A few weeks ago Liam asked me what his baby sister’s name was. I spelled it out for him “N-O-R-A, can you remember what that spells?” And he said, with frustration in his voice, “No, Mom, not Nora, my other baby sister.” My heart dropped and I said, “Lucy, remember? She’s in heaven.” And he said, again, with frustration, “NO, my OTHER baby sister.” It took me a minute to figure out who he was talking about. “Her name was Scarlet.” “Yeah, Scarlet! I really miss Scarlet. Why couldn’t we keep her?” It was a difficult and sad conversation that didn’t really clear things up for him. He said, “Why couldn’t we keep all three baby sisters? I wanted all of them.” He even cried himself to sleep that night thinking about his missing baby sisters. Today he asked me if Scarlet was in heaven and I said no. He wanted to know why Lucy was in heaven but Scarlet wasn’t. He asked again why we couldn’t have all three baby sisters. I wanted them all too, including Jude and Pax. Our hearts still mourn for our missing babies. Liam’s words brought me back to last year. I told the boys that when the leaves on the trees turned scarlet, our baby Scarlet would be here. Liam and Asher watched those trees religiously and when the first scarlet leaves came, they got SO excited, dancing around, waving their scarlet leaves in the air.
I remember June of last year when we were getting everything ready for our baby Scarlet and counting down the weeks until she arrived. I was starting the process to induce lactation to breastfeed Scarlet (a long, intense and expensive venture.) We started collecting baby girl clothes and we got out all of Lucy’s outfits that were never used. We bought a glider, a brand new crib and bassinet, and other furniture items for her room. I painted things pink, white and grey for our coming girl. We bought a van since we would need a bigger vehicle for three carseats. We even bought a house last October so that we would have more space for our family of five. There was so much preparation and so much money spent on “Scarlet.” I could not believe it when we had to pack up her entire pink, grey and white nursery and put it in storage. All of those adorable baby girl outfits freshly washed and hung in the closet had to be packed away in boxes and stored in the shed. I felt silly driving a big van around with only two kids and a completely empty back seat. The hours and hours of pumping milk, the hundreds of dollars spent on medications and herbal supplements to bring in the milk and even the nursing bras and tank tops seemed wasted. I felt so stupid (after we learned about Kailee and Peter’s betrayal) when I had to continue pumping to wean down my milk supply. (You can’t just suddenly stop pumping once your milk supply is established or you could get engorged.) I remember holding a freezer bag full of breast milk and fighting the urge to pour it all down the drain. It was too valuable to waste but there was no baby to feed. I wrote the date on the bag and put it in the freezer dutifully, for whom, I had no idea.
There was so much preparation last year for our “rainbow baby.” When Scarlet never joined our family I wept at the thought of all that was wasted. It felt like even our hope had been a waste. But all that hope and preparation was not wasted. God has been showing me over the past few months that He was using last year to prepare us for our REAL rainbow baby, Nora. He looked ahead at our future and He knew that I would be in Houston for the majority of my pregnancy and none of us would have time to prepare for Nora. He knew I wouldn’t be home to paint the nursery, to gather the furniture or baby girl clothes. He knew we wouldn’t have time to buy a van or move into a new house while our family was split up and I was fighting for Nora’s life in Houston. To get Nora’s nursery ready we basically just had to move everything out of the shed and into her room (besides some fun little projects.) And all that money, time and energy spent on pumping breast milk for Scarlet? Not wasted! Since breast milk is good up to a year after being frozen (in a deep freezer) we can give all the milk to Nora. While she is in the NICU I won’t have to worry about how long it takes my milk to come in or try to keep up pumping enough until my supply is established. We will have bags and bags of her Mommy’s breast milk ready and waiting for her when she arrives. What a huge blessing!
As I’ve said before, we have had to spend all of our extra money this year on medical bills, and gas and living expenses while in Texas. We have barely had enough money to pay for everything. If we had to buy all the things needed for a new baby, it would have been impossible. Wasn’t it kind of God to help us store up everything we needed ahead of time so that we don’t have to worry about any of it now? We have also been so blessed by the money donated through the T-shirt fund raiser that was organized by two sweet ladies who I barely know. They said that they felt like God wanted them to organize it and they just wanted to help. I am amazed by their kindness (thank you Michelle and Joy!) and by everyone else’s generosity. The way God has provided for us this year has been incredible.
Psalm 68:10 In your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
I am reminded yet again that when things seem bleakest God is often working behind the scenes for our good, to provide exactly what we need even if we don’t understand or appreciate it at the time. Thank you, Lord, for your provision.