It has been 6 days since we received the news that will change the course of our family's future for the rest of our lives. When you go in for your 20 week ultrasound, the most you are usually concerned about is whether you will be welcoming a baby girl or boy into the world. I never expected to hear the near paralyzing news that we received last Thursday.
The most common question has been, "so how are you really doing?" My standard answer is "we're doing okay, pretty good... as well as can be expected." It is so hard to answer this question. How am I really doing? I don't know. I am all over the place... mentally and emotionally. In one sense, I am grateful that our baby is okay at this very moment in time. He/she is protected and cared for in my belly. I am doing everything I possibly can for this baby right now. On the other hand, I am terrified. When we first found out we were pregnant, my biggest fear was another labor and delivery gone wrong. Giving birth to Londyn was the most physically trying event in my life thus far and doing that all over again has been weighing on me for the last 5 months. Now, the delivery is the least of my concerns. We have so many doctors on our side that I am without a doubt confident that the birth of our precious baby will be in the best of hands.
The most difficult part of all of this is fear of the unknown. I fear the moment when after the birth, they whisk my baby away to the NICU to receive the necessary medicine needed to keep our baby's heart functioning. I fear the moment when they release me from the hospital and I am forced to return home empty-handed... no newborn baby swaddled in the newly installed car seat. I fear sleeping in my bed for the first time without a baby in my belly or waking up to a baby needing me every 2 hours to be fed and comforted. I fear how we will juggle all of the many visits to the hospital to see our baby fight for his/her life. I fear for that first surgery on our tiny baby's heart... waiting and waiting to know if the procedure was successful. I fear for all of the fear. At times it is just too overwhelming and all I can hold onto is "normal". Normal is tucking our little girl in at night and singing Jingle Bells over and over again upon request. Normal is snuggling on the couch with your husband, belly laughing while watching The Conan Show. Normal is arguing with my two year old in the car because she says "no home, mama... I go shopping!" Normal is feeling the tender kicks of our baby and knowing he/she is full of life. I have never cherished normal more than I do now.
The first two days following our appointment- I alternated from laying on the couch or in bed sobbing. I would alternate feeling strong and empowered one minute, to fragile and completely out of control the next. I didn't even acknowledge the frequent calls and e-mails of concern and support. All I wanted was to be with my husband and daughter.
Andrew has been such a strength to me. Even though he is grieving too, he is always comforting me and making me feel better. On Sunday, we decided to fast and I was so dead set on fasting that I planned to fast for the full two meals. He wasn't having that, so when I came downstairs after taking a nap- he had made me lunch and was not expecting anything less than for me to eat it all. I obeyed and was grateful because there was no way I could or should have waited until 5pm to eat. Our baby needs all the nutrition he/she can get from me.
As for Londyn, I have always known that Heavenly Father sent her sweet and sassy little spirit to me for a reason, but it is times like these that I am so thankful for her innocence and love for life. She makes me want to get out of bed and experience the world through her eyes, even when I feel like doing the very opposite. She makes me smile, when all I feel like doing is crawling up in a ball and crying. I have always known that her middle name "Joy" was inspired, because she brings joy to everyone and everything in this world.
This is the beginning of a journey. A journey through the many tests and trials of life on this earth. At this point, I have no choice but to rely on my Father in Heaven. Our family has to get through this and without Him, there is no other way. I will continue to pray, take care of this baby and love my family. That is all I can do for now.