gears but I would love that darling little girl just as much. I know gender is such a big debate, that it doesn't matter and people should be happy they are having a baby. YOU ARE RIGHT. But we are humans, and we have thoughts and desires that we can't help if we are being honest with ourselves. James and I want more than anything to have a happy healthy baby that we get to raise here with us. We will be over joyed whether it is a girl or a boy.
I ran out of time to talk about my pregnancy so far compared to my pregnancy with Calvin. I'd love to share those details so I will try to blog again soon to give you all an update! I also would like to update you on what has been happening with Bibles for Babies...amazing things! I would love for you all to continue to pray for our peace in this pregnancy and the baby's health.
I hope everyone has a very safe and Happy New Year!!
Love to you all,
11 weeks 6 days baby #2
Christmas Eve with baby #2
Our candle lit for Calvin on Christmas Eve
The wooden tree has a poem about missing someone on Christmas