August 8, 2018

A Glimpse of the Girls

My husband and I have three daughters, though we've only been able to raise two.

Our first - Anna Vivian - went to Heaven straight from my womb in early November 1998, near the beginning of my second trimester. God has put a scab on the deep wound her loss left on my heart, but her death was the most devastating event of my adult life, and I still long to have known her. Of course, my very real hope is that I will meet her one day, and then we'll have eternity together...but for as long as I'm on this side of the Great Divide, I will miss her. 

After Anna Vivian died, I was petrified to try for another baby; it took almost two years before I felt emotionally strong enough and even then I harbored anxiety through the entire pregnancy. I even chose a doctor who specialized in high-risk pregnancies "just in case." Thankfully, he was right as he kept telling me everything was just fine and that I was even "boring," and Rachel Jean arrived in May 2001, perfectly healthy. 

Since we'd waited until we'd been married for 10 years to start our family - and Rachel didn't arrive till three years after that - we knew we'd try to have our next child rather quickly, vaguely thinking in terms of "18 months after Rachel." However, God and Abigail Kay had different plans because she arrived - just as strong and healthy as her sister - a mere eleven and a half months later, in May 2002. 
People regularly ask if raising children so close in age has been difficult. Of course, I don't know any other way so I can't really say. I do remember that much of Abbie's first year was a blur since I was getting up several times a night with a baby all year while also caring for a very active toddler. And I'm already dreading the fact that I'll become an instant empty-nester when they graduate high school together in Spring 2020. But I honestly think - other than not having Anna Vivian with us - that this has been the perfect arrangement for me. When I was younger, I regularly thought having twins would be great, and having Irish Twins has been nearly the same experience. 

One of the best things about the girls being so close in age is that they've always been each other's best friend. They obviously have their share of tiffs, but even with their different interests and personalities, they always come right back to each other. My husband jokes that one day many years from now when they're elderly widows, they'll get a house together and have a grand old time in their final years; he just might be right.
A Note about My Posts in Relation to the Girls:
In my previous blog, Being Made New, which I started when the girls were just six and seven and shortly after we had "officially" begun to homeschool, I shared a lot about the girls' proclivities and activities, and my posts about various aspects of our home learning endeavors featured many pictures of them. Now, though, the girls are teens. And so, while introducing my kids to the "world" was fun back then and though I know I'll share some aspects of their current lives here, I'm going to be more circumspect now - by design. I'll still use my experiences with them as "object lessons" to support a thesis I seek to make within a post; in fact, you'll likely see all sorts of "stock photos" of them as little girls! And they're usually comfortable with me sharing such pictures and old stories. But - as I believe every parent of teens should be - I'm careful and intentional in regards to their current lives...on purpose, out of respect for their privacy as young women coming into their own.

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