Friday, May 1, 2009

Hope Revisited

I was really hoping for a girl this time.

I really was.

And, not only that, I believed I was going to have a little girl. I could picture what she would look like and what she would say and I knew her name.

Remember that thing I refused to write about that I was failing to process. It has to do with this hope for a girl.

I kept trying not to deal with the loss of it because I am truly so grateful for this sweet boy of mine. But, is it possible for me to be so enthralled with, grateful for and completely in love with my newborn son and at the same time be disappointed and feel the loss of the baby girl I had envisioned? Is it?

I think that I have to allow it to be possible in order to process it. That is the hard part.

I received e-mails from friends talking about how they sobbed, truly sobbed on their bed for days after having an ultrasound and finding out the baby was not the girl or the boy they had hoped for. Maybe if I had found out, I would have allowed myself to grieve the loss a little more. But, when you are holding a healthy, beautiful baby...

how do you possibly grieve?

It seems so selfish and indulgent and wrong.

I struggle even to write this because I don't want my son to ever feel that he is not everything I wanted. But, if I don't write it, then I am failing to be real and transparent. I know that I am not alone in this.

I got this note from a friend-

"... somewhere deep down you knew that Vance was going to be a boy. If you hadn't you would have made sure you knew in advance what the gender was so you wouldn't have set yourself up to be disappointed (which you were not), but somewhere you knew. I'm sure of it! You may have had all the pink trappings out, but deep down you knew they were just to play with for a little while (save them for a granddaughter)."

I got this a few weeks ago, read it, started sobbing and closed it. I had not read it again until today.I don't think I even mentally comprehended what it said until I read it today. I read it again without any tears, but more of a thoughtfulness. Did I really know deep down inside? Maybe. I don't know.

Her name was to have been Hope. It is a name I had decided on before I conceived.

I am someone who believes that God has a voice (not audible to me) and that I am sometimes privileged enough to hear His whisperings to me as I walk through this life. A few weeks into my pregnancy, I started to bleed. The only other time this had happened to me was when I miscarried a baby before Ty. The first time had been heartbreaking. I was scared. But, there were whisperings of Hope from people saying things like, "I'm not giving up hope." I held onto that. Then I went to the doctor to have him check to see if the baby was okay. I went alone. On the way there, I wished that I was not alone and mentioned to God, "Could you just go with me?" When I walked into the office, I looked at the nurse's shirt. It was one of those kind that nurses wear with all of the cute designs. This one had the word HOPE written in big letters all over it. I knew I was not alone. I also knew in that moment that my baby would be fine. I saw his heartbeat for the first time that day.

These are the things that made me totally sold out on the idea that this was my girl, my Hope.

So, when my sweet boy was born, I was certainly surprised and there was some brief grieving over not having a girl, but the hardest part for me has been that I heard the whisperings wrong. That I didn't get it.

I know some of you do not believe the same way I do and even "hearing" anything may seem completely crazy to you. I get that. But for me, it is the essence of who I am. I walk through this life knowing that I have a God who loves me, cares for me, and is intimately involved in my life. I also know that I have a God who does not lie, is the same yesterday, today and forever and who does not play tricks on people. He is motivated only by love.

So, what happened? This is really the part I didn't want to wrestle with.

Did I hear wrong? Does that mean that everything I have ever "heard" or felt before has been wrong? Does it negate the many other times when things have been confirmed? Some might say yes, that it was all me reading into things and that God does not speak, but sits adrift and afar, observing or simply does not exist at all.

I might have agreed with part of that for a few days. But then I realized that would be like saying that the person I know my own father to be was someone completely different. I have been in relationship with him for so long that I would immediately recognize it if you told me something that was completely out of character for him. I feel the same way about the Lord. If I know anything, I know His character.

That leaves me with me. It means that I got it wrong. But, did I? I am wondering if the word hope was simply there to encourage me when I was frightened and I just held onto the name portion of it in error. Or perhaps it has some significance over Vance's life that is yet to be seen?

Regardless, I have to walk forward believing that I hear God whisper in His Word, in the world around me, and through the mouths of others or it will radically change who I am and how I operate on a daily basis. It is because of this that I have the gifts of peace, joy, and find hope and meaning in this life.

I am tentative and I do not trust myself like before, but I will trust Him.


