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December 4, 2012

Grief Update: I’m Still Freaked Out

Henry is to be born in less than three weeks. I feel him kicking all the time. I’m at the point where I’m going to the doctor and hearing his heartbeat every week. People ask when I’m due almost every day. Some days all I can think about is holding and nursing this little boy. I know just which blanket to swaddle him in (until he poops through it).


And yet . . . part of me is still not convinced that we will bring a healthy, whole baby home from the hospital.


As strong as my faith and the support of John, family, and friends are, grief still creeps up on me from time to time. I don’t see it coming; I don’t recognize what it is until I’m already crying. Thank goodness I’ve been able to schedule doctor’s appointments early in the day, because I was a mess before the last one, almost shaking before I went in. When I’ve chosen to wait until the afternoon, the whole day feels wrong.


This is a time when I am reminding myself that God can get me through this. He got me through a difficult time earlier this year, and I have no reason to doubt His constancy or His promise. I am reminding myself that it is okay to be afraid, anxious, or whatever else—as long as I don’t let it end there. Yes, these next few weeks are a scary time. Yes, something could go wrong. But we’re doing everything we can to avoid that. And after we do everything we can, the only thing left to do is to have faith. Perhaps that’s really the only thing to do in the first place.


Most of the time, I am okay. Better than okay! I’m excited to meet this little guy. I can’t wait to see Jacob interact with him. I want to be snuggled on the couch with my best friend beside me, gazing at yet another one of God’s beautiful creations—a creation which we had the privilege of being part of. I know there will be times ahead when there’s a whole lot of noise and not as much peace as I’d like. I’m trying to take the quieter moments now and store them away, so that when things do get hard, I will know how badly I wanted whatever is to come.


The reality of this pregnancy is that doctor’s appointments are tough for me. I don’t sleep well nor am I super pleasant to be around the day and night before. On the other hand, I am blessed with a doctor who is intelligent, rational, compassionate, and downright funny. He understands my fears and does his best to allay them at every visit.


My grief isn’t totally gone. It never will be. I sometimes worry what my next—God-willing—pregnancy will look like. Will I be this nervous? Will I be so fearful? Will I continue to be taken by surprise by my own emotions?


I’m still freaked out. But that’s not what matters. What’s important is that I still have hope, faith, and most of all, love.

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