No, we are not pregnant, although we both long for another one right now because we are on cloud nine with Josie and absolutely love being parents. I just have a bigger understanding of Love now that we have lost Esther. I can't imagine how much it hurt God to take Esther back. He hurt so badly for us. He knows Love more than we can imagine or comprehend. I want to know this Love more and more every day.
This last weekend Jason and I ran the Bellingham Bay marathon and half marathon. Jason did the full 26.2 and I did the 13.1 mile. We did it for Esther. To carry her memory in our hearts. To endure a small fraction of what she went through. So we can feel some pain and go to God for strength. To feel close with her and what Christ has done through it all. Jason's goal was to beat the 4 hr mark. He missed it by 3 min. We had a horrible wind and rain storm that weekend. I am so proud of him. Me on the other hand, I struggled and grumbled the whole time. I am not fast. I am 2 min per mile slower than I used to be. My body hurts. How come I can't bounce back? I am almost just as slow running this year as I was last year at 12 weeks pregnant. Do you see the pattern? Me, me, me, me!!!! After we were done running that weekend I couldn't believe we were going to have do the same thing the next weekend in the Leavenworth Octoberfest half marathon.
We got the opportunity to run the Octoberfest half marathon the following weekend with one of our favorite NICU night nurses Michelle. We spent the weekend getting to know her family as well as her getting to know my big sis Julie and her family. We talked about Esther and our memories and we all got to raise CDH support and awareness in Esther's name. Before we started the race, 3 ladies saw our shirts and asked us about it. I briefly talked about our daughter dying of CDH. Tears filled their eyes. They couldn't believe it. We reminded them that it was okay, she was a huge blessing and here we are carrying her memory on together with our NICU nurse. God met me there. Right in that moment. Its not about me, its about Esther and more importantly, God wants to do this with us. Who cares what time I get!!! I was in such awe during the race and the beautiful surroundings. My body felt great the whole time. I ran the whole race without walking, except up one large hill and at water stations. I finished with a smile and I felt Esther and God the whole time.
Not sure what is next for us. We want to continue helping CDH families in their journeys, financially, emotionally and spiritually. I have been in contact with three Washington families over the summer who have had CDH babies. 2 of the 3 made it home with their babies and continue to have ongoing CDH care (as most CDH babies do). The other family is set to go home in a few weeks. We celebrate and rejoice with all of them. Two families that I know from Washington that have also lost their first baby to CDH (one lost her first 2 babies to CDH) are also having healthy babies. One is about a month younger than Josie and the other lady is pregnant right now. We rejoice in this!!!
I will leave you with some pictures of our first 6 months with Josie.
|She wakes up smiling like this!!!|
|She doesn't smile all of the time|