Kelly's Ideas said...

I love the fact that you are so open and honest. You were meant to have a son - there are no mistakes with God - and maybe just maybe your son is the one who will bring Hope to many....
God bless you


Erin said...

Thank you for talking about this....although there are many days that I am still in denial.

I am the mother of five girls...yep FIVE! We have always planned for a large family. It was something that we agreed on from the "beginning of us". In fact my husband and I both agreed that six would be the number for us...we didn't ever think that there would be the possibility of six girls though...

After my first pregnacy resulted in identical twin girls, each pregnancy after that I would say..."I want a girl". It was almost like I was setting myself up for the fact that the dream of a boy would just not happen. I wasn't allowing myself to be vunerable with the people in my life. I would protect myself so that when the ultrasound technician said "it's a girl!" I would say..."I knew it". It was a wall that I built up.

And I am where you are except we are thinking about getting pregnant in February(God willing). And I am scared to death...this is it. This is number six! This is the last hurrah... and the dream that I longed for may need to be put to rest. As always I am thinking that I love girls, that they are the best thing around, that I won't have the drama that everyone else warns me of, but I know that deep down in my heart I long to have a son.

So, I thank you for being honest. I don't know what path God will have us walk down but I do know that I am not alone.

Liz said...

I absolutely LOVE the way you write and convey your thoughts and feelings. The story unfolds and it is like I am transported right there along with you. I feel what you feel and think what you think. Quite touching!

To have the questions you have in your mind is perfectly normal. I remember early on in our marriage...I just knew we had to "adopt first" and then everything would be ok. But my husband didn't come around as easily. We had 2 confirmed miscarriages (one at 5 months - it was a girl). I came to wonder the same things you have written here. I use to say...I hated it when God spoke in code! Trying to decipher the difference between what we want and what God wants for us can be difficult. Especially when our desires are louder then His whispers.

It will all work out. Even if we don't like it as much right now...our Father in Heaven really does know us better then we know ourselves and has a plan and purpose for each of us. His Plan of Happiness will make us more joyful then we could ever plan for ourselves.

My thoughts are (always) with you!

Kathleen said...

I think you obviously don't grieve the baby you got. He is a good and perfect gift coming down from the Father of heavenly lights. But, I think you grieve your "hopes" and dreams and ideas of what you thought your family would look like. You don't doubt your relationship with God or His whispering in your ear, but just trust that Vance's story is just beginnnig and God knew exactly what He was doing in giving you a boy. But, I believe separating the actual living baby from the unanswered dream is helpful. And God will still talk and you will still hear and someday you can ask Him about all this face to face... although I bet then you won't need to.
Thanks for sharing and expressing so articulately what so many of us experience.

Lena said...

what you are feeling is so normal and right. its a process you need to go through to feel better. its normal to love your baby boy and still wish for a little girl. i was hopping for a boy with my 3rd pregnancy, since i had 2 girls already. i even had different symptoms with my third pregnancy, weird blood results and instead of being early like other girls this baby was late. i thought i knew it was a boy for sure. even on the u/s they coudnt see anything... but as God would have it, it was another baby girl. :) maybe next time?

Gina said...

In time baby sister.. you will know.

I loved Liz writing, "when our desires are louder then His whispers"

This is something I struggle with too, you think it's the right thing but then question... am I really hearing Him correctly.

This is a perfect post, so you and so real. Your family is beautiful and amazing and I know you know that, and I know you know you're so blessed to have them.

I love you..

Anonymous said...

Hm...well here's the thing. God has put some tools down here on earth so that we can try some new things to get what we want (Its ok to want something or someone or a girl)
Are you having more children? If so, you might try what I did for my first child who I wanted really bad to be a girl, the Shettles method of gender selection. Even just READING this book will cause you to understand, its just the way bodies work. Some people are gonna have girls and some are gonna have boys, unless you understand how your body works you dont have a chance at selecting gender. So read the The Shettles Method of Gender Selection, and I promise you, you'll get it, and you'll say "oh, so thats why".
I'm NOT religious, though I am a true Christian, and when it comes to God I am not fluffy with words, but if there is a little girl spirit up there in heaven waiting to come down here, maybe she pulled some strings to get this information to you. This is an old book, so you can find it at the library. :-)