I'm staring at my keyboard now, wishing my fingers would just type and figure out the right words on the way, but I'm frozen. So much to say, but so little words. I've been a bit MIA for the last few months, especially on the blog. I felt as though I had nothing to share but sadness as of lately and I didn't want that to be a thread in this "Feather's Nest" theme. But then today, I went to my site and read my bio again, where I state this, "Since I was younger I've had a fascination with homes. Not just the design part, but also the concept of what a home can be. A place you share so much of your life, where you wear no masks, where you laugh and you cry." Tears filled my eyes. That IS what this blog is about. Life in all it's ups and downs. The real and the stunning act of navigating through seasons that try to pull us down and drown us. Resilience, heartache, faith, anger, unexplainable joy, relentless hope. That is what has filled my year as it seems. And I want to share it all with you.
If any of you follow my personal account on instagram (@bridgetrfrancis) then you most likely already know what I'm talking about. But for those of you who don't, let me tell you a bit about what has newly been written into my story.
I want to start with PART 1, which is actually an excerpt of a blog post that I had written out at the end of January and saved as a draft to eventually post...
"At the beginning of this year I sat down with one of my beautiful friends , we hadn’t caught up in almost 2 months so it was overdue. We sat at her kitchen island over her homemade coconut pancakes and hot coffee for over 4 hours. Talking, sharing, and being vulnerable — tears ensued. It’s moments like these I’m grateful for. For the incredible women I have in my life, that we can sit around a table and open up about the good the bad and the ugly. The inner thoughts, the fears, the questions that life sometimes hands us.
We were in such vastly different seasons, but so much of them intertwined. The heartbeat of both was disappointment. And she was the first to show me that maybe that was the word over my loss. It’s strange because just hearing that word, and hearing how she’s been navigating (blindly at times) through her season of it opened my eyes to see things a little differently. It was like I was searching for a form of clarity through all of this. And not even necessarily for answers, because truthfully I don’t think there will always be answers. But clarity to be able to look through a lens at what I was experiencing. An anchor if you will. Not one you always want to be attached to, but one to help me find the root of so much I was feeling. Let me start from the beginning…
December 1st, 2016. The day I entered my season of disappointment — and miscarriage was written into my story.
A day I will never forget. One that haunts me with its vivid memories of helplessness and with emotion.
Shortly after I found myself in the cross fire of everyone’s questions and assumptions of “Are you having a baby soon?” “When’s it time for baby francis??” “You guys need to have a baby already!” — if only. If only they knew, I thought over and over. There I was in the midst of some very present and recent feelings of lost and I was being asked when. Something to be honest, I wouldn’t have had thought twice about before. Maybe I would be the one at the other end of those questions even towards others. But life through a big change of perspective at me, one where the simple words of "baby" were so tender on my heart."
And now for PART 2.
So much healing came in time. Dealing with that miscarriage only strengthened me and especially my marriage. Our desire for a family grew so big we couldn't contain the excitement knowing that one day God would give us a beautiful family. Little did we know what was still ahead.
We fell pregnant pretty soon after and were filled with such joy knowing that this was it, this was our baby! But at my 12 week scan, the doctors discovered that our little girl had Anencephaly, which meant her skull was not forming properly. The top was left open which then caused a gap for her brain to float. We were told then and there that she would either pass in utero or shortly after birth. The survival rate was next to 0. I remember laying there feeling so overwhelmed and distraught. "This can't be real. God told me this was our baby. This must be a dream." After our appointment, my doctor sent us to a specialist the next day. I remember laying in bed the night before mustering up any form of faith, speaking it over my belly, crying out to God. The specialist appointment was the same. Somber. Crushing. The doctor's words attacking any form of faith in my body. Those days felt like the longest days of our life. When will this be over I thought.
We ended up flying to Canada to get away for a bit. I went first, and Ryan followed a few days later. These weeks caused such a shift. Being surrounded by my family was exactly what we needed. And let me tell you something about my family. There's my parents, my older sister, her husband and 2 kids, my older brother, his wife, my younger brother, and of course Duke, my parents big black lab. These people are my backbone. They are all so individually and in-their-own-way strong, and it was that strength that settled in and took care of us at our weakest.
I'm now 24 weeks along. It's been almost 3 months since my 12 week scan when the news hit us. We have come such a long way since that day. And I can say that it has been a JOURNEY. An ever changing and ever emotional one (Hello! I'm pregnant and full of hormones!!!). But I can also say that God has been SO KIND to us. We are full of faith and hopeful expectation that we will be holding our miracle girl come October 8th. That she will be perfect and healthy, with not one part of her missing. She has already captured our hearts and the hearts of so many friends and family, and even strangers I've met through social media that have heard our story. She is here for a purpose, I know that for sure. And my time with her in my belly is special... sacred, if you will.
There are so many things I could write about right now. Sooo many lessons I've already been learning, so many life altering perspective shifts. I've seen and felt God is so many new ways I don't even know where to begin....
So for now, I'll end on this. But know there is so much more I'll be sharing soon...
"SHE IS CLOTHED WITH STRENGTH AND DIGNITY,
AND SHE LAUGHS WITHOUT FEAR OF THE FUTURE."
Proverbs 31:25 (NLT
[photo from 20 weeks pregnant]