Several weeks ago, a tiny stick delivered some big news. It was not unexpected but news of this magnitude is always mind-boggling. I felt so many emotions at once but the first emotion was pure joy. When worry and fear started bubbling to the surface I reminded myself that joy and happiness were my first feelings.
My first two pregnancies were filled with hospitalizations, Zofran pumps, PICC lines and many complications. To say the least, my fears came with great cause. But this pregnancy has been different. Although it has not been a walk in the park it has not incapacitated me the way my previous pregnancies had.
It was my second pregnancy that robbed me of my innocence and taught me the lesson that not everyone gets a healthy baby. Caroline entered the world six weeks early, she is medically involved, pre-verbal and on the autism spectrum. But she is so much more than her diagnoses and challenges, Caroline is a fun-loving, mischievous little lady who is full of life. She is force to be reckoned with.
Being Caroline’s mom is exhausting emotionally and physically. I love Caroline for everything that she is. I must admit that I am still adjusting to life as a mom to a child with special needs. Therapy appointments, doctor visits, feeding tubes, door alarms and lawyers (to ensure Caroline receives a free and appropriate education) were not part of my vision of parenthood before they became my reality.
When my husband and I decided that we wanted to have another baby we considered our ability to raise another child typically developing or with special needs. This is not a decision we made lightly – we consulted geneticists, met with counselors and tossed and turned until we decided our family was not, yet, complete.
I am now in my second trimester and feeling great. Vivian (my oldest daughter) is super excited to a welcome a little brother to our family. Caroline oscillates between happily accepting her promotion to big sister and not wanting a baby. I have no doubt both of the ladies will be excellent big sisters to their little brother.
All of this to say, John and I are pleased to announce that we will be welcoming a baby boy to our family early this summer.