It has occured to me that all of you might not know Lily. Lilienne.I knew the connection to this post would be much harder if I did not introduce you to her … Lily is my daughter. I’ve had her for about 6 years now, but she’s still up in Heaven until she gets to come into my belly and meet us. My husband and I. All of us.
It was during/after the Oscars. The in which Kate Winslet FINALLY won. I was dressed up as usually watching the broadcast in my room. (I don’t like to watch with other people because I like to daydream, write my speech in my head, and I don’t like the speeches on TV to be interrupted). I began to think about the daughter that I wanted to have. I wanted to dress up and watch the Oscars with her, wake her up just to watch it snow or look at the stars, go on those adventures where you just pick roads one after the other and see what kind of fabulous destinations you find. I wanted to hike with her in the woods and show her all the things that I learned as a naturalist in New England. It was that night that I knew that I was going to have a little girl and name her Lily. I felt it. God speaks to me in special ways and I that promise. I wanted to have her whether it was just the two of us, whether she came through me or was addopted. Two fabulous ladies making life a beautiful adventure. I loved her so much. I began to share her with people. One reason was that my cousin’s were having babies around this time and I didn’t want them to take that name. The main reason was that I wanted to be able to tell her when she finally got her that her family loved her so much before she was even born. I wanted her to be born into love like that. So lots of people know about Lily. My friends in
other states, other poets, my cousin’s little girl, Hadley. When I met Heath (my husband) before we even dated I knew he looked like Lily. He had to love her before we even thought about marriage because I knew she would be apart of my life. He did.
A few days after my period was finished in Jauary, I had a huge mood swing in the car on the way home from Gallatin with Heath. When I got home, I got a fishbone stuck in my throat and did a lot of self-examination (that’s a whole other story). The next day I realized I hadn’t been acting a whole lot like myself and I apologized to my husband. I thought maybe my thyroid was acting up. For the next three weeks, I felt a sickness I had never known before. I’m always fatigued but I felt a tired that was double what I normally felt and came home on a Friday and went to bed at 6 PM and stayed there until the next morning. My breasts became very sore (this is something I don’t normally have with my cycle). I was nauseous like I’ve never been in my life. It was kind of like being seasick in my brain, I felt that my knees would buckle, and it was hard to walk very far. Smells made it worse. I never threw up but I felt like this every day for three weeks. Originally, I thought I had a UTI and some thyroid issue. In the beginning, my mom said, “Do you think you’re pregnant?” My answer was no. I’d just gotten off my period and it was fine. It was too soon. But as the days continued and the symptoms fell into place it was hard to ignore the idea.
Not to mention that there were signs. God speaks to me in special ways unique to Amanda. He has since I was a wee little girl. I’ve always had a special connection with Him. I’d put a movie in the Netflix queue that I’d seen the preview for a very long time ago. It arrived and one Sunday we finally got around to watching it snuggled up in the bed. The movie was, “The Incredible Life of Timothy Green.” The story is about a couple that cannot conceive and they write down all the things they wan they’re kiddo to be and bury these papers in their backyard. In the middle of the night, a boy comes into their house. Through a season he teaches them how to be parents and at the end of the movie they adopt a little girl — Lily. It stayed with me the next day as if it was something I was meant to pay attention to.
The first weekend after the pregnancy symptoms began Heath and I went to breakfast at Cracker Barrell. That morning whe we cuddled and talked we thought there might be a little Lily growing inside my belly. I felt so beautiful in his presence and so loved by him. We went to the toy section and there was a little blonde-headed girl beside Heath. She was talking to a woman that I thought must’ve been her grandmother and the lady called her by name, “Lily.”
