“A new baby is the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.” ~ Eda J. Le Shan
Yes, you are reading this right. The Pruitt clan is expanding. It’s been quiet around this blog, mostly as this quote isn’t entirely representative of where my mental state started when I found out I was expecting. At 19 weeks, I am finally here, but to say this little one was unexpected, a surprise, not in the plan, would be an understatement. As we all know, after trying to conceive for almost 2 years, I had to go through IVF to be granted the blessing of Q and E. Aside from all the obvious, “there are things you can do,” I am now 38, I couldn’t get pregnant the first time around, and I wasn’t expecting to be able to get pregnant now….But, guess what, I am now that story.
Now, I am sure some folks are thinking, how can she say this, gasp! But, our experience of delivering and having minis hasn’t been exactly typical. Additionally, we have had a baby in our sweet angel E for the past 3.5 years. At a 10 month developmental age, I was terrified we would let her down. Somehow, not be able to continue to give her what she needs and will continue to need to progress. To give her the very best opportunity possible to find her best quality of life. On the flip side, I feared for little Q, who is thriving as he continues to learn and bring light and love into our lives: would we be able to continue to give him the unique place in our family as our bug? How could we, and I, truly practically integrate an infant into our lives, between therapy, work, advocacy, school, and still give this new little miracle the kind of love and attention that it will deserve.
As so often it is, the view in the rearview mirror is much clearer, and as fate will often have it, we learn and grow from each experience, with each experience becoming the foundation for another.
At 13 weeks, as we waited for the results of my CVS with a full panel of genetic testing (a test done to identify any conditions or issues with the fetus), my anxiety levels crept to new heights with each passing day. I was holding off on my attachment. I could feel it. I had been down this road before. Expecting the call the first time around from E’s testing, contrary to what I believed they would say, rocked my world to its core. I had thought when E had done her genetic testing it would come back negative. We would chalk her delays up to Cerebral Palsy (brain damage), not a lifelong, rare genetic condition, Angelman Syndrome. As the fear grew that history may repeat itself, so did my realization that I was attached. That I had turned a corner. That, while my fears of how we would do this and make this work hadn’t totally dissipated, I knew in my heart of hearts that like everything, we would figure out a way for this little one to become seamlessly part of our family.
When the phone rang at 3:30 in the afternoon exactly 14 days later, every fiber of my being froze in anticipation. My breathing shallowed and my heart clenched. The genetic counselor with lightness in her voice said happily, “she is fine.” A baby girl. A she. A perfectly healthy, chromosomally normal baby miracle girl. I could feel the shift like a tectonic plate in my heart. It would be ok to now allow the sliver of light or hope to shine in. To embrace the miracle that she could be for our entire family and for me personally to experience a hopefully more typical experience of having a baby.
And so I am.
Each day, I put my hands on my growing belly and welcome our new sweet girl. I tell her about her sister who will inspire her and us to do great things, and how much E will look up to her. I tell her how much she will learn from her brother who is whip smart and the gentle spirit of an angel and as if reinforcing my sentiments, Q will put his hand on my belly and tell me, “there is a baby sister” in your belly.
This post is also part of the journey. To not be afraid to say it outloud. To not be fearful that if I do, something bad will happen. To let this part of the experience be happy and joyful. A friend early on said to me, as she tried to help me cope with the shock and fear I was feeling, “you have no idea how much love this baby will bring into your family.” She is right, but with each passing day, little pieces of the wall begin to crumble and I begin to feel the enormity of the love that is awaiting us all.
So it begins, a new chapter of “mynewfavoriteday.” As each day evolves and life changes, there will be good and tough days, but each day will hold in it the pure love, hope and wonder of possibilities that comes with not just a baby but with being able to see each moment, day and event as an opportunity of possibility. Perhaps as we go through the hopefully next 4 months together before little baby girl arrives we can all remind one another of just one moment of each day where we can see this moment clearly and all be reminded each day has the hope of being ‘anewfavoriteday.’