Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Big Sister

In April, David surprised me with news that he was taking me to Cannon Beach, Oregon for Mother's Day weekend. Throughout my life Cannon Beach has been a place of refuge and renewal for my heart, so I was very excited to arrive. I couldn't wait to have a long talk on the beach with God. 

That Mother's Day weekend, I let it all out... I cried and angrily told God how mad I was that He could have healed Ava, but He didn't. He could have saved her, but He didn't. He didn't answer my prayers...

or so I thought... 

It was there, on the beach in front of Haystack Rock, that He gently reminded me that He had answered my prayers, just not in the way I had planned or wanted.

I had prayed for a daughter and He had given me one to live inside me for 18 weeks. I held her in my womb every second of her life. 

As I reflected on that, I felt Him speak to me -  "You will get pregnant again and you will have a son." 

I shook my head dismissively and didn't think much of it until June 9th. I was a few days late and decided to take a pregnancy test. To my surprise, the pregnancy test was positive! 

Life was and has been a roller coaster of emotions from that moment as I have been processing the fact that I have a new life growing inside me and that Ava is a Big Sister in heaven. 

Our 6 week appointment showed a heartbeat and a tiny life beginning to take form.

We really wanted both Gideon and Ava to be part of the pregnancy announcement and I was struggling on how to incorporate Ava. I recently joined a Pregnancy After Loss Support Group online via FB and a group of mothers shared their "Announcement-after-loss" ideas with me. All of the ideas were beautiful, but one stuck out to me in particular.

I went to Etsy and contacted Lisa from CustomInkSpirations and ordered pink angel wings to use for Ava's presence in the announcement. Lisa was wonderful to work with and shipped the beautiful handmade wings quickly. We then posted this Facebook announcement and picture.

8 weeks
"Our family is excited to announce that we are expecting a 'Rainbow' Baby, due February 2015. A Rainbow Baby is a child conceived after the death of a previous child. The term refers to the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravage of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath of the previous child's death. It is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds as a sign of hope and joy for the future."

When Ava died, my eyes were forcefully opened to how fragile life truly is and how it can be gone at any moment. I am overjoyed knowing that we are expecting our third child and that Gideon and Ava are a Big Brother and a Big Sister to this new baby. 

It's also absolutely terrifying. 

I miss the innocence and naivety I once had. I now know from experience, how plans, lives and dreams can change in a nanosecond. 

I am scared the past will repeat itself. It is a daily struggle, but by the grace of God, I am learning to let go of my fears and worries and replace them with joy and hope.

I know Ava would would want me to love her little brother or sister just as much as I love her. I want to remember and cherish every moment of this pregnancy.

Ava would want it that way.