Saturday, July 14, 2012

Baby Clothes and Reckless Hope

I promised myself I wouldn't buy any more baby things for Jacob, our rainbow son.

But today I did.

I was in Wal-Mart, and when I passed by the baby section, I thought, why not?

So in I went.  And of course I found some adorable things, like some puppy-themed onesies and matching pants, and a fleecy dinosaur sleep sack. 

And of course I bought them.

When I was at the store, I felt like a normal pregnant mama, happily planning for the safe and much-awaited arrival of her baby.  Planning as if said safe arrival is guaranteed. 

But I know that it's not guaranteed, that nothing is.  I know that I am not your typical pregnant mama.

Today I let myself indulge, let myself pretend.  After all, our baby will need clothes to wear when he arrives.  So it's not even like I indulged extravagantly. 

But when I got home it suddenly began to feel extravagant.  No, that's not the right word -- reckless.  It felt reckless.

To buy clothes for a baby who might not live to wear them?  To pretend that I know what tomorrow holds for this pregnancy, much less next month or three months from now?


Reckless.

When I got home, I stashed Jacob's new clothes in the bin where I've been storing the sweet gifts he's gotten from friends and family, plus the few things I bought him early on.


The bin is pretty full -- but it's mostly full of the clothes I bought for Eve.  Snuggly onesies purchased in preparation for the winter weather of her January due date.  Gingham sundresses for her first summer.

At first I put Jacob's things in there because they made me afraid.  I wanted them tucked away, just in case the worst happened.  Again.

But it hasn't (yet) and now I have mixed feelings about the bin storing the unworn clothes of both my children.  Part of me loves having Jacob's things nestled up against his sister's.  And part of me is terrified, supersititously, that what happened to her might somehow rub off on his clothes and cause him to die, too.

Reckless.

And yet . . . isn't hope reckless?  And isn't reckless hope worth having? 

I want to celebrate this boy.  I want to celebrate my daughter.  I don't want to live in fear, although often I do.  And hope really is scary.  But if a bit of fear is the price of reckless hope -- well, that is a price I am willing to pay.

Because the reward of hope is far greater than the price of fear, even when that hope is not realized.

That happened with Eve.  I hoped for her, planned for her, but the hope for her life was never fulfilled.  And yet, although she is dead, I do not regret a moment of that hope, that planning.  It was a gift I could give to her, and to God, and to myself.  It is a gift that I am glad to have given.

I refuse to plan for our son's death unless we are forced to.  Until then, I will hope, and plan for life.  Even (or perhaps especially) when it makes me tremble.


"While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, 'Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?'  But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, 'Do not fear, only believe.'"
~ Mark 5:35-36

34 comments:

  1. I LOVE that you were reckless today!! That is how hope overcomes grief - one reckless moment at a time. For just a little while today, you trusted that Jacob would arrive safely into the world. It wore off, of course it's going to, and the fear is going to take over again, but you still HAD those moments and that makes me SO happy for you! I bet, in the moment, it felt good to plan, to imagine his warm snuggly presence in that adorable dinosaur outfit. You deserve those moments.

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    1. It felt SO Good. I hope the next 12.5 weeks pass FAST because I am so ready for him. I am starting to be able to really believe more and more that I will birth a surviving child by October. And that is sooo exciting!

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  2. oh, celebrate, celebrate! it is okay to be reckless with your love, to wildly abandon your fear and drop your skivvies at the front door. hope is really scary and so is love, my dear. and the truth is, even after you hold that baby boy in your arms, you will have a whole new batch of fears about that boy you love so much and from what i hear, this never stops--the fears just get different with every age! i heard my 96 year old gramma some years ago, scold my mom (who was like, OLD at the time, lol!) to wear a sweater because of the weather! so you may as well start letting that love for your little boy oooze out now! there's no holding back a mama’s love and your evie and your jacob would want it no other way, i'm sure of it! :) hugs.

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    1. Love that, Jan! And I'm sure you're right...we're mamas, so we fear. But we also LOVE! :)

      Also, I think it's amazing that you worked in the phrase "drop your skivvies at the front door." Pure awesome. :)

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  3. reckless is good. prayers ascending for all of you. hope, hope, hope is a good thing. having walked your path it is hard, yet God is good and has this.

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  4. God, Beth, this made me cry. Like, HARD. I don't know you, I just found your blog this morning, but I'm SO very proud of you for being recklessly hopeful. "Isn't hope reckless?" YES, it so is, it's the foolish things we do that shames the wisdom of this world, the wisdom that would tell you, "Don't get your hopes up, not again..." Be foolish. Be reckless, in the face of the world's wisdom, and in the face of fear (because aren't they the same thing?). Love.

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    1. Oh yes. Thank you, Rachel.

      And I'm so glad you found your way to my blog, because that helped me find my way to yours, and I just love what you write there and how you share your heart. xoxo

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  5. That recklessness represent a heart filled with Hope, embrace it! Praying the weeks pass by quickly and you are holding that sweet boy in your arms as he lovingly looks into his mommy's eyes.

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    1. I like that prayer. :) Thank you, Stephanie!

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  6. Agreed. Reckless is good. And its OK. And then its OK to be wary of being reckless too. But hope we have, and hope we must. Love you.

