This morning Ansley and I headed outside to check the mail. It was pretty quiet until I heard a loud ROAR. I had no idea what in the world could make a sound like that and when I turned and looked up, this is what we saw:
This picture is taken from our backyard after we had already watched it for several minutes and run into the house to get the camera. It actually flew right over us and was so close that I could hear the two men in it talking. The loud roar we heard was the fire and it scared Ansley. She was absolutely amazed by the huge beautiful balloon and kept pointing and talking about it. What a random thing to see flying over your house on a Sunday morning! I just wish Ansley was old enough to remember it.
This post has been a long time coming. I've wanted to write about my experiences over the past three months several times, but somehow I haven't mustered the strength until now. Maybe it has a little to do with the good news we got this morning. More on that in a little while. First I have to explain the events leading up to it.
At the beginning of May, Jeff and I found out we were pregnant with our second baby and were so excited. But, even from the beginning I had a strange feeling about the pregnancy. I just couldn't convince myself that it was real. I couldn't picture being pregnant again or having another baby in the family. I thought I was going to have to wait for three weeks after the four positive tests (I told you I couldn't believe it) to finally go to the doctor and confirm the little life inside me. However, after I came down with an infection I was told to go ahead and come in a little early. I was asked if I wanted to have an ultrasound to see the baby. How could I say no? I was only five weeks at the time and knew I wouldn't see much, but was surprised to find out that the baby measured even smaller than that. I was told that it may or may not be okay, but the midwife seemed to be prepping me for miscarriage. I was angry with her for jumping to conclusions and not taking my pregnancy more seriously. I guess I wanted know right then what would happen with my baby. I went back a couple more times and had blood work done to check the progress. It was growing and we did see a heartbeat, but it still measured about two weeks behind. I prayed so hard for God to bless that little life and to help it grow healthy and safe. I spent hours in the Bible and praying to Him. This was the most I had ever relied on God.
On June 18 I had a regularly scheduled appointment and Jeff had not been planning on coming with me because we expected everything to be okay. Thank the Lord Jeff and Ansley were both with me. When the doctor did the ultrasound, we found that there was no longer a heartbeat. I stared at that lifeless little baby still inside me in disbelief. I still had the image of its beating heart in my mind. How could this be? We were leaving the next day for our annual vacation to Florida with my family and had to decide then what to do. Would I let it be and naturally miscarry, risking a miscarriage on vacation or when Jeff was at work and I was alone? The doctor warned that with the size of the baby it would be very painful and dangerous. Or would I have a D&C? Jeff and I went to the hospital that afternoon and our sweet baby was taken from my body. It was very painful for both of us and we are so thankful for our families who rushed to be by our sides.
I told Jeff that afternoon that people were watching how we were handling this and we still needed to praise the Lord and give Him glory for the good He has done in our lives. I knew He was teaching us through this hardship. I felt the prayers of so many of our family, friends, and church family. While I was incredibly sad, I was also hopeful in the Lord that He would pull us through this hard time and give us the strength we needed. Oh my goodness, how He did. I do not know how people go through things like this that don't know the Lord. He truly is my strength. I have learned how to honestly trust Him with everything and know that He loves me and has a good plan for my family.
We were told by the doctor soon afterward that it would be okay to continue trying to grow our family and that's what we prayed for. A little less than four weeks ago, we found out that we are expecting once again. I thought I would be a nervous wreck, scared, anxious. I have been none of those. I have felt pregnant, pictured myself big and pregnant in the winter, and have imagined what my new sweet baby will be like. God has given me such a sense of peace and calm and has reassured me that He is in control and loves this baby even more than I do. We had our first appointment this morning and here's what we saw: A beautiful and healthy baby growing just as it should be. We immediately saw the fast little heartbeat that I had prayed so hard to see. We will welcome this precious little baby to our family around April 25. I know it's a risk announcing this to everyone since it's still early, but I'm hopeful in the Lord and could really use as many prayers as possible!