Well, friends, do you want to guess what has kept me from my blog these five months? I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t the first time that I’ve been quiet because I’ve been sitting on a secret.
When my sister was expecting her last baby in 2021, she joked that I needed to jump on the bandwagon with her. I joked back that at my age I couldn’t keep up with her, but I’d catch her on the next lap. By then, we reasoned, my other sister would be about ready to have her second baby, and all of us could be pregnant together!
Then in early 2022, I suffered an early miscarriage (my 4th in total, with the first being 20 years ago, before Pippa). With that loss, I grieved not only that precious little one (we had imagined, specifically, a baby brother for Milo), but the end of an era. At my age, it seemed very unlikely that we would have another baby, and although I was (and am!) so thankful and blessed with the children we have, it felt like a hard way to end things.
In late September, we were absolutely thrilled to discover I was expecting again! But I dared not trust it this time. A few weeks into a very panicky first trimester, a dear friend who works at a pregnancy center offered to do an ultrasound for me. She found, to my surprise and relief, a perfect little beating heart in a tiny human that was a FULL MONTH older than what I had calculated! In an instant, I went from a very shaky and uncertain 8-week pregnancy to a well -established, almost-second-trimester 12-week one. I was overwhelmed by the Lord’s kindness, but it wasn’t going to be the last time this pregnancy.
Let me just jump to the spoiler here:
What a gift to be sharing my last pregnancy with both of my married sisters! Paige (in the middle) is due the day after me in May (although if our track records are anything to go by, I will likely go a couple weeks before her!), and Chelsea (on the end) is due in July. We are all so excited to meet these dear little cousins!
And now for the last miracle (so far) of this pregnancy: about six weeks ago we found out through NIPT bloodwork that our little one has Down syndrome. Earlier bloodwork had given us about a 1 in 10 chance, but then our ultrasound showed none of the physical markers for Ds, so I put it out of my mind.
The day I got the call that the diagnosis was (almost) certain, I would like to tell you that I was completely unfazed, but that wouldn’t be true. The diagnosis didn’t scare me. How could it when I have seen first hand what a blessing that extra chromosome is?
But the pregnancy/birth/baby part of the Down syndrome journey is new to me. I knew there would be medical uncertainties. And I knew one thing that would be a certainty was appointments. Lots of them. And therapies. And things that have become a normal part of my life, but that I didn’t know would be part of my life for this baby. I had a weepy, overwhelmed few days of sharing our news with close friends and family. I knew I would be okay, but I wasn’t okay yet.
On the Monday after the Wednesday that we got the news, I had a fetal echocardiogram to take a look at baby’s heart, since about 50% of babies born with Ds also have some type of heart condition. I had said to Trevor back when the diagnosis was just an outside chance that if we did find out the baby had Ds, I would want to know the gender as well, so that we could pray for baby by name. I’m not sure he remembers me saying that, but I did, and he agreed, and it was binding! So going into this ultrasound, I had decided to ask the sonographer to take a peek at the gender for us as well, if she was able to do that.
This whole appointment was so healing and wonderful. Baby’s heart looked absolutely perfect, as far as we can tell so far, and the sonographer also took a peek down below and sent me home with a secret envelope so that we could all find out together as a family at home. The doctor I consulted with after the ultrasound was herself the mother of a child with special needs, and she was able to answer so many of my questions and put my mind at ease about so many things.
That evening, when everyone was home, Bea and Junie built a gender reveal Lego fortress, which we asked my mom to fill with the right colored Lego baby based on the contents of the secret envelope. And what do you think?
It’s a boy!!! I was flooded with an overwhelming sense that everything about this baby is exactly as God intended it, that He still hears and answers my prayers, and that He is writing an amazing story in all of our lives. I cannot wait to meet this boy!
Today is World Down Syndrome Day (3/21 for 3 copies of the 21st chromosome), and I feel privileged, chosen, and blessed to be the mother of three boys with that miraculous extra chromosome. Stay tuned for more miracles!
What amazing news! How wonderful that this baby will have 2 older brothers in the same boat to guide him through life. We will pray that his heart is healthy and he arrives safely.
Congratulations! From a longtime blog reader who found my way here via a name nerd blog post many years ago… I hope you can finally get your Gus this time! 😉
Congratulations! So special to share this time with your sisters too.
How beautiful, Jodi! So glad I couldn’t sleep tonight and ended up here reading your blog. 🙂