Bringing laughter, light and hope to a grieving situation

Finding yourself pregnant after your husband dies is an experience like no other. It was everything: good, bad, scary, amazing, tragic, mind blowing, happy, sad, overwhelming, nauseating, painful, exhilarating. I was suddenly alone and I had two little girls already that were looking to me, just me all of a sudden, for the answers to their questions and for their everything. I really had trouble processing the situation – it just didn’t make sense in my brain.

I had another really interesting emotion come up for me too: shame. I don’t know why but I felt ashamed. I felt stupid. Like a pregnant teenager that had made a huge mistake. So weird. I mean, I was 36 years old and married. Well, not married any longer exactly. Kind of married? Ugh. No, I was no longer married as much as I still felt that I was. I was almost embarrassed when I told friends and family the news. I can’t explain it, but I felt as if people would look at me like I was an idiot. I actually had two people ask me, right after I told them that I was pregnant, if I was going to keep the baby or terminate the pregnancy. Those words knocked the wind out of me, although I certainly understand where they were coming from. How it could look, from the outside looking in, like a very good option. My life was so insane already. But that thought never crossed my mind – well, until it was brought up. But I never entertained that idea. The thought of going through that after losing my husband was even crazier than being pregnant. It would have made the road smoother in some respects I suppose, but dammit, I was in my 30’s, already a mom, and this was a baby that we had wanted, talked about and had already started loving before we even knew it existed. There was just not a chance that I would not have the baby.

I did not tell many people that I was pregnant. The embarrassment was kind of overwhelming – well, the whole situation was. And I was worried that something bad was going to happen, not if I told, but just because of the circumstances. I was thinking that my husband died – what’s next? Something is bound to go wrong with the pregnancy. I had an ultrasound early and then I had another at around 10 weeks. That once again was all good, but you still couldn’t convince me that something wasn’t going to go wrong.

But there I was, mid-December, over a month since Steven had died – and I still had not told my family that I was going to have a baby. I had only shared with a close circle of friends. I still was having trouble getting the words out of my mouth. I remember going in to visit with our wonderful parish priest and telling him about it. He was – shocked. And tried so hard to conceal it. He was unsuccessful. We laughed and cried about it together and he reassured me that the community would be there for me and my girls. He also spoke to me about this amazing blessing that I was trusted with and the gift that this baby would be to me and to the world. And man, he was right.

Christmas was quickly approaching and I knew I had to tell our family about the baby. This being my 3rd baby, I was already starting to show – either that or I was just gaining weight. I know so many widows that couldn’t eat and couldn’t sleep after their person died. Not me. Get in my belly. Comfort! And sleep – yes please! Any way to escape reality – and I couldn’t drink or use any kind of drugs now so…sleep and eat. I did that. I was in such great physical shape when Steve died. Yeah, that body has not been seen since November 8, 2006. Crap.

I struggled with how to tell everyone that baby number 3 was on the way – including my girls. School pictures of the girls were a typical gift then for our parents and siblings so I got an idea. I made a package for my parents, Steve’s parents, his sister, my brother. Each package had 3 smaller packages within it and they were numbered 1, 2 and 3. I was with them when they opened them (except my parents – I had to lead them thru it over the phone) and told them to open them in order. The package labeled number 1 was a framed photo of Maggie. The package labeled number 2 was a framed photo of Melissa. The package labeled number 3 was a framed photo of…the ultrasound. I didn’t say a word as they opened them. My favorite reaction was from my beloved Father in-law. He opened number 3, looked up with a very confused look on his face, and asked, “Is that a shell?”

Telling my parents was the hardest – and it was that ridiculous shame I was feeling. It all disappeared after I talked with them on the phone Christmas Day and I heard my mom and dad both crying – from happiness. It was a miracle that I was pregnant with this amazing angel and from day one, this baby brought tremendous happiness, light, laughter and hope to this world.

9 thoughts on “Bringing laughter, light and hope to a grieving situation”

  1. Blessings of love to you Wendy …
    Hope is a beautiful gift of joy that Steve made sure you would have and cherish
    🍀❤️🎅🏻🎄⛄️
    Merriest of Christmas’s to all of you

  2. Wendy….I always tell people you named her Hope,because she gives us hope! Now,I don’t remember if you really did say that,or I just said it,but nonetheless it is very true! I remember so clearly when Bill opened his gift,and his comment about the shell! 😍

  3. I love this. I don’t know how to ask this, but I will simply ask… is the father your late husband? You said it had only been a month since he had died (if I read that correctly). There is ZERO judgment in my asking… it’s just strange because I had this conversation with a friend yesterday… what if I became pregnant !? (She’s currently pregnant, and there’s no possible chance of my being pregnant at this moment in time). I hope this doesn’t come across rude…I am just honestly interested in your journey. Thank you.

    1. Hi Michelle – Nope, doesn’t come across rude. I had those questions at the time. Well, I didn’t have them but people asked my friends… Yes, her dad is my late husband. I conceived just a few days before Steve died. Life is crazy. Thank you for reading what’s here – I hope you are enjoying it ❤️

      1. What a wonderful gift he left. I have often wondered what might happen if I became pregnant again. Your story is filled with joy through pain.

  4. Heavenly Mother Wendy!! OMG I am struggling to hold back the tears reading about your wonderful blessing… this baby was meant to be here indeed! I believe we all have a purpose here in some way however small or big, but this baby is very special and God made sure she was conceived before he came to take your husband back home- and just in the nick of time! And he chose you to be her Mommy. That’s a very special and pretty awesome opportunity & compliment from above ! Love her, enjoy her , protect her and may God and all of his Saints and Angels Bless you and keep you safe always! Thank you for sharing and make sure you give your Angel a great big hug n kiss from The Gusman Ohana in California – a widowed Mom & her 4 kids

    Lots of Aloha n Blessings from our family to yours!

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