I had a miscarriage. I want another baby.

My husband had a vasectomy a year BEFORE the miscarriage. I didn’t know I wanted another baby until I lost the one who surprised us in the middle of summer, while I held two toddlers and a foster baby in my arms, and a cheap test strip in my hand.

My heart could not have been fuller at that moment.

When I lost that pregnancy early, I cried more than I felt like I deserved. It’s not like I struggled with infertility. It’s not like I was pregnant for very long.

I was the one who asked for the vasectomy. I hated pregnancy and postpartum, wished for my sleep back and for my hormones to settle. I felt our family was complete with two kids and an open foster licenseuntil I didn’t.

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“It’s for the best,” my husband said when I told him I lost our baby. “We weren’t ready for another one. We’re good with what we have.”

I cried some more.

Later, he tentatively asked if I wanted him to get a vasectomy reversal. “No,” I said quickly. He looked relieved.

I trust our choices. But ever since that surprise, I hope.

Sometimes my period is late. Sometimes mid-cycle I start feeling a little sick, or my boobs hurt, and I hope.

I’ll never stop being hopeful. On Christmas day, 10 days late, feeling the flutter of nerves (or hCG?), I take a pregnancy test. It’s negative.

It’s hard to explain to my husband how much I wanted to surprise him with a baby for Christmas. He says, “Why? That would have been so hard. We don’t need another baby.”

It’s hard to reconcile his relief with my grief.

In the shredded Christmas wrapping paper and books and clothes and the energy of our two kids under four, I feel empty and then angry for my ingratitude.

I love them, all of it. It’s more than I could have ever dreamed.

And still, I hope.

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This month, I’ll wait two more days before I take a test.

I feel a swirl in my belly, like a cloudy snowglobe. I feel excited and definitely more than a little sick. I already know this baby’s name.

Will I cry over a negative test again? Maybe. Probably. Just me getting my hopes up again.

Will I be hopeful again next month? Every time.

I surrender this life to God. There is peace in the unknowing and joy in the hope.