Wednesday, March 6, 2013

And What if This is Our Last Baby?

pregnancy photos
28 weeks pregnant with our son

I didn't expect this to knock me over like they did, the words of this one mama.  I started to read her article about why she has decided to be a mother of only one child because I was curious.  And then my eyes met this:

“I’ve had my daughter . . . .  I am so grateful to have my one beautiful daughter. I don’t wish to have any more.”

And those words, they were met with tears.  Are met with tears now, as I write this.

Because ever since my daughter died and my second pregnancy's ultrasound revealed a son, I've been holding onto the dream of having another daughter.  One that stays, that breaths, that I get to dress in tutus and Easter dresses and ribbons, if she'll let me.

I've refused to consider the possibility that maybe God doesn't have any more children for us.  Maybe the only curly, dark-haired baby we'll have is the one who lives in Heaven.

And I must admit, since having our precious, beautiful, sensitive son who looks so much like his daddy (even though his dad protests that fact), I've been wondering if I have it in me to give this boy anything less than my whole heart.  That is, if I want to divide this mother-love that I have for my children more than it already is divided.  Because what division is greater than Heaven and earth?

So those words, of having only one child on this earth -- they rocked me.  And I now I sit here in my son's room as he resists yet another nap (stubborn like his mama!), talking to God and writing to you, because what else is there to do?

I ask Him, "Is this it?  Am I a mother of two only?  And do I only get to be a mother to one?" 

I can't hear Him answer.

So I breathe and cry and breathe and try to let it go -- the hope that I've held since those two lines appeared on the pregnancy test almost two years ago now.  The hope for a daughter.

I think I can do it, release this dream.  After all, I am more blessed than some, who dream of children yet whose arms are never, ever filled.  I do have the daughter I hoped for.  And she is beautiful and has her mother's hair.  She's just not here.

But to let the dream go . . . oh, it hurts.  Grief upon grief.

And it's scary to release that hope of a second daughter, because it means putting all my eggs in one basket, as it were.  This world is a terrible place, and to send all of my mother-heart out into it in the hands of just one child petrifies me. What if something should happen to him, too? 

Fear upon fear.

And yet -- joy upon joy, too, because this boy . . . oh, this boy. 

When I am wondering if my heart will survive without the daughter I long for, without the daughter I have, I look at him and know -- this is enough.  No, not just enough -- this is blessedly extravagant, fill-my-whole-heart-up, more-than-I-could-ever-want in His hands.

I can be the mother of one on earth and one in Heaven, and be well.

Because no matter how many children we happen to have, all of them will leave, because all children must leave their parents.  And it is my job to help them to leave, and in the end I'll have no children snuggling in my arms anyway.

In the end, always, it is just God and me.  

So I let the dream go, and even though it hurts, even though it makes me weep, I know that my tears are seen and caught and cherished, every one, by the One who is ever my beginning and my end.

That has to be enough.  I know that, eventually, in His hands, it will be.

happy 5 months old day, sweet boy!
the sweetest boy -- 5 months already!
linking up with:


  1. I am my parents' only child on earth. And it's HARD and LONELY to be the only one. But it's also GOOD. And God has filled my cup overflowing, giving me precious heart-siblings and sibling-in-law, and the joy of experiencing my children having siblings. And I have witnessed first hand how He gave my parents grace through everything--even the hard things. He'll do the same for you.

  2. "Because no matter how many children we happen to have, all of them will leave, because all children must leave their parents. And it is my job to help them to leave..."

    You've hit on something so important there, Beth, that a lot of parents just don't get. Mine didn't, and never wanted me to leave, in both a literal and metaphorical sense, and I'm paying for it now with heaps of anxiety, uncertainty of who I am as a person, and other baggage. That you recognize a parent's role so clearly and so early on will only serve to benefit Jacob.

    I don't know the sex of our rainbow baby yet, but I think it's a boy. And if it *is* a boy, then I think I'm going to have to grieve Sunrise all over again. This will be my last child, and I'm fully aware that i may never have a girl to dress up, to play dolls with, to teach all the wonderful things that being a woman has to offer her. I'm going to have to mourn all those missed opportunities. And I'm a little frightened of that. Grieving is so hard, and tiring, and it seems to just come and strike us over so many different things, doesn't it? xoxo

  3. I don't think a mother's love, a mother's heart, is ever divided. I think it's multiplied. More children mean the capacity for love is greater. You have an amazing amount of love inside you, and if you have another child, you don't take anything away from your amazing son. An addition is not a subtraction.

  4. "Because what greater division is there than Heaven and earth?" Oh this prose this morning is tender and beautiful. You have me pondering the chasm. I myself have wondered His ways ways in the mother ache that asks, why? That cries out for more- and I have felt birth pains new and have nurtured babes here on earth for His Kingdom. Counting it all joy, with you because He lives, by His grace.

  5. I think so much of this is a matter of prayer and really turning one's face toward God. I saw my younger son (he's four months) in a dream, and I was determined to get him. I know only God can send a child, but I brought two girls into the world and suffered a miscarriage before getting him, and I just kept pressing into it. At times I was very sick (gestational diabetes), at times very sad (miscarriage, etc.), and at times very scared (emergency c-section). 4 pregnancies in 4 years, and now I know we're all here. The peace is so sweet. I don't always understand how or why things work the way they do for others, and I know beautiful women who long for children they can't seem to conceive. But I think we are given our desires for children for a reason, and I think we know when we're done. Or not. May God grant you His peace that passeth all understanding, and know that I'm sorry for the pain you've suffered.

  6. I loved reading your blog. It took me from the sadness of your loss to the amazing joy of your blessing! I speak life and hope and joy to you! Our wonderful Father is the redeemer of ALL things and as I often say in MY life...I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HE DOES WITH THIS! He knows all our tears and our losses,and He will not LOSE ONE thing! He knows the feeling of empty hands, giving His all for gain us back again in fullness and wholeness because of His sacrifice. He feels your pain, but He wants YOU to choose JOY...His amazing JOY, as He dances over you with singing and rejoicing! Thank you for bearing all your soul that others may heal from your testimony! Blessings to you and your beautiful family! Teresa Dalton in Amelia, VA

  7. Beth,

    This is beautiful and poignant and raw. Thank you.

    I too am a mom of some on earth and one in heaven. Looking forward to meeting that one some day too. :)

    May the healer be a balm on your heart today as you wonder about your daughter there, and your hopes for another daughter here...

    Jennifer Dougan

  8. Beth, you always blow me away. Yes, you are right about those tears. You may cry them for a lifetime I don't know but they will be caught and cherished. So true. Love the pics of the your little dream man that I prayed for for so many months. Won't be long until he will be finger painting -- on your walls :) God bless you my friend.

  9. I am an only child also. I have a daughter in Heaven, and a son on earth. I also struggle with the what ifs.

    I don't want our son to grow up as lonely as I was. But at the same time, would having another girl be harder?

    Hugs to you my friend.

  10. oh beth, thank you for this. for baring your heart and soul to us. this ache to hear God's voice, to know... i understand this. and i believe he will guide you, when the time is right friend. so grateful for these photos of your precious boy, and what an incredible teddy bear in that last photo! it's HUGE :) love to you. e.

  11. oh darling Beth, my soul sister and true dear friend. this spoke so deep into my heart and resonated. we have our tiny girl on earth and her sibling in Heaven, and we want more little ones. my heart has room for a hundred. His time, His will, His grace is perfect.

    what a BEAUTIFUL lad of yours! so much love to you, dear one. xo


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King