Friday, January 6, 2012

It's been a year

2011 was one for the books, for sure. A big year for our family.

It was one year ago today that we learned that Daniel probably had dwarfism. I was 19-weeks pregnant and we were all excited to learn if the baby was a boy or a girl. We brought Charlie with us to the appointment so we could all find out together. I'll never forget how he sweetly asked, "Is it a brother?" as soon as we got a peek at the baby.

It actually feels like much longer than one year ago, even though it's still pretty fresh in my mind. On the screen I could see numbers like "15" and "14," but until the ultrasound was over, I didn't realize that there was cause for concern. We should have been expecting those numbers to say "19," indicating normal growth.

It was the next day that our maternal-fetal specialists confirmed the dwarfism and suggested it might be a lethal condition. I remember feeling like I was the only mother who had ever learned, mid-pregnancy, that her baby was probably going to die, but that he would be fine as long as I was pregnant. How was I going to do it?

But I did it. It has been almost 8 months now since Daniel was born. It was a monumental year. The birth and death of our baby. Our 10th wedding anniversary. My 30th birthday.

I am not usually sentimental about a new year, but I was this year. On one hand, I was anxious to start a new, hopefully easier year. On the other, I was hesitant to let this one come to a close. It was Daniel's year, and starting a new year kind of felt like closing another chapter.

But I do feel like I have a fresh start with this new year. I feel like it's a whole new decade for me. My thirties, and double-digits in my years of marriage, and a new year on the calendar that hopefully will have less sorrow associated with it.

But I am thankful for 2011. It has changed me in good ways. And the truth is, if I had to choose between being Daniel's mother this way or not at all, I would choose this. I am thankful for him and how his life has changed mine.

It was a year ago today that I came home from that ultrasound appointment and found myself standing alone in my kitchen, looking around my house. I remember how even though I was in such a familiar place, everything looked and felt unfamiliar. Everything had changed. And not just for that day, but forever. Whatever the outcome, we would never be the same.