They were among the first things I saw upon awakening this morning, the positive pregnancy tests which have been nestled atop the ceramic angel soap dish on my bathroom counter for the past three weeks (in triplicate, because I can never quite believe my good fortune at seeing those two pink lines appear in the test stick windows.) Drying my hair, brushing my teeth, applying my make-up, I'd steal giddy peeks at that tangible proof of the new life within me, smiling, loving, praising God.
Today, though, like the dull ache in my lower abdomen, they were instead a painful reminder of the agonizing loss which we suffered last night, that of offering our baby back to its Father much sooner than we had hoped or planned. There are no words to describe the sense of loss that has pierced our hearts, no way to convey how bitterly disappointed we are that we will no longer be welcoming another Christmastime baby into our family as we had so joyfully been anticipating.
And yet, through the overwhelming sorrow, there is also great peace and comfort to be found in knowing that this little one is in heaven now. I still believe that choosing to remain open to life has been the single greatest decision that Darren and I have ever made. When we were first introduced to Natural Family Planning in the first year of our marriage, we thought we had stumbled upon a Church approved form of birth control, never realizing at the time what a profound impact this beautiful gift would have on the rest of our lives. Learning and practicing NFP has opened our minds and hearts to an entirely new way of living, one of selfless giving and loving, and trusting. We understand that to accept the possibility of new life means to accept the possibility of heartache and loss, but we trust that God's plan is not always our own and that He has greater plans for us than we could ever imagine. Knowing that makes this cross so much easier to bear.