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  7. I don't think you are one bit reckless. I think you are doing just as God wants you to be...celebrating the joy and wonder and miracle in the life He's given you to do so with...and that can't be reckless, can it? He tells us not to worry about tomorrow, for today has enough of its own worries...and gracious knows we, of all people, certainly know how the worries of today can literally change our lives—much less the worry of the horror that could come with tomorrow.

    After Matthew died, I worried about whether or not I'd be able to give to Luke what I gave to Matthew—that pure, unabashed joy in planning as if he would live...because yeah, that STUNG as we drove home from the hospital with an empty car seat.

    And I couldn't...it wasn't the same...it can't ever be the same, can it?

    But what it was was even better, I think...because it was so overwhelmingly filled with gratitude—and celebration for the gift of that sweet second boy growing inside of me...and it was a faith that was similar to yours—refusal to plan for a funeral unless the need arose.

    Keeping you in prayers still!!! Trust me, this last trimester will fly. You'll blink and it'll be gone!
    xoxoxoxoxo

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    1. Lori, I totally feel the same way. I cannot give Jacob the same thing I would have given Eve, and what I did give her -- but perhaps now what I have is BETTER, because she died. Somehow, I think this is going to prove true. God is in that kind of business. And I definitely appreciate a lot of things much more now that I've experienced so painfully how life can change so fast. Thanks for reminding me! Hugs.

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  8. Ann Voskamp posted something that really blessed me the other day, may I share it with you?
    "It isn’t the likelihood of your hope that sustains you, but the Object of your hope that sustains you."
    Blessings to you tonight,
    Margo @ Legacy of a Single Girl

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    1. Oh yes. Thank you, Margo! I love Ann's words.

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  9. I love that you are focusing on the hope and planning for Jacob's life. <3
    beautiful, heartfelt post beth.

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  10. I am so wonderfully joyful to have run across your blog! What a blessing and truly brave!

    You are such a brave woman Beth! And because you are so brave, you are helping so many women and men that have gone and are going through the grief of losing a child.

    God often gives double for our loses...just have a gander at Job!

    Jacob will be a such a loved child! I hope when he comes you will share some of the many moments of love and joy you will have with him with us!

    Be blessed!

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so excited to share more of Jacob after he arrives...he is already a huge blessing to my heart.

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  11. It would/will be tricky for me also when I get pregnant. I think you are right we have hope and that hope shine in our giving to our little ones. Such sweet stuff awaits Jacob :)

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    1. Excited to hear that you are thinking rainbowish thoughts, Tesha! :)

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  12. I happened upon your blog from Still Standing Magazine. My son Colton was stillborn on 1/17/12, 6 months ago today. I am so grateful for this post because I am 16 weeks along with our rainbow and we just found out that we are having a little girl, therefore, we will need to buy her clothes to wear. Colton was our second son so we hadn't needed to buy him many things, the few we did are now in his memory box. I am finding myself not wanting to prepare for this little girl, but then I get mad that I'm just assuming she won't be arriving alive. It's been very difficult but it really does feel like reckless hope (Hope is her middle name) I am going to choose to live and prepare for her.

    Thank You again for sharing, it's just what I needed.

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    1. Congratulations on your rainbow girl, Becca! That's such wonderful news...although it is definitely complicated coming on the heels of a recent loss. I'm glad that you are choosing to prepare, and Hope is a lovely middle name. I'm a member of a great rainbow pregnancy support group on Facebook that has been really helpful in navigating all the really confusing stuff. If you'd like to join, just send me a message on FB! <3

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  13. Ava totally had that dino onsie pj suit thingy soooo cute
    stop - STOP telling yourself stuff
    one awful
    sad
    wrong
    horrible
    happenstance
    does not a lifetime make
    your baby is coming
    all is as it should be
    you are safe
    Eve is ok
    she might even be back as a boy
    all is as it should be
    thank you for being strong
    allow yourself to just be and have fun and no worry-no more than a regular pregnant woman
    love
    kiki

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  14. We just started trying again after losing our first child and I have already been thinking SO MANY of these things myself. Part of me wants to run out the second I get a pregnancy test and buy something for my second child. The other part of me wants to wait until I have a living, breathing baby in my arms to buy a single thing. Pregnancy after babyloss is not a simple easy thing...

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  15. Oh my goodness Beth this is the first time I've visited your blog. This post is exactly what I needed to hear. This is such a difficult thing. I'm expecting for a third time after losing my first two pregnancies to first trimester miscarriages. My emotions are so mixed as I'm still in the first trimester and am constantly battling between hope and fear. Do I let my guard down and enjoy this life inside of me? Or do I keep excitement under lock and key, at an attempt to "protect" myself from the shock of another loss? Anyway, I was very encouraged by your post and it hasallowed me to breath a little easier and cherish this little one growing inside of me, for as long as the Lord allows me to. Blessings to you. And thank you for sharing.

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  16. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing this...We just found out yesterday that I'm pregnant with ur rainbow baby and I am terrified that we'll loose this baby too...its so hard. I want to be happy and "carefree" like my other pregnant friends but I am afraid that if I let myself just relish in the moment it will be snatched from me...its so hard. I burst into tears when I read your story...it hits so close to home.

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