One step forward.......and two steps back.
I have not blogged for a week, because I did not want to share how I truly feel. But I have to be completely honest. I have not spared any emotions throughout our journey up until now, so I have to come clean.
Last Tuesday, Emily and I had a checkup with the specialist. Caroline Grace now weighs 15 ounces! Everything is growing as expected and she is a healthy baby with the exception of....
I am so excited that we are pregnant with our first child. I am elated to be a dad! Caroline is, and always be, our first child. She is my baby girl. And I love her so much, just as she is.
Going to the doctor plays tug of war with my heart. Beautiful vs. Ugly. One side, seeing her move around, kick, toss, and turn is evidence that she is still alive and I rejoice!! Seeing her is a beautiful sight! God is definitely still in control!! For this I am so thankful. But, one the other side, and despite my best efforts, I cannot hide the fact that Caroline's anencephaly is ugly. It hurts me to my core to see pictures of her through the sonogram. It is a reminder to me that she needs a miracle to live or else she will die. I keep praying and wishing and hoping that the next sonogram will show that she has a normal brain and skull. But when we see the picture of her little head, I hang my head in shame. I feel like I am less of a dad because of her deformity.
This past week, I had the unfortunate opportunity to update my Life Insurance policy with the Navy. Part of this policy includes my family policy. So, how do you explain to a clerk that you need life insurance for a child even though you don't have a child yet? And, by the way, you need it as soon as soon as they are born!? The policy, with necessary changes, still sits on my desk at work. I have not had the energy to turn it in yet. In a way, I do not ever want to turn it in.
People want to help. They ask me, "how can I help?" The answer is prayer, words of encouragement, and distractions! Distractions are great because they get me through each day. I mean, there's not really anything else that can be done. If you could fast forward time...but then, wait...don't do that either! Because we want as much time with Caroline as possible. More time gives a greater possibility for a miracle. And more things we can do with her to make a memory.
So, here I am. Every time I make progress, I get knocked down. But, by the grace of God, every time I get knocked down, I get back up again! Somebody told me, "just take one day at a time." Well, I can't even do that! I have to take one STEP at a time. Baby steps.
Which reminds me....without a miracle....I will never get to see Caroline take her first steps. Or say "Dada." Or celebrate her first birthday. Or.... What do you say to people when they ask, "do you have any kids?" What about a year from now?? If you have lost a spouse, you can explain your unfortunate circumstances with one word: widower. (I am not belittling this tragedy or detracting from the enormous grief it causes. May God bless all of the widows and widowers.) But if you lose a child, there is not a one word answer. However, you don't want to explain the whole story to strangers either. I hate lying. But truthfully, I know telling a lie will be easier and less burdensome than explaining the whole story.
This is not easy.
This is the hardest thing I have ever done.
Yup...today is just one of those days.