Journal Entry: June 1, 2018
It is June 1, 2018. 17 weeks since we held him, for the first and last time. It hit me this morning. It hit me that next week, June 8, will be 1 year since we got those two pink lines on those two home pregnancy tests. It will also be 18 weeks since we held him, for the first and last time. It will be 1 year since I left a onesie that said “Daddy Loves This Girl”, with the two positive pregnancy tests, on my husband’s chair, as my way of telling him we were finally expecting. He initially thought that I was telling him the gender of my sister’s baby – it only took him a few more seconds to realize what I was telling him. He was so happy, we were elated.
A while later I began to think of everything else that June has in store for me.
My birthday. 17 weeks and 1 day ago I would have told you that turning 30 was no big deal. I had already decided, months before turning 30, that I would stay home, with my little family of three. That is how I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday, nothing more, nothing less. It would be perfect. But, I feel differently about it now. I dread it. I dread turning 30 without my Marshall in my arms. I really want it to just be another day, I don’t even know if the words Happy and Birthday can go together, as I turn another decade old on June 18.
Back to the fertility doctor. June 19, one day after turning 30, I will make my way back to the fertility doctor. The same doctor who helped us get pregnant with Marshall. The same doctor who showed us Marshall’s heartbeat for the first time, at our six week ultrasound. I was always open to the possibility of going back to see the fertility doctor, to get pregnant with our second baby. I just didn’t think it would be so soon. I thought my first visit back to the fertility doctor would be under different circumstances. I thought that my first visit back to the fertility doctor would be to introduce Marshall to the doctor who helped us make his life possible.
My youngest nephew’s first birthday. I met my youngest nephew for the first time, shortly after we went to our first ultrasound for Marshall. That day will forever be one of the best days of my life. Seeing my first baby’s heartbeat for the first time and meeting my sweet, newest little nephew, all in one day, was about enough to make my heart explode with love. This little boy brings me so much joy, watching him grow and learning his personality has been so much fun. Being an aunt to all three of my nephews is one of my life’s greatest joys. I can’t wait to celebrate the year that my youngest nephew has been in our lives. June 22nd will be a beautiful, joyful day.
The six week ultrasound. The ultrasound where the flicker of our baby’s heartbeat was all we could see on the screen, between each flicker the screen would go blank. But the joy that came with each flicker, after 17 months of struggling to get pregnant, was immeasurable. June 23 will mark 1 year since we saw our baby for the first time.
June crept up on me somehow. Or at least that’s how I feel about it. I knew these days would come and I knew that most of them would be incredibly hard. But, somehow I had lost sight of this. I think I got so caught up in anticipating how I will manage to get through February 2nd 2019, that I forgot that I still have to make it through all of these other firsts. The firsts since losing my Marshall. I expected and prepared for a very different world of firsts. First time of sleeping through the night, first smile, first giggle, first tooth, first steps.
I do not like these firsts that I now have to settle for, and I do not want these firsts. The first year since I found out I was pregnant with the child I will never get to lul to sleep. The first year since the six week ultrasound where I saw the baby I so desperately want to watch grow right now. The first year since I first heard the heartbeat of my baby that will never get to take a breath. The first of each holiday without the traditions I’d planned to start, with our first baby. The first cry in the card section at the store, over the cards I will never give and the ones I will never receive. But, I will endure these firsts, and seconds, and thirds, forever, for the rest of my life. What choice do I have.
But there is that one gem of a day in June that makes so much sense. That day when my youngest nephew came into this world.
I can very distinctly remember the day my sister told me she was expecting. I could see this fear in her eyes. The fear that comes when you are telling your older sister, who you know wants so desperately to be pregnant, that you are expecting. I was so happy when she told me. And, yes, I was a touch sad for myself. I hope she felt only my joy and happy. I tried my damnedest to show her only those emotions, because I was, and still am, very happy for her.
JESUS REPLIED, “YOU DO NOT REALIZE NOW WHAT I AM DOING, BUT LATER YOU WILL UNDERSTAND” JOHN 13:7
I wanted to know everything she was experiencing throughout her pregnancy. I wanted to know what she was feeling. I wanted a glimpse into the days I still had hope for, for myself. I’m certain I drove her crazy with all of my questions and constant worry.
I also remember that day, last June, when my husband agreed to let me tell my sister we were expecting. She was the first to know. It was a hot June day spent at my oldest nephew’s all star baseball games. My sister was merely weeks from her due date and miserably hot. I looked past her miserable because I couldn’t wait to tell my baby sister, my best friend, that I was expecting. She had nothing but joy when I shared the news with her.
My sister. We share everything, we are sisters by blood, friends by choice. We share our joys, our fears and much of the in between. She celebrated every milestone of my pregnancy with me, she held me and sat by my side in the hospital as I processed what was happening and ultimately went numb. She is the mother to this sweet, happy boy, that has brought so much joy into my life.
This boy, the timing of my sister becoming a mother, this is something that doesn’t only bring me joy, but it is something that I can make sense of. Something I can make sense of, in spite of the one thing I will never be able to make sense of. I believe that there are many, far grander reasons in God’s timing. But, I certainly believe that one of the reasons this boy came into our lives when he did, is because God knew how much joy this boy, and watching my sister mother, would bring me. He knew how it would help me keep going. He knew these two people would bring me joyous light on very, very dark days.
So, June, you will hurt. But, you also hold a day when I get to celebrate a beautiful life and an amazing piece of God’s plan – for that, I am most grateful.