So Much to Celebrate!

Today is a day of celebration in our family! For one, Callie Anne turned 9 months old today. How in the world has it already been 9 months??? I desperately want time to slow down. Way down. She is doing so wonderfully and growing like a weed. I feel so blessed to be spending this time at home with her so I can see all the changes in development that happen every day. She never ceases to amaze me and every milestone is happening so much sooner that we had expected. It’s truly a joy to watch her explore her world with fascination in her eyes.

9 months old

9 months old

Today also happens to be exactly one year from the worst and scariest day of our lives. On August 30, 2012 David, mom, Butch, and I were in Little Rock for my first level 2 ultrasound. I was 25 weeks pregnant and we were following up on a routine ultrasound in which CA appeared to have clubbed feet. Nothing in the world could have prepared us for what we heard that day. All week, knowing that this “anniversary” was coming, I have been reliving that day and the terrifying 3 weeks that followed. I’ve cried myself to sleep and prayed and prayed and prayed thanking God for how far we’ve come.

On that day, we saw a prenatal geneticist who told us that she most likely had one of three genetic problems. In addition a hole in  her heart (VSD) and a part of her brain missing (we now know it was probably the thin corpus collosum), they didn’t see any digits and assumed it was due to brain damage and her brain not communicating with her hands and feet. He told us that is was most likely Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, or Down Syndrome…two of which are fatal conditions.  In complete shock, I think I said something like, “What do I do?” What I meant was, what can I do to make her better. As a mother, I felt like I needed to do anything and everything in my power to make her be ok. And of course, I blamed myself…but that’s a whole other story that I’d rather not revisit. (I don’t anymore, btw) His response? “It’s too late to terminate.” Just like that. Like I was asking how I could fix the problem with my cable package. Then, without missing a beat, he looked at my mom and said, “…in the state of Arkansas.”

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As you can imagine, we left there that day with completely broken hearts. One of the hardest phone calls I’ve ever had to make was when I walked out of the building and called my dad. Telling him was heartbreaking. He was in Branson and I remember asking him to stop by our house on his way home the next day because I just needed a hug from my daddy. Then explaining it all to David’s mom in Florida…I can’t even think about it without feeling nauseous. Then there was a conversation I remember vividly when I called my best friend, Laura, and was crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe. She had JUST brought her baby girl home from the hospital and I felt such a feeling of jealousy. Would I ever get to bring my baby girl home from the hospital? Would she even make it that long? I didn’t know. We didn’t know. No one knew the answer to that question.

They performed an amniocentesis in the office that day. I had always said I would never have one because of the risk of miscarriage and I would just be grateful for any child God gave me. Period. Well…that changed really quickly when I was faced with the thought of never getting to bring my baby girl home to the beautiful owl themed nursery that was already awaiting her arrival. We decided that we needed to know. If it was Trisomy 13 or 18, we needed to prepare ourselves for losing her. We couldn’t go the rest of the pregnancy not knowing.

We quickly rallied our prayer warriors and headed home to wait. It would be 2 weeks before we got the results of the amnio. That’s 2 weeks of not knowing if our baby girl would live and if she did live, what quality of life she would have. There’s really no way to describe those next fews week. And, honestly, there’s no reason to. In the end, it brought David and I closer to each other and to God than anything else ever could. It also brought our family so much closer. As the first Razorback game is coming up tomorrow, David and I reminisced about the first game last year. It was the weekend after this dreadful appointment. We had already planned to have all of our family over to watch the game on PayPerView. We decided to go ahead because it was better than sitting around crying all day. Before everyone left, my stepdad, Butch, asked that we all hold hands and pray together. We’ve always prayed before meals, but this was different. Before we knew it, Butch was leading the family in a prayer for Callie Anne. What I didn’t know was that he had NEVER prayed out loud before. It just wasn’t something that he did. But, since that day, I can’t even tell you how many times he has led our family in prayer and Callie Anne did that. She has done so much for the spiritual lives of so many people. She will never know how far her impact reaches.

So, while one year ago today was truly the worst day of my life, I look back and cannot help but thank God. I thank Him for all he taught us during that time. We are truly better people because of it and we will be better parents. I look at my sweet baby girl now and cannot believe how far we’ve come. She’s a miracle child and has taught me more already than I ever could have learned in a lifetime without her.

 

7 Responses to So Much to Celebrate!

  1. Bonnie says:

    Jamie! Such a beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing your beautiful miracle girl’s journey with us. Praying for continued blessings!

  2. Candace Liebig says:

    I just wanted to say that Callie Anne and your family have touched my heart and further strengthened my faith. Your testimony breaks my heart and it fills my eyes with tears because I love that you have turned to GOD and that you have pulled out all that is good in your story. I worked with your mother in-law on the boat and recall this time last year. It made me so sad to see a lady that I cared about going thru such difficult news and uncertainty. I wanted to tell her something to make her feel better and I had GOD on my mind. As a christian I wanted to tell her “god has a reason for everything and it will be okay” but, I also felt so sad and questioned WHY this should happen to anyone. Sometimes we do not know how to justify what we do not understand or that news that is hard to swallow because it is heart breaking. Sometimes we do not understand GODS PLAN. The truth is that I didn’t know how GOD would work in your lives and in my life to look at this story 9mo. later and see how much love, support, care, prayer, and hope would be poured over little Callie Anne and your family thru the lords loving arms. Our father IS there in tough times… he is there making us stronger and making us learn to be there for each other, lean on one another, and learning to LOVE all of his blessings.

    Isaiah 55:9
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    She is such a doll, I love to follow your story… it reminds me to be thankful for all the good and all the tough things life brings. Happy 9 months BABY GIRL!! God bless!

    • Callie's Mommy says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words! I’m so glad you are following our story and that Callie Anne has touched you in some way!

  3. K says:

    Congratulations! Wow, facing your first CV surgery! If you feel anything like me, since my new baby is also facing her first one, your feelings are all over the place… Relief to start helping your baby, scared to death of her having surgery, wondering what she’ll look like afterward, thinking about her recovery and pain, etc… Please feel free to email me!

  4. Jenny says:

    Praying for you guys as Callie faces her first major surgery. She is always in my heart.

  5. Jenny says:

    You are always in my prayers and my heart.

  6. Carla Watkins says:

    Thank you for opening up your blogs for us to read. I love reading them and seeing the pictures of your beautiful Callie Anne and seeing the updates in her. I had never heard of Apert until I seen the story of Mary Cate and then one day at work I seen David commented about the progress his daughter was making so out of curiosity I clinked on the link he provided which lead me to your blog. I spent the entire night reading your blog. After reading your blogs I see what a wonderful blessing she is. Every time I see her pictures or see the videos if her you post I can’t but smile and fall in love with your little girl.

    Thank you again for sharing your daughters story with us & I continue to hold your family in my prayers.

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