Whether in daydreams or during night's sleep, I can often close my eyes {or even just stare off into space} and remember even the smallest details of that day. The room was cold, but I felt so hot, rustling my feet under the thin sheets provided to me. I can still feel the tightening and loosening of the leg pumps velcroed to me to prevent blood clots and assist in circulation. I had been in that bed, in the same tilted position for over 18 hours. To my right, past the IV drips hooked up to my arm, I see J in his gray hoodie, jeans, and black tennis shoes alternating between watching TV and looking at the monitors strapped onto what seemed like every open bit of skin I had. The sun was visible from time to time beyond the room's partially open blinds and the thick patches of clouds outside. It still felt bleak. To my left there are several monitors, all hooked up to various cords on my chest and stomach, their screens with bouncing dots and lines showing my heartbeat and those of the girls. Inside my belly, I can feel my daughters moving, and with each kick and turn and somersault, my heart both raced in so much love for the lives inside me and dropped from the knowledge that it wouldn't be long now until those movements ceased, and I would be left alone with an empty belly and staring into what would be flat lines on the monitor screens.

The only thing worse than the dread of what was to come was the actual time when it all happened. I never knew so much heartache and love could pour out of one person and do so simultaneously as when I held my girls and when I saw J whispering his goodbyes to them. Like I said before, it was the best and worst moments of our lives, all rolled up into these quiet and somber minutes inside this cold room, on this bleak day. 

Exactly a year ago today was the moment when everything and nothing made sense. There was no past or future and I could have sworn this could be the moment that was the most definitive one of my life. This moment could summarize my purpose, my story, and my future.

But such was not so. In moments like that, it is easy to forget that there is someone else who has a plan for us. One year later, I realized that that moment was not a culmination of my life; it was merely one that would be the biggest testimony I would have when my time comes. One year later, while it remains the most cathartic moment, it most certainly is not the sole definition of who I am as a person.

If anything, it strengthened both my relationship with J and our relationship with God. And if there's anything that is the most striking evidence for our faith, it's this: Today, I have another life growing inside me and we are looking forward to her introduction to this world this summer. 

J and I discussed that more than the nursery tour post {coming soon, as soon as the nursery is done}, this post would be the best way to reveal Baby B #3's name. 
We chose Hope for many obvious reasons. Her sisters' middle names are Faith and Grace, and especially after losing them, there was nothing that gave us a better outlook than telling each other that "Hope is on the way". For some reason, despite our tragedy, we always knew that Hope was just around the corner. We keep Faith and Grace in our hearts and God will bring us Hope. This was the cornerstone of our reinforced relationship with Him and He knows that it is what has kept us going.

Camden was a choice that we came across during our search for a name. We had discussed many names, but we wanted something unique, something that could hold a candle to her sisters' names, and something that we would be equally as proud of as we are of Aubrey and Finley. I came across Camden one day and suggested it to J. It took a while for the name to really grow on him, and I gave him the time and space to think about it. It was only right before he decided and approved that I looked up the meaning of the name. Camden is of English origin and it means "from the winding valley". It really sealed the deal with us because her name really reflects our journey: From the winding valley, there is HOPE. 

To commemorate Aubrey and Finley's birthday today, we put one of the final touches to Camden's room, one that brings her, her sisters, and us, their parents, together as a whole family. {I found it online a few months after losing Aubrey and Finley. It could not be any more perfect and I hung on to it knowing that it would be in the next baby's room.}
Whenever a big catastrophe in the world happens {i.e. the tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti, the damage of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana}, you can almost always count on a "One Year Later" documentary or two. While incomparable to the mass destruction of those tragedies, this was our own personal catastrophe -- it rocked our world and reshaped our lives and outlooks. And now, one year later, we have slowly picked up the pieces of our shattered hearts and glued them together in preparation for Camden Hope to come.

Many people say that the culmination of their journey as humans is embodied in their children. I think it could be safe to speak for both J and me and say that Camden Hope is the culmination of our journey as a family. She is not the beginning, but is the road that leads from Faith and Grace and is the source of Hope. It really doesn't get any better than that, and I know that no matter what happens, I can close my eyes {or stare off into space} and those dark and bleak days I see will break into new and sunnier days.


Ruby Agustin said...

. . . tears from beginning to end while reading it.
like you, the pain I had, though incomparable to yours maybe, is now being covered in Joy because of the much-anticipated arrival of Camden Hope.

Hope is truly God's best gift to us . . . and love, too, of course. Only God makes it happen. Just imagine our lives without Hope, without Love . . . without God.

Take good care of yourself . . . before you know it, our baby's here!!


BTW - glad to have been there today. I loved our minute together when you woke up - it's the girls' birthday - and when you shared your crazy dream with me. I love you, my honeybee!

Carla (Choosing His Joy) said...

Beautiful....we can't wait to meet her!!! Praying for a safe rest of your pregnancy and eventual delivery for both you and little Camden!

Molly Flores said...

So proud of you and all that you guys have overcome and I know that A and F are proud of you too! Can't wait to meet the new little bundle of joy and know that your little angels will always be watching over her too. XoXo

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