When we found out we were expecting our first child I went through a time of very difficult emotions regarding my dad. His absence in our lives was deeply felt every moment of everyday and I wanted nothing more than for him to be here to experience this miracle of life with me. Watching Callie grow into the beautiful, spirited little toddler she has become there have been many moments of sadness knowing that she is missing out on knowing an amazing man, and in turn, he is missing out on knowing her.
The news of our second pregnancy brought about similar emotions, but this time I was able to fully hand them over to the Lord, knowing that only He could hold the pain and confusion I was bound to feel. God has safeguarded my heart from hitting rock bottom on several occasions, but most recently in regards to this.
For those of you who know my family well, you know that my dad took his own life on December 14, 2010. Josh and I had barely been married a year and our lives were flipped completely upside down with the tragedy and loss of someone we loved and cared for so deeply. Every month that followed, my immediate family would gather together on the 14th to remember Dad and try to forget the pain. We'd play games and share dinner, but we all felt the same gnawing pain in our hearts, wondering if and when it would subside. It never did.
My pregnancy with Callie was a great distraction from the hurt inside, we were about to welcome new LIFE to our family, and what could be better than that?! Her due date was June 12, 2012 and we waited eagerly for her arrival. God had a different plan, though. On May 14, 2012 I went into labor at 35 weeks and our little 5 lb 8 oz baby girl entered this world. We spent 8 days in the NICU getting her healthy enough to come home, and once we did, again, our lives changed. My mom and I both mentioned how ironic it was that she was born on the 14th, that it was God's way of easing our pain and giving us something else to celebrate on that day. Every month I'd take the time to celebrate her one month birthday. I'd take pictures, dress her up and write her little notes for when she's older. Eventually the 14th became a less painful day for me.
Kellan's due date was April 29th, 2014. After 9 weeks of bed rest my body finally couldn't handle the pregnancy anymore and at 33 weeks I went into labor delivering our sweet 4 lb 4 oz baby boy. He was born on March 14th, 2014; exactly 22 months after his sister. The night before he was born, while we were laboring in the hospital, my mom came to my bedside and told me she had been having a terrible day until I called. She had to take the day at home to just sleep because the pain in her heart was too strong to go about her normal daily activities. The ache she must feel because of my dad's absence in her life is something I hope to never know... she is the strongest woman I know and my adoration of her cannot be put into words. She then smiled through her tears and said, "Wouldn't it be funny if Kellan was born tomorrow? It's the 14th." And wouldn't you know it, he was.
I prayed for God to take my pain away. I prayed endlessly for so many nights that He would help me to recover from such a horrific tragedy. I prayed until I couldn't pray anymore. And you know something? He answered. The 14th of every month is an incredibly special day in my family now. Not only do we celebrate Callie's monthly birthdays, but now our sweet son's and in just a couple of weeks we will be celebrating Cal-Girl's 2nd birthday! That day has completely transformed from a day about death and loss to a day all about life and growth. I see no coincidences here, this was the work of God, this was His answer to my prayers. I am so thankful for a God who loves me unconditionally, through my sins and mistakes, loves me enough to bring me happiness despite the odds. He truly knows what He is doing... Always.