Today, my oldest and I went to the store and picked out a Christmas onesie and jammies for our little "Vash" (no, still no name - we'll see her before naming her, it's HER name rather than ours, after all). This sounds like no big deal, but it is to me.
Let me explain.
Over the course of the last year, I've made lots of friends who are photographers for NILMDTS (the organization that does bereavement portraits). I've made lots of friends who are loss-moms like me. I'm too familiar with the stories - stories like mine of losing babies before 20 weeks, of those who lose babies in the second trimester... and also of those who lose their babies at 32 weeks, 39 weeks, 41 weeks, during labor, just after delivery, and every other possible scenario.
I know a lot of people think that, now that I'm past when both my babies had died, I should feel like I'm safe and on the home stretch and just a bundle of joy! But that's just not how it is. My eyes have been opened and I am no longer in that joyfully innocent group of women who will ever feel "safe" at ANY point in pregnancy ever again. In fact, the closer I get to my due date, the more I have to remember "fear is the opposite of faith, must have faith, do not entertain fear as it is an insult to faith." If I have a mantra, that's it. "Do Not Entertain Fear, It Is An Insult To Faith." So while I try to push away the fear DAILY, I'm also not blind, innocent, or naive. The closer I get to my due date, the more I feel like I've been SO lucky so far, and that my luck could still run out at any moment. It gets hard to breathe. Tears stay so close to the surface that I feel like I just want to hide in my room and cry nearly every day. My heart literally hurts, sometimes to where I wonder if I'm going to have a heart attack! But, I push it away. I put on a happy face. I rub my belly and tell her how much I love her and am so excited to meet her next month (I dare not wish her to come before SHE is COMPLETELY ready, it's just as scary to me as anything else). I beg her to stay with me.
Back to the jammies. Why is it such a big deal?
Because I'm preparing for a baby that could still be taken away at any moment. I've heard too many stories of having to pack up nurseries or box up clothes that were all washed and ready to go. Buying these jammies is a HUGE leap of faith that I won't have to gift them to someone else or box them up for another pregnancy/baby. It's a step where I'm forever trying to quash the fear and hold tight to that faith that I'm really going to get to hold (and keep) my little "Vash."
Laugh if you must, but laying those items on the counter, swiping my debit card, bringing them into the house, and next will be hanging them up... every step of it has made me want to cry. But I'm refusing to allow myself to do so. Because "fear is an insult to faith." I've bought a few things along the way, even dug out old things from my other kiddos, but none has been with such intent - gifting these jammies to her on Christmas Eve... it makes the assumption that she'll be there for Christmas. Buying a girl outfit because we were told we're having a girl... it assumes we're having a girl. Buying a gift for her assumes she'll get to open it. That's much more realistic (as opposed to fantasy/dreams) than anything else I've done so far.
So... less than 4 weeks until my due date. If you're a praying person, pray for me to be able to overcome fear and increase my faith. Pray that this little girl will grow healthy and strong and happy.