06 May 2011

In These Two Hands

I've written before about the tension in life that everything we've been through in the past year or so has made so evident -- how life is not in fact black or white, good or bad, joyous or painful. It is all these things almost all the time. And sometimes holding both feels like a push toward the edge of sanity.

As we are finalizing our choices about Ewan's grave marker, we also received news of a glad nature -- news that lightened our hearts even as we felt the knife twist from having to make choices about what our firstborn's grave marker would look like.

We just found out that Ewan is a big brother. We just found out that we are expecting Baby #2.

We've waited and hoped for this day for awhile now. And while in my mind I know that rejoicing over Ewan's sibling is in no way a dishonor to Ewan, there is something terribly bittersweet about it. This pregnancy can't help but call to mind my first, and the joy and anticipation with which we looked forward to the pregnancy and birth of our first child.

In the one hand, I hold hope and joy and the promise of a new beginning. In the other, I hold a knowledge of the world that I did not possess a year ago -- the knowledge of CHD, of fatal defects in those who are still being formed in the womb, of holding a son while his heart beats its last. I am not so naive anymore.

There is no reason to expect any of that will happen again. Statistically, what happened to Ewan was unlikely. Perhaps not so rare -- about one in one hundred according to some figures. But there is still a weightiness to this hope that, in the early stages of this pregnancy, surprises me somewhat.

In the one hand, hope and joy and new beginning. In the other, the memory and the ache of the child who left.  One does not cancel out the other. They are the realities I hold, one in each hand.

Even so, my joy is great and this new child -- this little poppyseed  who even now is kicking my butt -- is a reason to celebrate and hope for the best.

57 comments:

Courtney said...

Congratulations! WIshing you peace and happiness and you navigate the sea of emotions.

KLaw said...

I cried tears of joy reading your news this morning on FB. And hearing it again in this realm makes it that much more amazing. I will pray for you and James. And baby #2 and continue to believe that Ewan is doing big things up there and holding his baby brother or sister in his arms until he or she is in yours.

Ashley said...

Congrats!!!! That is sooo exciting!!! I hope you are feeling well ;)

Jamie said...

I hope you have a blissfully boring pregnancy. Congratulations

Erin said...

Congrats and I'm so glad you shared this ... what a blessing! I'm praying for your family during this wonderful time!

Kimberley said...

i have been praying for you and now i'm so happy to pray for sweet baby #2. :) we rejoice with you in this wonderful news!!!

Mrs. A said...

CONGRATULATIONS to you all! We will continue to pray for you!!!

Danna said...

Congratulations!!!

LauraJane said...

Congratulations!!! I'm sure this news is absolutely bittersweet, but I am so excited for you to have something to look forward to once again. Ewan will be an amazing big brother, no doubt. :)

For Our Brave Heart, Sam said...

I've been following your blog for quite some time, and have always been impressed by your beautifully expressive writing and brutal honesty. We are Catholic, and your recent posts on the body and on Easter have left a great impression on me. I am beyond excited for your family with the news of this new baby. I totally understand the apprehension, as my first son has HRHS, and going to our second son's ultrasounds always brought great stress. I will keep you and your family in my prayers, and I hope this baby brings you all great joy and healing.
Kathy
www.lilwim.blogspot.com

Perfectly Imperfect said...

congratulations!! praying God watches over this pregnancy and blesses you with a perfectly healthy baby. This babe already has a pretty perfect angel watching over it in it's older brother.

Momma Dana said...

I've been following you since last September, and the other day I was reading your blog again...and I just sat there and prayed "Lord, please give her another baby." I'm so blessed to hear this news and tears of joy are streaming down my face.

I will be praying for you and Ewan's little brother or sister.

Amy said...

Congratulations!!!! I have been reading your blog for quite some time through your loss, and struggles and it is so hard to imagine being in your shoes. You have amazing strength and courage in the face of a time when you have experienced such profound joy and immense loss. I wish you a very happy and healthy pregnancy!!
www.ourcrazybeautifulife.blogspot.com

Hippie_Mama said...

