Most of my friends and family who read this blog already know that I'm pregnant again. Today I am 34 1/7 weeks pregnant with Brynlee Sophia. Due Sept 12th. We are so blessed that everything with this pregnancy has been healthy. I have been fortunate in that I haven't been anxious or worried. I know that is because of prayer. "Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you." -1 Peter 5:7. I could list several more scriptures that I have leaned on in this time, but this one's my favorite.
This evening, we are doing maternity photos. One of my co-workers Karla asked me to be the subject of a maternity photo she wants to display at the Family Birthing Center. I am honored! She wants a photo just like the one we did while I was pregnant with Kyson of our silhouettes in front of the sunset. The photographer and I just happened to both be available today, and I figured what a wonderful way to remember and honor Kyson! Hopefully I won't be a tearful mess. It's not that I'm afraid of crying, I suppose it doesn't matter. It will just be our silhouettes so you won't be able to see my red face anyway. We are also going to make a birthday cake today, something I hope will be a yearly family tradition.
I've reflected a lot over the last week about what happened a year ago. Not to say I don't think of Kyson a lot anyway. I wept a few days ago when I asked Adam what are some of his fears or worries of being a parent. I told him one of my fears is after I give birth to Brynlee, I wonder if it will bring back the physical sorrow of an empty womb that I had after I gave birth to Kyson. One of my strongest, most tactile memories of that experience was how empty and flat my stomach felt. I remember trying to pack for my brother's wedding that we were flying out for the next day, trying to decide what to wear. I had planned on wearing a maternity dress that my friend Julie let me borrow, and it was so cute with a little pregnant belly. My mom held it up to my flat stomach and said, "you could still wear this dress if you want." I broke down and wept, saying, "no I can't, it was so cute on me with a belly, I would feel empty wearing it." I know that this time, I will have Brynlee to hold in my arms, but I still wonder if the empty feeling in my abdomen will bring back some sorrow. I'm sure it will, but my tears will be mostly happy ones.
Ever since my belly has been showing, a lot of people ask me, "Is this your first baby?" I always answer this question by including Kyson. I don't consider Brynlee my first baby. Sometimes I say, "No, my first baby is in heaven," or "well, my first was stillborn, so I consider this my second," which is always quickly responded to with an "Aw, I'm sorry." I am happy to answer this question, and I'm not sorry. I know it would be simpler to just say "yes, it's my first," but I would feel bad saying that. Kyson will always be our first child. He has a special place in our hearts. It's not painful to answer that question. It didn't take very long before it didn't make me sad to talk about him. I appreciate when people ask me what happened, I enjoy talking about him. It's a great way to remember him. I imagine it's a lot like when people reminisce about their grandparents who have passed away, talking about their fond memories with them. After a short period of time, it's not painful to do that, it's good to remember them. Thankfully I haven't lost a grandparent yet, so I can't speak about this from experience.
There was one time where I made the mistake of calling Brynlee the first. A few months ago, my mom and I were talking about my in-laws coming for the delivery, and I said, "I'm sure they will try to be here for the birth of their first grandchild," and my mom quickly corrected me, "Kyson is their first grandchild." I don't know why I said that. I hadn't forgot about Kyson. I guess since they weren't here for his birth, I was thinking of them being here for the first birth they could possibly be here for. I immediately regretted saying that. My mom and I cried about it together and reminisced about him.
In the last year, I have known or met a handful of families that have lost their babies. Interestingly, most of the more recent graves next to Kyson's are families I know. This gives me a strong sense of community. Whenever I go to Kyson's grave, I pray for the families of the nearby babies. At the candlelight memorial service our hospital held last December, I heard some of the names on the graves that are older than Kyson's. I wish I had the opportunity to meet those families. I couldn't tell who they were because there seemed to be a delay in announcing the name to when they'd walk up to the Christmas tree to place the ornament with their child's name.
I frequently go on walks at sunset with Buster, our dog, and usually with Adam. We are fortunate to live a block from a farm field to the west, which makes for an unobstructed sunset view. I sing a lullaby I wrote for Brynlee as I walk and watch the sunset. As I posted previously in this blog, the colors in life are so much brighter when you go through a tragedy like we did last year. At least that's how I feel. The colors are brighter in life. I appreciate the beauty of a sunset in a much deeper way than I ever did before. I sometimes count all the different shades of pinks, purples, blues, peaches, grays, oranges, reds, yellows that display when the sun sets. I think of Kyson up there, and seeing him one day in heaven. Sometimes I miss him so much, I wouldn't mind being up there sooner rather than later. Not to say I want to die, by any means. I'm just not afraid of death. I know where I will go, thanks to what Jesus did for me on the cross.
Brynlee's 24 week ultrasound