We are almost there...close to the end of this leg of the journey. Close to the day that Baby will join us. We have a room (nearly) ready. We've painted and cleaned and organized a small room and closet into a functional space. A chair has been ordered and is on its way - thank you, Target and the gift cards we got for shower gifts. We've had the baby showers...a big step we never took with Faith. That felt huge - exciting, anxious, happy - but definitely, huge. Clothes are being washed, dried, and organized by size. My lovably neurotic-about-clutter husband has been a HUGE help in the process. I couldn't have done it without him, and have a whole new respect for single parents that must do all of this alone. When we learned of Faith's diagnosis, a baby shower was planned. Invitations had gone out...and then my mother, sister-in-law, and best friend had to make the first of some really terrible phone calls that summer. To tell people that the shower was cancelled. How do you, after all, celebrate the arrival of a baby you're not even sure will be born alive? It may sound morbid, but it was our very real living nightmare. So, we've surpassed all sorts of milestones we never got to with Faith. I've gotten past the point in this pregnancy where we got with Faith - this baby moves and squirms and kicks - and it is a truly miraculous feeling.
Last week, we had maternity pictures taken. Jamie's cousin is a budding photographer, eager to build her professional portfolio. As you can see, she does beautiful work and offered to do pictures for us. For four years, I have regretted that we do not have more pictures of me pregnant, of us together during the time when things were okay with Faith - that most of our pictures are in the hospital after her birth, though I treasure those. This time I was determined to chronicle this miracle along the way and cherish the journey, even when it makes me nervous. Which, for the record, it does almost daily. I am so happy about these pictures. It captures our joy...our excitement...our Faith that we will have a healthy baby and bring him or her home. All signs point to that outcome. If I'm honest, I find myself getting more and more anxious as the weeks go by. Most of the time, I keep it together and can push away the thoughts that creep in and once again, rob me of the blissfully ignorant joy that all pregnant women should get to experience. Unfortunately, that is not our experience. We experience pregnancy and the anticipation of a baby clouded in fear and nerves and trepidation, on top of the joy and excitement we feel about this new baby.
Next week is the week in July I dread every year...the week it all fell apart with Faith. I am determined to make it through that week and choose joy this summer. Choose to focus on the positive things we have, the new baby I feel kick and squirm on a daily basis. We talk about names and have our house nearly ready for our new miracle. Thank you to Joanna for helping us to capture this very special time in our lives.
I am a 36-year old wife, sister, daughter and friend. I am also mother to an angel, Faith Elizabeth, who was born in 2009 and lived for only three days due to a condition called Trisomy 18. In 2013, my husband and I welcomed our beautiful rainbow baby, James.