A year ago today (5/19) our daughter Lily was born. She was born on our son Knox’s due date. We said goodbye to two babies in 6 months. I remember when we got pregnant with her that surely(surely!) God wouldn’t ask us to go through the grief of losing another baby.
When we were given her diagnosis, I was sure she was going to be the 1% that survived. But she didn’t and she was born on the day our son should have been born.
So much has happened in the last year and a half. We’ve said goodbye to two children and welcomed a new one to our family. Time has softened the grief a bit, but it’s still there under the surface. While I was pregnant with Zeb, I struggled with fear. I struggled to embrace and delight in the pregnancy because I *knew* that God could ask me to grieve another child. There is no promise that He won’t again. But I trusted that whatever He chose for us would be the best that He had for our family…even if we don’t always understand it. The morning Zeb was born all I could do was sit there and hold him praising God for the safe arrival of our baby. That I was holding him in my arms without grieving…but yet part of me did in a way. One child doesn’t replace another. Lily didn’t replace Knox and Zeb doesn’t replace either of them.
I still grieve the loss of our babies, I hurt deeply. I still have days where I’ll see an outfit and it will give me pause. It reminds me of a daughter I don’t get to hold here. I’ll see a hat or pair of shoes and I’m taken for a moment to the place where I know that a little girl is missing in our lives. I see Zeb and wonder if Knox would look as much like his brothers as Zeb does. I wonder if Knox would share the same bent pinky or one sided dimple with his brothers. I trust that one day I will know. What a marvelous day it will be to meet my children for the first time in Heaven.
But I am thankful. I am thankful…even as my heart still heals. While I grieve (yes still), I can minister. God has taught me and grown me. He has knit our family together tighter than before. He has blessed me with opportunity to share His love with others because of what He’s called me to go through. I am thankful too, for the healthy baby I have in arms tonight. While we have always viewed children as blessings and we have desired them…the true meaning of that blessing I think would, in some ways, be lost had we not been through losing Knox and Lily. I can truly say that while I am exhausted some mornings, I am so very thankful to have a baby to wake up with during the night. When I was pregnant, I would give thanks for every push and pull when he would move, when I was in labor I praised God for every contraction and now that Zeb is here…I am grateful for every late night feeding and early morning diaper change. We all are.
Lily is not forgotten today, on this day…her birthday. Knox is not forgotten on this day…his due date. They are remembered every day. We talk about them and we have reminders of their special little lives in our home. Knox’s footprints hang in our hallway, Lily’s pictures are in our photo album and they are remembered and loved. They are part of our family.
We remember and are thankful.