I’ll let you in on a little secret—I have been an emotional mess this pregnancy. Soon after we learned that our Patrick had passed away, I was itching to try again and add another baby to our family. If I could have left the hospital pregnant, I would have, but I knew a huge part of that was wrapped up in the longing I felt to hold and care for my sweet baby boy.
So we gave it some time, let my body heal physically, and tried to heal emotionally. I avoided babies. AT ALL COSTS. It turned into a little private joke with my husband, “I see babies. . . . They’re everywhere.” Dear friends and family members were pregnant, became pregnant. Babies at church, babies at my girls’ school, babies at gymnastics classes, babies at Target. e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.
Babies have been the thing in Hollywood lately, have you noticed? An actress seemingly can’t make a major movie, land a coveted role on TV, launch a clothing line, or make a Starbucks run without showing off her baby bump and selling her newborn’s first pictures to the highest bidder. The not-crazy part of me tried to remind myself this was normal—people had babies for a long time before I lost mine, and they’ll continue to have them for a long time after. It’s not a personal affront. No one is having a baby on purpose just to spite me! I would never in a million, billion, gazillion years ever wish my experiences on anyone. Ever. But there I was. Green-eyed didn’t even come close to how I was feeling.
I made myself visit a friend in the hospital soon after she had a baby—about five months after Patrick. I held her sweet little girl, took her newborn pictures, and it didn’t kill me. Another friend, an old high school buddy of my husband’s, came to town and I did family portraits for them with their three month old daughter. Again, I survived. I kept boys at a distance for a while, then eased into photographing them, too. They were sweet, smelled delicious. I did ok.
I could do this again, for us. Ryan and I knew that our family wasn’t quite finished yet. After Patrick, we’d wondered what the Lord wanted us to learn through our experience. After all, Patrick had been an answer to prayer—we knew before we got pregnant that it was the right choice for us. But in our planning, he was most definitely our last. We sold off all our baby girl items and focused on him, the boy to complete our family. With his loss, I came to a greater understanding of what my Heavenly Father wants of me—I will take any babies He sees fit to send.
So here I am, nervous and scared and anxious, but excited too. This baby girl is another answer to prayer. Part of me wants to wait and hold her in my arms before I make an ounce of preparation. Repainting the nursery, returning baby boy clothes to stores, that was a hard thing for me to watch last time. But I can’t let this sweet girl’s pregnancy be ruled by fear. So I’ve started slowly collecting girl clothes, girl blankets, sweet girly headbands. She deserves it, this precious little one of mine. And she’s going to have a lovely nursery to come home to, with things that I prepared for her brother and for her. I’m pinning and planning and online shopping constantly, scheming a way to stretch my dollars and create a beautiful space to celebrate our new daughter. Her place is her own, and I won’t have her overshadowed by the memory of her missing brother.
1. Swing Stripes Curtain Anthropologie / 2. Harper Nursery Bedding PBKids / 3. Bekvam Spice Rack, IKEA, photo by Domestic Simplicity / 4. recovered glider by Rock Paper Scissors Graphics / 5. Dresser I painted navy blue for Patrick / 6. dresser color, bedding color, and existing wall color
The bedding is the only thing I am not planning to DIY or change in some way before baby girl gets here. I have some projects on my hands. But I also have time—four months or so to gradually work on projects and get things in order. I’m sure I will be adding things like wall art and a DIY mobile to the mix, but for now, I want to get the basics in place so that it can all be ready when she comes home. I owe her that.