After The Storm There Is A Rainbow

Spring has come early and I love this time of year. We have spent lots of time outside in the warm sun, the trees have been budding, and the flowers are in bloom. I’ve thought to myself many times over the past two weeks that these would be great Lake Campus days (a reference to my time at Davidson College). The spring also brings thunderstorms that remind me of my childhood in Florida. And if it is a quick afternoon storm, it is often followed by a rainbow, where the sun meets the edge of the storm.

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While we are enjoying the new life that comes with the warmer weather, we are enjoying a slightly unexpected bloom of our own.

We are pregnant again.

I took a pregnancy test wondering if it could be true — there was an extremely faint line next to the control line. I didn’t know what to think of it or what to do. It is so soon. Could I have residual pregnancy hormones in my body from my pregnancy with Arthur? He was born just two and a half months ago. Or is this a new life that has just begun inside me? In an effort to not get too worked up over nothing, I waited a few days to take another one. If it yielded a darker line, it would indicate my pregnancy hormones were increasing, not decreasing from our previous pregnancy. A visit to the midwife a few days ago confirmed what I did at home.

With joy (and cautious excitement) I share with you that Arthur is an older brother now, and we are parents to three children. Baby 3’s due date is at the end of October and Little Bit is currently the size of a blueberry. Babies that follow pregnancy loss are called rainbow babies, and this is certainly something happy for our family following the stormy road we walked with Arthur.

What am I doing telling you this so early? Kittery, aren’t you breaking the rule about waiting until you’re in the clear for miscarriage after 12 weeks of pregnancy?

Arthur changed us.

All life is worth celebrating. Even this one, this early. Yes, I am terrified of miscarrying or another hard diagnosis. It would be hard to have to tell you about a loss after putting this out here right now. I did things different the first two times, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. But whether this life ends this week, or continues well on past birth, I want you to know about this one, that we are a family of 5, and how loved he/she is by Mommy and Daddy.

It completes my joy. When you really love something, you tell people about it. You don’t keep a good thing to yourself. I have counted the cost and I’m willing to risk having to share the heartbreak if it means I can share the joy with you now. I have smiled and cried all at the same time when sharing the news with people this week, and it has felt so good. While there are a whole host of other feelings I am feeling, it helps to complete the joy I do have for you to hear about this exciting update for our family.

We need prayer. We have benefited greatly from the army of people praying for us. This carried us as we carried and loved Arthur, and we don’t want to miss out on that in the beginning of this one’s life. While I have been taking my extra folic acid religiously every night and I am doing all that is within my power to be healthy, I am keenly aware that I have no more control over this pregnancy than I did my previous two. I know God is in control and that we need to be pleading with Him, the Author and Creator of life, for this little one. I know I need prayer as I am prone to, more than ever, worry and fear as I start this pregnancy.

As you pray for us, please keep these things in mind: Pray for this little one. That he/she would grow. That the neural tube would close and that there would be health. For me, I have lost my innocence when it comes to pregnancy. I am afraid to dream for this one. Because of our experience with Arthur, I am afraid to think past my next appointment, let alone the due date and beyond. Maybe this is a defense mechanism to protect myself from hurt, or maybe this is a healthy adjustment of living in the present. Pray also for my health, having potentially two deliveries within 12 months puts me at a slight risk. While I made a quick recovery from my delivery in December, my body is still healing somewhat from that pregnancy.

We are so very thankful for your support and prayers throughout the past eight months and we feel confident that whatever lies ahead for our growing family, God will give us the grace we need and His people will uphold us in prayer and in deed.

This is my favorite picture of Arthur. I haven’t shown it publicly yet because I know it might be shocking to some people. While his hat covers his anencephaly (lack of skull and exposed brain), I wasn’t sure what people would think of his eyes (one stayed open and one stayed shut most of the time). I think he is beautiful. This is the picture we sent to our family members to share our news, because this isn’t just the next chapter for us as parents, but it is the next chapter in Arthur’s story.

3 Months

I wish these could be monthly photos with you, son. But these will have to do. We love you and miss you, oh so much. Happy 3 months in heaven, Arthur!

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