Eisley Antalya · Life · loss and heartache · Shailo Valour

Pregnancy After Loss {Part 4}: Was I hoping for a boy or a girl? (Word heavy blog post)

(You can read part 1 herepart 2 here, and part 3 here.)

This “Part 4” is where I feel the most fear and hesitation about sharing honestly but I also feel a desire to share my heart regarding this. It’s a question that comes up a lot and also I think an unspoken one among many and I really do want to share.

 Was I hoping for a boy or a girl?

Mustache or bows? :)

I really want to pause here before I write about my response. I want to say that if you’ve walked through the loss of a child and are reading this, PLEASE know that this post isn’t to say that how I felt is the only way to feel or that you were wrong in your feelings. Another reason I feel so hesitant to share also because I don’t want another momma who has lost a child to feel an ounce of guilt over what they/you may have/will feel. Even though we may walk the same path of losing a child, we all grieve and ache differently and have different desires and longings when it comes to pregnancy after loss. Okay, whew, how’s that for a disclaimer :)

From early on in this pregnancy I journaled my heart away and I will share a snit bit of my response to these very questions. Let’s rewind to the beginning of this pregnancy.

If you’ve ever been pregnant or have known a loved one who has been pregnant, you know that the moment the two little pink lines show up, they never shut up :) You/they are flooded with all kinds of emotion and the excitement pours out at any given moment when a new thought arrises; thoughts about a future with a baby, will it be a boy or girl, wondering what day they will be born, early or late, big or small, hair or bald, daddy’s nose or mommy’s, etc, etc, etc…

Newly pregnant with baby #3, I wasn’t able to enjoy these questions that arose within me as I did with my first two babies. Instead I was faced with a loads of fear and anxiety as I finally began to think of the future. Thinking of labor was out of the question due to fear and memouries from a stillbirth. Thinking of a life with another little one on the way, I just couldn’t. I had a hard time finding hope to believe this little one would make it into my arms healthy and alive, breathing.

When it came to the thought of gender of this little one… whew. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have hopes for one gender or the other in each of my pregnancies. In my pregnancy with Chase, I had thought it was a girl all while deep inside I had hoped it was a boy because I loved the idea of having my kids have an older brother as I never did. With Eisley, I just had a feeling from the beginning that she was our Eisley-girl. I wanted her to be and she was.

This time around I found myself in an entirely different place than with the first two pregnancies. I cried out to God in regards to this little one’s gender. (And here is where my fear sets in before I share my heart…) Here is a quote from my journal that I feel says what my heart felt the best (I edited out some more personal things, but this is the main portion I feel to share);

“…you know my heart, you know how I’m wired, you know me better than even I know myself…I know that you know what I need, even if it’s not what I would have thought….but my heart doesn’t feel ready for another girl. Not so soon after losing my Eisley-girl…. I feel like I would be replacing her, I know I wouldn’t ever do that intentionally but I know myself and I know I would struggle believing that lie. Everything that I had dreamt and hoped for my Eisley, I would struggle as maybe those same thoughts arose if this is another little girl. And they will, I mean, even just how different it is to dress a boy and a girl, they would arise…. Please hear my heart. I know that either way You will be with me, guiding me in healing, whether this little one is a boy or a girl. But please, hear my cry … my heart just doesn’t feel ready…”

Even though that sums up what I had felt, I want to share a little more extensively. From the beginning I had hoped with everything in my that this little one was a boy. As you read, I was terrified of what my heart and mind would do if we were pregnant with another girl so soon after losing Eisley. I will be having this baby just 14 months after we lost her. It felt too close for my heart. I know that Eisley and this baby are two totally different children, two different personalities, etc. I just knew that my heart and mind would struggle in feeling like I was replacing her. I know myself well enough to know that it would be a daily battle at least for a while.

I struggled immensely in deciding when to share our pregnancy with the “whole world”. Hence waiting 5 months, and even that was hard!

For one, I found myself struggling to believe in myself for this pregnancy, that I could carry to term and grow/nourish a baby. A part of my fear of sharing was fear of hearing people ask me if it was too soon after Eisley or if I’d be able to carry this baby full term, etc. I needed people to {believe} in me and in that we could do this. I was afraid of even the few responses, like that, that might come. (I’m thankful that I only ever had one response where I felt they weren’t happy for us but more fearful!)

I also wasn’t in an emotionally stable place (not that I am now ;)) to share. We decided to share with close friends and family right away, which was terrifying, but we immediately found ourselves surrounded with their joy, excitement and belief that this would be a healthy pregnancy. As we began to share, questions were brought to me that I didn’t know how to process. I realized that if we were to share with the “whole world” that many more questions would arise and I really wouldn’t be able to share where I was at. I didn’t know. I was in shock. Fear and anxiety had a strong grip on me and what I was able to feel during that time. I needed the time to “process” the best that I could. I found taking it one day at a time, even still, is the best medicine for me. God guided my heart in showing me that important “one day at a time” lesson when I was pregnant with Eisley. Not that I am a faithful do-er, but I try to remember that and it helps immensely.

