Alec is now three weeks old.
I’ve been thinking about some more personal thoughts regarding Alec’s arrival, and I thought I would share.
There was once a time when I thought I needed to raise a little boy in this life because I lost my first little boy to the next life. Those feelings were strongest right after Jack passed away. I thought everything was coming full circle when we were told our third child was a boy. I would soon have another little boy to love! Then, when the doctor told us he had made a mistake, and that Jane was, in fact, a girl, I definitely dealt with a mixture of emotions. In a way I felt like I had lost a second boy, only not too so great a magnitude. I had felt like it was magical and perfect that I was getting a son right after Jack died. I was not sad that I was having a girl, I just mourned the “perfect” little fantasy I had conjured up in my mind.
Then Jane arrived. As soon as she was placed in my arms, I felt right away that she was a special spirit, sent to me to help heal my broken heart. It did NOT matter that she was NOT a boy. She rode in to our family on a chariot of joy and happiness and swept her magic across all our hearts: we were wrong to think we needed a boy to do that. Each and every day I thank Heavenly Father for sending me Jane. She is so special to me.
When I discovered I was pregnant for a fourth time, any thoughts of “needing” a certain gendered child were so long gone. I did not need a boy. I did not hope for one gender over the other. I was just humbled and honored to once again be a vessel for another of Heavenly Father’s children to gain a physical body and experience life on earth. Together, Adam and I decided that we wanted to have the gender be a surprise until birth. It just didn’t matter to us.
For various reasons, Adam and I really thought we were going to be having another girl. When Alec arrived, Adam and I were both so surprised. A happy wonderful fun surprised. Right then and there we knew we had made the right choice to not find out. It was so awesome to be surprised. I have decided that not finding out is the way to go. I had my doubts during pregnancy, but now that all is said and done, if there is a next time, we’re doing it the same way.
Later I felt strongly that maybe I was supposed to think that I was having another girl. I think that if I had known that I was having a boy, I might have been terrified the entire pregnancy that the baby would be sick like Jack. Since I have two healthy girls, I wasn’t as worried about having a healthy girl (although I will always be a little scared every.single.time. no matter what.) Now that I have delivered both a healthy girl and a healthy boy, I think the fear of having another sick baby has gone down a bit.
The first few days of Alec’s life, I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to think much about connecting my first son with my newborn son. But then when I got home, and things got a little more routine and normal, the loss of Jack began to hit hard. Late at night, when it was just Alec and I awake, and I was nursing him or cradling him in my arms, I would run my fingers through his hair, and caress his soft skin and whisper to him that I love him and that I am so grateful he is my son and that he is perfect and wonderful and that I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
And then I would cry as my thoughts would turn to the little boy that I was not holding. And who I have to spend the entirety of my life without. And then I would feel guilty for loving Alec so much and I would feel guilty for missing Jack so much.
I know my Heavenly Father doesn’t want me to feel guilty. I know my boys don’t want me to feel guilty. I have mostly been able to push those feelings aside.
Alec is a wonderful addition to our family. He is so sweet and calm. He sleeps great at night. He is a good eater (he was 8 pounds 13 ounces at his two-week check-up.) He is already starting to get smiley on us. He is very alert. He has bright eyes and a happy disposition. All of my children have such a special spirit about them. Alec is no exception.
I love my little boy. I hope I can be the mother to him that he needs me to be. I have this hope with all my children and it can be overwhelming at times to try to meet their every need. But that’s what I’m here for. I signed up for this job, and I love it. I know I could be better (much better) but I try so hard each day. I am so grateful to be a mother.
I know this is long. It was mostly for me anyway. I know there are several of you out there who still check in and care about our little family and I thank you for your love and support. Our hearts will forever ache for our Jack, but we have so much to be happy about. And while we love Alec and we are SO SO SO glad that he is part of our family, our happiness was not dependent on getting to raise a boy in this life. We have just been so blessed in so many ways. We are continually striving to be better people; the people we need to become to be with our son forever. Thanks for loving all four of my little children. As if that were hard to do!!!