Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Four Year Flashback

Tonight, I told Baker the story of this day four years ago.
May 4, 2012.
My language was a little more kid-friendly, using less technical terms.
But the message was the same.
You are chosen. You are loved. You are enough. You are ours.

It was a warm May Friday and I was feeling every bit of the 35 weeks pregnant the calendar was proudly beaming.
Brian and I had both taken off work for a day trip to Birmingham.
He drove, but my mode of transportation would generously be described as a waddle.
We went because I thought I needed to know.
My planning, often controlling self, had to know if there was any truth to the suspicions of Down Syndrome our doctors had warned.

Brian quickly tossed on some clothes, while I took a little longer. I had grown quite accustomed to my protruding belly, stopping periodically through the getting ready process to admire it, acknowledge little kicks, and savor the last of an incredibly joyous season of growing a miracle.

We loaded up and began the trip. We alternated reading Happiest Baby on the Block, jamming to the radio - how was I to know that was one of our last car rides without "Wheels on the Bus" blaring through the speakers, and day dreaming about transitioning to a family of three. We did it all. Anything to keep the thoughts of fear from crippling my whole being.

It still crept in.
When it did, tears would leak from the corners of my eyes, and I would instinctively clutch my bulging belly, reminding my baby boy I would love him. Convincing myself everything would be okay, when I had no idea what okay even meant. Promising him all I ever needed him to be was mine.

We arrived at the specialist's office. A familiar, but foreign place. We had declined an amniocentesis, even when it was insisted several months prior. They cautioned, any later would be too late. It didn't matter. No diagnosis would alter our decision to keep our baby and love him just as he was.

But this day, that was exactly why we went. I would be delivering at a small town hospital in Nowhere, Mississippi and I wanted to be fully prepared, with just the right people, just the right tools, in just the right place. If my baby boy was going to be born with urgent medical needs, we wanted to give him everything he would need to survive and thrive.

Brian's hand was white as I clutched it, void of strength except that which he radiated. He had been my rock, my stronghold. He never faltered. In my fear, he was peace. In my confusion, he was clarity. In my sadness, he was joy.

He signed all of the necessary documentation, and guided us to our corner of the waiting room. He knew which seat I loved the most. The one that gave me the view of the city, the houses built into the mountain. The sun peering through the clouds, illuminating the horizon.

I sipped my water and watched the others in the waiting room. I was too nervous for small talk, so I prayed, but this time, not for us. This time, I prayed for all of the others joining me in the office that day. I didn't know their needs or the purpose for their visit, but He did. So I did the only thing I knew to do, lifted them to the One whose thoughts are greater and ways are higher.

My name was called. Mechanically, I lifted from my seat.

We made the long walk down the hallway, to the large room which housed some of my favorite equipment. Before my procedure, I was going to have another ultrasound.

I was giddy. I had fallen all over again and again in love with our Baker Bell. He was scrumptious and I loved every opportunity to see his perfectly growing body.

I stretched out on the familiar table, and was greeted by the doctors, nurses, and ultrasound technician. We always had an entourage. They started the scan by timing his heartbeat. I will never forget the sound of our baby's heart filling the room with the sweetest melody. Then they measured his arms and legs, which was a task trying to catch them as they wriggled all around. They scanned his brain, calming all fears with their confidence. They moved to his major organs, each measuring perfectly and without blemish.

In those moments, I felt a peace about not knowing. I no longer had to have a diagnosis. Only faith. I trusted in His plan for us and for our baby.

I sat up off the table, uttering something about declining another amniocentesis. They couldn't believe it. They ushered us to a room to ponder our decision. Brian and I dismissed the chairs lining the wall and knelt on the floor. The words wouldn't come, but the Lord heard our hearts.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."
Romans 8:26
We drove home, more excited than ever about meeting our baby boy. Whether he had Down Syndrome didn't matter. He was chosen. He was loved. He was enough. He was ours.
Little did we know, Baker would make his debut exactly one week later and surpass our wildest dreams.
As I tucked my baby boy in tonight, I was feeling all the feels. The Lord has been faithful to provide in our lives. What a joy the last four years have been. I kissed his cheeks, breathed his scent, whispered prayers over his sweet sleeping body.
PS - If you follow me on social media, get ready! My Baker Boy turns FOUR next Wednesday and our Barrett Bell turns ONE on Sunday! There is lots of celebrating happening around these parts!

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