Congratulations! First Jill and now you! Hooray for Rainbow babies!

I have been reading since October, and am not sure if I have ever posted any comments. You and your son have been influential enough people that you have been mentioned in my family's blog. But I think you are a very strong person and this child will be so lucky to call you mama. As Ewan is. :)

Cannot wait to hear more about the little bean growing inside you! Congrats again to you and your husband!

http://themtandersenfamily.blogspot.com/

Huddyma said...

Congratulations!! I will be praying for a perfectly uneventful pregnancy and birth!

christianne said...

I keep smiling at how much of a fighter Ewan was the whole time you carried him and even after he was born. That boy had strength! And he had joy.

From the sound of it, his little sibling takes after him -- which is such a beautiful thing to me. The little one is kicking your butt, and that makes me think of Ewan and smile. :)

This feels like the kind of news that just continues to settle and settle and settle into more and more joy inside of me. This little one will be held in so many prayers, I have no doubt!

xoxo,
Christianne

Jess said...

Praising a Great God for your blessing and Praying that everything will be smooth sailing and that you will have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I am so happy for you and your husband!!

{andthisiswhatshesaid} said...

Congratulations!

kdactyl said...

I logged in this morning to see if there were any updates and the first thing I saw was the ticker! My heart swelled with Joy for you and James. I will be praying big prayers for a healthy pregnancy. I am a huge fan of St. Gerard and feel his intersessions helped me to get my daughter...I will add you to my novenas and prayers for sure.

And...what wonderful timing....I had been thinking about the upcoming mothersday and about all the mommies whos arms are empty on that day and I am soooo glad your womb will be full, your heart will be full and you can celebrate being a wonderful mommy of 2!

Congrats again.

Oh...and so glad you opened your blog back up to comments. I have been wanting to tell you how much I admire your strength, grace and faith for some time now.

kd

Reagan and Camp said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you and your family!

tea said...

Congratulations, Kirsten. Such a beautiful blessing. ♥

Courtney Laine Carris said...

Speaking from experience I know everytime you look into your new baby's eyes you will love and remember your first. Peace and joy are wished for your family!
Cami Carris
Caroline and Courtney's Mommy

jen said...

congratulations :)

Rainy said...

I am so over the moon for you guys! What wonderful news! Will be keeping you in my prayers. Rainy

Jamie said...

Congrats! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to continue reading about this journey in your life.

terri said...

it feels like so many things have taken a positive turn for you these days. i pray that it continues and that you receive all kinds of strength and endurance for all of the changes ahead. even good change is stressful and you've had more than your share of unbelievable shifts in the last several years. i don't know how you keep from spontaneously combusting. you're a strong lady. and you've got all kinds of love and support, and that always helps.

peace and blessing for the coming season!(i'm still almost giddy that you're going to be moving near christianne! yay!)

Vanessa/NessieNoodle said...

beyond filled with joy for you at this news, beyond!
much love and healing to you.

Julia said...

Kirsten, I am overjoyed for you and James. I have prayed that in God's great timing He would bless you with another babe and am so excited that He has answered. Praying God's protection on your body and soul in this pregnancy as you continue to heal. Your courage inspires me.
Much love,
~Julia

Daniele said...

I have been following you for some time and I am so elated for your family--congratulations mama.

xapis said...

Congratulations! I was hoping that's what the news would be. So happy for you guys!

Carolina Carters said...

I have been praying to read this post from you for a long time! I'm so, SO EXCITED for you and James. I've still been praying for you all and of course the prayers will continue for a perfect, healthy little baby brother or sister for Ewan! :)

Maryann Faro said...

Congratulations! I am praying for the health of your new baby.

Lisa said...

So very, very happy for you and James!

Much love and many prayers for you all in the days to come.

Lauren said...

oh YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I am sooooo happy for you!!!

Amanda said...

Such wonderful news. I will keep praying for you and your new baby! I just found out I'm pregnant.this is my third my first baby past away. I wish you nothing but light and joy and blissful normalcy! Hugs and love.

hopeannfaith said...

