A few months ago I found out I was pregnant with baby number 4. My immediate reaction was overwhelming fear that left me feeling like I was drowning. After my youngest was born I told my husband that he would be our last because the pregnancy had been so difficult and I didn’t think my body could go through it again. I nursed my youngest for a little over 2 years. I persevered through postpartum depression, being depleted of vitamins despite continuing the prenatal our entire nursing relationship which caused eczema and my hair to fall out.
So, when the guilt of fearing this pregnancy set in I decided to be gentle with myself. I allowed these feelings to be felt, and even understood. I did not burry them, instead, I allowed myself a voice. I expressed these fears to friends and family who, to my surprise, were very understanding and sympathetic.
As the pregnancy progressed I became very concerned about the baby’s health. All 3 of my previous pregnancies have been pretty much the same; morning sickness like clock work, aches and pains and emotions running ramped. This time, nothing felt “normal” or what is normal for my body. No sickness, tender breasts, or wacky emotions. If I did not have 4 positive pregnancy tests staring me in the face I would not know I was even pregnant.
I brought these concerns to the midwife at my first appointment; the initial appointment to determine if the pregnancy was viable. She acknowledged my concerns and then there it was, a heart beat on the screen in front of me. Suddenly, it was real despite having no symptoms. I was petrified of the ultrasound and had prepared myself emotionally in the event there was no heart beat. But before me was evidence of life at 160 beats per minute; fluttering like butterfly wings in black and white. A gush of air left my body as I didn’t even realize I had been holding my breath; and just like that my fears seemed to melt away as I feel in love with the rhythmic beating of that tiny little heart.
A long time ago I decided on a name if I ever had a little girl; one that holds a special meaning for me. For that name to fit so perfectly now, years later, amazes me.
It is a word I put on repeat during some difficult times in my life, and I have held on to it all these years, and that word is hope. Without hope, we have nothing
It dawned on me a few weeks ago that if this baby turned out to be a girl and we named her hope I would have subconsciously given a “theme” to my kids names.
To love God, to be strong, to avoid conformity, and to never loose hope.
How amazing is it that I would do that subconsciously? For God to magnify himself in my life so completely and fully after all these years feels like something has come full circle and we are complete.
My grandmother died a year ago and there is a lot of pain there. She was my rock growing up and I feel like she is here with us, loving this baby girl as much as she loved us all.
When I was getting my ultrasound at 13 weeks the technician could not tell me the sex but did say this after I told her I assumed the baby was a boy, “don’t loose hope for a girl….”
I can not wait to hold my sweet Hope Ellen. I pray one day she understands how much she was desperately wanted and how much magic, hope, faith, and love she brought to our family.