The truth is, I’ve been holding back. I’ve been holding onto this baby as tightly as I can, in whatever way possible. Grasping any ounce of control that I think I can in order to feel that I am protecting this little life and my terrified heart. I have done this mostly by not sharing her much with others until very recently. This control that I thought would help me, had been wearing at me in ways I didn’t recognize. The anxiety was building regardless of keeping her a secret. The sleepless nights were getting more frequent. The haunting images of my past losses were constantly popping into my mind whenever they felt fit. The day before I shared the news last week, it became obvious that my control was controlling me.
I had developed stress hives for about a week, a response my body was having to the anxiety. All over my body, these huge welt-like hives would appear in response to this stress and underlying fear. In a week’s span I pulled 3 all nighters, wide awake just terrified of the possibility of losing her and re-living another nightmare of having to endure this pain all over again. At the end of that week, I had my anatomy scan, the one that most women love. They scanned over every inch of her little body. I was shaking the entire time, just waiting for them to tell me that something was wrong. But those words never came. When my doctor walked into the room for our routine appointment to follow, I instantly fell into tears. I cried big messy tears of confession, confession that I was losing it. I was terrified and it was only getting worse. I hadn’t slept in two days, my baby was fine and I still couldn’t shake this daunting panic. Our dear friend who happens to work at my OBGYN office and accompanies each appointment with us said to me as tears rolled down our faces, “Do you think you could try to begin to imagine what life will look like when she gets here?” I shook my head no. I can’t think that far ahead.
My husband I and went for a long drive and found a little diner for brunch. I was exhausted in so many ways, but the tears wouldn’t stop. The emotions I have been trying to control for 5 months just came pouring out and once the flood gates opened, I couldn’t stop them. Across the table, he looked me boldly into the eyes and for the first time in this pregnancy-he told me what I needed. He has been patiently allowing me to do this however I feel I need to, but he knew that day it was time to be frank with me. “It’s time. I think you should write. I think it’s time to share the load with the people who want to share it with us. We can’t do this on our own any longer.” The next day I shared the news, in my previous blog post. I was terrified but his encouragement all day long gave me courage.
I haven’t had hives since. Of course I am still a ball of nerves, but sharing her with you all has lightened this burden more than I could have ever imagined. The encouragement, the prayers, the sweet smiles and the over flowing hope have offered my mind and heart some rest. I am not in this alone anymore. When we shared her gender a few days ago, I was amazed at the outpouring of love for this little girl that came our way. I received pictures of sweet little dresses that had been purchased for her within 3 hours, messages from those who have already started knitting her blankets, friends wanting to bless her with their cherished hand-me-downs and baby items. Instead of all of this overwhelming me in a frightening way, it has helped my heart expand.
You see, the gift you have all given me-is the gift of limitless hope for this little girl. When these sweet gestures began pouring in I realized why it was so powerful to me…it’s because you all have the hope that she will live. She is being showered with gifts for her future. Future. And you have inspired me to change my perspective as well. So thank you, to all of you who are spoiling us with hope and expectancy. It is a firm reminder that we have every reason to hope, to plan and to expect good things from our Lord simply because He promises us good things. I don’t know what lies ahead but on the days I feel light, I am daring to dream. And on the days I feel heavy, I know you are daring to dream for us.
This baby is so loved. So thank you, thank you for loving us enough to love her already. We are humbled by your continued prayers for our family.
I am so glad that we chose to share her. Because she is so worth sharing.