When we were at the table that day, I told Heath I didn’t think all these things being brought to our attention was a coincidence. God works with me in this way and I try to pay attention to the little things. He said he would need a little more time to believe but he thought it was strange. That next night we went to church and I was still feeling so lightheaded and nauseous I thought wer were going to need to leave. This is when the pastor stood up and started talking about all the new moms and babies in the small church, “You may even be pregnant now …” He said. Heath put his arms around me. I was in a bit of a awed state, a daze. I knew I couldn’t go to the doctor until Monday, but when we’d gotten there I asked God to show me himself that He was better than any doctor could ever be. The pastor talked about being a parent and I took many notes. Heath and I have this thing where we right something affirming on each other’s arm during service. On his hand I wrote about how he’d be the best dad ever. Later, while we were sitting behind a couple with a little infant he wrote on my palm, “Loving Mom.” The next day we received a postcard in the mail that was not for us and it said, “Lily.” Heath was like, “Okay, God we get it.”
It was a precious time for the two of us. His face would light up when I had a pregnancy symptom. When he left for work he’d say, “Bye, Lily’s Mom.” I felt so special. Very sick but special. I shared with my boss and my supervisor that I thought I might be pregnant. For several reasons … I wasn’t feeling like myself, at times I felt faint, and we had a huge conference coming up and it was going to require longer hours and I knew I’d been having to go to bed early and getting grouchy and sick when I didn’t.
The weeke before the conference we hand delivered invitations to the governor’s office, house of representatives, and the senate. I was very fun but it was my sickest day yet. I remember crossing the street and thinking about something that I believe was a blessing. All my life I’ve heard people/parents say you’ll never realize how much you can love a child until your a parent yourself. Somehow feeling this sick for someone else made me realize in a smidgen of a way how that could be amazingly true. You carry something for nine months, your body changes, you become so protective, and your sick for this little person in a mega big way. You couldn’t know that unless you were a mom. Not in that exact way.
I became protective of this little fertilized egg I thought was in my belly. During this time, I took a few tests way too early and some closer to when my next period should come. It was a hard wait. This is when I realized that having a baby is not like on TV. You imagine peeing on a stick and immediately having a response and finding a cute way to tell your husband and later to surprise your family. I did all theose things. The daydreams, the peeing. But I got negative responses. I trusted how intuitive I am about my body and the way God was speaking to me. Although, knowledge can be a blessing and a curse and this is where the internet comes in.
I knew we were buying a house for the first time and it probably was not the best moment to be pregnant. I also knew that all my life big things have happened all at once. I think God does that sometimes so that we have to draw nearer to Him and cling for dear life. So overall Heath and I were at peace and content. I felt happier even at work. I felt like I had a special something inside. I was so excited. There were days later where the enormity hit and I felt overwhelmed. There were days when the internet gave me too much hope. I began to pin things. (See Pintrest.com) I began to look up pregnancy symptoms. I began to get very excited. And then there was the conference.
I work like clockwork (my body). I was late. The only time this has ever happened is an extremely long time ago when I was purging and in May when I came off my birthcontrol. I was having symptoms unlike my normal PMS symptoms and I was late. At the conference, I felt nauseous and super tired. I also felt very faint at the reception Tuesday night and I couldn’t definitely tell when I waited too long to eat. I was sure Lily was coming.
Wednesday afternoon after lunch we started packing up and I began to have big cramps. This also is not the norm for me cycle-wise. Mostly, I have back pain with my period. I went to the bathroom and when I looked at the toiled tissue there was a skinny blood vessel. I broke into tears. This is the way I normally start my period. I was devastated. No it hadn’t been the “right” time. No we weren’t “trying.” However, I’d already fallen in love with her, spoke to her, had been protecting her. I was so happy to meet Lily. Finally.
I went and got my boss. He gave me a hug and called Heath to come and get me because I was really sick and shaking. When Heath got there he drove me home in light snow, took me upstairs, changed me into pjs, and put me into the bed. My heart was broken. I sobbed. I was angry and confused. I was upset with God because I didn’t believe He would show me those things for no reason. I was hurt because yes I wanted to have time to build a life with Heath with just us but I felt so excited to carry his sweet baby. I talked to my Mom who tried to sooth me, but the tears kept coming. Yes, God’s timing is perfect. But I wanted to hold Lily in my arms. My doctor called and this is where the hope I tried not to let seep to far into my soul comes in. He thought I could have had an egg fertilize and not implant in my uterus and that I might be miscarrying or I could still be pregnant.
