It's been a while since I've written - seven months to be exact - and today, I feel God calling me to these pages to continue our story and begin our next chapter. I told you our story didn't end with grief, and I meant that.
If you haven't read our story, stop now and head to the very first day where it all began. Keep in mind, I no longer know the girl that wrote those blogs, I vaguely remember those days because I was simply living in survival mode, but I admire her. I admire her strength to continue to fight for life, for healing, because of her fight, I'm able to begin telling you the new chapter in our story. I'm glad she held on because this chapter has me amazed in God's promises and His goodness - even in this.
These last couple of weeks I've been struggling with flashbacks. If you've gone through something traumatic, you know the weight memories can hold and how they can sneak up on you. Dates become triggers, circumstances become the reel that allows the flashbacks to play relentlessly over and over again in your mind, and fear tries to creep in with all it's might. But I've learned over the years not to allow fear in and to not get stuck in the heartbreaking memories. I've learned to crawl out of the tiny dark spaces and follow the light.
Today, I can feel fear knocking at my door, prancing around trying to make it's presence known, but I also see the light, and I'm keeping my eyes fixed on it. Today, I'm 22 weeks pregnant with Charley Lynn and this milestone has me feeling all sorts of bi-polar. Joyful because we've made it this far, sad because Grady and Ryder only made it this far, grateful God has kept His promises in bringing hope in our story, fearful because I now know that not every day is promised, and hopeful that the words my doctors keep saying are true, "Jenna, you cannot compare this pregnancy to theirs. It is completely different."
The day before I went into labor with Grady and Ryder at 22 weeks gestation, I remember not feeling well. My mother heard the changes in my voice and asked me if I was doing okay because I simply didn't sound like myself. I told her I was tired and probably over did it that day. Which is probably true but little did I know my body was already preparing for a labor I'll never forget. That evening I poured tea into my ivory ceramic mug and sat quietly at my wooden dining room table trying to take it all in. Two weeks prior we had lost one of our twins, Ryder, and I was still processing what all that meant for us as we continued to try and carry Grady to full-term. I had a one and four year old and a husband who worked so hard to provide for our family. I was tired and my eyes became heavier as each sip of tea made it's way down my body. I crashed hard that night until I was suddenly woken by my worst nightmare.
Would you judge me if I admitted that I held onto that mug because it reminds me of the last moments I had with my sons? And yet, I refuse to drink out of it during this pregnancy as though it was the cause of all my heartache. I still laugh at myself each time I choose a mug that's stacked around it but I cannot get myself to pick it up no matter what. It just rests on my shelves - untouched. There was a moment when we questioned that cup of tea and wondered if it caused me to go into labor. Now, four years later, I know a glass of tea did not cause my sons to die but only served as a last attempt to know why my sons died. An answer that won't be given to me while I'm here on Earth, although through our non-profit and the many letters I've received from other mothers have become tiny hints from God Himself about His overall plan.
"After a long day, I'm going to relax and enjoy a cup of my Arbonne tea & take some me time."
Posted on September 18, 2014 - the night before I went into labor.
These 22 weeks with Charley Lynn have been completely different than those I spent with Grady and Ryder. It's been a beautiful pregnancy so far and it's provided me with lots of restored hope. I was fearful to get pregnant. I've never had a hard time getting pregnant but this time around, I had to battle my own fears. It took me four long years to fully trust God and say, "You're in control." The day I removed my IUD, I walked to my car and sat stunned as I heard these lyrics play on the radio, "God You don't need me, but somehow You want me. Oh, how You love me, somehow that frees me to take my hands off of my life and the way it should go. God You don't need me, but somehow You want me, oh, how You love me. Somehow that frees me, to open my hands up and give You control. I give You control." A song that became my anthem which ultimately lead me to finally release my fears and try to have a baby and there it was, playing as a wink from God Himself in the very moments I finally released control and took my hands off of my life and the way I thought it should go.
And here we are, 22 weeks into our pregnancy and little Charley girl is kicking away as I begin writing her story - a story full of hope. Today is a milestone in this precious girl's life that I'll treasure in honor of her big brothers. Today is a day I'll seek to find the light and refuse to let fear in. Today is a day that I'll keep singing, "I give You control." Today is a day I prayed to see again for so long.
Today is the day I'm ready to start writing our new chapter.