(Warning, this post could be a trigger for those that are grieving or expecting a child.)
I’m honored to share a special guest post with you guys today, it will be a three part series. My friend Britni and I were not just band geeks together, we were HOMESCHOOLED band geeks! I’m shy and dorky, she’s loud and hilarious. We got through middle school together!
While we’ve grown apart over the years, we’ve kept in touch over social media. She recently experienced everyone’s worst nightmare; losing a child. She shared her story with me and agreed to share it with all of you. It’s hard, it’s powerful, it’s good.
It’s my hope that if you or someone you know is grieving that they will find a little bit of extra hope by reading this. You are not alone.
Please note that there are some very raw and heartbreaking photos at the end of the last post. There are many folks who’s hearts cannot handle looking when they are hurting so much themselves. We wanted you to be fully aware and make the best choice for your heart and grief process.
I remember driving home that night from work, terrified of what I might find. I got home, drank some water and took a few breaths. I took not just 1 but 3 pregnancy tests that night, I knew whatever the result, I had to be sure of it. This was a big deal, I was doing everything out of order. I looked to confirm my thoughts, it was true, I was pregnant. I was scared to tell Bill, I was worried this wasn’t what he signed up for. I thought every thought imaginable, you do that when you worry about disappointing people. After a “first time pregnant” doctors apt and a deep conversation with Bill about our convictions, hopes and dreams we wrapped our heads, hearts, and arms around this perfect little child that had started to form inside me.
There was so much to be excited about, I had never done this before. In fact I was told it might be difficult to get pregnant without assistance. Not that we were trying or even had this planned. This baby was the ultimate surprise, the ultimate gift. I dedicated myself to being the best mother there could be, it was such a privilege to know my body was working the way it was supposed to. From there on it was an uphill battle that was worth every second. I had a falling out with my parents because this baby was not planned. Although my older sister Bethani was so loving and encouraging. I decided to surprise my sister with a photo frame as a gift, she wasn’t quite sure what to think of it until she realized the ultrasound she was looking at was mine and under the picture it said “Also made in Mexico!” Best thing I ever recorded on video – her excitement for this baby! She let me know I was loved, my child was loved and we would be able to get through this. I love Jax and Jemma, my nephew and niece, I just couldn’t wait to have one of my very own, there would be another cousin to play and grow up with. Early on in the pregnancy I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. That was such a blow, when I thought I would be able to be more loose with my diet, I mean I was pregnant right, I had to be more careful then I had ever been with food. I watched and maintained my sugars. I even lost weight being pregnant, this baby was making me healthier, a blessing in disguise.
I was often asked if I wanted a boy or girl, my only statement I ever uttered was that “I didn’t care, I felt so blessed, I just wanted a healthy baby”. I was even teased for being so “politically correct”. Though, it was a true statement I felt in my soul. There was a part of me that was coming alive that I never felt before, it was this untainted, true, pure, unconditional love for whomever was inside me. Bill and I had Bethani join us on our 4 ½ month ultrasound. The time had come, we were going to find out if this person who had stolen our hearts was in fact Madelyn Genevieve or Brenden Richard. As we all sat patiently as the ultrasound tech checked to make sure he was put together perfectly, he was by the way, she scanned over his parts and I shouted out “IT’S A BOY!!”. Bethani waved her Blue Cake picture in celebration, she had come with a pink one too just in case! No wonder I was so in love, it was a boy, the first blind date I would ever have and fall completely in love. From there on he was Brenden, my bubba, Bill’s 3rd son. We came home that day and celebrated by a night out dancing with friends, Bill had a few drinks and a cigar, he was absolutely thrilled. He had said the whole time he thought it was a boy. I was convinced Brenden acted just like his father and would look like him too.
The months went on and I just continued loving on my son, this precious boy I was given. We would sing, talk and laugh together. All of “my” adventures were now “our” adventures. I was the crazy lady who looked like she was talking to herself most of the time but Brenden was hilarious though, such funny comebacks, he made me laugh and kept me entertained. The best part would be coming home from work, Bill would start talking and once Brenden heard him he would start what I would call “his kung fu lessons”. No question Brenden would be just like his dad, Bill was able to be more involved with Brenden because I again was a crazy mommy. We were a family of 3, you just couldn’t see all of us yet.
We worked on the house all summer in preparation for Brenden’s arrival of course but also the holidays which were going to be here sooner than we realized. I signed Bill and I up for Thanksgiving at our home. That meant most of the remodeling needed to be finished because we needed room for our families and I was cooking the whole spread. I was 5months pregnant at that time, I was so proud of all the work Bill had done on the house, it looked just wonderful. Brenden and I spent days at Hobby Lobby figuring out how to decorate this beautiful home that daddy had made livable for all of us. Bill wasn’t nearly as happy as I was to have to put everything up in the house, but what a trooper he was! The end result was fabulous, the Thompson Family totally rocked that holiday. We did it, the 3 of us!
Christmas then came, Bill and I had spent nights out shopping. Buying additional things for the house as well as Brenden’s Christmas gifts. He got quite a few things, Bill had picked out 2 outfits for him, we also decided on his swing and stroller. Purchased and wrapped up under the tree with his name tag on them from mom and dad. I kept those Christmas tags, I am now more grateful then ever for that.