I have been praying for this day for almost 2 years now. Praying for a healthy baby free of SMA and last week we got the best call a parent can get. The Genetic counsellor called to say that the baby that I was growing is healthy and does not have SMA. Can I get an AMEN for all those prayers lifted up. I am so thankful for all the people who have journeyed with us, stood by us and lifted up prayers for more healthy children. It will be 2 years since Lewiston past (November 22) and to be honest I thought I would have had another baby by now. But those were not God’s plans for the family nor did Ronnie and I feel ready for another babe yet. Life has been mega full between process our grief in our own times, running a foundation that would blow up way larger than I could have dreamt up and just managing life and our business and motherhood currently. Looking back – the 2 years have flown by. We both trusted in God’s perfect timing and here it is. So to answer a ton of questions you can read below a bit about our journey as to how we got here.
We explored several options about how to go about having this baby. Lol sounds like I have never had sex before and needed a birds and the bees convo when I type that – but you know what I mean. Anywho – Hot Ronnie and I talked a lot about what next steps were for more kids – we researched IVF PGD (Pre Genetic Diagnosis), natural options and even adoption. We still have it heavy on our hearts to adopt but after all of research, soul searching, and prayer we felt at peace for this next babe to try naturally. We think we make pretty cute kids.
And so this summer we began that process. I quickly became pregnant – thank you relaxing family holiday to Missouri. (I want to be sensitive as I recognize and have many friends that struggle with infertility. The truth is Ronnie and I look at each other and can get pregnant just being honest hence why Lewiston followed so close to Swayzie. However it is a miracle in itself as I was told in my mid 20’s that I wouldn’t be able to have kids. But please know this post is not meant to be insensitive to your infertility it is just me sharing our journey. My heart is with you I have no answers but simply want to be recognize the struggle and the desire to have children.)
During all this crazy we had talked about listing our house. We were not in a rush to move, but our backyard is a big selling featured and we wanted to capture pictures when everything was at its best, not in the dead of winter or early spring when nothing had blossomed yet. And so pictures turned into us saying “lets throw it onto the market and see what happens. If we get nothing we can pull it off and relist in spring but at least our selling assets and awesome pictures will be ready. And so we started purging, decluttering and staging the house. Thank you Helen Youn for helping me purge for hours upon hours. We new that when we did expand the family our little bungalow would be pretty tight and as we have outgrown the 954 square feet space.
In August I missed my period and decided I should pee on a stick. I got home and peed on an old pregnancy test and saw a very faint line. I called one of my girlfriends and said if it is really faint – does that mean I am pregnant. She responded with “YOUZ PREGGERS!” We laughed and cried and freaked out – she was also newly pregnant and I looked forward to enjoy this journey with her.
Ronnie got home from work later that day and I casually mentioned that I had missed my period – “maybe i should pee on a stick” I said and he responded back with “ha ya that’s the last thing we need to find out – is that you are pregnant when we are trying to get the house ready to sell.” And then walked off. And so I kept the secret to myself for a whole 5 days – yes 5 days……he just wasn’t ready to handle the news. It was so weird…..I was waiting for the perfect moment trying to be all cute. I didn’t really go down like that.
And so later that week I got Swayzie to hand Hot Ronnie another pregnancy stick that said “Pregnant +3 weeks.”
He thought she was trying to play doctor and take his temperature. It took him a little while to click in. It was super cute – he was mega shocked and a flustered.
And so the pregnancy journey began. Since the beginning I have had such peace, prayed for peace and just trusted that everything would be okay. It is not to say that fear and stress and panic and worry did not creep in and try to rob me of joy. But I clung to a verse that my friend and pastor Natasha from Experience Church gave me.
1 John 4:18
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear…..”
