23 Weeks

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Yesterday was another OB appointment for me. I am now 5 month, or counting by weeks, I am 23 weeks along.

Our baby boy continues to be very active making the doctor chase him around with the doppler ultrasound to check on his beating heart, which was in the 140's. It still sends my mind swirling over this type of 'normal' and how very unusual it is to me. I call my appointments "boring" although hearing that little heart living away inside of me is anything but boring. The rest is boring - waiting for my name to be called, getting a weight, blood pressure, peeing in a cup - you know just the regular stuff.

But only the regular stuff this time.

It's such a different experience. To be expecting a child without planning all the extra medical care and concerns is...well you can say it's heart calming. It really can and is happening for us. I still soak in that fact each day over the blessing that it is. And I continue to ask God to protect that blessing.

It also emerges me even deeper into the gift I was given on my first trip - my Cayman. She is this precious miracle in our lives. I will never forget the distress, grief, and confusion that became so familiar to me when I was pregnant with her. I had learned that my unborn child had a serious and very likely fatal birth defect and if she did survive we would be burdened by the work of raising an extremely handicapped child. Descending through the long hallways of the hospital after my OB appointments with Cayman felt more like a bad dream than real life itself. But I could not wake up from it. I could not escape it. I could not change it. It was our reality.

Now I walk those same hallways again, my faithful Mike still at my side, this time pushing Cayman in her stroller, with another little one on the way. Different thoughts roll through my mind than the time before. I can still remember the numbness, the pain, the agony that consumed my thoughts. So many prayers I breathed in those hallways begging God to change it. "Fix her Lord". "Take the diagnosis away".

Walking away from the OB clinic yesterday I hooked my arm into Mike's as I reflected on that time before. I fell deeper in love with him. The hardship we faced over Cayman's diagnosis never made him bitter. He allowed it to cultivate a tender growth of love and sensitivity toward life. Watching him become a daddy in a NICU setting taught me something about security and the amazing person that he is.

As we continued to walk toward the parking lot yesterday, together - our little family of four, I glanced down and my eyes stopped on Cayman, my little living-away-loving-life Cayman, and I smiled. She has changed our world. I have come to fully realize that I do not regret for one moment that I experienced all that heartache when I was pregnant with her. For it's made the joy of the miracle that she is all the more sweeter. It has grown the capacity for which I can feel the gift of a healthy baby.

Cayman's diagnosis did not crumble my world like I thought it would [once upon a time]. On the contrary, it has built it up and unveiled my eyes so that I can see more clearly how to treasure the gift that each day is. I don't think that comes naturally in life. Sometimes pain is the best teacher to help us learn that. It gives us the opportunity for self-discovery and growth to take us into a deeper knowledge of appreciation for the simple things.

I never doubted that God was always with us in every grim OB appointment. I did question where He was in it all. Like a foggy fall morning I couldn't see then but I do now. He was working a blessing into our lives far more dreamlike than we could imagine. We call her Our Beautiful Cayman Cindy. She is our sweet little blessing that came to us just as He wanted her to be. I didn't understand that in the beginning. There was much I did not understand back then. But I know now and not just intellectually but by heartfelt experience every day how beautiful this life is that God has written for me. What did I ever do to be so blessed like this? Surely I am not deserving. God's love astounds me in the many ways He lavishes Himself on me. I see it every day in my husband. I see it in my little Cayman. I see it in the miracle of the life that is growing inside of me.

There is a sweet privilege and finesse I feel over my two children. Experiencing these two miracles of life in such very different ways.

12 Showin' Comment Love:

Joyce said...

BEAUTIFUL Kristen!!! Both you and your heart.

Grandma S said...

I have watched you and Mike grow into beautiful young parents with perfect little Cayman and can't wait to watch you continue to grow with this new little boy.(It's especially fun to watch you, Kristen, grow both literally and figuratively!)

Diane said...

So beautifully written. Your words are so inspiring and I am so happy for your family as it continues to grow.

Patti said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I'm so happy for your family and this new life. Cayman will be an adorable big sister.

Diana Parker said...

Oh, gosh. Now I have too many tears to read!

Josephine said...

You express your thoughts so beautifully. And I completely relate to what you said. I think that one of the blessings of having our miracle children is that they help us truly appreciate the miracle that is life, and the joy and wonder of it all. You will find (as I have) that that joy will extend to your new little baby after he is born as well. While "normal" parents of course experience joy in their children, I think we as the parents of special babies are able to experience that joy to an even greater degree, not only finding joy in the progress of our special ones where an outsider might only see tribulation, but we also delight in the progress of our "normal" babies which I think oftentimes get taken for granted by those who haven't had to learn how miraculous every little milestone is. I hope that makes sense.

Josephine said...

Also, you make a super cute pregnant lady :)

Tiffany said...

Perfectly and beautifully said! I'm thankful for your "boring" appointments...and you are so cute!

Chelsea said...

This was beautiful, Kristen. I love to hear spouses praising and appreciating each other (it's pretty rare!). Sometimes, just sometimes, you get a glimpse of God's master plan, and you can look back and see how the hardships of your life have shaped you and shaped your marriage, and how God has used the pain for His glory and good. Ty and I have admired the both of you since we first met, and although you are superbly suited for Cayman's needs, we are both thrilled for you to experience the joy (not to mention, ease) of a "normal" birth. Our "normal" birth was one of the most healing moments of my life, and I pray it is every bit as healing and satisfying for you both, as well!

Gabriella said...

I was able to connect to your every word! You are looking so radiant - just like the light in your heart!

Beth said...

What a sweet post!!!

The Soldatke family said...

Love it Kristen, absolutely love it!! Every word; and especially the picture! What a cute cute baby belly :)