Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finding Peace

When I first met Jeff, I knew that I had finally found peace in my life. As a child I was sensitive and melodramatic. As a young adult I was high-strung. I liked to think of myself as mellow, but when I truly look back, I know that "mellow" was pretty far off. The truth was, I felt anxious all the time, and about everything. That changed when I met Jeff. I immediately knew that he would be in my life forever. As we fell in love, I found wave of peace washing over all of those anxious bits within me. He brought out a calm side of me that I never knew was there.

When I was pregnant with Harper, Jeff and I were worried about birth defects. Okay, okay - ALL parents worry about birth defects. But every time someone would brush off my concerns as typical or trivial, I wanted to smack them (figuratively, not literally of course). The fact of the matter is that our concerns are not typical. Jeff was born with an extremely rare skeletal dysplasia, so each of our pregnancies presents a 50% chance that the baby will have it too. Jeff has had unique challenges in life that few people are likely to comprehend - especially considering his condition has one in a million occurrence. So mister or misses health care professional, please excuse me if I don't appreciate having my concerns brushed off as if they are unfounded.

Though we worried about Harper (who was not affected), my worries felt different early on during this second pregnancy. I can't quite explain it, but something within me knew that this baby was affected. Four weeks ago, we were told during our first ultrasound that the baby did indeed have growth anomalies that coincide with spondylometaphyseal dysplasia (can't pronounce it? Either Jeff's mom Carol or I can pronounce it for you... she especially knows it well). Though there is no exact prenatal test for Jeff's type of dysplasia, it's quite apparent that the baby has it. Of course our initial reaction was mostly sadness. And if you catch me during a hormonal moment, you might see tears in my eyes. But honestly, the longer it sits in my heart, the more I become okay with it.

For those of you readers lucky enough to know my husband Jeff, you know how incredible he is. This is not just coming from his wife and best friend. Ask anyone - his grandparents, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and all of the people that have really known him. He is everyone's favorite, and for good reason. He's funny, inspirational, modest, and just so dang selfless. If anyone ever had a good reason to complain, it would be Jeff... but he doesn't complain at all. One would never know what he's endured. He is my heart, and I love him so much. I can't ever imagine spending my life with anyone else, and could NEVER have asked for a better father to my children.

So it is with Jeff that I am finding peace in this situation. It seems that so few people have marriages as true and strong as ours, and we'll need every bit of that strength to get through what lies ahead. I'm also finding peace as I imagine holding this sweet little baby in my arms, feeling my heart stretch as it makes more room for the love already growing for him/her. The road ahead will not be easy. But I couldn't be any luckier than to have an amazing husband and family to lean on throughout everything. So from me, Jeff, Harper, and the baby, a big thank you to Mom, Dad, Tyra, Anthony, Greg, Mario, Carol, Mark, Shelly, Scott, Tracy, Emily, Ryan, Kelli, Jared, and all the rest of our family.

And here is a profile image our little wiggly peanut at 24-weeks, saying hello. I really love the new team of people providing us with amazing care, including my new doctor who not only has a background in genetics, but just happens to have special interest in skeletal dysplasias. Just check out her U of U faculty profile - impressive, right? We'll probably have a new picture just like this at least once month to share, up until the baby is here in about 16 more weeks!

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