One Day Closer

By |2017-08-11T12:25:28+00:00August 11th, 2017|Pregnancy|0 Comments

From the moment my spouse and I decided to start a family, it felt like a countdown. We wanted our family to grow, we wanted little feet pattering, little voices chattering. And we wanted it to happen…soon.

But my first son died after thirty-three days on the outside. Our house was silent.

As soon as we were cleared to, we started trying again. We were fortunate to get pregnant quickly, but it was hard to have any real expectations that we’d get to raise this baby. Despite excellent medical care, minimizing risks, and staying as healthy as I could, no one could tell me for sure that this time things would be different. Or even if I accepted that every pregnancy is different, every story is different – that didn’t mean different would be a living, healthy child.

It feels like too much pressure to say, “this time it will be OK” or “this baby will live.” What if that didn’t turn out to be true? Would I feel even MORE guilty? Like I’d tempted fate or jinxed it?

We had the difficult discussions – what if we never have a living biological child? We decided that we would do everything we could to have a family and provide for children – whether biological, adopted, or foster. Once we made that decision, I could trust that one day we would have a child to care for.

So instead, I said “one day closer.”

Every day, even a horrible, grief-stricken, painful day, is one day closer. Every time I made it to sunset, I made it through another day. And the next morning, I would wake up one day closer.

One day closer to having a child to hold.

One day closer to hearing the word “Mom.”

One day closer to putting the kids to bed.

One day closer to little feet pattering, and little voices chattering.

No matter how long the journey will be, each day is one day closer.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Thoma
Elizabeth Thoma lives in the Bay Area, California, with her husband, Chris, and two cats, JJ and Pepper. She found out she was expecting their first child Mother’s Day weekend, 2014. With mild symptoms and no significant early warning signs, they adjusted to pregnancy and eagerly planned for their growing family. At the second trimester anatomy scan, they found out they were having a son and that he had an abdominal wall defect, an omphalocele. Ever the planners, Elizabeth and Chris prepared themselves and their families for what the omphalocele meant in a best-case scenario, and some of the possibilities that couldn’t be diagnosed in utero. Their son, Oberon, was born six weeks early and had his omphalocele surgery within his first twelve hours of life. The surgery went well, but Obie was having trouble breathing. At first, the doctors thought it was related to his large tongue, one of the many indicators that he had Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome. When Obie was one week old, the doctors told Chris and Elizabeth that somewhere along the line, Obie’s brain stopped developing. While they could control his seizures somewhat with heavy medication, Obie’s brain would never develop and he would not be able to walk, talk, or even communicate. At this point, they decided to switch Obie to comfort care and try to take him home from the NICU. They successfully broke out of the NICU and Obie rode home in an ambulance. Bringing their son home brought much comfort to their family. Obie passed away at home in his daddy’s arms at 33 days old. Elizabeth found out she was pregnant with their second child a week after Mother’s Day, 2015. Her second son, Everett, was born January 7, 2016. Elizabeth and Chris blog at about their family at Our Little Beastie.

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