One year ago today, my life was shattered into a million pieces. I felt like nothing would ever be the same again, and I had no idea what the future held for me. I thought that every dream I had for my life and my family and my children had changed. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, and I shook. My hands would not stop shaking, and I could not stop crying. The way I felt about this little baby girl inside of me had changed so quickly and so immediately. I wasn't sure what her quality of life would be, and I didn't know how our lives were going to change once she got here. I wanted to hope for the best, but there were so many unanswered questions, and terrifying statistics. All of the sudden google was the scariest place in the world, and the words spina bifida were completely and totally depressing.
As the week went on, we found hope. Through prayer I realized that I needed to change the way I was thinking about this child. She was going to come to me exactly how my Heavenly Father wanted her to come to me. He had a plan for our family. And this was not the big "trial" that I always worried about because my life was far to easy. This was my daughter who I will love and adore, and she will add so much to my life. This baby is not my burden, she is a blessing. It sounds so simple, but at the time it was extremely profound. I also found other mothers online who knew what was to come with the spina bifida. We found a message board that we were able to ask them questions, and we looked at their children on blogs. These were happy, adorable, wonderful kids and we felt so much better seeing their stories. We also learned about the MOMS study, and that gave us purpose. It was less than 4 weeks after the diagnosis that I had prenatal surgery for Kaitlyn. It went by VERY fast, and we were able to focus all of our energy and attention on getting admitted and qualifying for that clinical trial. And it was very hard, and miserable, and difficult, but we made it through, and I'm so glad we did.
Before we knew it, our daughter was born. She was so tiny and adorable. She looked just like Damon and had the same chubby cheeks and Audrey. She was perfect, and I loved her so much. I am so grateful that we had this last year to grow as a family. That we were able to add this wonderful little girl into our lives. She does so many things we never thought she would do. She moves her legs and feet and toes, she rolls around, and she is very social and sweet.
Sometimes I get caught up on the little things, like she can't stand up and bear weight in her legs yet. And she isn't sitting up for long without tumbling over. I go to church and see the younger babies doing some of it, and I forget that she has to overcome so much more than they do. I am so proud of her, and I know she belongs in this family. Kaitlyn is our miracle.