A Bittersweet New Year's Eve

Both doors of the world
Stand Open
Opened to you at twilight
We hear the doors slamming and slamming
And we hear what can't be known
And we hear what's green in your always
Paul Celan 

New Years Eve has been set aside as a time to reflect on the year that is passing and resolve to make the next year better.  Every year, at 11:50 (in their respective time zones), the world counts down to 12:00, while in New York a bedazzled disco ball drops from Times Square in New York. When the clock strikes midnight, you kiss your significant other and sing "Auld Lang Syne" with 100 of your closest friends while clutching a glass of champagne in your hand.

The New Year has begun.

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is instantly filled with pictures of parties, quiet celebrations and greetings of "Happy New Year."

Last New Year's Eve I greeted the New Year in a hospital bed.  Just a few minutes before midnight, at 18 weeks pregnant, I gave birth to my little girl, Ezraela Eaven, who was no longer alive.  I remember spending the early morning hours of 2014 feeling numb as I scrolled down Facebook and wondered what could be so great about 2014.  

I had just lost a child.

Looking back, 365 days later, I know now what I didn't fully comprehend then, New Year's Eve will never be the same for me.  It's one thing to lose a child, but it's another thing all together to lose one on an actual holiday.  New Years will always mean so much more to me than just simply looking at the past and striving for the future.  Each New Years there will be a bitter sweetness in my heart. Bitter because I will remember how old my little girl would have been and wonder what she would have looked like.  Sweet because I will see how far God has brought me and how far he will take me as a result of it.

This is my 2014 year in review.

January 6, Alexandria was introduced to Frozen.  Parents will understand why this is significant.

January 14, I turned 33 (This was actually the day after).
March, Introduced Alexandria to the beach for the first time.
May 10, finished first place in the Olympic duathlon (men and women).
May 10, Celebrated my 11 year wedding anniversary.
May 20, Celebrated this girl's third birthday.
August 9, Placed first in the women's 1.2 mile swim (fourth over all) in the Ohio River Valley Race.

September 6, Went to my first birthing rally.
Fall, My niece and nephew fought and beat an eColi infection.
Fall, Watched as my hometown, Ferguson, MO, became the number one new story across the nation.
Said goodbye to my cat, Toto, of 17 years.
Laughed
Loved

And

Felt Loved
And LIVED







Last year, before New Year's, I told myself that my New Year's resolution was going to be that I was going to have a baby.  Obviously the stars did not align for me then.

This year, my resolution happens to be much of the same:  to have a baby.  And to be happy.

Did you miss that?  Yes, I said my resolution this year is to have a baby.  And that is scheduled to happen.

Because I am pregnant.

I am pregnant!!

6 weeks
This was taken a few weeks ago.
I am 12 1/2 weeks along and due in early July.

I thought when I got pregnant all of my sadness and sorrow from losing Ezraela would be gone.  That my grieving would be over.  But I was wrong.  I am still grieving.  The last 3 months have been filled with many tears, much anxiety and worry (more of this at a later time).  This is why the second part of my resolution is to be happy.  Not a fake, "everything is honkey dory" type of happy. But a deeply felt joy that resounds inside, reminding you how far you have you have come and how much you have to look forward to.

Because I am pregnant.  And Alexandria is soooooo excited to be a big sister.  And she's pretty sure it's a girl, but it's really too soon to tell (and you can't explain that to a 3 1/2 year old, no matter how hard you try).

As I close the year of 2014, I know that we will never forget the memory of Ezraela Eaven (in fact, we intend to carry on her middle name with this child), but I will look forward in anticipation to see what God will do in 2015.  And be joyously happy while doing it.  

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