Confirmation of our pregnancy came today with the results of a blood test. I will return Monday to get poked once again. We are praying the results of that test will show a rise in hormone levels, which will help to give us some assurance that in these early months we will be okay.
I am in shock. Guarded. I am excited, already dreaming of what could be, but then I stop myself. I have learned that a positive pregnancy test does not result in having a baby in your arms. This harsh reality breaks my heart. I don't want to rob my little pumpkin seed of the joy, excitement, and anticipation. I need to trust and let myself go there, but this has happened so fast that it is still sinking in. In a bizarre way this makes me miss my Koen even more, maybe that's guilt. I have so many emotions swirling that I am not sure yet. I need time to sort through all of these feelings.
What I do know is that I am calm. I had asked for prayers for my anxiety over this journey and they are being felt. Thank you. I pray that this peace is also an indication, hopefully a promise, of what will come. I feel God's voice giving me reassurance, but it is easy to second guess that voice. My faith has grown in the last 6 months and I pray that this 9 month journey will grow my faith and trust even more.
Tonight at dinner I asked Hackett if he wanted to pray. He just pointed at my belly. I said "you want to pray for pumpkin seed?" He nodded. His prayer at dinner tonight: "Dear God. Please be with little pumpkin seed, help him get the food he needs, and help him to stay alive." That is my prayer too ...
With hesitation, fear, hope, and excitement we decided to try to conceive this month. Tonight after taking multiple pregnancy tests, we learned that God has blessed our stepping out in faith. We are pregnant. We have never gotten pregnant in the first month before. I am in awe.
Typically, we keep this a secret and only share with family. This time it is different, its not typical. You have traveled this journey with us the last 6 months and we want you to continue to walk these next 9 months with us.
I have been spotting for the last week. We were hopeful that it was an indicator of pregnancy, but it also scary. My faith has already begun to be tested, and I am sure it will continue to be stretched and grow in the months ahead. I am anxious, happy, in shock, tired, and hopeful.
Hackett is beaming with excitement, but also understands the risk. Sad to have to counterbalance such exciting news. We have decided to name this little one "Little Pumpkin Seed", but Hackett has plans for the pumpkin name to take on new forms in the months ahead.
I have already talked to my doctor three times in the last week. Today he told me to go later this week for a blood test, which will verify and also give him some indication of how I am doing. The testing and careful watching (which I want) has begun.
Thank you. Thank you for being there for us. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your support. Most importantly, thank you for your prayers.
We have so much to be thankful for. So many of you have poured so much love on us. This has been a difficult week for me, but I have been reminded of all the love and support we have received.
On Tuesday morning I was in really rough shape emotionally and sent out a "I need prayers" blast message. Immediately, I was enveloped in prayer. To have that level of support is a gift.
I called one of my dear friends yesterday in tears, she listened supported, loved me, and then ended up making me belly laugh so hard I couldn't talk. Last night another dear friend sent me a one liner text that literally made me laugh out loud. Today, Hackett's amazing teacher, interofficed me a Twix bar note from herself and from Hackett. How can I not have a good day after that?
Love has poured through Facebook. How amazing to instantly be connected to dear friends from high school and college. Time and space tends to move people apart, but through this, friendships have been renewed. What a treasure.
When I left California, I left part of my heart. Jewels, I was surrounded by jewels there. They became my sisters and their kids became Hackett's cousins. It tore my heart to leave. I still often replay the tearful goodbyes. To hit rock bottom without my sisters here to catch me was hard, but they continue to love me from afar.
We had lived in Michigan just a little over a year when I had Koen. New friendships and new acquaintances were being formed. This amazing community swooped in and wrapped us in their arms. They showed up. They were just getting to know us, but they showed up. Many of these friendships grew quicker faster as a result. We are home.
Hackett's sweet little school has been a gift from God. Not only did they take care of Hackett, but also me. Immediately there was support for Hackett at school when he returned after Koen's birth. Cards and presents were sent home in his backpack to me. They have poured out their love and support right through the summer and into this new school year. One of the angels at Hackett's school let me know that she greets Koen every day as she drives by the cemetery. They love our entire family, Koen too.
To our dear friends near and far, old and new, thank you, From the depths of my soul, thank you.
I have had a tough week emotionally. I have been doing so good at school staying focused, accomplishing tasks, and working well past my allotted "hours". Today I had trouble focusing. I have along list of things to do, but had to check out for the day. I hoped I would be more productive with my schoolwork at home this evening, but I am still struggling. The idea of seriously considering getting pregnant again has brought me to my knees - emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It has stirred so many feelings.
These past few weeks I went through photos on my computer. Finally developing and getting photo's on our walls. All of my photographs are stored in date order. I feel like even that tells our story. I wanted to document here, some of that journey in photographs. It is all part of my journey.
