Since announcing Sprout’s existence, we’ve received such an amazing outpouring of support and prayers. People have reached out to us from around the world congratulating us, wishing us the best and telling us they’re keeping us all in their prayers. That’s the wonderful thing about social media — thousands of people got to know Penelope Joy and, by default, us. So we have a truly international support system. All thanks to one very special little girl.
I promised that I’d be an open book with Penelope Joy — sharing both the good times and the bad. Holding nothing back. Being real. And I was. It helped me cope — having a place to go to share all of my overjoyed moments of mommy pride as well as the moments of sincere despair.
With Sprout, though, I’m tempted to hold a little bit back. To keep a little bit of this baby just for us. Because, as I’ve said before, Penelope Joy didn’t just belong to us — she belonged to everyone. Her story was everyone’s story. And I want to selfishly keep Sprout’s story — at least some parts — just for Mr. B and me. And probably just for a while.
But, before I decide what I want to share — and what I don’t — I feel the need to publicly answer some of the questions I’ve been asked since announcing this pregnancy:
- Was this baby planned? Yes. Sprout was planned. We were trying to get pregnant. Not exactly tracking everything to the minute. But we purposely discontinued birth control and made an effort to make an effort. Sprout was planned. Sprout is planned. And soverymuch wanted.
- But, isn’t it too soon? For us? No. For you? Maybe it would have been. But it is the right time for our family. Penelope Joy expanded our capacity for love — and she grew our world 1,000,000-fold. Having a second baby can only make our world a better place. And that is really as much as I should need to say on that.
- Well, you must be so scared. Obviously, Mr. B and I are scared. We’re nervous. We were scared and nervous when I was pregnant with Penelope Joy — and we had no idea how bad it could be. This time around, we know exactly how bad it could be. But, because we’ve experienced the worst, our fear feels different. Because, what’s the worst that could happen? We’ve been there. We’ve lived it. Could it happen again? Yes. Of course. But we also know that we cannot live in that fear. Because living in it would change nothing. The only thing that could change anything is loving each other hard — and loving Sprout harder.
- Have you been tested to make sure it won’t happen again? This question … this question. As I’m writing this, I’m shaking my head. But, I will answer it. No. We were not tested to make sure “it” won’t happen again. But Penelope Joy was tested before she died. And, you know what? According to the geneticist, Penelope Joy tested negative for any genetic abnormalities. Her condition? A complete and total fluke. A chance mutation that could just have easily happened to any other kiddo. But, for some reason it happened to her. Does this make me feel any better? Absolutely not. When I first got the news, it made me angrier, sadder. When I asked the geneticist if Mr. B and I should be tested before having other children, she said it would be a waste of our money. Penelope Joy was negative, as we would be.
- Is everything OK with the baby? I’m happy to report that, as of right now, everything is OK with Sprout. We heard Sprout’s heartbeat last Monday. It was a very reassuring visit to the doctor’s office. Because of what happened to Penelope Joy, we will be having extra tests, ultrasounds and consultations with Sprout. Thursday is the first of many such appointments. We’re both anxious and eager.
I look forward to writing about Sprout as this pregnancy continues. There are still some things I’ll share. Some things I’ll write about right away, and some things will wait. And, yes, some things will be just for Mr. B and me.
In the meantime, thank you for following along. And thank you for your continued support and prayers. We appreciate them. We feel them. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for loving us through everything.