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A new baby during grief

When I would sit with Hunter in his final days, I would try to envision living a life with out him. It hurt, but I knew it was coming and I’m the “planning” type of person. I would wonder how the days would go. What we would do to ever find joy and happiness again. I knew Chase would always fill a space in our hearts that allowed joy. But the fact that he wouldn’t be a big brother here on earth anymore shattered our hearts.

There is something I have felt so protective of. But lately it’s been coming up a lot in conversations with bereaved parents. They ask me a lot about having a baby so soon after Hunter passed. See, the way our third child came about wasn’t our plan. It was Hunter and Gods plan. The Christmas before he passed he was going on and on about this sister he had. At first it was comical.... then he began telling people he had a sister and everyone wondered if I was pregnant when I wasn’t. People would congratulate me!!! When we prayed he would include this sister. When he talked about school he’d sometimes include scenarios with “his sister.” Honestly I couldn’t help but start to believe he knew something we didn’t.

Atom and I went back and forth on ever trying for another child. We decided that if it happened it happened and if it didn’t it didn’t. We wouldn’t hold to tight to this idea. Well it happened.... very fast. And from the moment we found out we were pregnant to the day of finding out the gender. I wondered. Was it her? Was this who Hunter had been going on and on about? Did he know all along she was coming in to our lives as the saving grace we all needed? Was this.... his sister? As the ultrasound technician told us the gender I could feel my heart sink. I’d secretly been thinking it was a boy because well boys are all I know and I figured that’s all we COULD have ☺️ but then all of Hunters little talks and his ramblings on and on about his sister came to reality. He knew. All along, he knew she would be coming. Because he was going to be the one to help pick her out. And he’d send her to us. He’ll never stop working to make me smile, even as far away as heaven.

Jolie has been this little ball of spicy goodness in our life. She doesn’t make me feel guilty for being happy because I know she’s such a huge part of Hunter. Her and Chase together, just radiate joy in to the world and in to our family. I think every situation is different after losing a child. Or going through something life changing. A new life is not a replacement. It isn’t putting something BACK together it’s putting something NEW together. And that “new” doesn’t cancel out the past. It doesn’t erase anything or forget anything. It’s new love with all the old love built in to it.

Having a baby after the biggest storm of my life was most definitely the rainbow shining through after the rain had calmed. Our life wasn’t a whirlwind, it wasn’t in turmoil, it was.... still. Yet now, we were standing in the wreckage of what was left after the wind and rain. And having Jolie enter at THAT exact moment was like Hunter painted us the perfect picture of what we hoped for.

He reminded us through Jolie, that so much was still possible and we shouldn’t give up.

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