Five years ago, around this very same time, we found out we were pregnant with Morgan Kate. It was the Saturday before Easter and I had been at a bridal shower and then running errands. I decided to pick up a pregnancy test on my way home, just for the heck of it. I brought it home, followed the directions and two minutes later our lives changed. Forever.
We had been trying to grow our family for almost two years. Two years to plan and dream and hope. Two years to think of what could be and what if. Two years to scream and cry and pull our hair out because it just wasn't happening. But then it did. And we were thrilled. Scared, but thrilled.
I was a nervous wreck from the minute I saw two lines.
It's kind of ironic, I never could see myself being nine months pregnant. I could see us with a baby, but I couldn't see myself at the end of a pregnancy.
Despite those feelings, I still imagined that I would have countless doctor's appointments.
I thought I would lose sleep because I couldn't find a comfortable spot to sleep. I lost sleep, but it wasn't because my belly got in the way.
I thought my ankles would swell and that my stomach would be forever covered with stretch marks.
I thought I would get to post monthly pictures and updates of how my body was growing and changing.
I thought I would attend baby showers and we would play games that included measuring my baby bump.
I thought I would get to help paint the nursery and set up our baby girl's furniture.
I thought I would have time to pack my hospital bag, not forgetting to include all the teeny, tiny, pink baby clothes.
I thought Travis would be able to buy cigars, hold my hand, kiss our baby just minutes after her birth and then present her to our family.
I thought we would be able to take our little bundle of joy just days after her birth and begin our life together.
We may have thought those things and expected those things, but, it didn't happen that way.
My appointments stopped after 24 weeks. I lost sleep, but it was because I didn't know if my daughter, my Morgan Kate, would be okay. My ankles did swell, but only because I received massive amounts of fluid for a week straight. I never got any stretch marks and while that may seem like a dream come true, it wasn't. I'd take stretch marks any day over having to watch my baby fight for her life in the NICU. My monthly pictures and updates about being pregnant became daily updates about how our micro-preemie was growing and changing and fighting. I didn't get to paint the nursery or set up the furniture. There was no hospital bag or cigars. Trav wasn't able to hold my hand or kiss our baby girl. He wasn't even allowed to come in the operating room with me. And it would be 107 long days before we got to take home our precious baby girl.
Today, five years later, strangers are shocked to know that Morgan Kate was once a one pound, twelve ounce baby girl. They can't believe that she was a 25 weeker and spent four months in the hospital. Some days, we even let ourselves forget those things. She has come such a long, long way and each and every day she amazes us.
There are so many reasons we are where we are today. God above took care of us. People all over prayed for us. The wonderful staff at Baptist went above and beyond for MK and for us. We had amazing support from family and friends.
And the March of Dimes conducted research that created medications that allowed our baby girl, with undeveloped lungs, to take her first breaths. It was because of the March of Dimes that MK was able to receive artificial surfactant. It's because of their research and their efforts and their fundraising that babies, premature and full term, have a fighting chance.
Only 33 days left until March for Babies and 33 days left to donate to a wonderful cause!