A Belly Full of Jelly

If there is one thing that we learned through getting to be Brooklyn’s parents it was how to celebrate in the face of the unknown.

At that 20 week ultrasound appointment in July of 2012, we had no clue how to do this. We definitely lived our lives with an undertone of dissatisfaction, but we believed that we were just on the brink. If only, the new career would work out. If only, the possibility of buying a home looked less like a fantasy. If only, we would finally have enough money and time off for that summer vacation. We were really good at looking at the things we didn’t have. The “If only’s” that would finally send us into a place of satisfaction. If we couldn’t have the typical DINK (dual income no kids) lifestyle, then maybe it was time to just have kids? In no way was this an actual part of our thought process when we decided to trust Him with growing our family, but sometimes I wonder if it was swimming around our subconscious?

“Your ultrasound results came back abnormal.”

My brain had to catch up with what my ears just heard. We had a pretty jovial relationship with our doctor, could this be a joke? When she mentioned the words “heart defect”, I thought even harder about the ways this could play out for her to be “messing with us” and her still be our doctor. The reason this felt so absurd to me was because her youngest son was born with a heart defect. He had actually just had a surgery to replace his aortic valve and many of our conversations in the past 4 months were peppered with updates on how he was doing. I heard the silence following her initial statement louder than I had heard her words. And the reality of what I was hearing settled into this dreadful weight in my chest. Then there were words like specialist, cardiologist, surgery, difficult first year of life. But, I couldn’t keep up with the sobbing my heart was doing on the inside. Then shortly after the actual sobbing came.

We were supposed to be on the brink. And, we were. But, we were on the brink of something completely different than I had hoped for.

We still had hope of a long life with Brooklyn then. Specialists gave us the hope of surgery dates, but no matter how many hours of ultrasounds scouring her tiny heart they ended every conversation with, “we will know more once she’s born.” That kind of hope kept us looking for the positives, anything that we could hold on to to justify and cling to our hope for the future. Yet, even in that we were whispering the “if only’s”.

Once she was born and it all became clear. Her destiny. Our destiny. It chased every ‘if only’ we ever knew away, crushed our hope of a future, and painfully drew our hearts to look at this very moment in time. That was all we had. It slowed everything down and sped everything up all at the same time. When moments are all you have, you have a decision to make about how you want to live your moments.

This is how we learned to celebrate. This is how we learned to give thanks. This is how we knew any peace, at all. This is how the Lord showed us how to look at what is and allow that to be enough, and sometimes more than enough.

Yesterday we had our 20 week ultrasound appointment with little Squirmy-worm. We were pretty anxious about going through all of those same motions that we walked through a year and a half ago. As I envisioned walking into that ultrasound room, I thought of my heart racing the entire time. I thought of how I would probably be trying to analyze everything the sonographer was saying and doing as her eyes carefully searched my second little miracles body. I thought of how it would be hard to breathe until it was all over. And my thoughts were interrupted with, “Look for another way.” And, I thought of the moments I have been given. How did I want to live these moments as we would get to peak into our new baby girl’s body? Her big sister had taught my spirit that new way. I wanted to celebrate them! So, we did. And, we did that with Jelly Belly Beans. What better way to celebrate the unknown than with a mixed bag of jelly bellies? Every time we heard our sonographer say, “looks good” as she worked her way down the check list, we celebrated with a jelly bean. We even brought some for our sonographer, nurses and doctor to celebrate with us.

We are thankful to report that Squirmy is growing just fine, with the exception of a smaller than average head measurement. So, that specialist word did come up again, but only to go and have an expert fetus scour-er say, “Yup, just a small head.” As a Mama hoping to have a VBAC, a small head doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world.

In all of this, He has been faithfully showing me my fear and anxiety does not have the final say on how I live my moments.

Jelly beans do 🙂

-Brooklyn’s Mommy

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