Sunday, July 14, 2013

37 Weeks and 1 Day

This is how far along I was with Rachel on December 3, 2010 when I finally got to meet her face to face.

I feel huge now, but I was bigger with her then because of the polyhydramnios (extra fluid) I had with her.  I was measuring 42 weeks when I had her and had more than twice the amount of amniotic fluid as my recent ultrasound with E showed.

I feel like this pregnancy is taking forever, but her pregnancy went by much too fast.

I feel like I'm waiting for the beginning of my life with E in it, but I knew that day would be the end of my life with her in it.

I feel like it was just yesterday, but more than 2 1/2 years - and 2 more pregnancies - have passed....

And I still miss her.

I don't remember passing this milestone with Asa, but I'm sure I must have noticed it.  Today though, I spent a lot of time preparing for my upcoming hospital stay with pre-registering and things like that.... and the entire time I was thinking about her.  Remembering how differently it felt to pre-register for her birth.  I don't feel overly sad, but she's been at the forefront of my mind all day. 

And that's fine by me. 

I expected this as I got closer to labor and closer to meeting her little brother.  I wish she was going to meet him with us.  I pray he will love the Lord so one day he can meet her too.  It's hard not knowing for sure if my other children will ever know their sister.  They know the pieces of her I share - the journey and what she did in our lives.  They know that she lived and died. 

Tonight at dinner I mentioned how I never knew anything like anencephaly could even happen before Rachel.  Des said it was no different than a baby who was born too early for their lungs to work.  She is precious.  She questioned why God would give us a girl we wanted so much and then take her away.  As we told her that she had good questions, but we had no answers, she was accepting of that and seeing her rest in God's plan is beautiful. 

Then at family time, Sam prayed that "the baby won't die and that Mama won't die" and my heart felt the pain of what that day meant for them.....  and yet I'm glad they know this reality.... life is sacred and very fragile and not to be taken for granted.  He still asks me at times if it's Rachel in my belly - and yesterday when we opened the box at E's party, I held the little shirt to my belly and he turned to me and said "That's for Rachel in heaven."  So I guess I'm not the only one who thinks of Rachel when I look at this big belly of mine and await the chance to hold a new life in my arms.

I always prayed that my 37th week and 1st day with Rachel and the days that have followed have taught them more about God and His goodness than I ever could have without her. 

And I'm sure it has.

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