Congratulations! Again! Many prayers surround Ewan's little sibling...
Many Blessings
Andrea

Kirsten said...

Congrats on your newest little miracle. Prayers for a happy and healthy pregnancy and baby.

Nonny Baby said...

Congratulations a million times over, Kirsten & James! I rejoice with you in your precious poppy seed and will join you in praying for a healthy brother or sister for Ewan. Love to you all!

An Okie's Mama said...

Congratulations on such wonderful news! I pray you have a wonderful pregnancy and a healthy baby and that God will provide you comfort in every moment that you miss Ewan.

tlpbaby said...

Congrats! I know that Ewan is up there looking out for his little sister or little brother. I will keep all of you on my prayers and hope that you will have a good pregnancy.
I have been following your blog since you were pregnant with Ewan and can not even begin to tell you how much I admire you for our strength with everything. CONGRATS again!

natalie said...

I could not be more excited for you!! Praise God!

Christine Kay said...

So happy for you! Amen! And praise the Lord! Blessings on all of you for a wonderful pregnancy :)

Jen said...

I am so happy you opened up your comments again! :) I have been keeping up to date on all of your posts and praying so hard for this moment for you. You deserve it. What a miracle! God is so good. You will be in my prayers that this baby will be heart healthy. You are right- there is no reason to think it would happen again (even though it took some convincing for my hubby to go through with it a second time!) I pray that you continue to have that peace as you go through this pregnancy.

Prayers and hugs from Iowa!

Jen

Julie said...

Congratulations. Wonderful news. I understand what you mean. I have lost a baby and was pregnant once again after. Praying for you during this pregnancy. Praying for you on Mother's day also.

Steph said...

Congratulations, this is wonderful news. Praise the Lord. Happy Mother's Day :)God bless you and your peanut growing inside of you -Ewan's little brother or sister!!

Elaine Dieball said...

My heart rejoices. So happy that Ewan is a big brother!!!

Jamie said...

I just noticed the comments were back on... YEAH! SO many times I've wanted to message you, but I always feel like I just don't know exactly what to say, like nothing I would say is enough. I think of you and your sweet angel often. Congratulations, what an amazing blessing you are carrying :)/

Baby Hung said...

Yeah so happy for you!! Gld the comment link is open for us to share our joy with you.

sherry czarnecki said...

Make sure to take pictures, we would love to give you the gift of another scrapbook!

Wow, what a whirlwind you are living!

Veronica said...

Congratulations, praying for a very healing, healthy pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

So happy to read the good news. All the best from London, Ontario.

In this wonderful life... said...

I'm SO happy for you guys!!! What a blessing :) Baby #2 will have a big brother looking out for them! xoxo

Alece said...

oh my heart! i'm so happy for you, kirsten. i just keep thinking of all the "new" this season of your life holds. God redeems all things!

love you, friend.

Angela said...

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!

melifaif said...

I have been following your story...with no good words to EVER say or mean enough. I will just say now. GOD IS GOOD. ALL THE TIME. And congratulations.

Amy said...

What wonderful news for your family! I've been following your story for some time, and know the loss of a child - we lost two babies due to my unknown hormone deficiency, before welcoming our two beautiful daughters.
The hurt of loss will never leave you, but it will lessen with time and turn into something more. I pray that you enjoy this pregnancy with the same hope and love you felt while carrying Ewan. Children are God's greatest gift and you have been doubly blessed.

travelmom said...

Hi Kirsten,

I have been away from the blogging thing for reasons of my own for quite some time and just decided to follow up and find out what is going on with you. I am so happy to hear you are expecting. Your life has had many hard providences the past year+ and I hope for a season (multiple seasons would be good) of softer edges. It is wonderful to know your husband has work, albeit a difficult transition. I understand that so well. I will keep following your journey. Can't wait to hear about the many blessings on your journey.

Grace and Peace!
Lori G. - Wenatchee