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Motherhood

Mom Guilt and the Gender Ultrasound

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that reached out to my family after we lost our sweet James. The Facebook messages, phone calls, texts, letters, voicemails, emails, Instagram comments, flowers, gifts, and visits. All of it. No matter how big or small, I promise everything was received and appreciated. In fact, I don’t know how I would have gotten through the first week without having those messages to read. I still haven’t gotten to respond to everyone personally, but I am doing my best.

Losing a child is something I never thought in a million years would be something that I would experience. I’m still struggling with the surreality of it. I’m struggling with guilt for wanting to get pregnant again so soon. I know a new baby won’t ever replace the one I lost, but I think it will help me with the healing process. You see, James was such a wanted pregnancy and baby. We were really ready for a third– as ready as anyone can ever be for a baby, anyways.

When we first found out we were pregnant with James, Matt and I contemplated having a gender reveal party. Ultimately we decided against it because the time we would be finding out the gender coincided with Reese’s first birthday, and I really wanted Reese to have his own special day without having to share it with a gender reveal.

We were totally not on the same page when it came to deciding when we wanted to find out the gender– me being a fan of instant gratification, and Matt being extremely money-conscious and responsible, God bless him, we were at odds on whether or not we should splurge on the fancy elective ultrasound that would tell us everything we wanted to know. Of course I was on this side– Matt wanted to wait until the 20week anatomy scan that was included in our copay at the doctor as part of a routine visit.

Anyone who knows me knows that I can be extremely pushy and unreasonable quite persuasive when I want something, so naturally I won that argument. Matt agreed to let me go to one of those boutique ultrasound places that can tell you the gender as early as 14 weeks, so that’s exactly what I did. Due to my symptoms which were different than my first two pregnancies (both boys), I was completely sure that this was going to be a girl, but I went in with an open mind because a healthy baby is all anyone really wants– boy or girl.

With Matt’s schedule being so busy and this being our third pregnancy, I let him sit this one out and ended up taking a dear friend and my boys. It took the ultrasound tech a solid 45 minutes to get the “potty shot” that would determine the gender of our little babe. Lo and behold, I see it. The unmistakeable nub that told me I was not going to need to buy anything pink. Looking back on that day, I feel horrible that I ever felt any sense of disappointment that we were going to be having yet another boy. I would literally give anything to have my third boy here with me. This is something I’m sure I will struggle with for the rest of my life.

The ultrasound DVD from that visit– with James wiggling and bouncing all around on the screen, then proudly displaying his boy parts for all of us to see– is and will always be one of my most treasured possessions. How energetic and full of life he was while he was in my belly just makes me so happy. But it kills me that I won’t get to hold him or play with him in this earthly life. God’s plan is more perfect than mine, but Lord knows it’s hurting me right now as I am trying my best to understand.

Looking back on all of this, I am so grateful to have gotten my way and gotten that ultrasound done– the ultrasound which at the time we thought was superfluous and unnecessary. That DVD is all I have to remember that pregnancy by because, as you know, I never got my 20week ultrasound since I was admitted straight from that appointment to deliver my stillborn son. Thank God I have this.

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