A Letter To Myself of A Year Ago

Dear Elizabeth,

Your stomach is in knots. In just a few minutes, your husband is going to walk in the door with the pregnancy test you called and told him he better pick up on the way home . He will want you to pee on that stick right away, but you will be too scared. I know, you don’t want to know. So you will go out to lunch to delay the inevitable a few more hours, but when you get home, he is going to insist. Might as well just do it and get it over with.

You’ll activate the test but leave it in the bathroom, then come out and try and distract yourself by playing with Grayson. You’ll make Ryan go back in to check the pee stick, and he will come out minutes later with a poker face. He’s going to be so nervous to tell you, because he has no idea how you are going to react. Finally, without a word, he’ll just nod, with a little half smile on his face.

Yes, you’re pregnant. Of the things you had planned for this year, that doesn’t even come close to being on the list, does it? I know you want more kids, but not now. You have an almost 2 year old who has just been diagnosed with a horrible genetic disease that has no cure. You are going to find out in a few months that he actually has the form of that disease that is fatal. He’s tube fed. He has seizures. He can’t sit up on his own, crawl, or talk. He has a million therapies and doctors appointments a week. You just decided he’s going to go to school in the fall so you can get a freakin’ break. You’re tired. Another baby is the last thing you need, or want, right?  It’s going to be fine. Yes, you’ll be tired, and stressed, but you’ll figure it out.

Over the next week, you are going to cry a lot. Any time you allow yourself even the littlest excitement, you are going to remind yourself of all the reasons why this is a disaster. After all, what if this baby is sick, too? What are people going to think of you for allowing another baby to come into the world who may suffer like your first child? You are going to be so scared to tell your mom, because you think she’s going to think you’re irresponsible, and when you do tell her, you are going to burst into tears. It’s going to be fine. She’s a Mom, and a Grammie, and she’s not going to be mad.

This summer is going to be hard. You are going to be a lot sicker with this baby than you were with Grayson. You are going to feel guilty that instead of playing with him, you are letting his nurse take care of him while you hug the toilet or bury yourself under the covers. When you aren’t sick, you are going to be starving and wanting to eat everything in sight. It’s going to be fine. You’ll survive, and you’ll start to feel better right on schedule, at the start of the second trimester. Oh, and by then the shock will have worn off and you’ll actually start to be excited about and love this new little life inside you.

September is going to be the hardest. Grayson will get his Leighs diagnosis and the fear of the unknowns will creep back in. You’ll be feeling the baby move by then and will spend a lot of time worrying what’s going on with his or her development, beyond what an ultrasound will show. In October, you are going to have the anatomy scan and genetic counseling. It’s going to be fine. You will learn absolutely nothing about where Grayson’s disease came from and will get no answers about the baby in your belly, other than everything looks great on ultrasound. You’ll resign yourself to the fact that God gave you this baby for a reason, and He’s going to take care of it, sick or not.

You are going to decide not to find out the gender of the baby. Good decision, because that moment when he or she is born and you’ll hear “It’s A ____” is going to be the best. The absolute best. And if it’s a boy, you already have tons of clothes for him. I know you are worried if it’s a girl you won’t be prepared, but trust me, within a few days of her birth, you will probably be very jealous of the size of her wardrobe. If it’s a girl, that is. I know you say you don’t care, and you just want him or her to be healthy, but you really want a little girl. It’s going to be fine. God put that desire in your heart for a reason.

This fall, there will also be some drastic life changes in addition to your pregnancy. After finally being honest with yourself about your limits and what is best for your family, you will make the incredibly hard decision to find new homes for the dogs. They will go to fabulous new families and although you will miss them, it’s the right decision. Definitely. You will sell your house, and the day before the baby is born, you will move in with your parents while you search for a new home. It’s going to be fine. You will have much-needed help with the kids and you and your mom will grow closer. And I know you will find the place where you are supposed to live at some point, so don’t worry about it too much.

So yes, right now, your stomach is in knots. You have absolutely no clue what you are going to do if that test is positive. But seriously, it’s going to be fine.

More than fine.


  1. basebell6 on May 28, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Beautiful letter. What a whirlwind of a year!

  2. ali gratz on May 28, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Beautiful. If we could all fast forward from those moments of fear in our lives….

  3. Robyn Glasser Hoekstra on May 28, 2013 at 2:36 am

    I wonder if I will ever be able to get through one of your blog posts without tears (whether happy or sad). Beautifully written, as always. Beautiful babies.

  4. allthesunforyou on May 28, 2013 at 3:56 am

    I love this! This reminds me of the lyrics to "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons:"These days of dustWhich we have knownWill blow away with this new sun"We never know, until those days are in the past, just how things were meant to fall into place. I just love this post!

  5. Reagan Leigh on May 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Great post!!

  6. Becky on May 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Sometimes it is so freeing to look back, to see where we've been, how far we've come, how we handled it with more grace than we thought possible, how we're still standing, how we're stronger than before.

  7. Karen on May 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    You are such a great writer! And the video was the perfect ending ūüôā

  8. Esperanza on May 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I LOVE this post. It was the inspiration for my 1000th post, that is how much I loved it. I also loved hearing about what went on in your head during your pregnancy because you never wrote much about it. Thanks for sharing all that, I'm sure it was hard. And I'm SO HAPPY it all had a happy ending.

  9. thenelipotmommy on May 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Oh, I'm sitting and crying. Gah, I'm such a baby. I loved this! How often do I wish I could get a letter like this from my future self! Like, right now. LOL. Such a beautiful post!

  10. Stephanie on May 29, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I love this post so much! It really hit me in the heart and encouraged me that I don't need to worry about the petty things in my life. Thanks for sharing!

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