Originally a CaringBridge post. Link to original post is the date.
Today I am 39 weeks along and feel every bit of it. Although I’m not measuring that far (between 35-37 I’d say), I am feeling everything as if I were. My hips hurt, I’m exhausted, and can’t seem to get comfortable no matter how I sit or lay. There’s many other lovely pregnancy symptoms I’ve missed, but you better believe I have the majority of them at this point. My doctors appointment this week revealed absolutely no change to me. No extra dilation, no high blood pressure, nothing. It’s actually a good thing, it means Aerilyn is perfectly content in there which means more time with her. ❤
Today also marks Josh and I being together for seven years. Happy anniversary. Although I cannot really get into the spirit of celebrating, he needs to at least know how thankful I am for the things he has done and continues to do for me, Kanin, Aerilyn and what will come to pass.
When I was younger, if someone had told me that by the age of 26 I’d already be married for seven years, have a three year old and about to be losing our second child…I’d of told you you are high as a kite. Unfortunately that’s the reality of the situation. Seven years. That’s just crazy, not to mention being together close to eight. We’ve
battled survived infertility, deployments, Navy politics, miscarriages, one kid and now we’re about to face the loss of another. We’re not even 30, and to have to go through all of that in seven years just sucks. I’m sure there are more eloquent words to use to describe it, but what’s the point in sugar coating it? Those things don’t even begin to cover what him and I have endured in our lives before one another and of course the trial things that make up daily life. I’m ready for this year to just be done, unfortunately even though the new year is right around the corner, I believe it’ll be the longest and most difficult yet.
Four years ago yesterday we announced we were pregnant with Kanin. I can’t believe that I was 12 weeks along already and that I knew he was 100% healthy at that point. Although he tries our patience with his stubborn personality and defiance, I wouldn’t change him for the world. He’s intelligent, inquisitive, outgoing, helpful and compassionate. I can’t wait to see how he develops even more. Just another thing in seven years.
Last Saturday we had a Celebration of Life for Aerilyn. I could not have asked for anything better than what we got. A BIG thank you to Stacy for planning everything and doing an amazing job, as well as thank you to Shelby for allowing it at her house. You two are awesome! Not only did people show up that we knew, many were there that we didn’t. They came to celebrate a little girl who’s life is so short on this Earth. Even though they will more than likely never meet Aerilyn, they came and made her life even more meaningful. Whether she touched them by personal experience or simply to show support… she touched them. A baby who’s life is “not compatible with life” has touched many lives. This short time with her is worth all the pain and suffering we’ve gone through and are about to endure. I’d choose her all over again, especially knowing she was loved and wanted by so many. I can’t thank everyone enough for how much you’ve showed the nay-sayers that anencephaly babies should be aborted or are not “right”. For looking past her diagnosis and only seeing her. At her celebration we got so many amazing gifts, things we never expected. Thank you for everything, we truly cannot express how thankful we are for them.
I’d also like to thank Kaitlin for dropping off dinner this past Tuesday. It made my life so much easier and it was delicious! Thank you!!
Which leads me into today, Thanksgiving. Today is full of cooking, spending time with family and eating enough food for three people. All that is good and dandy, but don’t forget what today is really about; being thankful. Thankful that you have anything, no matter how small. Aerilyn has made me more thankful than I thought possible. This is our last holiday with her, the last holiday where we’ll be a family of four. Today I am cooking, I am spending time with family and I’ll be stuffing my face full of food. Today I’ll try to relish the last holiday I have that’s normal because I know next year I will hate the holidays. I will hate how joyous is makes people because it’ll mark my last days with a little girl I won’t get to see have her first thanksgiving. So while you’re watching football, eating all that delicious food and trying to ignore that in-law (I sympathize 100%), remember to be thankful for what you have right now. You never know what will change, or what you will and won’t have next time.
This year my family has gone through many losses. Three different family members, us included, have had to put down a dog. A dog that’s been apart of our families for years. An absence we all still feel. Yesterday my childhood dog was the latest victim in the cycle. We’ve lost a few human family members as well recently, not to mention random friends… All this followed up by Aerilyn. To say this has been rough is a bit of an understatement. So once again, be thankful.
I keep saying to be thankful, but I’d like to address something that I’m not sure many understand. Grateful and Grieving. I’ve seen this blog posted up a few times recently and I need to share it. Although I am grateful for what I have, I am grieving. I will forever be grieving. I may not be in the throws of it as I am currently and will be more so soon… Grief never ends. “Please don’t assume because I’m sad that I’m not grateful, or because I seem grateful I’m not still sad that my child isn’t here.” That statement hits the nail on the head. Please don’t ever tell me to focus on my blessings or that I should be grateful for what I have. I know I’m lucky to have what I do, to have the one living child. But that will never replace Aerilyn. Nothing will. No words. No actions. No person. Nothing. I can be grateful till the day I die, but I will be grieving at the same time. The happiest moments in my life from this point on out will forever run parallel with grief for my daughter. I urge you to read this post because she puts it into perspective.
So Happy Thanksgiving, happy anniversary and happy 39 weeks to Aerilyn.