Monday, October 27, 2008

Pregnancy Mercies

I thought I might share now some of the interesting details of the early part of this pregnancy. And for those who are wondering, yes we will find out if it is a girl or boy if and when we can.

First, Sabrina was the first person I told. Finding out I was pregnant was a bittersweet experience. It has never been like that for me before. I was excited and had been trying with Sabrina, Lauren and Camille. Ann Marie was a surprise but not an unwelcome one. Each time I have seen the two lines on the pregnancy test I have instantly been excited and thrilled. 

This time we had been trying and I knew I would be disappointed if we were not pregnant. At the same time seeing the positive result did not fill me with excitement as in days past. I just took it in. I breathed. I was taking a huge step forward. I knew that. But sometimes it feels that steps forward are steps away from Camille. And so I let the bittersweetness of the moment have time to mellow in my soul.

I did not tell anyone for a day. Sabrina had been asking for many weeks about how exactly we could get some seeds planted in me so I could have a baby. So with Jonathan's prearranged permission, she was the first person I told. She in turn told her dad and then kept it a secret. 

The night after I told Sabrina I came down with Fifth's Disease. I posted about how sick I was back then. Fifth's Disease can cause miscarriage in early pregnancies. So for the first 4 weeks I told no one about the pregnancy. I told myself that I was not really pregnant, just late. I did not want to be disappointed by a miscarriage. 

I paid my doctor weekly visits so she could do tests to see if the pregnancy had survived my illness. Fifth's Disease either terminates the pregnancy or has no effect. It was an all or nothing threat. Weeks passed and the ultrasounds were inconclusive. Finally, at eight weeks, we saw a little blob in my uterus with a flickering heartbeat in the middle of it. 

This little peanut, as we are now calling him/her, had survived the week of 103 degree fevers and all the stress of Fifth's Disease. I felt an assurance that this baby would safely be brought into this world. I know many other mothers in my shoes fear losing their child, before or after birth. I do not have this fear anymore. Once I saw that heartbeat, I just lost all that fear. 

I do not know for sure that this will be born without complications and will grow up and live to a ripe old age. I don't know that for any of my kids. But I feel that all is in accordance with the Lord's plan for my life. I am following the river of peace that runs through our lives and guides us to where we are supposed to be. If that river suddenly takes an unexpected turn, as it did for me when Camille drowned, I will traverse that territory as it comes. But I know as long as I am following the river, there will always be peace to succor me through the trials through which I must pass to become the woman the Lord wants me to be.

To the woman who asked if I thought her fears were fears or premonitions, they are probably fears if they are coming right after you have read about a bunch of other kids dying. But, I could be wrong. No matter what, we still ought to live spiritually ready for whatever the Lord would have us endure. And it can't hurt to take extra photos and video of your kids. We all lose our little kids. Most do not die but they ALL grow up. We only have so many opportunities to capture their cute sayings on film. They will only have these sweet little baby faces for so long for pictures. We all need to take a minute every couple of months to capture our kids in film, video and through journaling. They just grow too quickly. No matter what the future holds, we will be glad we took the time.


my stay-at-home-momma drama said...

So glad everything worked out and the baby is healthy. What a blessing for you!

Randi A. said...

Well Congratulations again. I understand how something like this could have been so bittersweet. How fun to think that Camille and little baby peanut are in heaven playing together for the next several months. I bet they are having a great time.
I like what you said at the end about taking the time to capture our kids in that moment through journaling and photos and such. I need to do such a better job at journaling all of my sons precious little moments.
Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom. I always enjoy reading them.

Melissa-Mc said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you. My little sister died when I was 13. Later when I was pregnant with my first child, I had the strongest impression that this spirit coming to me was very close to my sister.

Boy or girl, this little person is very close to Camille and she's probably filling the baby in on all the exciting details about the wonderful family he/she is going to join.

I hope the morning sickness eases up soon!

Tara Bennett said...

I am so excited for you, Stephanie! I understand why the double line didn't bring as many thrills as the times before, but I think you just have greater understanding now that love comes with pain too. It's harder to jump in with both feet and giggles. But you will be blessed in creating new life. I doubt little 'peanut' will make you feel further from Camille ever. I recently recorded my grandpa's life history and have been typing it up the past few days. They unexpectedly lost a son when he was just shy of 1-year-old. Before teh year anniversary of his death, they had another baby. The other baby was not planned, but they welcomed new life. He said it was a beautiful blessing, but it was difficult for my grandma for reasons he didn't understand. I bet only she and you and other moms who have lost babies completely understand. But Grandpa said when the other baby was a few years old, Grandma's heart had begun healing and she said that having a baby after her son's death was the best thing and she knew it was a tender mercy of the Lord to send such a gift. I wish you the best with your pregnancy and everything. I read every single post. I recently sent a friend your way who lost her 6-year-old son last month. She is questioning the gospel and blaming God. I knew her heart and mind were in good hands with you. Thank you for your willingness to be so open, your closeness to the spirit, it is so apparent in your writing and perspectives. Thank you, thank you.


Melissa O said...

I know that feeling that you talk about your steps of moving away from Camille. I have to say that I haven't lost a child and I know that it is different, but I did lose my brother. Every moment that I felt happy I felt in some way it was disrespectful to him. It's been about 5 years and I know that he is happy when I am happy. I bet Camille is the same. I know it is extremely hard right now. This new baby will be such a blessing. Congratulations.

