Tuesday, July 21, 2015

6 Months After the Miracle Arrived

6 Months. We have a 6 month old. It's hard to believe really. First of all, time flies. It still feels like yesterday that I was in the hospital holding a newborn. It still feels like yesterday that I was pregnant with her, not sure we would ever meet her alive. But she is alive, and has been for 6 months!

It was almost exactly a year ago that we were first told she may not be healthy. We went into our 13 week ultrasound full of hope that this pregnancy would work, and then left our 13 week ultrasound full of anxiety, wondering what would come. About this time a year ago I shut down all hope of what my daughter would be like. I did not let myself dream of having a healthy baby. Of watching her grow and develop a personality. But that is exactly what we are doing today. We are watching her grow and become a sweet little person. I am amazed by that daily.

Eve decided in honor of her half birthday, she would show us she was a "big girl". In the last few weeks she started sitting up on her own, getting on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth, eating pureed foods, and drooling like crazy, with a tooth visible and nearly through! She is a bubbly, happy, talkative baby full of life, which happens to be her namesake (Eve means life - we chose that name for her when we were told she wouldn't live). She brings much enjoyment to our lives!

 I feel like lately, its really setting in what we went through. How traumatic our pregnancy was (and the two years before it). I'm not sure if that is because I am starting to see the personality come out in our daughter, or if it's because we are nearing a year from the original Trisomy 18 and Triple X diagnosis, but I have been thinking about that crazy time a lot lately. I think about those "abnormalities" seen on early ultrasounds every day as I watch my baby grow. I think about the "rocker bottom feet" they saw as I watch her stand normally, strongly and bounce on Grant's knees. I think of those "clenched hands" as I watch her suck her thumb and bat at toys. She still prefers her hands in fists actually, something her pediatrician says is totally fine and normal. I think of her head and neck measurements being abnormal as I revel in how smart she is. I love watching her figure out new toys, how to open things or shut them, how to use a spoon. She recently started showing interest in everything she sees, and it is so fun to watch. I am so thankful that we decided to stay pregnant and give her a chance at life, and thankful that she is healthy and able to live that life to the fullest.

With all honesty, while there is tons of joy with this healthy little one, the fear and pain remains as well. Grant has always handled things better than me, and he is able to see the joy without the pain, but I still feel it at times. Every now and then, usually when on my own in the shower or car, I will mourn the pregnancy we had, relive what it felt like to know you would lose your child. Its in those moments, that I sometimes will give into the fear that she may not be really be healthy. I know this doubt comes from darkness and not the Lord, but I sometimes will entertain it, and then have to pull myself back out of it. Fortunately, we have a wonderful pediatrician who reassures me with every appointment. Just like the average new mother needs reassurance that its ok if their baby has a runny nose or doesn't sleep through the night, I need reassurance that Eve is healthy. Just last week, at our 6 month well check, she walked in to the appointment, took one look at Eve sitting on the table playing with a book and said "Michelle, she is so happy and healthy. Remember that". I am so thankful to have found such a wonderful pediatrician. I am thankful that she understands the struggle and is sensitive to it without me having to say a word about my fears.

I know that some day, I will look at Eve and just see Eve, not see the crazy, painful story of bringing her into this world. Or maybe I won't. Maybe her miracle story will always be there. Either way, I am thankful for it in a way. I appreciate her every milestone so much more. I appreciate every minute I get with her. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that the Lord blessed her with us. And I am learning what it is to cast out fear and trust in God when I just don't have control. That alone is reason enough to be thankful. Having this baby is challenging, amazing, joyful beyond words, and completely refining. (Honestly, that description probably rings true to everyone who has had a baby!)

Happy half birthday little love! We are so thankful for you!