Family Vacation With Everyone…Except Esther

baby footprintsToday we are on our way to Florida. It is that time of year…family vacation! I don’t just mean my nuclear family vacation, but my whole family vacation – my parents, my nine siblings, my sister in law, two nephews, and one niece, besides Adam, Kyla, and I. As you can imagine, it’s a big ordeal. Everyone looks forward to this one week out of the year where we can all be off work, and enjoy time together. So, the time has arrived…But it’s not how I thought it was going to be.

Last December, we gathered together to pick the dates for 2013. We carefully planned out the last week that it would be safe for me to travel with my due date of July 28th. We calculated that I would be exactly the same size I was in 2011 on our family trip. And we remembered the humor of travelling with such a pregnant momma!

We smiled thinking of all the potty breaks, weird food cravings, and waddling that would fill our family vacation this year. While traveling might not be most pregnant women’s preference, I got so used to it in 2011 (I spoke at conference in a different city almost every weekend!) that it no longer seemed as daunting. We looked forward to another vacation with me looking like a beached whale at the side of the pool! Like last time, we would be home about 7 weeks before the baby came.

That was the plan. But our plans changed. Tragically.

So while I should be almost 8 months pregnant, I am left crying over my empty belly. While I should be travelling with my maternity swimming suit, elastic waist shorts, and nice padded sandals, I am taking my “skinny clothes.” Never in my life have I wished I could be big.

Right before we left my parents’ house in a 3 car caravan, I glanced at the framed pictures from 2 years ago. I saw one of me smiling and holding my huge belly so proudly. I had to catch my breath when I realized I should be looking just like that right now.

I know we will enjoy the family vacation this week, but it’s not the same. It will never be the same without Esther. She will be missed every moment.

And yet, she is with me. I carry her in my heart. I love her with all my being. And I will always be her mommy, even if I’m not holding her right now.

I know she is experiencing a joy far beyond any happiness, fun, or excitement a family vacation could ever bring. And one day, we will experience that joy together.


  1. I hope you enjoy your time with your family. Praying for you!
    I’m right there with you….I didn’t want to plan our vacation for the longest time…I first wasn’t sure where to go while pregnant and then I couldn’t get in the mood after the miscarriage.


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