Sorry for the delayed blog post…we were able to come home to Alabama for a visit and I’ve been kind of overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done in a very short amount of time. I finally have a few minutes to sit down and complete a blog post.
I will say it again, even though you all are probably tired of hearing it…I can’t believe we have made it this far! I’m 27 and a half weeks pregnant which means I have made it to the third trimester. It feels wonderful and surreal. Nora’s kicks sometimes feel like tiny dynamite explosions, somehow hitting me way down in the crotch and high up in my ribs at the same time. Unless she’s feeling anemic, she is very active like her brother Liam (he moved so much in the womb I thought he was having seizures.) She’s very big like her brother Asher, who also was somehow lodged way down in my pelvis and high up in my ribs at the same time. On the 3D ultrasound pictures Nora’s mouth looks so much like Lucy’s, Beautiful. I can’t wait to meet her. It’s wonderful to have this hope shining in my heart every day…I might get to keep my daughter. I am able to go about my day to day life with a buoyancy that I haven’t felt in years. I told the boys this week that Nora will probably be able to come home with us and be our baby here on earth instead of going to heaven. They were thrilled. I remember way back in November when I got that shocking positive pregnancy test and I thought several times a day, “If we can just make it through April, this baby will probably live.” Here I am a week into the month of May and my KELL POSITIVE baby girl is doing dynamite explosion kicks inside my womb 🙂
I just wanted to thank all of you for celebrating our Nora with us on this journey. I know its hard to see ultrasound pictures and baby bumps for many of you. Sometimes it’s even hard for ME to see those pictures. I probably would not be putting as many of those pictures up if I knew Nora would live. Throughout this whole pregnancy we have not been able to predict how much time we might get with Nora so we decided at the beginning to celebrate every day with her that we do get. I wish I had celebrated Lucy more when I had her. Thank you so much for joining in our celebration so far, especially those of you who are not in a “rejoicing” stage in your life. I think one of the hardest things in life is celebrating with others while you are in a time of mourning or hurting in your own life.
We were able to travel back to Alabama for a week long visit and when I got here my sister had arranged a surprise shower/get together. It was so fun to celebrate my girl (and to see everyone in their Team Nora shirts!)
It feels so foreign to be the one CELEBRATING something (although my heart always aches for my Lucy.) I know exactly how I would be feeling right now if Nora had been stillborn. The difference between this May and my May of 2013 is astounding. I read back through some of my journals and the grief was so heavy. Although we have moved out of the deep mourning we were in two years ago, we still grieve for Lucy all the time. When I came home from Texas (the first time) I was so thrilled to see Josh and Liam, it filled up two gaping holes in my heart. It was like heart balm to see Josh with his littlest son again.
But soon after we were reunited I realized there was still an open wound aching for Lucy. She was not here waiting for me, my sweet one and half year old who should have been running into my arms. I will never see her with her Daddy. I wept for her and grieved deeply knowing that she will never run into my arms on this earth. That gaping hole will throb and hurt until the day I enter heaven. Our family will never be complete. It is a hard reality to come to terms with. It is strange to be in a state of such extreme celebration and deep sadness at the same time. Just as important as the ones celebrating, the ones who mourned with us when Lucy died are the people we appreciate so much. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to all of you who grieved with us and did not push us to “heal” before we were ready. To the people who showed empathy and sadness weeks and months and years after Lucy died, thank you. It means more than you know. And to the ones who mourned with us even in a time of celebration in your own life, we are forever grateful for such a gift. Thank you to all of you. I hope I can learn to grieve with others when they are hurting and smile with those who are celebrating like many of you have done for us. 💜
I just realized that I never updated the blog after Nora’s post IUT appointment. They checked her the next morning and she looked great on the ultrasound and was very active. I told the doctor that she started moving a lot sooner after the procedure than the first time and he said, “She actually started moving DURING the procedure when we were putting blood into her belly!” I vaguely remember the doctors’ voices seeming surprised and slightly alarmed at some point during the IUT. Now I know what the problem was. The doctor said he thinks they gave her less sedation/paralyzing medication in proportion to her size which is why she started waking up too soon. I am thankful they were still able to finish the transfusion safely. Dr. Moise decided that he wanted to wait three weeks until the next transfusion instead of two this time. This means her next transfusion will be on May 19th when I am 29 weeks pregnant. I have a regular OB appointment next week and will have my gestational diabetes test then too. Thank you all for checking in on us regularly and praying for little Nora. Also, thank you to everyone who has bought a Team Nora shirt! I feel so astounded and humbled by the support we have been shown. My best friend’s mom is a sixth grade teacher at American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa and her classes have been praying for Nora this whole semester. I went to visit them and there were so many kids wearing Team Nora shirts! In each class a student came up to the front and prayed for Nora and me. Most of these kids have never even met me before! So sweet. Here they are showing off their shirts:
And here are Robin, Hunter and Noah, who all ran an inflatable 5K in support of The Ronald McDonald House and Nora, of course:
More cute supporters:
If you have a picture of you or your kids wearing your Team Nora shirt I would love to share it on my blog! Just email your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are still interested in buying a shirt you can find the information at the bottom of this blog post- Team Nora T-shirts!