This is another post that I’ve been wanting to write. I’ve been praying about how to put this into words. Please know that there is no judgement in my words. This is just the path that God has led me down and the things that I have been convicted about. In no way do I presume that your journey is the same as mine. I pray that you know that!
Shortly after Hannah died, I struggled with whether or not I wanted more children. When I decided that I didn’t want any more kids, I remember asking Zach about 5 times a day if he was going to leave me. I felt so guilty for ‘changing the rules’ of our marriage, but everything was different. When your child dies, things change. They just do.
I knew that fear play a huge role in my choice. I was afraid that it would happen again. But more than being afraid, I didn’t trust that God would give me another child. I felt like the trust I had in Him had been so broken, and I wasn’t going to give Him another opportunity to let me down. So, I shut God out of that part of my life.
I tried to have peace with the decision I made. I convinced myself that the pain of losing another child was greater than the desire I felt to have another baby. I made plans for myself – I was going to go back to school and start a career. I even wanted to move away and start putting the pieces of my life together someplace else. But nothing gave me peace. Later, I realized it was because I had made all these plans and decisions without God.
We took our annual family vacation in July. Instead of spending a week at the beach as a family of three, it was just me and Zach. Somehow, on the outside, things were exactly the same as they had been the year before, but everything was different. We stayed in a cottage with some of our best friends. There were two families of four, one couple expecting their first child in a few months, and then us. I felt like we didn’t belong. I was a mom, just like them, but I couldn’t relate.
It was the first time in months that I had spent a significant amount of time around other people, let alone children. I was used to being alone. I can’t tell you how painful it was to wake up to the sound of children. One night after dinner, Zach and I decided to see a late movie. When we got back to the house late that night, the difference between our lifestyle and our friends’ was obvious, and it was painful. If Hannah had been with us, we wouldn’t have been able to go. I realized then that I probably couldn’t handle going on our family vacations anymore. It was too hard, and I was mentally exhausted. We packed up and left the next morning.
Right after we got back, I spent a lot of time with God. I was fighting with the choice that I had made. I surrendered and felt God tell me that if we were meant to have more children, He would give me more children and He would give me the desire to have more babies. Also, if we weren’t meant to have any more kids, He would answer that too. It wasn’t a choice that I had to make alone – the burden wasn’t mine. When I finally gave up the control, I had peace. I knew that either way, it was up to God, not me.
Three weeks after we got back from vacation (and 5 months to the day since I felt Hannah move for the last time), I found out that I was pregnant with our second child. The timing was such a ‘God thing’!
There are no guarantees that the outcome of this pregnancy will be any different than the first. In this life, we aren’t promised tomorrow. And yes, I’m terrified that I will go through this process and have to bury another child. But just like with Hannah, even if I knew the outcome, I would do it again without hesitation. Every day that I carry this precious life is a gift. And I am loving every second of it!