At midnight on December 31 2012, I stood with some of my closest friends on a beach, laughing as we tried madly to light sparklers with no success and then tried to get some flame from another group on the beach. As we watched the fireworks to the north and south of us I was full of anticipation for 2013. In one sense, it was a year of unknown: was Baby going to be a girl or a boy? Would they come early or late? What job would my husband find? How would I handle life with a newborn? But in another sense, I thought I knew what 2013 would hold: a baby.
And I suppose it did. Our sweet Ariella Jade was born at 9am on January 30 and we got to spend two whole days with her. Our baby; our forever baby.
That’s why I’m not ready to say goodbye to 2013. It will always be the only year in which we got to hold our daughter. I cannot say it was the worst year of my life, because it contained some of the best moments of my life. In 2013 we got to meet our baby, hold her, name her and create memories with her. In no other year will I get to clothe her, snuggle her or read to her, so 2013 cannot be all bad. In addition to that, I’ve spent 37 weeks of 2013 pregnant with Baby #2; it’s been hard and draining, but also wonderful. Feeling a little life wriggle about and knowing that at least one of my children is alive. I cannot say 2013 has been all bad. On the flipside, 2013 also contained the worst moments of my life: the drive to the hospital assuming that our baby had died, the confirmation ultrasound, leaving the hospital room and later, the funeral home.
When I stood on the beach one year ago, I had no idea what would occur exactly 4 weeks later. I miss that innocence, thinking that the worst that could happen was that our sparklers wouldn’t light and that 2013 was going to be an incredible year. I guess all I can say is that it has been an incredible roller coaster.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Sunday, December 29, 2013
I realised the other day that I have only written one blog post for the month of December. That wasn't my intention at all, and a few factors have played into that.
The third reason I haven't written much this month is perhaps the most important. I feel like all my energy has been put into simply surviving. January is going to be huge - a baby's birth and Ariella's anniversary and birthday. These last few weeks of pregnancy have been so draining, and I'm not yet at my due date. Which means there are more draining days ahead. By the time I've made it through another day of being pregnant, I don't have the energy left for much else, including writing. And plus, what is there to say? I'm still pregnant, I'm still holding my breath, I'm still missing our sweet Ariella.
Firstly, I literally couldn't write posts in my computer. For some unknown reason, all I could do was write a title but no text! I tried various things and nothing would fix it...only to realise after a couple of weeks that I have a Blogger app on my phone (how I'm writing this, so please excuse any formatting errors!) or I can use my husband's computer as it still works on there.
Secondly, there was Christmas. I had promises a couple of people that I would write a post about how to help us at Christmas, but I couldn't find the words. I was so appreciative of the friends who asked what we wanted and those who mentioned Ariella in cards, gifts or messages. How gorgeous are these presents we were given?
I had decided at the start of December to find the joy in Christmas, even without my baby girl. We put up the tree, bought gifts and made some plans. I even joined a carols choir at church to try to force myself out of my rather small comfort zone. But by the time Christmas arrived, I struggled. A lot. Christmas morning was perhaps the most difficult morning in months, but the day got better and ended up ok. I spent it with my husband and we had a picnic lunch at the beach before a quiet night at home. It helped that he had three days off work, as I always feel better when he is around.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
"I call upon the persons here present to witness that I Larissa, take you Marcus to be my lawful wedded husband. Marcus, you're my best friend; I'm so grateful God gave me to you to be your wife. I promise to love you unconditionally, to honour you with my words and actions, and to always respect you. I promise to pray with you and for you, to encourage and support you. No matter what problems we face - whether sickness, poverty, sorrow or otherwise, I will be faithful to you. I will laugh with you and cry with you, because you are my best friend, the love of my life. Marcus, I give you my heart and my love, from this day forward, as long as we both shall live."
Two years ago today, when I said those words, I had no idea that just 14 months later, my husband and I would face a sorrow greater than we could have imagined. And yet, through it all, I have never doubted his love for me, or mine for him. When I promised to always pray with him and for him, I didn't know that for months those prayers would be begging God for comfort, hope and strength. When I promised to laugh and cry with him, I didn't realise that sometimes the laughing and crying would be simultaneous.
Marcus, thank you for loving me like you promised; for always wiping away my tears and providing me with that desperately needed hug. Your patience and kindness astounds me frequently and never once have I doubted that you love me. I'm so glad you chose me.
Thank you for making me smile when I didn't think it was possible and for not minding when I am silly at serious moments. Thank you for keeping me calm (and being ok when that means letting me have a Josh Groban song on repeat!) and taking such good care of me and our babies. I'm hoping the next two years are easier than the two we've had so far, but even if they aren't, I love you. You're my reason to be brave.
Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them.