Esther’s Story Part One – Pregnancy

November 24, 2012 was one of the best days of my life. It was the day we found out we were expecting our second child. Ironically, it was November 24, 2010 we had discovered we were expecting our first daughter, Kyla! We knew this wasn’t coincidence. God was bringing this second child into our family at just the right time and we felt so very blessed. Within minutes we we dreaming once again of tiny fingers and toes, that fresh newborn smell, and a little pink or blue bundle to bring home from the hospital. We couldn’t wait to have 2 sweet children filling our house with excitement!

We gave this new life to God and began praying daily for His protection and guidance in this new season.

My pregnancy with Kyla had been as close to perfect as possible. It was full of all the normal pregnancy symptoms and ended with a completely natural 4 hour and 45 minute labor and delivery. It was simply more than I could ask for.

esther us with borderOnce again, all the normal symptoms started appearing right on schedule…morning sickness (all day sickness!) right at the end of 6 weeks, extreme fatigue, gas and bloating every night around 8pm, food aversions, hypersensitive smell, itchy skin, and the whole works. I felt reassured that this would be another healthy pregnancy and baby.

We had a perfect report at our 6 week ultrasound, with the tech pointing out the strong heartbeat as she explained that our baby was currently “smaller than a grain of rice.”  We fell absolutely in love with that tiny beating heart on the screen, and looked forward to the day in July we would bring our full grown baby home.

In the seventh week we started sharing the news and in the eighth week we had the normal workup with a nurse from our OB office. Everything went wonderful, and our ultrasound showed perfect measurements to the exact day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith two healthy ultrasounds we were excited yet I was still anxious to cross the important twelve week mark where the rate of losing a baby drops to less than 1%.  On January 8th, at 11.5 weeks, we saw our wonderful OB Doctor for the first time this pregnancy. We did the normal routine, and heard the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler for the first time. An immeasurable joy surged through me as Adam recorded the incredible sound on his phone.

Because we know our doctor personally, he offered us a “just for fun” ultrasound any weekend he is on call. Based on our schedule we decided to do one the following weekend.  I was 12 weeks exactly.  My parents, Grammie and Grampy went along to see their fifth grandchild flutter on the screen.  And they were not disappointed. Immediately we could see the beating heart, growing form, and brief movements of our tiny baby. This time I walked out of the office able to relax.

We had made it to twelve weeks, had three perfect ultrasounds, and everything was going well. I took a deep breath of relief as I thought about the future with our second child.

Over the next couple weeks, I started getting into full swing baby prep mode.  New maternity clothes, shopping for a double stroller, and week by week pictures of my growing belly.

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Little Kyla was starting to enjoy the routine of laying her hand on mommy’s tummy each day to pray for her little sibling and she wore her “Big Sister” shirt proudly.

All seemed to be going well and I was heading into my favorite time of pregnancy: the second trimester when the morning sickness fades, energy is renewed, and those precious first kicks can be felt.

Preparations continued including: Adam scheduling time off work, planning how the baby/toddler furniture would be rearranged for sleeping success, finalizing our last trip before baby, etc.

About the fifteenth week, I was driving home after a good day thinking about the wonderful life Adam and I have. We are together, have a great little girl, and another healthy pregnancy underway. It will always be this way, I thought. What a perfect life we have. I marveled at just how blessed we were.

If only I had known. I had no idea what we would face in just a matter of days.

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