The past week has felt a little different than the weeks before. It has only been about a month since we found out that Luna is not a perfectly healthy baby but it is very hard to remember what it felt like before that. Hopeful. Excited. Normal.
The further along we get, the more inevitable it seems that something will happen soon. And I guess that makes sense because we are getting closer to it no matter what that something is. It’s a totally different kind of preparation for a baby you don’t think you’ll get to keep then for a baby you expect to bring home and raise.
If Luna was healthy, we would be looking at cars that could fit three car seats and trying to get our one-year-old to sleep in a bed instead of the crib. I would be writing up lesson plans for my maternity leave and pulling out all the baby girl newborn clothes to wash and fold. I would have bought a new breast pump from my sister who could get me a good deal on a good brand.
But she’s not. So we are trying to prepare our three-year-old for the fact that we might not get to meet her. We are scheduling a million doctor appointments and hoping that we see or hear a heartbeat at each one. My baby “bump” is measuring about three months bigger than I am, so even though I am only 24 weeks next Monday, I am measuring at about eight months. So all the fatigue and discomfort that comes in the third trimester is already here. And I am starting to feel bitter that I have to go through all this and might not get a baby to snuggle at the end. Then I feel guilty for my bitterness.
Praise the Lord for small pieces of normalcy. This morning we had a maternity photo shoot with our dear friend Kim. It was a beautiful day for some outdoor shots and even if my kids weren’t easy to control, at least we got a couple of smiles out of them. I am very excited to see these pictures, but even more I am excited that we could do something that I would have done if Luna was healthy.
The whole time my husband was convincing my son to cooperate because it was something that mommy wanted, and “we want mommy to be happy.” It wasn’t about doing it special for Luna or doing it to remember Luna. As if we could forget. We were a family celebrating and recording a new baby and the family that baby is being born into. We were enjoying the tiny life that God blessed us with even if it is only for a few months and even if I am the only one that gets to feel her movements or if my heartbeat is the only one she gets to hear. It was a celebration and not an opportunity to mourn.
Just like my parents raised us all to remember and love Joshua who died of SIDS before I was born, all of my children will know and love Luna. They will count her in the sibling count just like I still count Josh and Jake. They will talk about her without apology and without fear because they will know all about her and what happened to her. We are not ashamed and neither will they be.
Today’s photo shoot reminded me to be thankful for every moment and celebrate ALL of God’s blessings even if they are not the blessings that we expect. Or the blessings that anyone expects. And I have already been blessed far beyond what I deserve. And I have so much to be thankful for.
Thank you, Kimmy for that reminder.