Three weeks ago, we found out we're having a boy! He looks healthy so far, but I'm having a hard time simply believing and hoping that everything will turn out according to the way I want. I want this baby to make it to my due date alive, survive the labor and delivery process, and be totally healthy and normal, where my worst problems might be colic or regurgitation issues or a bit of jaundice, but I know that I'm not guaranteed anything. I have a more in-depth ultrasound scheduled for next week with a perinatologist. My regular OB assures me that although this pregnancy is technically considered high-risk, he is treating me as a low-risk patient with the exception of referring to Dr. Maher, a consult which I requested.
When our 17-week ultrasound showed male anatomy, my heart sank. I had hoped so much for a little girl to step into the empty nursery that Quinn wasn't able to use, to wear her special clothes and to use the girly things I had made and bought for her. In a bizarre sort of way, I thought having another girl would keep me from having to sort the baby room, keep me from going through memories that I didn't want to face, and allow me to deny how great a loss we have.
Our gigantic church yard sale is coming up next month, and with that in mind, something clicked inside me. Without a lot of forethought, I walked into Quinn's room, opened up drawers and started removing all the baby girl things. Pretty onesies, pink sleepers, cute pacifiers, hair bows, tights--all on the floor. I opened her wardrobe doors, and the pink hangers went flying. I soon called Helen to help me, and we admired all the little clothes that she had worn as a baby. Somehow I was able to handle all those precious things without sitting in a puddle of tears. I had angry moments and sad moments, but overall it felt good.
And then I saw this:Quinn's sweet, sweet dress that my mother-in-law made for her. Ruth had picked out the fabric, and I chose the cut, smocking pattern and colors of embroidery floss. She used antique buttons from my stash to close the back of the dress. It was and is precious, and it's not going anywhere.
At the MOPS Convention in Nashville, I had the privilege of hearing Mary Beth Chapman speak about the loss of her five-year-old daughter. Those were tender moments, but believe me, I saved my ugly cry for meeting her at the book signing. Oh yes. She said that her grief had been like a dark forest that she didn't want to leave, for fear of leaving Maria behind. God showed her that all around the forest was a beautiful meadow of flowers, and that Maria wasn't in the forest, but in the light, joy-filled meadow. Leaving her intense darkness behind was actually a step toward her daughter. She also said that you never get OVER it, but you get THROUGH it.
Here's the thing: Heaven is real, and Quinn is there with Jesus. She is not living in my memories. She actually is alive in Heaven, right now. As someone told the Chapmans, my future with her is definitely going to be longer than my past with her! It's those truths and the grace of God that help me move forward in hope. Knowledge of an eternity in Heaven helps my situation fall into perspective.
So I do wait in hope for this new baby boy, with the confidence that God's grace and compassion are perfectly sufficient for me in any situation. (And we're still stuck on the name!)