Then I have my own trials that leave me feeling hopeless. This little girl of mine is consuming my world. She is all I think about, all of the time. It's rare that I get a five minute train of thought without her in it. I am constantly thinking about the "What if's?" I am constantly having an internal battle of whether I should be hopeful or not. Whether we should look forward to her arrival or not. Whether I should plan for her coming to live with us or not. It's pretty depressing. Luckily Owen keeps me busy and thinking about other things.. sometimes. Bedtime is not easy for me.
I also have an incredible support system. I have family close and friends that make me feel loved and thought about. Since announcing all of the details about sweet Charlotte, I have received numerous amounts of letters, notes, Facebook messages, packages, gifts, and lots and lots of hugs.
Going through times like this people always want to do something but they never know what that "thing" is. I get it. I wouldn't know what to do for a girl who just lost her baby, or who just found out devastating news about her current pregnancy and baby. After we lost Conor, friends tried to say anything that would make it better and nothing worked. It just takes time and to be honest, confirmation that he was okay to make it better. I still appreciate it though.
So my point, you know when you feel like the world is just an ugly place and then you see a video of a couple who struggled with infertility for years announce they are expecting? Or a husband and father coming home to surprise his kids at school after being overseas in the military for months?
That's what these last couple of months have been for me. Complete reassurances that people are good. That this trial of mine will work out in whatever way God wants but that I have support.
One morning I woke up to a box like this on my doorstep from a friend who was in Young Womens with me. We haven't talked in years and yet, she sent me this whole package. It made my day. She wrote me a beautiful letter telling me how sorry she was for me but that she hoped this little box would brighten my day. Words can't even describe how much that meant to me.
(This isn't the exact one. I forgot to take a picture of it)
Then a dear friend made this beautiful quilt for Charlotte. She put so much work into and you can tell.
And another dear friend of mine, who has also lost a sweet baby, made this quilt for Charlotte. She hand stitched flowers and Charlotte's name in a heart at the bottom. When I saw the package on my door from her I got excited. She is such a talented friend so I knew she sent me something handmade and that took a lot of time and love. As soon as I rolled it out, I just cried. Sometimes, especially being a mom, it's hard to feel appreciated and loved and she made sure I felt both. I love everything about this quilt.
Her name :)
Every time I opened up one of these gifts, I just cried. Cried in gratitude for friends that go above and beyond. Friends that are doing everything they can to make this burden light. I can't say enough how grateful I am for support. For the calls, the texts, the letters, the words of kindness. I have so much to be grateful for and friends and family have made it easier for me to focus on that instead of everything else.
We had our 26 week appointment yesterday. Things are looking alright. It's hard for me to say "good". Nothing about this is "good". Well except seeing her perfect little hand..
She is actually measuring 27 weeks and 4 days which is surprising to everyone. We (my doctors) thought because of this defect she would be measuring small but she is proving us wrong. That means she is 2 pounds and 6 ounces as of yesterday. That's a lot bigger than my last baby so I'm happy with that number. Anything over 8 ounces is amazing.
Everything is measuring right on. The only thing Dr. Gainer was worried about is her liver. It has moved, close to the hernia is what it looks like. This could potentially be really bad news. She wants me to get an MRI done in about a month when Charlotte is really big. She said it looked like the liver is still below the diaphragm but it has moved and that's making her worry. If even a little piece of her liver is sticking through the hernia it can be a problem because that makes it even less room for her left lung to develop.
Right now, her right lung looks good enough for surgery. Her left lung is not developing due to lack of room; her bowel is in the way. Dr. Gainer took measurements of her right lung and it is in the 52nd percentile, which is good. Anything above the 25th means more of a chance of survival after surgery. She would like to see it around the 75th percentile but that's not happening. So 52nd is good. And I get a break from appointments. I don't have another one until I'm 30 weeks. That's a whole month off! To be honest, I'm nervous about that. I feel like the appointments are a reassurance for me. "I'm still pregnant, she is still alive, things are good".
At 30 weeks I will have the MRI done and we meet with the Pediatric Surgeons to talk about what will happen. I can't wait for that. I think it will be so good for us.
This is 26 weeks but.. I look the same. Big. :)
She is so active. All day and all night. Anything and everything makes her move. She's just like me, she seriously cannot hold still. When I sneeze, I laugh, I blow my nose, I yell, I have the hiccups, anything and she has a little freak out. She is already a drama queen which is good. We need a stubborn fighter.
Her favorite spot to sit is where my gallbladder was and it's pretty dang uncomfortable. I push her over and she just moves right back.. My body feels hammered. My sciatic nerve is killing me. I have actually fallen over a few times because of it. Luckily I was close enough to my Costco cart to have something to grab on to before I fell to the ground. It's awful. Sleeping is not happening anymore so that's fun.. This pregnancy is seriously kicking my butt, which makes it really hard to enjoy. I'm trying to soak this all in. I'd like to think that if I hadn't been pregnant now for almost a year it would be easier to enjoy.
Can you believe that? I have been pregnant since last March. Like March 2014. Now, don't get me wrong, I know I am not the first to go through this, in fact, I know women who do this on purpose. (Not the losing a baby part). But women who get pregnant as soon as the last one was born. That's crazy. I'm dying over here. I'm so ready to just hold a baby, my baby.
I'm so ready to squeeze her face. Kiss her cheeks. Burp her over my shoulder. Let her sleep on my chest. Lay on our big bed. Snuggle her with my boys. I want her so bad it's killing me. I need this girl. Prayers seem to be working. And I have you all to thank for that. I can't believe how many people we have petitioning for her to live, for her to be a miracle. I hope that if God feels like we need her here, He will let her. I know we are begging.
Anyway, that's the update for now. She is doing well. Her numbers are good, not great but good. Again, thank you friends and family for the love, support and encouraging words. I know I wouldn't be this okay with the situation without you.