Erin Lafleur said...

I understand all too well what you meant when you said you felt like a step foward was a step away from Camille. This is something I struggle with and at one point even said "if this pain is the only way I can stay close to my son I would choose to hurt the rest of my life" The road ahead will have bumps but I am glad to hear things are going well. Good luck on your pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

I love your analogy of the river, Stephanie.



Mel said...

Congratulations! I really appreciate you being able to talk about this with us.

Catherine Noorda said...

i know no one really understands when the baby's spirit enters the body, but isn't it such a happy thing that peanut and camille are probably having great times together right now. she's probably preparing him and giving him the insider's scoop on the waite sisters he's going to be living with before too long.

Kassie said...

Congrads Steph and family! I'm excited to hear your insights about this new chapter of your life.

Rhonda said...

I'm glad your baby made it through the fifths ok! I also had that in a pregnancy following a very complicated one that resulted in a preemie and it was touch n go for 11 weeks getting ultrasounds every 7 days (Fifth's is dangerous all throughout the first and second trimesters) Our baby made it through ok too.

feel better soon.

Marylin said...

Congrats on the wonderful news!! Hope that the sick time will pass quickly and you will feel better soon!

Kelli said...

Congratulations!! I am so happy for you and your family. I wish you the very best and hope that you feel better soon. To Noorda Notebook: do you know something that the rest of us don't? You kept referring to the baby as "He" in your comment. Thanks Stephanie for sharing your thoughts and feelings through this time in your life. It has strengthened my testimony more than you can possibly know, and I'm sure it has strengthened many others as well.

Anonymous said...

I loved how you included Sabrina in the details. How special for her, the biggest sister. And oh how she will delight in being your helper... how they all will delight in a precious new life in the home.

I had never heard of he Fifth's Disease. I leave some things to the more seasoned mommies to fill me on on- I am so thankful this babe pulled through. Just like HIS mommy- a survivor. (Just kidding Him/Her I meant) : )

A question for you: do you avoid haircolor/nail polish/ anything other than the obvious during pregnancy? Any prego rules you follow for yourself? Do you bake and cook away? Always ever curious... : )

Rach said...

Oh, Steph! I'm so overwhelmed for you. What a blessing. And, yet, I understand the steps away from Camille.

Congratulations and great big HUGS!

Darleen said...

Glad to hear you have spilled the beans. And glad the little peanut was strong enough to endure your sickness. I think it's a boy! Actually I'm hoping!

Mimi's Toes said...

So glad you are feeling better and little peanut is growing.

Angie said...

Just want to say congratulations on your upcoming little one. He OR she will be such a blessing to your family. I too had never heard of fifths disease, it sounds so scary, I'm glad everything turned out okay. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

Unknown said...

First and foremost, I want to extend a HUGE congratulations on the news of your pregnancy. What a tremendous blessing for your family. Second, I wanted to comment on your post that you had written to "Kathryn M". I had tears streaming down my face. I too have lost a child at a delicate age and it was so comforting to read what you had written. It wasn't new to me, as I am a member of the LDS church, but still very comforting to hear again. I am amazed every time I pop in to read your blog that I feel comfort time and time again. Thank you for reminding me of all of the blessings I'll recieve when I get to see my little boy again someday.

Bartel's said...

Congratulations! I'm sure Camille is preparing this little souls' safe journey into this world & telling him/her what a wonderful family he/she is part of.

Kathryn_m said...

Hi Stephanie:

I "think" I can understand your fears of taking steps away from Camille but I truly believe that the timing of your newest blessing will always be linked with Camille and her amazing impact that she continues to have on so many people.

While this new child can never replace Camille, s/he will continue the legacy of love that is so intertwined within your family unit of which Camille continues to be an integral part.

Love 'n hugs,

PS: Hope you tried the *real* ginger-ale and it helped.

Presley family said...

CONGRATS!!!! I am so excited for you all!!! I am sure this new little angel that will join your family soon will be a special blessing that you couldn't have ever imagined!!! What a special thought of the two of them in Heaven. Oh,,,, chills. I am so grateful for the knowledge of eternal famillies.

Shay said...

CONGRATULATIONS on your pregnacy. Aunt Kathleen told my mom and my mom had to call and tell me. I am so excited for you and your family. So sorry to hear about this terrilbe illness you had. I've never heard of it before. Good Luck with the pregnancy road ahead of you. I also couldn't agree more with Darleen's comment! :)

Maggie May said...

I have to tell you that is one of the most profound and touching posts I've read. ' We all lose our little kids '...
Something about reading that here just clicked inside of me so powerfully.

Thank you very much. I needed to read that this morning.


Sarah Scott said...

Congrats!!A friend showed me your blog! I love it and and so grateful to you, for what you share, and how you help others!
You are an amazing Mom, Congrats!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a touching post.

Two things that really got me were:

"...steps forward are steps away from Camille."


"We all lose our little kids."

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a touching post.

Two things that really got me were:

"...steps forward are steps away from Camille."


"We all lose our little kids."

Mesa said...

Congratulations!! I have been following your blog for quite sometime now, just quietly. Your trials and tribulations and strength and faith are truly inspirational to me. Heavenly Father and His glorious plans, sometimes we just never know where He'll lead us, at least we know He's guiding with His Love. Take care and congrats again!


Unknown said...

Tears...and congrats on your little peanut. Hope you are feeling well soon!