|sunset at my grandmother's home over the lake|
The days are still full of ups and downs...my hydrops support pages will have one photo of the arrival of a hydropic baby's tombstone, beautiful and surrounded with flowers, and the post below it will be a photo of a smiling boy, another hydrops miracle. Oh how I hope and pray that I will one day post Auguste's smiling face on that page.
So, here's parying for more milestones. More days that turn to weeks, and that I will keep feeling his kicks.
I am not sure I mentioned this before, but early in pregnancy, me and some friends did our own ultrasound in our radiation office. They are very crude instruments compared to the detail you get in an obstetrics clinic, as we are never looking at babies there...but it was fun. The most exciting part was watching Auguste, at around 14 weeks, kicking his legs and seemed to be running the lining of my uterus like Spiderman. We all got such a kick out of that...and we were certain he was probably a little girl. haha
A lot has happened since then, and the only thing that has not changed is that he is still a very active baby. Oliver moved a lot, but my last two children, my girls, were both very quiet sleepy babies, and I was always worried about them not moving enough. I feel blessed that Auguste is active, so that I have the reassurance I often need, and so that I am able to enjoy him so much throughout the day.
Wednesday we get another ultrasound in Greenville. I am praying and hopeful that maybe some of his ascites will have resolved, it is a very subjective meaurement, afterall.
Thursday is my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. All my life this was spent at my grandparent's house, eating my grandmother's famous stuffing (that I have never been able to replicate) and playing football on the lawn with my slew of cousins. Both of my grandparents are gone this year, and my dad and his siblings have been emptying out the house...there will be no more thanksgivings there again....this is bittersweet for me. We will not be traveling this year, as we have to save every extra penny for travels to Philadelphia, and likely, the house will be sold by the time I return home again.
I say bittersweet, because as sad as it is that this entire era of my life is over, I feel that the future holds so much promise...and that this grand gift, LIFE, is ahead of us. My grandparents, and parents have left me such a beautiful legacy. A legacy of family, and laughter, and love, and faith. I am so thankful for that, because it is always there, no matter what challenges I face in the future, I can hold my head up and face it head on. Many times in my life I have procrastinated, or put things that perplexed me or made me nervous off, to worry about another day. This challenge of having a hydropic baby, well, it has forced me to look it in the eye and address it. No time for anything but walking forward, looking it in the eye and doing all we can to work through it.
Erleichda. This is a word that has meant so much to me in my lifetime. Rumored to be Einstien's final words, not even sure if they are German or made up...but they essentially translate to "Lighten Up" Lighten Up indeed. No matter what life throws you, it is beautiful...Living is beautiful. There is this ecstatic happiness, there is mundane day to day living, there is devastating grief....but all of those are part of the beauty of living. Living each moment...not hiding from it, not running from it, but living fully within it.
When we found out Auguste had hydrops, they gave us a serious discussion about his grave diagnosis and talked about termination of pregnancy. I overheard Mickey discussing this with a friend the other day and he mentioned being given paperwork on termination, and I said "they talked with us about it, but they didn't give us paperwork". He said "yes they did, I just didn't think you needed to see it, so I didn't give it to you". I can't tell you how much I loved him in that moment...because he knew. He knew that no matter what the future held, we wanted to experience it fully. We still don't know what it holds for us, and we truly hope that it will be posting a smiling picture of baby Auguste on the hydrops support page...but if it is holding our newborn son as he takes his last breaths, that will be beautiful too...a beautiful moment we would not miss for anything.
Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances you know to be desperate. - GK Chesterton