On the 19th of March of last year, Adam and I found out we were expecting our second child.
If I close my eyes, I can perfectly recall that morning of March 19th, 2008. I can see Adam and I sitting on the edge of our bed waiting to see the results of the pregnancy test. I can see the look on my face when I glance at the test and see that it is negative. I can still feel the emotion that came with the second glance when I realize that it was really positive. I can hear myself say: “It’s negative…no wait…it’s positive!” I can hear Adam’s confusion and then feel his arms around me. I can see the tears of excitement in both of our eyes. I can hear us laugh.
I mentally fast forward a few hours and see myself lying on my bed alone, again with tears in my eyes. This time I am afraid. The required nine months of pregnacy do not thrill me. I am remembering the misery of Megan’s pregnancy. November seems an eternity away and I am afraid of what I have gotten myself into.
A myriad of emotions was felt the day we found out we were pregnant with Jack. Most were happy emotions. Many were fearful.
As expected, my pregnancy was miserable. Even more so than with Miss Megan. I was in constant pain, sick, bedridden, and gaining more weight than I ever thought possible. I counted down each day of the 280 total days of gestation. I had to remind myself so many times that come November, the misery would be forgotten and I would have a beautiful baby: who on paper (according to sonograms, ultrasounds, and measurements) was perfect.
I am now nine months on the other side of that much anticipated day. The physical pain and fear I experienced in the nine months before Jack was born, is nothing compared to the emotional pain and sorrow I have felt since that day nine months ago. In many ways I am stronger than the expectant mother I was a year and a half ago. I am more faithful. I am more patient. I am a better mother to Megan. I have MUCH more empathy and am MUCH less judgemental. I love and appreciate the Atonement in a very intimate and very personal way. I am hopeful.
But…in many ways I am much more fragile. I am not as open with others as I once was. I am far less friendly. I feel like I can relate to no one and thus I associate with few. I have become very paranoid as a mother. I let my imagination get the best of me and I am fearful that something will happen to my Megan. I am highly anxious and very over protective.
I feel pressure from many that my pain should be over and that I should move on. Because of that pressure, I often hide away true feelings and let the sorrow come only when I am alone or in the arms of my Adam. I worry that by proclaiming that I have the faith that I say I have, that people expect that faith to make the pain go away. But the pain will never go away and I will “suffer the death of my child until the day I die.” My faith makes me stronger so that I can carry this burden…until the day I die.
Honestly, for the most part, I feel pretty good. I have a few really bad days a month and even those are becoming less frequent. But, I miss Jack: every day. Every day there is a tug at my heart and his absence is noted. My pain will never be over and I will never “move on”. Nothing will fill Jack’s void in my life.
I look forward to the day when my frailties and weaknesses are made strong, and I can be more open and less vulnerable. I am grateful for my faith which buoys me up. I hope the Lord will continue to shape my back to fit the burden.
The naive and youthful me thought that the countdown of 280 day and 9 months of gestation was an eternity. I know now that the countdown to eternity has only just begun.