almost a year and a half ago now, we were making plans for our unborn baby boy, jonathan.
not the kind of plans anyone would want to make, though. unfortunately, those plans included the course of treatment after birth (basically, how he would die) and funeral and burial plans instead of what colors his nursery would be or what he career he might choose when he grows up. and even in the making of those heart-wrenching plans for his death and burial, i knew that i would have to go to a baby store in order to get some of the things he needed, whether he lived or died. a blanket. a keepsake baby bible, perhaps. an outfit to be buried in.
we never knew when jonathan was going to be born. his due date was november 30th, but most trisomy babies don't make it to full term. we knew he would be small at birth. and, it stays warm here in florida sometimes through october and beyond, so i knew i needed not one but two outfits for jonathan...one for the warmer weather and one for if a miracle occured and he made it to full term in the late fall. i guess it wouldn't have made a difference what oufit he wore...but at the time, every choice we made for jonathan was made with careful consideration. it was part of our desire to do the best thing for him in the big things as well as the small, for as long as he was alive.
jonathan was buried on a warm and rainy day in october in a cute little light blue sailor-themed outfit, which even though it was sized "preemie", it still dwarfed his tiny four-pound body.
which left the winter outfit, a beautiful (and way too expensive, but hey...) light blue cable-knit sweater outfit to be returned to the store.
however, because it took me months to go through any of jonathan's things after he was gone, i didn't realize that i had missed the short time frame to return the outfit. i was stuck with it. i'll be honest, every time i came across it, it was hard to look at it. but eventually i decided to keep it because it was one of the few things he left behind for us to remember him by. it was tucked away into a box, up on a shelf.
pregnancy after a loss is full of ups and downs. i think most people who have experienced this would agree. one minute you're so excited and hopeful and the next, you're worried if there is something wrong you don't know about or that maybe the doctors missed on the ultrasound. you anxiously await those pregnancy milestones...seeing the heartbeat at 6 weeks, making it past the "miscarriage risk" at 13 weeks, then the gender/body scan, then viability, then full term...and all the weeks in between. the hardest thing i've experienced during this pregnancy is not the morning sickness, or the tiredness, or the pinched nerves and other aches and pains...it is the anxiety or doubt that comes creeping in at times. throw in some crazy ol' pregnancy hormones and it's easy to become a neurotic mess.
not to mention, i feel like i've been pregnant two years straight and still waiting on the baby to arrive.
oh wait, that is pretty much the truth.
but now, at 37 weeks pregnant, we're busy making plans for a new baby. we've had to believe and trust that evan is actually coming home with us. every single act of preparation we've made for him has involved a conscious decision to believe and trust God for this baby boy. it is only by this faith that we finally have the crib set up and clothes hung in his closet. that the carseat is down from the attic and has been cleaned. that the nursery is getting it's final touches. that my hospital bags are almost completely packed. that we are slowly but surely getting physically, emotionally, and spiritually ready to meet our newest son.
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." ~Isaiah 26:3
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ~Romans 15:13
there was definitely no "flip of a switch"-type of transition from one pregnancy to the next; it's certainly taken the whole nine months to truly accept the blessing of a new, healthy baby, as well as to realize that the acceptance of evan as our newest miracle doesn't mean that we have to leave all things jonathan-related behind in order to move foward. i've reached a point in my healing where i have decided that all of what jonathan left behind is something to be shared and treasured, not tucked away in hidden places.
and so, through the tenderness and timely provision of the Lord a year and a half ago, evan has the perfect outfit to wear when we bring him home from the hospital...