About a week after my anatomy scan, I messaged my doctor because the results still hadn’t been posted to their online portal. I got a response fairly quickly. My heart raced as I opened the message. My mind was throwing all of the what-ifs around. The message was short and to the point and assured me that it was a normal anatomy scan with no abnormalities seen. I let out the breath I’d been holding, and my heart rate slowly came back down. Now I officially feel like the anatomy scan is behind us and that I can move forward.

Rainbow in the snow - Hannah's Bump Day Blog, Week 23: Expecting with Confidence

Author’s Personal Collection/Hannah Kirk

This week, I’ve been so busy that it hasn’t left a lot of time for worry.

That’s not to say it hasn’t happened. There have been many times that the question pops into my head – “When was the last time I felt the baby move?” If I don’t feel movement soon after, I’ll try to find somewhere to lie down and wait for kicks. My little man is pretty active, so it usually doesn’t take long. However, there have been a few times he’s been asleep. Every time that has happened, I gently poke my belly in an attempt to get him to move and give me some reassurance that he’s doing alright in there. I always joke and say that when he’s here, he’ll probably wonder why I never let him sleep.

When he’s here… Parents pregnant after loss know the gravity of that word, “when.” It’s planning for an arrival that’s uncertain and a future that’s unclear. It’s scary to say “when” while the silent alarms going off in my mind are screaming “if.” Every time I say “when,” it’s a deliberate choice to fight against the instinct to protect my heart. It’s choosing hope over fear.

I recently heard hope defined as “expecting with confidence.”

I love that definition so much. Now, I’ll preface this by saying I’m a little weird. I love words and their definitions. It’s also a big reason my husband and I take so long to decide on baby names. I’m not only looking for a name that we both like the sound of, but it really matters to me what the name means. I want the words behind my children’s names to speak life over them. Words mean a lot to me, and I don’t choose them lightly, especially when I’m writing. Some people choose or are given a “word off the year” whenever they enter a new year. I’ve never done that, but I did have words placed on my heart at the beginning of my last pregnancy and my current one.

For my pregnancy with my Heaven Baby, the word was peace. Back then, I took that as a commitment to try to be less stressed over life and enjoy my pregnancy. I never imagined the heartache that awaited me and the kind of indescribable peace I would need to carry me through. It was not the kind of peace that told me everything was ok, but a peace that assured me that I was never alone and that I didn’t suffer in vain.

The word I was given for my current pregnancy was confidence, though in those early days, I felt anything but.

Every concerning symptom spelled disaster to me. I started off by saying I was “cautiously optimistic.” However, that word continued to tug at my heart – confidence. How could I feel confident when I had very little control over my own body and the life growing within? Once again, it was a different definition of the word than I was expecting. It wasn’t meant to be an “I’ve got this” kind of confidence (because Heaven knows I don’t). My confidence is in my God, who sees all of my babies, knows my pain, and won’t let go. It’s the confidence that we will be ok, come what may. I survived something that felt like it might kill me, and now, just a short time later, I’m facing my fears head-first. I have never felt so out of control and helpless in my life. Yet, I’m choosing to expect this baby with confidence. Even when everything in me screams caution, a still, small voice within whispers confidence. Every day, I have to choose which one I’m going to listen to. It’s not always an easy choice. In fact, it’s usually not. However, each day we get a little bit closer, I breathe a little bit easier, and I believe it a little bit more.

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