While my mom was here visiting we went shopping for a few things to decorate our new home and also picked up this little outfit for Zoe. It is hard to tell in this picture but they are tiny. Most of the things I've read recommend buying preemie outfits. The little white onesie says "daddy LOVES ME". How true it is that Zoe's mommy and daddy love and adore her.
A couple weeks ago I read this quote "Psalm 121 paints in beautiful brush strokes the image of a traveler n his journey. He looks at the hills in the distance, wondering and probably even fearing what might be on the other side. He anticipates the long, arduous journey ahead and like all of us, wishes he could arrive in the blink of an eye rather than feel the effects of life on the road"... this got me thinking. So often life is a mountain we must climb. Often the mountain has no way around except going over. Some are bigger mountains than others. Some are steep, scary and seem impossible. Most of the mountains we climb make us wish we could just blink our eyes and arrive on the other side rather than feel the effects of life on the bumpy, steep, scary road of the mountain. I've lived a lot of my life with the blink of the eye perspective. Believing that just getting to the other side is what matters and what will be best for me. But the last ten weeks of knowing Zoe will not live very long once she is born has been teaching me to enjoy every step of the steep, scary mountain road we are on. Even as I sit here with my belly growing bigger every day, discomfort at times, fears of the unknown, waves of grief I can treasure the uphill climb. I must admit when we first found out about Zoe's condition and with doctors encouraging us to terminate the pregnancy that I had thoughts that maybe they were right. Maybe it would be better if Zoe was born early so I could heal and try and get pregnant again. But the more steps I've taken up the hill the less and less I've thought about just wanting to get to the other side. With each step love for Zoe has grown and I've developed a relationship with my sweet daughter. It wasn't until about 2 weeks ago that I really realized she is my daughter; precious, unique, filled with lots of energy and curious (I will share about that soon). I love talking with her and telling her how much she is loved. I love that she seems to know when I'm worried about her and she gives me a little kick to let me know she is still breathing and strong. I love that she enjoys popsicles as much as me, she kicks the whole time as we enjoy it together. Yes, there is a purpose in every uphill climb and getting to the other side is not the only thing that counts. Each step can grow love, bring discovery, deepen relationship, heal wounds and much much more.
Zoe has received some pretty special gifts these last few months from our family and friends. We are so thankful to everyone who has sent us cards to let us know they are praying and for the words of encouragement.
|A beautiful dress and hat made by Judi Kidd|
|A rock all the way from Ecuador , Thank you Pastor Fabian, Graciela and the rest of the Buenaventura Family for all your prayers|
|Beautiful blanket and hats made by Beth Johnson|
|Adorable sweater and hat and another beautiful blanket...Thank You Judi Stolz|
Last Friday I had an amniocentesis test so that we could find out the exact genetic makeup for Zoe. Our genetic counselor strongly recommended the test so that we could find out if future pregnancies will be at risk for a reoccurance. During the test the doctors use an ultrasound while they put in the needle to collect amniotic fluid. I had my eyes tightly shut the whole time but my mom and Joe watched and we discovered that Zoe is curious just like her dad. As soon as they put the needle in Zoe started moving toward it. They had to keep moving the needle around to keep Zoe from getting to it. So know we know Zoe is just as active as me and just as curious as Joe :)
Yesterday we took Zoe to the Shedds Aquarium downtown. I realize that I enjoy our adventures even more than normal now that I'm sharing them with Zoe. Yesterday I tried to look at all the creatures big and small through the eyes of a child. I think my favorites were the seahorses and turtles. I wonder what Zoe's favorite sea creature would be?
|Found a cool mosaic wall along the walk to the aquarium|
|Joe and a grumpy fish having a stare down|
|Seahorses are awesome|
|We were cracking up as Joe took a million selfies trying to catch a fish in the background|
I'm thankful that Zoe was able to meet Joe's mom, grandparents, Aunt Joy and her family and my mom all in the last 2 weeks. I wish we lived closer to everyone so our visits could be more often but I treasure the times we get to be with family.
Some days everything feels normal. I feel Zoe kick, I talk to her, I smile with joy knowing that my baby girl is growing. Other days I feel like I'm caught in a bad dream and I have to ask myself if I really went to the doctors and if she really told me the sad news and introduced me to the word anencephaly. But one thing is certain Jesus is an anchor that holds me secure. This is one of the saddest experiences of my life but I'm amazed at how God's love and grace are holding me together. He is near and He is good even when it hurts.