Very newly pregnant ... our family didn't even know yet. I can see the joy in my face.
February in Chicago. I remember being so tired this trip and it shows.
Our high school girls basketball made it to state semi-finals in March. Koen kicked that whole game. I remember it so fondly.
In April at Easter. Our best "family" picture.
Hackett grabbed my camera on Easter and wanted to take a picture of my belly. I agreed. I would have never suggested documenting my belly growth, but willingly would honor my Hackett's request. Now it is one of my most treasured photographs. A cropped version hangs on my bedroom wall and is a banner on this website.
We found out this day that Koen was a boy. I bought the outfit Hackett's doll is wearing - it said "Little Brother". I picked Hackett up from school and brought him to the car to tell him the news.
Look at his joy and excitement to be a big brother ...
At the Big Brother/Big Sister class at the hospital. Hackett was the star student. I am happy we did this, as sad as it is, because Hackett was able to see the maternity rooms prior to me being there.
Just a few weeks before Koen was born.
I took this picture 7 days before Koen was born to text to my friends so they could see how big my belly was getting.
I snapped a picture of this the day before Koen's birth. Hackett was upset and expressing his feelings on the deck. I am mad too ...
Koen's birth came and went without a single personal picture taken. The only picture I have is one I quickly took of the outfit I selected to bury him in.
Are we ready to try again? How do you decide you are ready to potentially to have your heart shattered again? I don't like to think I am a pessimist, but more of a realist. The reality is they don't know how the bacteria made it all the way to Koen and penetrated my placenta. I could have ten more babies with no issue, or maybe there is something more that tests have not been able to shed light on. I have been clinging to hope, hope that I will only lose one baby, and that someday I will hold another breathing baby in my arms. If we make this leap of faith and lose another one, not only will my heart be shattered, but my hope as well.
I have not stopped taking my prenatal vitamins. They are a daily reminder of so much. What I have lost, what I fear, what I hope for. I purchased an ovulation kit this month. I am ready, but am I "ready"? It took us over six months to get pregnant with Koen and even that was hard for me to endure. The waiting and then for six months the negative result. You get kind of crazy when you are so baby focused. How will it be now? If I cried with each negative result when trying for Koen, will I now spiral even worse? I had spotting in the first few months with Koen and I remember laying in bed crying waiting for the doctor to call back. How will I be now?
Kevin worked this last weekend, so I went to church alone (Hackett was in his class). They took a few silent minutes for us to pray in the dim lit church. I stood in back, tears streaming down my face, pleading so admittedly with God to bless our family, to give me peace and faith, and for my body. I am praying that I am overcome with a peace that cannot be explained in the months ahead as we begin to step out in faith ...
I have never dreamt of Koen before. No amazing visions of me rocking him or seeing him in heaven. Even in my dreams he is missing. A few weeks ago when I was crying in Koen's room, Hackett had found me there. I heard him find Kevin in the hall and whisper, "Mom's in Koen's room and she's crying." As a family we had a moment. Hackett went through Koen's things. He flipped through the pictures we have of him - some taken after his birth and some from ultrasounds. He snuggled Koen's quilt from the hospital. He went and got his Cabbage Patch Kid and wrapped him up for me to hold ... trying to provide some sort of comfort for mom. I just continued to sit in the rocking chair and cry. Kevin stared blankly out the window; quiet in his own grief. Later that night when I tucked Hackett in for bed I reassured him that I was okay. My sensitive and verbal little guy said "Mom, this may hurt your feelings, but seeing you cry was kind of weird for me. I don't see you cry much anymore." I explained that mom still cries, but typically in my own private time. I don't want him to feel like he has to fix me or put me back together. We talked about that, and also that he does not need to be sad just because I am. I am so incredibly thankful that he is so open, in tune, and honest with his feelings. That night when we said our prayers together Hackett prayed that we would both dream of Koen. Not something Hackett has prayed for before or a prayer I have ever verbalized. Hackett wants to see Koen in his dreams too. He misses the little brother he never got to have.
If I can't have Koen in my arms, I wish he would visit me in my dreams. The last two nights I have had haunting dreams, not ones of sweet reunion, but ones of panic and pain. One where I ran around a town searching for a baby I had lost, because I had accidentally dumped it in some sort of trash bin. I am still struggling to shake the very real feelings that are lingering from that one. The dream from last night is one of those quick dreams that is in a total haze and feels so real. It was still long enough to break my heart. So much so that I don't even want to share the details. These are the first dreams of this kind for me. Tonight I won't be praying that I dream of Koen, but rather that I have no dreams at all.
I am Jackie.