It’s impossible to not compare pregnancies.  Already, they are so different.  The nausea hit fast and hard and, this time, includes heartburn.  With Benjamin, I had for force myself to eat; this time, I have to force myself to STOP eating.  Benjamin wanted healthy stuff – mainly apples – and later, hot wings.  This baby just wants mint Oreo ice cream, cheese, and peaches.  For the first time in my entire life, I drove by an Indian restaurant and kind of wanted to try it.  Not bad enough to actually stop, though.  Oriental Chicken Salad from Applebees is a winner, too – so there’s one point for the healthy stuff.  And neither Benjamin nor this baby is a fan of car rides; that’s when the nausea really kicks in.

I forgot to mention in the last post that when I bought the pregnancy test, the clerk offered me a bag of M&Ms for celebration or comfort, depending on which way the results go.  I just thought, wow…there used to be only two ways it could go.  Positive or negative.  Now there are four ways.  Negative, positive but may miscarry, positive but may get bad results on the chromosome analysis, or positive and everything is fine.  I don’t think they make bags of M&Ms big enough for all of that.

We’ve allowed ourselves to have a little bit of fun.  Yesterday we talked about names.  No matter what happens, this baby should have a name.  It was a lot of fun to read lists of names and throw them out there, thinking about what those names could eventually mean to us.  I think we are 90% agreed on a girl’s name.  The only hint that I’m giving right now is that if it’s a boy, his middle name will be Benjamin.  If it’s a girl, and things go well, her nursery will be yellow with a dandelion puff theme.  No matter what, there needs to be a big connection between Benjamin and this baby.  That’s important to us.

We obviously have a lot of anxiety about all of this.  Eddie said it well:  We don’t know which way is up right now.  We don’t know how this is going to go, but we can only hope.  It’s only action that is within our control in regards to this pregnancy, this baby.

I know Benjamin is with us in some way.  I imagine his soul as being wise beyond what you’d expect from someone who never opened his eyes and only lived for 15 minutes.  In his short life, he was a teacher.  I am stronger because he was here, and becoming stronger yet because he’s still here, just in a different way.  Children usually glean strength from their parents; we get ours from him.

I was unpacking our books and came across a book my mom gave me a few Christmases ago; it’s a small inspirational book based on the song “I Hope You Dance.”  I’d like to share an excerpt that really struck the core of my heart, considering what’s going on at the moment:

What is hope? To want? To desire? To expect that what’s envisioned will indeed happen? Is hope that gut feeling that it’s worth holding out and hanging on just a little bit longer? ABSOLUTELY. Is hope the core of the human condition? CERTAINLY. Can you have hope without faith and humility and wonder? THAT’S TOUGH. Just the thought that there’s something bigger, something truer, something totally surprising out there waiting for us is…priceless.
What would you be without hope growing deep in your bones, thriving in every inch of you? NOTHING. What does it take to hope? EVERYTHING.
It’s crossing your fingers when the map doesn’t make sense, when the compass doesn’t know truly north from truly lost; and it’s up to you – you and your gut and your mettle, and your level of resilience, and your wealth of wisdom – to perservere. To get to the other side. To hope.
– Mark D. Sanders & Tia Sillers