Another huge reason for not sharing early on was due to fear of having my heart wounded. After we lost Eisley, I was incredibly stunned to find myself wounded by people I’d never imagined myself hurt by. I had an incredibly hard time being able to sort through what people intentions were when they shared something publicly or to me personally. It was (and occasionally is) a constant daily struggle.  I found distance creep into even some of my closest friendships. I lost friendships due to feeling abandoned and ultimately wounded in the time of our darkest season, but for the most part, I allowed distance between friendships and people because of my assumptions. God has brought a lot of healing to my heart and now I rarely struggle with bitterness anymore. But it’s taken time and I still feel the ache of the loss of those friends when I really think about it. All this to say, I wasn’t sure how much more hurt I could handle at that point, where I first found out we were pregnant. I was in an incredibly vulnerable state that I feared more pain. I feel much stronger now and am able to (for the most part) sort through what’s said, or not said, and let. it. go. 

Perhaps, though, my biggest reason for not sharing my pregnancy with everyone for months… I didn’t want to have people think or even say things that implied that I would be replacing Eisley with another baby. Especially if this baby would have been a girl. As I began to share our pregnancy with family and close friends, I found myself in tears after sharing more than standing in joy and belief. I didn’t want to hear how “redeeming” this pregnancy could/would be. I didn’t want to hear that people had hoped I was having a little girl, because it conflicted with what I had hoped and my reasonings, and so I would believe that ultimately people were saying to me “I hope you have a little girl! Wouldn’t that be so redeeming?!” Even when that was {not at all} what people were really saying. I struggle believing that if we shared with everyone, perhaps most would hope we’d have a little girl. In my heart, I ached at the thought that others might really think having another little girl would be redeeming when in fact I knew for myself, even though that might look to be like redemption, it would not be at all. It would never bring my Eisley back and in that way, it could never be redeeming. (I hope I’m making sense)

All of the above are the “reasons” for why, for the most part, I kept my mouth sealed tight, until we shared at our Mustache or Bows Party. As I shared all of these above struggles with one of my dearest friends, she suggested that maybe I wait to announce to everyone (like on social media) until after we’ve had the party and can share with the “whole world” that I was pregnant and it was a boy. That way it left very little room for my heart to feel wounded by responses of people hoping it was a girl for redemptive purposes. Even when that wasn’t what people meant or their intention, it was/would be hard to hear.

So a quick summary of what I felt when I first learned that baby #3 was a boy… well, first things first, I noticed before anyone told me! I have seen quite a few ultrasounds and I just noticed that it was a boy. I asked the ultrasound technician  if what I was seeing was little boy parts and she looked at me quite surprised and said, “Yes! I’m almost positive that what we’re seeing it outdoor plumbing.” :)

At 13 weeks pregnant I found out that I was having a little boy. My heart and mind felt relief. He had heard my cry and knew that this was what was best for my heart right now. I was also so thankful I found out so early in this pregnancy. That same week, I chose the perfect name for our boy and I can’t wait to share the name and the incredible meaning for him and for our family, in less than 10 weeks now!!! Boy S will have to do for now :)

Do I want a girl in the future? Yes I do. And I feel so strongly that we will have another little girl in our family but that time is not right now. I feel in my heart that when we do know that we are pregnant with another little girl, I will be as “ready” as one can be. I imagine that some of these same fears, struggles and lies will arise, but I also know that time will help my heart to heal and become ready for another precious baby girl.

Part 5 I’ll share what it was like to share the news at our gender reveal and also to the “whole world”.

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10 thoughts on “Pregnancy After Loss {Part 4}: Was I hoping for a boy or a girl? (Word heavy blog post)

  1. Wow! I know it must be hard to share all of this with strangers, but it is so neat to be “inside” your story and what is going on with you and your family. I want you to know that I appreciate your vulnerability and your honesty. I am just a little college student with no experience in any of this, but I can see God working in and through your family! I am praying for you, Ted, Chase, and Boy S. (Seriously, I really am. I just made a sticky note reminder!) I look forward to reading the next part of your story and I can’t wait to “meet” Boy S!

  2. I think it is so wonderful that you share all of this. I have never lost a child but I am sure this would be so comforting to someone that has lost a child because I bet they also have so many of the same feelings you are expressing. Also I’m sure this helps in your healing process. No baby will ever replace sweet Eisley and it will be wonderful for you to share her life with your children as they grow. XOXO

  3. Jami,
    I am so happy to read all of this. Happy for you that God undoubtadly heard your cry and gave you the desires of your heart. I was so curious as to what you had hoped this baby to be, but didn’t ask because I’ve never walked through anything comparable to this, and I hate that question myself for my own reasons. Thanks for sharing!
    I’m not sure you realize how much of an amazing person you are, but I truely admire so many things about you.
    Xo, brit

  4. Jamie, I pray that God pours out His comfort and love to you, and that you are overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing your heart, and your story. I cannot wait to sit with you and your Eisley in Heaven.

  5. jami, thanks again as always for sharing your story with us. i think your feelings and desires are completely valid and obviously our Father understood them… oh how wonderful it is that He knows exactly what we need…

    you’re an incredible woman and God has you right where He wants you to be… just rest in His embrace. you are so very loved!

  6. I journaled my heart away in pregnancy too. I was very isolated, very alone. A cat and me in a bedsitter. I really feel for your stuff. Good on you.

  7. LOVE this Jami! What a raw and well-crafted post. I have loved reading through your journey… please know that no matter how much contact we do or don’t have, I am always praying for and thinking of you! My sweet, sweet Colorado friend ;-) Rachel and I love you!

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