Expectation v. Hope. This is something that has been on my heart lately. Part of my "new normal" is trying to incorporate hope, all while living without expectation.
All of these thoughts have come to the forefront after Britt and I made the decision to get a puppy (more to come on that later!). We had a lot of mixed feelings about our decision, and it was a hard one for us to make. Now that we have decided to welcome this new little life, we are very excited, and are anxious for him to come home in a few weeks.
Anyway, in making this decision some input we received tended towards hesitation because we are going to try and get pregnant again in the nearish future, and may have a baby here in a year or so. This is where hope vs. expectation comes in, and I don't think it can really be understood by anyone except for those who are in my shoes.
Yes, we hope to have an easy time again getting pregnant, and we hope that our next pregnancy results in a full-term living baby, but hope is all we have. Yes, statistically there is no reason that we shouldn't get these things, but there was also no reason for Emma to die and she did. You see, that is my life now. I don't expect anything. For me, and I'm willing to say to many other mom's of stillbirth, pregnancy no longer equals baby. Making it past the 12 week "safety" mark, ha! As if that was the biggest of my fears. Leaving the hospital with a living child equals baby.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can have all the hope in the world, but I no longer plan my life around what I, or others, expect to happen. So, in being forced to truly live in the moment, a puppy is a great idea and exactly what we need. He will satisfy my internal need to mother and nurture something, he will bring life and warmth into our home, and he will give me unconditional love. Hopefully, most importantly, he will teach me to open my heart to life and love again. To be ready to face the hope of Emma's little brother or sister, in a life where nothing can be expected.
…Plus he's pretty darn cute and cuddly ;)