Monday, January 18, 2016

Niece or Nephew?

In December, my brother and his wife had the appointment where they had the anatomy scan and were able to find out the gender if they wanted, which they did. They invited my mom and I along to the appointment. Looking back, in ways I wish I hadn't gone. The night before, I had written the post talking about how God gives us today's strength for today. I was feeling good and had come to a place in my heart where I would accept whatever the baby's gender turned out to be. But to be honest with you, deep down, I felt the baby was a boy. Maybe that's partly because I so wished it would be. I had decided I didn't want to be at the appointment, but at the last minute ended up going.

Partly why I decided to go was because only one adult is supposed to go back with a pregnant patient, so I didn't think my mom and I would be allowed back anyways for "the moment" finding out. My brother asked the nurse when they were called back if we could come too and she said yes. The ultrasound tech pulled up the precious little one on the screen and after a while, J & K asked if she could tell the gender. Honestly, it looked to me like there was something between the legs, indicating a boy. But finally, she said... the baby is a girl.

I didn't want to show my initial disappointment. Because this is their baby and their joyful moment, not my baby and my sad moment. But it's hard to hide genuine emotions.

I just couldn't believe it. Why does it always seem like if it's going to be the hardest possible on my heart, it will be? I am afraid I won't be able to bond with this baby in the same way I would had Lily lived or had she been a boy instead. Maybe once she's born I'll feel differently.

It's another little girl, the first girl born in my family after Lily, and she is to be born at Lily's hospital. The due date is May 13th. It's just a bit too much for my heart. It's painful to think of my parents holding their granddaughter, when my girl should have been the first they experienced all those moments with. My dad didn't even see or hold Lily.

J & K must know how I feel. I obviously know they don't want to hurt me and they didn't plan this, but I wish they would bring it up and tell me they understand and are here for me. I wish they'd say something because the silence makes me feel isolated and guilty for feeling this way, though I know there are many in similar shoes who understand.

I am truly excited for them and happy to be an aunt. The thing is though... I want to only be joyful. But it's so hard thinking this baby will replace Lily in all the firsts my family would have experienced with her had she lived. I can't force the feelings that aren't there. I don't want to feel sad, I don't want this to be painful for me. But I cannot make the pain dissolve. I can only entrust my feelings into my faithful Father's hands and ask Him to carry them for me because I know I cannot carry them myself. I can ask Him to hold my heart as I ache not knowing if I'll ever see my parents with a living child of mine. That would help so much. But not having a man or any prospect of one makes it that much more difficult hearing news like this.

December was a tough month for me... with Christmas and finding out the gender news and with Owen's birthday and knowing Lily would be turning 6 soon as well. It felt like one emotional blow after another.

I wish I could say right now that I am perfectly contented with the fact this baby is a girl, but that wouldn't be honest. It is extremely difficult. The only thing I know to do now is to enter into my war room (I'm referencing the amazing and powerful movie War Room about prayer). I can only ask the Lord to give me love for this child, love that is not tainted by pain. I can only choose not to allow my feelings to rule me, though the feelings may remain. I can choose to have fun shopping for a baby girl, like for things such as the sweet ultrasound frame above. I can choose to lavish my love on my niece.

The way I will love my niece has been largely influenced by my love for Lily and even by her death and how I've learned to cherish the days we're given in a deeper way than ever before. There is a great lesson in learning to step forward in love and faith, even when our feelings don't always line up... maybe that's exactly where I'm supposed to be right now. Please pray for my heart if you think of me.

Multiple people have said that perhaps this new life will help bring further healing to my heart... I'm not sure how that will happen, but I'm asking God for it to be true.

You can read all the posts I've written about Lily's cousin by clicking HERE.


1 comment:

  1. Hey! I like that you are always honest and open about your feelings (it shows you are genuine). I hope that you find a way to put the "anxiety" into God's hands and let Him help you through this exciting, but at the same time sort of sad time for you. Here whenever you need to chat girl!


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