This time a year ago I found out I was pregnant for the second time. It was right after the first Saints game, I came home and passed out on the couch from exhaustion. Very not like not-pregnant Kim, Very like pregnant Kim. As soon as I woke up I thought, "That was weird. I better find a pregancy test." A lot of people had prayed for this baby for a long time, and we were so excited.
Fast-forward to the day after Christmas, when we had our 20 week ultrasound and discovered that Charlotte Grace had an umbilical cord anomoly. She was diagnosed with a single umbilical artery, or a two-vessel cord. The doctor explained everything really well to my medical brain: that it wouldn't necessarily cause problems but it could be an indicator of another genetic condition and organ defects, and it could cause growth restriction. Even though he assured us it was probably nothing, I have never been so worried or stressed out. I think I cried every day for weeks. It was the slowest month of my life until we went back for a follow-up ultrasound and it seemed that everything was still developing well (though the umbilical cord anomoly was still present and we still monitored it throughout the pregnancy).
I recently read a story about another baby Grace who was born around the same time as my Gracie. She was diagnosed during pregancy with trisomy 18 (a genetic condition that my Gracie was at increased risk for because of her diagnosis.) The baby didn't live past birth. Of course, all I could think was how that could have been us so easily, and for some reason it wasn't. For some reason God chose to show his grace to us through a healthy, beautiful, precious little girl. Though I am beyond grateful for that, I feel terrible and guilty that there is another mom out there who had very different circumstances.
One of the children's catechism questions that we teach Jonah is "Q: Why did God make you and all things? A: For his own glory." When I wonder why my story was so similar yet so different from this other mom's story, the only thing I can come back to is this answer: For God's glory. I have no idea why I was the one who brought home a healthy baby girl, and this other mom is mourning her baby, but I have to come back to the same place. For His glory. And if I'm created with enough sense to ask the question, I have to believe that is the answer for both of us.
When Jonah and Grace were born, I chose a hymn that I played while I was in the hospital room to keep me calm and focused. It was a song I chose for each of them, a wish I had for them. For Jonah I chose "Be Though my Vision" and now whenever I hear it I tell him, "I was singing this when you were born." For Gracie, though it was a little obvious, I had to choose "Amazing Grace." Yesterday at her baptism, I couldn't help but think it was a good pick. There was a time when I thought we wouldn't get to that day, when I thought I would never even bring her home. But yesterday she sat in church with our family who drove all over the Southeast to be there. She wore the little dress my mom made for her, and I carried her to the front of the sanctuary where my sweet church welcomed her into our family. I got to see the faces of my church members who just looked excited to undertake the responsibility of teaching and loving her, and I am so blessed to have them. We brought her home and we celebrated the undeserved gift she is to us, as well as the undeserved gift of God's grace given to her. What a road to get us to that awesome day.