After the accident I saw a lot of doctors and out of a sense of duty I asked about future children as I was cleared for various activities. As each doctor cleared me feelings of fear and doubt began to creep in. Several months after the accident, after all my doctors had cleared me to go on with my normal life and normal activities, and after months of physical therapy, I finally worked up the nerve to tell my husband that I was unsure about having any more children. At the time we had Mr. E who had survived the accident and I was already nervous enough that something might happen to him, the though of another child that could potentially cause me the heartbreak of loss again scared me so much I can't even put it into words. Miscarriage or stillbirth were certainly on my mind, especially since some of my injuries from the accident make me high risk in pregnancy. I couldn't bare the thought of even an early miscarriage, I knew that my emotional state wouldn't bare it. Lawrence was disappointed to say the least. He told me that he knew that there were more children meant for our family and he couldn't bare the thought of not providing them the opportunity to have mortal bodies. He told me that he was willing to wait for me to feel better about having more kids, but that this was something I would have to pray about. I prayed and received comfort. A little over a year later I came around and got pregnant.
Shortly before we decided to get pregnant again we moved into a new house. After moving seemed like as good a time as any, I had survived one rather big emotional hurdle, why not brave another? I really though that I was ready. But then I got pregnant and I found out how wrong I was. I struggled to connect with my rainbow baby during my pregnancy. As much as I struggled I did harbor hope that this baby would be a girl, not to replace my daughter, but to maybe help patch my grieving heart in ways that I though a boy just wouldn't do. When we found out the baby was a boy I was a little disappointed, but still wanted to be able to love him. I continued to struggle with connecting to this baby. I tried decorating his nursery, taking more pictures and videos of my baby bump, washing clothes for him, choosing a special coming home outfit... none of it worked. I couldn't even bring myself to even talk to him the way I had with my first two. Shortly before he was born I finally broke down and told Lawrence about how I had been struggling. It was almost harder to tell him about this than it was to tell him about possibly not having more kids. He told me that he was worried that this would be a problem and did his best to comfort me and help me.
When Baby J was born I was afraid that I would continue to struggle to connect with him, but something amazing happened. When the doctor handed him to me after he was born I had an overwhelming feeling that Ethne was in the room with us. In that moment I fell completely in love with my baby boy and my fears flew out the window.
Then I was put to the test when we found out about J's Hirschprung's Disease and he had to be hospitalized and have surgeries. This was a whole new kind of struggle to keep my heart and mind open and continue loving him when the future seemed so uncertain.
Long story short (to read the rest of his story follow the Baby J tag at the bottom of this post), he is fine now and I was able to stay by his side through everything. I was scared out of my mind and went through some flashbacks and what I'm pretty sure was PTSD, but I can't imagine not having him, I love him so much. He has been a huge blessing to our family and has helped me heal in all the ways I was afraid he wouldn't be able to and more. He is patient, brave, happy, and a joy to be around and I love him so completely-- we all do.
I want it to be clear that, while I struggled a lot emotionally, I wanted Baby J. I share these things because I want others to know that they are not alone. Another angel mom recently shared her struggles with pregnancy following the loss of her child and it buoyed me up immensely to know that I am not alone in my struggles. The Atonement is real and I know that Christ knows my pains, but sometimes it is immensely comforting to have a more tangible friend that can understand too, and sometimes these friends are Christ's way of helping to comfort us.