This past week was filled with a number of firsts! We traveled to Florida for five days of pure enjoyment in the sun on the beach with wonderful friends. God’s timing is perfect. Back in February we were invited to join the Slonek family for part of their vacation. I marvel at how perfect the timing was and how it allowed us to get away from everything for a few days and also make some unforgettable memories.
We took Zoe on her first plane trip and discovered that she really loves flying or really hates it because she kicked more than she ever has before. On the way home I laid my hand on my belly and felt her kick my hand for the first time. I grabbed Joe’s hand and hoped she would kick again as we had been praying for him to feel her kick. Sure enough she kicked again and I will never forget the look on Joe’s face. His eyes lit up and his smile showed surprise and joy. She kicked two more times for him. I’m sure the guy sitting next to us thought we were a little nutty but that was one special moment we couldn't help but celebrate. Tears stream down my face now as I think back over the moment. Tears of thankfulness that Zoe has been growing strong enough to kick and tears of sadness as I realize her life will be so short. One of the hardest parts of the trip was seeing all the little babies and kids throughout the airport. We both would smile and admire just how cute the little kiddos were but then we would look at each other and somehow we both knew the other’s thoughts. Reality was just a thought away.
Swimming with the dolphins! On the day we arrived the dolphins were swimming just 10-20 feet off shore. Joe couldn't pass up the opportunity to swim with them so off he ran toward the water. Sure enough one of the dolphins came within about 5 feet of Joe, Trevor and Elliot. I didn't catch a picture of it but one jumped right in front of them. It felt like we were at Sea World!
We took Zoe to watch the fireworks and it was one of the best fireworks show we had seen in a long time.
It just wouldn't be right if Joe and I didn't go on some crazy long walks. So each morning we woke up and went strolling down the beach. We stopped every now and then to collect shells and observe the variety of creatures along the way.
Joe is the biggest kid around. He created Castle Van Stolz. While I watched him dig and dig and dig I couldn't help but think how much I wish Zoe could one day play with her daddy. He is just so much fun. I loved watching him build his sand castle, snorkel, ride the waves, wrestle with the dog and all the other fun things he found to do. We introduced the Sloneks to the game Settlers Of Catan and most nights we played late into the night or early morning.
Joe and I were so spoiled by the hospitality the Sloneks showed us. I went five whole days without cooking or cleaning! We enjoyed delicious home cooked meals each morning and night. Thank you Deb and Ron!!!. Being gathered around the table during meal times and games lifted my spirits, brought laughter, encouraged me and brought healing. This trip reminded me once again of the importance of surrounding yourself with family and friends who you can share your life with.
Today marks one month since we first heard the news of Zoe’s health problems. These four weeks went by faster than any of the other weeks. I have grown to really love being pregnant. My belly is growing more and more every day and so does my love for Zoe, Joe, God, Life, Family, Friends and Others.
Tomorrow we have a doctor’s appointment and I’m eager to hear Zoe’s heartbeat. I've been praying for a miracle and will keep praying! Zoe has already proven to me that miracles are possible. She is my little miracle.
(I wrote this a few days before posting. We got to hear Zoe's heartbeat : 152 bpm. She is staying strong. We plan to have a 3D ultrasound in 2 weeks. I can't wait to see her again!)