When I was four I stuffed a pillow under my shirt and pretended to be pregnant. I did this so much that finally my mom told me I wasn't allowed to pretend this way anymore. I became a big sister this year.
It didn't stop me though. Nope, I knew enough about pregnancy to know that in the very beginning your belly is still small. So I would secretly pretend to be pregnant. I was secretly pretending to have morning sickness and multiples growing in my belly. I was day dreaming of baby names. I was seven. I took my baby sister for show and tell at my school.
I was nine when I discovered baby name books. I was obsessed. I underlined and circled. I read the meanings. And I made my own lists. All my dolls had first and middle names. None of them were the same. The best names, of course, went to my favorite dolls.
I was ten when my youngest sister was born. Time to dote on her. If baby wearing would have been a thing then, I would have been in heaven. Instead, I carried her on my hip, changed her diaper, toted her around and wrote about it in my journal. I prayed for a baby just like her someday.
I was fifteen when my brother was born. I was in high school but he was one of my favorite people to hang out with. Once again, I toted him everywhere. If someone wasn't interested in my baby brother or my little sisters, I wasn't much interested in them. I was the only one at my school to have carseats in the back of my car.
When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered with "a mom". Being a stay at home mama to a whole crew of littles was my ultimate dream. I craved a simple life filled with a loving husband and lots of babies. I wanted it all, biological children and adopted. I wanted them close. I prayed for them years before I knew even glimpse of that future.
Fast forward a bit and I had found the one whom my soul loves. So we married and settled down. We were young and in love. We were best friends with big dreams. Dreams of a lot of children and a simple life.
Then one day, on a whim, I took that test. We were moving from our little studio apartment to our first house. I found a test and thought, why not? So I took it and much to my surprise it told me I was a mom. I was twenty-one.
Two little lines and our lives were changed forever. Two little lines, one heart beat and a dream. That's all it took for two people to fall head over heels in love with a baby we had not yet met. Suddenly everything we had planned was flipped upside down. Our plans were changed, our lives shaken, redirected, perfected.
As quickly as you came into our lives, precious one, you were gone. One day all felt right in the world, the next day was shattered. "I'm sorry", they said. And then we rode home in silence. Or sobs. Or perhaps it was both. My sobbing, his silence. His tears, my sorrow.
Sweet baby, there will be a day. A day when we will be together again. A day when there will be no more sorrow. No more pain. No more longing. No more sobbing. There will be a day when I will be with you in perfection. And I will hold you close, in my arms. But until then, my heart, I will only pray each day for other mamas like me. For comfort for broken hearts. For joy in the midst of mourning. For hope to be revealed to them. Because that is how I do this life. That is how I walk this road. This grief journey is not forever. As all other earthly things will fade away, so will this pain. Thank you, Lord, for the promise of eternity with you. In heaven, in perfection, forever.