So more waiting. He wanted me to make an appointment to have a quantitative serum blood test. So that the OBGYN could monitor my HCG levels and see what was going on. The next morning there was pink on the toilet tissue and I lost it again. The internet had told me about implantation and breakthrough bleeding. This could mean nothing bad. For several days, once a day and then later two to a few there would be pink. My hopes grew again. Lily might still be in there. It was a painful and confusing process. At times I felt very alone. I have a super sweet, supportive husband, but it wasn’t his body that was changing for three weeks, it wasn’t him trying to protect this little thing inside, and do everything possible to stay off his feet and anything else thinkable to stop what might be the inevitable. I knew that once a miscarriage started it couldn’t be stopped. I knew that. I got down on my face more than once in front of God and I told him I believed Him. I asked Him if it be His will for us to have her that she’d be okay.
And I waited. And I loathed cliches. I hurt. I hoped. I cried. I felt excited. I read too much on the internet. I trusted that everything was going to be fine. It was a logic Heath adopted earlier than me. If we were to have a baby we’d be excited and if not we’d get some time to continue bonding alone in our new house. I agreed inside, but down deep I wanted her so much. My breasts continued to be sore and I craved Cheesburgers and Kool-Aid. On Monday night of this week, I started cramping again and it turned into the flow of a regular period before slowing down a bit again. Again, I read some women bleed during early pregnancy. I went to the doctor because the appointment was already made and I needed a new OBGYN anyway. In the waiting room, I felt a bit silly. I wasn’t having the symptoms really anymore. Not since Saturday or Sunday. I knew I most likely just felt things too early and the baby hadn’t implanted or I wasn’t pregnant. Heath said, “I’m praying for you.” Again, I felt so loved. He’d told me earlier in the week, “Amanda, God promised you Lily, right?” I nodded. “Well, then this is not Lily. If God promised you Lily then she knows to stay in your belly.” (I told you I have the best husband.)
The doctor did want to do the test to rule out pregnancy, but she explained something to me. I was so blessed that day to be with a doctor who would talk to me and listen. She said sometimes for no particular reason your body can produce way more progesterone than it needs. This can cause a chemical pregnancy or cause pregnancy symptoms — extreme fatigue, breast pain, nasusea. Basically, your body is tricked into thinking it’s pregnant. It can make your period late and make it more painful. This made sense to me. It also felt good to have a doctor beleive me and that I wasn’t just making things up. I know my body. I’ve lived in in for 32 years. The test hasn’t come back yet, but I don’t think it’ll be positive.
This has been a hard experience. At times blissful. At times hard to handle physically. At times heartbreaking. I don’t know why God showed me all the things He did. I’m not angry anymore at Him. Just asking Him to give me the lesson. I am grateful for the things I realized and learned. During this time I thought of how much I loved someone who might not have ever been there. I only felt those changes in my body for three weeks or so. I can’t imagine losing a baby to miscarriage later on, to stillbirth, or even to lose a child in general. Mothers are strong, beautiful, overcomers. I also realized that I loved Lily for so long before she “got in my belly” of course I was excited to finally “have her in there.” If I can love and protect and want the best for her now, how much more when she really gets in there. It was an interesting experience to go through. A lot of the pregnancy stuff with no beautiful baby at the end. Lots of women go through that on a bigger scale every day though. Maybe I was just meant to share. I’m not trying to be naive or to even know how much worse it feels as pregnancy progresses and the end result is not positive. I just know I wanted her so much. It still hurts some down deep. Like having to return a special gift before you are ready to … I do know it’s much more than a plus or minus on a “pee stick” and there’s so much love in trying to hold something in so that it doesn’t slip away before it’s supposed to. I wanted to be able to tell Heath on Valentine’s Day that he’s going to be a Daddy. That time will come. I will cherish this time for what it was and keep trusting God’s plan for me and for Lily.
Trust what you know about your body. Trust God. Never give in to the lie that you are silly, dumb, or naive. Love yourself. Love your experiences. Just love a lot.