And so I believed in perfect love, believed in a miracle and believed that love is more powerful than fear and let love win out. Living in fear is so unhealthy and to be honest I clung to the fact that stressing out would not change the outcome – only make my healthy body go all funky. And so in October at 11 weeks we could do a test that would determine the genetic side of things. To help you understand the crazy world of SMA and give you a little genetic lesson – all of our children have a 25% chance of having SMA, 50% chance of being a carrier (Hot Ronnie and I are both Carriers), and 25% nothing. I always said I liked those 75% odds that our children would not have SMA and so we took the leap of faith and played the odds. I joke about going to Vegas and saying that I would bet it all if I knew I had a 75% chance of winning big.
A week later we got a call saying that the first set of screening was complete and so far so good. They also asked us if we wanted to know the gender – I said no. But pretty cool at 12 weeks you have confirmed DNA saying the sex of your baby. Another 2 weeks after that call we got the phone call we were really waiting for.
I was in West Coast Kids picking up yet another soother for Swayzie – don’t even get me started or attempt to give me a lecture that my 3 year old still has one…..I know she needs to cut the habit. She will, we will in near future. Anyway I was harassing one of my favourite girls in West Coast Kids with about a million questions about products and lunch boxes and how to get Swayzie to eat more and “AB HEALTH SERVICES” showed up on my caller display.
I took the call. I braced myself and dropped that items I had in my hand.
“Hello – is Jessica there?”
“Yes this is her.”
“Hi it is Sally calling from the Genetic Counselling.” (Her name really wasn’t Sally but you get the picture)
(She sounded so serious and mono-tone that I convinced myself that it was bad news – I do not envy Sally and her roll. Not an easy job at all.)
“Hi Jessica – I am calling with good news…..”
And that was it. I blanked out and thought my heart was about to pop out of my chest. I could barely breath – I think I mumbled thank you a million times and then told her I was hanging up cause I couldn’t breath. It felt like a heart attack. And so that is what I did. I hung up and let the tears roll down. Jen from West Coast Kids hugged me and celebrated and soak in this amazing moment. I will never forget it.
I finally caught my breath and had to call Ronnie – he didn’t answer. I called 4 times, then texted “CALL ME – 911.” Nothing and so I called his business partner and had him pass his phone over.
I called my parents and screamed and cried some more. Truly the best news!!!
Ronnie I met for lunch an hour after the phone call and all I can remember is him running to me from 2 blocks away. His face lit up like a Christmas tree. It is a precious moment that will forever be engrained in memory and heart about so many prayers answered and how good God is.
And so here we are. Almost 16 weeks and growing a healthy baby. We are due end of April. Ronnie says the timing is a bit crazy with “Lewiston Season” but I am confident we will have lots of helping hands to hold the babe and help us make them all happen.
Here are some of them most common questions I have gotten so far.
How did you get pregnant?
The good old fashioned way. Just 2 love birds getting it on.
What type of test did you do for the SMA testing?
We choose to do CVS testing at 11 weeks.
Does the baby have SMA?
No thank you Jesus. No SMA – the babe is a carrier of the gene, but I believe that by the time this babe is ready for a family their will be a cure. So not even going to sweat it for a second.
Do you know the gender?
Sure don’t. Well we have an envelope on my desk with the details but haven’t peaked yet – one of girlfriends has offered to host us a gender reveal party. I just have to convince Hot Ronnie to get on board. We could care less if it is a boy or a girl – just thankful the babe is healthy. We all think we are having a girl but who knows.
Do you have names?
We got a couple but currently Swayzie wants to name the baby Nina Flower.
How have I been feeling?
Good for the most part. Like most I feel more tired. Most afternoons I just want to crawl in bed and close my eyes but ain’t nobody got time for that. I have done it a few times but it takes everything I have to get out and get going again. A few weeks back I almost slept so long I missed picking up Swayzie from preschool. #momoftheyear
My only real bad symptom has been the worst pregnancy headaches – sometimes they last week straight and make me incredibly nausea. I finally reached out to my doctor for something to help with it as recently I have fighting back mega puke vibes – literally having a conversation with someone and the only thing I can think is don’t puke – don’t puke – don’t puke while my head is pounding. Other than that feeling pretty dang good.
So here we go. Thankful for all the love and support. Thankful for all the prayers and beyond excited for the new babe!
With love and thanks,
XO – Jess