I didn't want to be pregnant again. I wasn't ready for it. I don't know if I ever would have been.
I was terrified of being pregnant. It wasn't the bliss it had been. I walked in a cloud of fearful doubt.
Pregnancy didn't mean the beginning of dreams. It meant the end of them. The death of innocent and new.
With my first two pregnancies, I didn't care about the gender of my three babies. I just wanted healthy and whole.
But . . . with the third pregnancy, I desperately wanted a girl. I felt I needed a girl. I selfishly believed God owed me a girl.
I was nervous for that anatomy scan. Nervous for so many things I couldn't put voice to. So, I took all that anxiety and wrapped it up, only focusing on the gender.
Then we learned it was a boy (even though I already knew down deep) and I tried not to cry as my husband smiled. And no matter how hard I looked at the screen with all that gray movement, I only saw one baby, not two.
Even a year later, it still felt like a dream. My babies didn't really die?! If I could just wake up there would be two. Two figures, two heartbeats, four legs kicking me.
It was a boy and I was upset. More upset that he wasn't them and I couldn't even pretend. More upset that the nightmare was real and there was nothing to wake up from, blink and it all goes away. Funny how through it you have all these things to let you know you are awake but it still feels like a dream. Like someone else's life.
The day of the anatomy scan was the last day I stopped believing I dreamt it all.
I felt I deserved a girl. My husband prayed for a boy. Not because of the typical daddy wants a boy so he can throw a ball around with him but because he didn't know if his broken heart could look at a baby girl and not see Emmy and Vivi.
Here's the thing about God: He gives you what you need, not always what you want.
I needed a boy. For reasons I can't explain, I needed him.
I struggle hard somedays has I hold him. I struggled hard with guilt when we brought him home. I rock him and feed him and stare at him as he sleeps in my arms. I get to do all these things with and for him but not them.
I wanted to. I wanted to do all these things for and with them and I didn't get to and somehow, someway, I feel guilty for not being able to.
His little head has caught the pain of missing his sisters as it falls from my eyes. I'm holding him and snuggling him and I can still feel the weight of those empty arms.
I still feel the weight of them.
I get to hold close and breathe in the weight of him.
I get to love them all, all in a different way.
I'm trying to navigate being a mother to children in two different worlds. No matter what the differences may be, I am a mommy to all four of them. Nothing changes that.
Not even death.