Expanding our Family

 after two years of marriage, we thought it would be about time to start expanding our little family of 2. we were very excited and anxious about the unknown, but month after month, nothing happened. we watched as all of our friends had their first, second or third children while we still waited and longed for just one of our own. we had a lot people asking questions and making comments all along the way that were really tough to answer or respond to because we didn’t share this part of our life with many people. i was so shocked at what people were willing to say and ask and it was usually too sensitive in the moment for me to tell the truth. so i just always defaulted to ‘we hope to’ or ‘soon’. it can be a very long road full of sorrow…

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…”

but when it takes three years to finally be blessed with the one thing that seemed so easy for everyone else you learn a few things and are blessed by things.

we learned to be patient even when we don’t, and probably never will, undersand why we went through what we did. we learned how to approach talking about children with others, not realizing how hard comments and questions can be to handle in the midst of grief.

we learned to really live this verse: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

even through the toughest times, I was still able to live my life, rejoice with friends who were having babies, and get through it.

though i have always had strong feelings about everyone having the human right to life, going through this experience has only deepened my feelings and beliefs about the issue. see below images for more.

i’ve always believed, but this has only reminded me that god really does provide. i deepened a friendship with someone going through the exact same thing, i’ve had a wonderful group of women there for me through the tears and praying for us all along the way, and i’ve gained new friendships. but god especially provided by giving me such a wonderful husband, i can’t imagine anyone else to live both good and bad times with than him.

we were blessed by growing together during the last 3 years, making our marriage stronger, crying together, traveling together and just learning to love each other more. as much as i would have given everything to have children when we first wanted them, i now wouldn’t trade anything for all this wonderful time we’ve invested in our marriage. this will make us better to handle our marriage in future trials and make us better parents.

“…but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

we finally had our prayers answered and the answer was yes. we are so thankful for this wonderful blessing of life. because we had some help to get where we are, we got to have a few more ultrasounds than the average person. it was incredible!!

the above is at 6 weeks. it’s basically a ‘diamond ring’ as the doctor said, and the ‘diamond’ is the heartbeat. yes, at 6 weeks, before most people even know they are pregnant, their miracles have a beating heart, drumming life through their bodies and capable of love.

the above is at 7 and a half weeks. just a week and a half later and there are visible arms and legs!

and again at 10 weeks, almost fully formed. we could see both hemispheres of the brain and when she moved the wand around we could see the shape of a little human 🙂

the above three images are from 19 1/2 weeks. these just amaze me and bring tears to my eyes. i was barely starting to show and there is a fully formed human in my womb! we found out that she’s a girl at this appointment and she even started sucking her thumb during the ultrasound (3rd image). look at her little hand in the second image! at this point she was only about 10 inches long but she has all her parts including finger prints which she had developed weeks ago. she has an identity and yet in california i would legally have until week 24 to terminate if i had wanted. it breaks my heart that little fully formed humans who can suck their little thumbs can be dumped into the garbage. she’s perfect and we’re already in love with her.

this is how we told our parents her gender on mother’s day (there’s a little slip of paper inside the eggs that says ‘it’s a granddaughter!’) our parents were so excited!

four generations of women!

our friends made us these when they found out we were pregnant…

…and they inspired this video which is how we shared the news with everyone else:

 thanks to everyone who was with us from the beginning. and don’t feel bad if you didn’t know what we were going through, we just emotionally couldn’t handle sharing with everyone. we appreciate everyone’s continued support, love and prayers until our little one is safe at home in our arms. we’re so incredibly happy and thankful! and we wish everyone we know going through the same thing will be able to share in their own joy soon 🙂

Rachel - June 4, 2013 - 8:21 am

You two are so amazing. Individually and together, you are incredible. I know I’ve said this already, but what a lucky baby girl to be SO wanted and SO loved for so so long before she even existed. You guys already rock at parenthood 🙂 Love your guts.

Carrie - June 4, 2013 - 8:39 am

Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t think we have actually met Danielle but I feel like we would understand each other after what we have gone through. I am SOO excited for you. I know what it means to have this baby and this joy. I know what it is like to cry, to turn from bitterness, to choose joy, to be depressed, to trust, to not understand. SO across the ocean someone is rejoicing and thanking God with you!

Kim - June 4, 2013 - 9:40 am

So great! I’m excited for you two. Being right behind you, I’m anxious to see or baby at 19 weeks! The Lord is so amazing and I’m happy for you guys!

Amy - June 7, 2013 - 3:04 pm

I’m not going to lie, this post made me tear up a bit. Another side effect of becoming a mother! I’m so incredibly happy for you both and just amazed at your positive outlook and willingless to put your trust in the Lord…two key components of parenthood! Love you tons!

SidebySide Photography - July 27, 2013 - 9:57 am

thanks for all the comments everyone!!

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