We are halfway to a new miracle...a new baby will be joining us - God willing - mid-August.
It has taken us 20 weeks to feel ready to share with the world. For many weeks, it was a secret we kept to ourselves...a little treasure we held close to our hearts while we nervously held our breath. 6 weeks passed, we had a first ultrasound and saw that amazing little flutter on the screen. A heartbeat. A real, beating heart. Then 9 weeks and we decided to tell our immediate families.
We made it to 11 weeks and the first set of tests, screenings, and more ultrasounds. We got the next bit of reassuring news...Baby looks good and is growing right on target. "Normal" never sounded so extraordinary as we got back blood work that dropped our risk of trisomies into the almost non-existent area. We breathed a little easier. Made it through the first several doctor's appointments. Heard a heartbeat for the first time. I started to actually look and feel pregnant, as we began to tell friends and co-workers.
Last week we accomplished yet another major milestone - 20 weeks, the "big" ultrasound, the halfway point. Again, more good news from doctors and technicians..."Normal development," "nothing of concern." So today, I told my students - who, up to this point, were oblivious to the fact that I was pregnant thanks to some very creative clothing choices on my part.
And now it's time to share it with the rest of you. Those that we haven't seen or talked with, but are ready to include in our journey.
And this is a journey. For we live in a world where "I'm pregnant" doesn't necessarily translate into, "I'm going to have a baby." Choosing to take the leap of faith required to walk this path again requires...well, I don't know that I've figured it out yet. I know that with each passing day, each passing week, each accomplished milestone, we breathe a bit easier. I have set small goals...get past 6 weeks, to the first doctor's appointment, 9 weeks, 12 weeks, end of first trimester. Make it to the "First Look" ultrasound, 16 weeks, 20 weeks...get to the next doctor's appointment, that stage of "viability," the glucose test, get to the every 2-week doctor's appointments...you get the drift. One day at a time has never held such power.
Because it's not just about our losses...it's about every woman and every loss I have ever known. When this is your world, you become acquainted with catastrophes no one should ever know. You become an encyclopedia of "what ifs." Because it's how you survive..."If I can just get past where __________ had her loss, I'll feel better." You personalize every loss - and pray every single day. I pray everyday that we'll get to keep this baby and bring this baby home. Until that day comes, and we're physically holding this new little one, we will be holding our breath.
While this walk comes with a tremendous amount of anxiety and nerves, we are cautiously optimistic. I have a fabulous doctor who has been my doctor since before we had Faith. She knows our history and she and her office have been wonderful...with every phone call, every weird symptom, every strange question. Offering every bit of reassurance humanly possible. I could not ask for greater support as we navigate through this part of life.
To those of you that have taken this long walk with us over the last 3 1/2 years, I thank you. With every person we told about this new baby, I was nervous. Nervous to make it "real." And with every announcement, people have been joyous and excited and supportive. We couldn't ask for better people to share this with. We are excited, and scared, and on any given day, any number of other emotions. But, the time has come to let you all take this long walk with us. So, while we don't know if Baby is a boy or a girl (and won't be finding out until Baby's arrival), we know Faith is watching out for us. A guardian to her mom and dad, and an angel watching over this new blessing. I only wish that our new addition would be able to know his/her big sister. Though they won't know each other in the traditional sense, this little one will know about the big sister they have and how much they are wanted and loved before they've even arrive.