One year ago today. As I’m writing this. One year ago, at this very moment.
We had just finished up a very full and busy weekend filled with time with friends and family and ministry. On Friday night, we had visited Clifton Mill to look at Christmas lights with our people and company. Scott’s parents had spent the weekend with us to celebrate a late Thanksgiving. We had spent Sunday evening entertaining our dear friends and neighbors. I was taking Monday off of work, which seems to be the tradition in December as I scramble to use up my vacation time before the end of the year. I had already started to get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, I was pregnant, but I hadn’t wanted to deal with taking a test and and all the emotions that might go along with that regardless of the outcome while my inlaws were in town and while we had so much other stuff going on.
One year ago today, I woke up just a little later than usual, sleeping in a little bit after a very full weekend. At the same time, I woke up quickly because I was full of anticipation knowing that this would be the day that either my life changed forever or that we would keep on trying to start a family after the holidays. I woke up and went straight into the bathroom to take a pregnancy test. I could hear Scott working away in his office in the next room over (that was before we moved his work from home office to the basement to accommodate a nursery).
As I waited with expectant anticipation, it didn’t take long. The instructions on the box say to wait 2-5 minutes, but I don’t even think it took 30 seconds. That little test knew what I had known in my heart already. Two lines. Positive. Pregnant.
It took me a second to catch my breath. Is this real? Is this actually happening?
Oh. This is real. This is actually happening.
Take deep breaths. Take deep breaths.
I walked from our master bathroom over to the door of the bedroom and called to Scott in the office: “Hey, Scott. Can you come here? I think you need to come see this.”
There was no cute, creative pregnancy reveal to let Scott know that he was a dad. Just me standing there holding a stick that I had just peed on and trying to catch my breath.
Of course there were tears and hugs and the first of many moments where we said out loud, “Oh shit. What have we done?”
But at that moment, we were in love. At that moment, we were parents. At that moment, something in our beings shifted. At that moment, we were made new.
We spent the rest of the day trying to catch our breath. Talking and dreaming about what this would mean for the coming year and for the rest of our lives. We were so excited and so in love already.
This milestone came both faster and slower than I anticipated, but time does strange things in the midst of a fog of grief. I was chatting last night with my friend SC and shared how nervous I am about this new season of milestones. Up until now, most of the milestones have been x months since Alexander died. They have been milestones measured by grief. Now, we are entering a new season of milestones marked by joy and anticipation. One year since finding out we were pregnant. One year since sharing the news with family. One year since the first ultrasound. One year since sharing the news on social media. One year since finding out gender. One year since the most joyful moments of our lives.
Like most things I navigate in my life and world now, this is uncharted territory. I know we’ll get through it, because we have incredibly supportive people walking alongside us. But this uncharted territory is already full of so many feels. Looking back, all of those milestones feel differently because we know how the story ends. Its as though, like in the movie Inside Out, all of those happy memories are now changed by the touch of sadness. All of our memories of Alexander are colored by the grief of having lost him.
One year ago today was one of the most joyous days of our lives. Excitement. Anticipation. Joy. Holy fear.
One year ago today we had no way of knowing how limited those moments and days and happy memories with our precious son would be.
One year ago today is where it all began.