Baby Sliwa #2
October 2016 will forever hold a special place in my heart. Not only is this the month that every year recognizes pregnancy and infant loss, and the month where for the first time since my surgery and loosing Liam I was finally beginning to feel like my old self again but it was also the month that Jimmy and I found out that we were expecting our second baby Sliwa. I vividly remember the morning of October 25, 2016. Jimmy had already left for work, the house was quiet and the thought briefly crossed my mind to try taking a pregnancy test. I was 5 days away from my expected cycle so seeing a positive on a test this early was going to be a long shot but I decided it wouldn’t hurt anything to try.
After our loss we had been tracking my cycles pretty regularly so I knew that these few days to come would either change our lives forever or would send us into another month of wonder and anticipation. Those minutes waiting for the test to finish felt like a lifetime as I held my breath waiting for the results. As the clock ticked on I quietly paced back and forth, attempting to create a picture in my mind of how I would feel seeing those two pink lines appear on the screen again.
The time was up.
I peaked down at the tiny display.
A very faint, almost unrecognizable second line had appeared on the screen.
My heart began racing as all sorts of questions ran through my mind. Did I take the test accurately? Am I making this up in my head? Did I wait to long to read the test? Did I happen to buy a faulty test? All sorts of questions with no one to answer them. So I took another test….. 6 more tests to be exact. Every test bearing that faint promising line.
Shocked. Excited. Shaking. Joyful. Hopeful. Confused.
My mind was frantically trying to process this new information that I had been dreaming about for ½ a year now. I remember in those first few moments of finding out this new miracle was a part of us again, that a song come over the radio and the line sang out “I hear a voice and it calls me redeemed”. With those few words I crumbled. Tears of joy. As this new reality was washing over me, I was reminded of all the countless times following our loss that I came to Jimmy, broken, specifically telling him that I didn’t understand how the Lord could ever redeem this situation. I was reminded of all of the times I spent angry and frustrated before the Lord begging Him to redeem the hurt and the pain. It was here, as I heard those few words that the Lord revealed redemption to me and spoke truth over my heart that He had never once left me or forsaken me. Neither through the pain of our loss nor in the goodness of this new and beautiful miracle. He was always there. Always working.
We found out that we were pregnant at exactly 3 weeks 3 days. The days proceeding those ever faint lines were filled with more tests that progressively became darker and undeniable. As Jimmy and I praised the Lord for this new life that we had been praying relentlessly for we also continued to pray truths over my heart and over my mind. To say that nerves haven’t played a roll in this pregnancy after our last experience would be a lie. Those first few weeks we knew that we were pregnant it was a constant battle fighting that ever small voice in the back of my head that told me this pregnancy wouldn’t be any different then the last. The voice that told me that I should prepare myself for the worst and that I shouldn’t allow myself to get too attached. That voice was persistent but yet again our God proved to be greater and even louder.
At 6 weeks 2 days the morning of our first ultrasound I woke up to use the restroom and for the first time in this pregnancy I saw a small amount of spotting. I rushed into our room in tears as Jimmy reassured me over and over again that everything was going to be okay. We spent the whole drive into anchorage listening to worship music and praying. As the nurse lead us back to our room my heart was racing and my palms were sweaty. The lights were turned off and the big screen in front of Jimmy and myself that would soon reveal our baby was still, as I held my breath hoping and praying everything was okay with this baby.
There on the screen….. my heart stopped. I knew what I was looking at. I had seen this before on our last ultrasounds. There was our baby. I look at our Doctor and asked her, “is this baby in the right place”. She smiled and said “your baby is in the right place!”
At the sound of those words and at the sight of our baby for the first time I looked over at Jimmy and I cried. I’m not talking just your average dainty cry I’m talking the big ugly deep down from your soul cry. Our baby was right where they needed to be. Praise the Lord! Seconds later a tiny healthy heartbeat began fluttering on the screen. Everything measuring wonderfully. Jimmy and I left that appointment, our hearts feeling so full.
We decided to take our announcement pictures at 7 weeks (as posted here) as a way to not only honor the life that is no longer with us through our rainbow baby post but also to celebrate this new life no matter how long we get to carry it for. This life is precious to us and we’re so beyond excited about this new chapter in our lives that spreading the word and sharing this good news was important to both of us!
At 8 weeks and 2 days we went in for our second ultrasound. What a sweet picture that was, as the screen popped up once again and our tiny baby (much bigger now compared to our first ultrasound) appeared for their close up. No longer a little seed but now visible appendages, heartbeat so beautiful and strong. My favorite part of the ultrasound was seeing our little baby take after their active daddy as they wiggled around on the screen for us.
Today we are at 9 weeks 4 days and yesterday yet again we got to see our little gummy bear. The most precious thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Their heartbeat fluttering just the way it should, their tiny body dancing around on the screen putting on a show for us. With each new ultrasound that I get to see that little baby growing and thriving I feel like I can breath a little easier and my heart fill with so much joy and thankfulness.
Every day that we move forward on this journey is another day that reminds us of how much we need Jesus. How this baby was never ours to begin with and neither was our last. How it’s precious time that He’s given us to carry this sweet life no matter what that ends up looking like. Every day that we move forward is another day that allows my heart to open up and be fully excited for what’s to come instead of fearful for what could go wrong. Every day that we move forward that awful deceiving voice gets smaller and the truths and promises of our Father grow stronger and louder. Every day that we move forward, even though I can’t feel them yet I imagine them moving around inside of me like I’ve seen on the ultrasounds. Every day that we move forward Jimmy and I feel even more grateful and honored for another opportunity to be parents and raise our children to love God and love people. Every day that we move forward brings us memories of this season of life and of our sweet Liam that will never be forgotten but will forever be watching over their siblings from Heaven. And every day that we move forward is another day that we’re granted to be reminded of the faithfulness of Jesus in the good and the hard times and that “He makes everything beautiful in HIS time.”
We are over the moon excited to pregnant again!
Words can’t even fully express the emotions and the joy that goes into that statement. This life is tiny but it’s a life nonetheless and we are so in love with our baby already. We’re so grateful for all of the support, thoughts and prayers that we’ve received from all of you throughout this season of our lives. Again we just want to extend the invitation for prayer to any of you out there that are struggling with the loss of a baby or trying to conceive. We have walked that road. We’re still walking that road and we believe that no one should have to struggle through those emotions on their own. I know I’ve said it before but I just want to finish with this. The Lord is not finished with me and He’s not finished with you. If you’re walking through something that seems like there’s no end, know that there is. Keep pressing on, keeping moving forward. There is no guaranteed time frame but God is on the move in your life and the light is there. Just keep moving.