Thankful Thursday

11:39:00 AM

As I sit to reflect the things I am most thankful for I realize they are not things. God has blessed and enriched my life in so many ways starting with my husband Paul. I am going to go out of order here a little bit and first tell you today why I am so incredibly thankful for my youngest child, Ava Faith.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Just before finding out we were pregnant with Ava Faith we had a miscarriage. Something I don't think enough people talk about. In fact for me I wish MORE people would talk about it. Its one of the hardest things a women has to go through. The excitement, the anticipation and the loss. The thing I never realized through it all is some of God's greatest gifts are truly unanswered prayers. Now I could go on to sing you the Garth Brooks song, but I am sure you have already heard it. If not, that's what itunes is for!

2 months after our loss we found out we were pregnant with Ava Faith. We were scared. When I got past the first tri-mester the excitement kicked into high gear! We were on our way! I knew from the second I found out I was pregnant that she was a girl. I have the weird 3rd sense with each one of my kids! Our u/s proved me correct!  I was so excited! We were so excited. My regular OB appointment was following and Paul and I were overjoyed that for once we didn't have a "trigger" on the u/s saying something could be wrong (my eldest was born with a bowed tibia...I will fill you in next week! My middle child I had partial placenta previa). We got in there giddy. And then my doctor came in. He told us they found two things. First is: Choroid Cyst which was located on the left side of her brain. The second was: an echo on her heart (meaning a calcium deposit). Both are soft markers for Downs Syndrome.

I will admit I was rather down in the dumps. All I could think about is what would this do to my family and will I be able to care for her the way she needs to be. Selfish. Downright. I still regret it. Through it all I just didn't feel like there was anything wrong with her. I refused the amnio's at the next big u/s apt. I couldn't risk losing this tiny little person growing inside of me. So I just had to wait and see. Something that stuck with me is the genetic counselor that walked me out of the final u/s appointment (we heard nothing but #'s and %'s and honestly I am creative not mathematical!) looked me straight in the eye and said, "go with your gut." "I think that moms can truly sense what is going on with their babies."

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

I have a cousin who through this ordeal made a comment about Ava's name. She said if you say it with an accent its "Have Faith"! Isn't that the coolest thing ever? Have faith and that for us is exactly what we had to do.

I stared at this picture a thousand times over. Scanning every inch of her face. Looking at both of my children and then back at this. Does she have their features? Will she be born with downs? Will she have t18 and us only be able to hold her for a moment before she passes onto a better place? We prayed. We prayed on our knees. We prayed faces flat on the floor. Harder than we have ever prayed before. We asked everyone we knew to pray. Our church was amazing and kept an u/s picture of her up in the office and they prayed for her everyday. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer. You can ask me again tomorrow and the next day and my answer will always be the same.

I did have a c-section. You can't see anything gory, but you will see a special little someone enter my life for the first time. I cry everytime I watch this video as I KNOW what it took to get to that point. All my praying and gut feelings came down to this moment...

But this I call to mind, and therefore have hope; The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:21-23

Ava Faith today is the happiest, sweetest and incredibly bright 5 month old baby! She is my sunshine and I love to kiss the top of her head and listen to her concur "raspberries"! She has the most infectious laugh. She has a smile that could light up a room and she has more love than any child could ever imagine! Just this morning I listened to Noah ask over and over "Where Aba?" cause he wanted to play with his baby sister. When she woke up Emily Grace said "Mommy can I hold her now?"

You know what? I went with my gut! My instincts were not wrong! She is perfectly healthy and has no changes in chromosomes. But, I would have loved her even if she had! I also was correct on the video when I said she was tiny...she was just under 7.1 lbs! Today she is still tiny 12 lbs at 5 months and 23.5" long! I have friends having babies bigger than her! She is a love bug and has opened our eyes in more ways imaginable. I love her with every breath. I love her to the moon and back. She is MY gift from God and for that...I am thankful.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this. I sobbed! (but in a good way!) She is so beautiful, as are all your children. And I admire your courage - even though you were scared, you pushed through your fears and did what was necessary to protect your baby.
    I had a failed pregnancy before Avery - and you're right. Women (and men) should talk about it more.
    kate v.