Lately, I’ve been knitting a lot. Currently, I’m working on a couple of gifts (the recipients of which will not be named) and a cardigan for my mom. Jacob, of course, is helping.
In the next couple weeks, I’m launching into a couple of projects I’ve had in mind for a while. Projects for our new little one.
We are just about nine weeks along with the tiny person we have thus far referred to as simply the Baby. Numbers don’t feel as appropriate this time around. While you, kind readers, all know this is our Number Three, it won’t appear that way to others, when I start to show. Or show more, as the case may be.
Can I just take a moment and say, do you have any idea how hard it is to write a blog about motherhood when you are secretly pregnant?
For that matter, do you know how tough it is to be secretly pregnant when you start to show at eight weeks, and have visitors for a weekend? A long weekend! Thankfully, our visitors were boys who, dear as they are to me, I don’t think suspected a thing. We were keeping things hush-hush until our ultrasound today. I told John I was very happy to have them just think I was getting a little chubby. Not like they’d say anything.
But now, here it is. Here she is, I think. I’m convinced this one is a girl; this is our Sarah Theresa. My conclusion is the result of a number of pieces of evidence:
- I feel it, in the same way you can see the face of your third-grade teacher in a dream, but you just know it’s your sister. Even if you don’t have a sister.
- I get daily hot flashes between two and three p.m. I’m no doctor, but I think it’s the estrogen.
- My mom prayed for a little girl at Notre Dame on Easter. Mary and I are pretty tight these days, and I trust very much in her intercession.
- John’s dad thinks/wants it to be a girl.
- John’s brother (hi, Michael!) had a dream in which we had a daughter. She was older than Jacob, but then, it was a dream. We can’t take it that literally. Let’s just interpret the bits that reinforce my theory.
So far I feel pretty good. Tired, hungry, but—and maybe this is just in my head—healthier than I did with Ethan. This pregnancy feels more like Jacob’s. With Ethan, I could not handle dairy. It just exhausted me. With this one, I crave chocolate, milk, chocolate milk, and baked goods. I like her already.
For a long time, I wouldn’t let myself write anything about this pregnancy. Not even if it wasn’t to be posted. For most of these last four weeks that we’ve known, I didn’t let myself type a single word. Though physical signs pointed to pregnant and a test at the doctor’s showed my hormone levels to be “fantastic; everything’s going to be perfect,” he said, I could not let myself believe that I was really pregnant.
I am so scared of losing this child. I realized I was trying to prepare myself for a still body and a flat line at the ultrasound, but there wasn’t really any way to prepare myself for that, should it happen. Still, I couldn’t hope too much—I couldn’t knit for this one or write about her—until I knew more. It seemed any way I turned I would only cause myself more pain. There is a fine line between hope and expectation, and I couldn’t manage to balance myself on it.
Then my belly popped and a few days later friends came to visit. While John and I agreed not to tell them until after the ultrasound the day after their visit, just being around other people more convinced me that there is another person here. I really am pregnant. Even without saying a word about it, being with John’s/our friends breathed a kind of life back into me.
I suppose it is fitting that we celebrated Pentecost this weekend, the feast of the Holy Spirit given to the Apostles, of the birth of the church. There is joy at the end of this Easter season, in a way that I didn’t have the courage to hope for. But then, here it is. God’s will, not mine, celebrated in the community of people we love. And a new little one to love too.
Expect some more consistent posting in the next few weeks—I have a lot to share. But then, I also need to take a nap every day, so let’s not set the bar too high. Hopefully, the sleepiness will subside in another month or so. The first trimester goes by pretty quickly when you don’t believe it’s happening. Score one point for denial.
Though I have a great sense of relief, peace, and joy today, please keep our family and our Little One especially in our prayers until she (or he, I guess) is in our arms. There was a possible cause for concern at the ultrasound, but our doctor assures us there’s no need to worry now. There was a strong heartbeat (thank God!) and our baby is just the right size.
We are due the second of January, but should the baby be late, it could be born on the anniversary of our losing Ethan. With that in mind, I’ve added a new piece to the necklace I wear every day. In addition to a cross and a miraculous medal, I wear a small garnet stone, the January birthstone, to remember Ethan and to ask him to pray for his little sister’s safe delivery.
Frightening as it’s been getting to this day, and as frightening as the doctor at the hospital would have us be, we need to hope. We need prayers. We need to believe that this little one is so loved already. And she is. I know that the future is in God’s hands. As scary as that seems sometimes, I really wouldn’t have it any other way.