I'm almost halfway there and finally starting to feel human again. I know Brad is happy to see me without a plastic "just in case" garbage can next to the bed at night.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support. Our biggest struggle with this pregnancy hasn't been the physical aspect but the emotional one. I simply didn't realize how hard it would be to go down the same path that has many times ended with such pain. I guess I thought all wounds had healed once Brady was born, but I'm seeing now that there's still much healing to do.
I'm ashamed to admit that I've been guarded in my excitement with this new life. Fear of what might happen is stealing from the joy of what is. But at my 12-week appointment, I realized exactly how attached I had grown to this little person.
They tried to pick up the heartbeat on their doppler thing and couldn't find it. I remained emotionless on the outside, but inside I was worried and praying that everything was okay. After several minutes of not being able to find it, they took me to the ultrasound room. Soon we were relieved to see a beating heart and a baby doing water ballet, but those moments in between made me realize that no matter how much I thought I was guarding my heart, I had already fully given it to this little life.
We recently had another ultrasound and little peanut is still growing right on target and already looks precious. Nothing else proves that there is an Almighty Creator more beautifully than watching Him knit new life in the womb.
My bloggy friend Lisa asked if we were going to find out the gender of the baby. The answer is yes. At my last appointment we had the sonographer write it down and seal it in an envelope. We are going to open it on Valentine's Day and I'll let you all know if it's a boy or a girl then.
We did this with all of our children. We opened Olivia's envelope on Christmas Eve, Ava's on Thanksgiving Day, Luke's (the son we lost near the end of our pregnancy) we opened on my dad's birthday.
We never opened Brady's envelope. Because we had lost Luke just months prior, I was concerned that if we found out it was a girl, others might feel sad for us that we didn't have another boy. While we certainly hoped that God would some day grant us another son, we knew that if we delivered a healthy baby it simply wouldn't matter if she was in pink instead of blue. I think by keeping it a surprise we felt surrendered to whatever God's plan was for our family and our baby. But Brady would not be short-changed of his holiday announcement because he was born on New Year's Day.
When we told the kids that we were waiting till Valentine's Day to find out the gender, I reminded them of all our holiday announcements. As I spoke, I looked at my sensitive Daniel and knew the thoughts playing behind his big brown eyes. "I didn't have an ultrasound photo, or a special envelope, or squeals of delight announcing that I was a boy."
But I looked over at him and asked, "Daniel, do you know what day we found out about you?" He shook his head no. "It was Daddy's 40th birthday. That was the first time we saw your photo, the day we knew that God was blessing us with another son, and the day we announced that you were ours."
His smile reached from one ear to the other.
The other day I overheard him explaining to someone why we were waiting to find out on Valentine's Day. He proudly shared the part about his special day being Daddy's birthday. (I've also shared the story of Daniel's "ultrasound" photo in this post. At the time I wrote this he was still living in Guatemala and was known as Danilo.)
We had no idea then how important this would be to him now. God is so good to provide the perfect timing with every detail.