I feel like I know you so well, maybe its time I introduce myself, so you can know me a little too. My name is Kristen. I’m married, have a houseful of children, I love chocolate,sunshine and the ocean. I speak with a rich southern drawl, the likes of which you have probably never heard. :) I love to read, sit on my front porch and blog. A couple of years ago, through a little blog hopping that I believe was anything but coincidence, I came across your little corner of the internet. I read your posts about Lucy, barely able to read through my tears and yet at the same time coming away uplifted, with the desire to cherish my own small children a little more.
For the most part, I live a simple, quiet life. I married the love of my life when I when I was only 19. Over the next nine years we went to school, changed jobs, moved several times and welcomed four little ones into our home. After baby number four came, we talked about if we wanted more children. I felt that there was at least one more. Sometimes I just chalked it up to my love for babies, but there were a few moments that I felt it was something more. One experience, in particular, assured me that there was indeed another Spirit waiting, and I felt that it was a boy. It was hard to hold onto those moments, but I knew.
Still, it was a huge surprise for my hubby and I, when I unexpectedly found out a baby was on the way. It was the first day of school for the older kids, there were a million things going on that week...including two pink lines that meant the start of something wonderful.
For the most part, everything was normal, except for a bad case of anxiety about this pregnancy. I tried to brush it off, and sometimes even succeeded, but could never quite shake. Right before our 18 week ultrasound, the doctor called and said one of the tests had come back a little higher than normal for trisomy 18 and he wanted me to have a level 2 ultrasound. That day will forever be burned in my brain...the clothes I was wearing, how the room looked, the technician’s face. The verdict was a severe neural tube defect that in the end proved fatal. Just shy of 20 weeks, we had to say good-bye to our precious little boy.
As I am working through the grieving process, I have looked to mothers, such as you, Molly, as an example of how to navigate uncharted waters. Your strength and grace through the unthinkable has given me courage. Your frankness about the darkness and the pain has been comforting and refreshing. And most of all, it has reminded me that others have been where I am (and through worse) and have kept going. And in the end, they have survived. So I can, too.
Every day is not easy. Lots of days are not. But I have never been left alone. I wish things could have been different. But I have come to know that this experience was part of my life’s plan. I have a deeper appreciation for my husband and a sweeter feeling for my children--the four here on earth and the one I hold in my heart. For he is mine, just as surely as the other four are.
So thank you, for showing me the way, even before I knew I needed it. I am a better person for having shared your story. And maybe, someone will feel that way for having shared mine.
I'll be posting all about the INCREDIBLE concert as as soon as I get a handle on my flooded basement. Oh, you guys--don't get me started. I haven't sat down or showered since Thursday morning before the concert. (Not entirely, but basically). But I will say this--the concert blew me away.