I hadn’t really thought too much about the day coming up.  It really crept up on me until Sunday at work I said the words out loud that “our 20 week ultrasound is tomorrow”.  And then the butterflies showed up! Monday came and we stepped into the dark room with our baby’s physical future about to be laid bare.  
I think about most women who experience this same moment where the gender is revealed and they get to celebrate.  Then the sonographer goes over each body organ with perfect news.  We had a different experience.  Her ankles and wrists come off of her body straight!  Yay!  Is there a three-vessel cord or two?  Three.  Yay! Her brain has the normal amount of fluid with the cerebellum also looking good.  Yay!  Is her neck the normal thickness? Yes. Yay! Her bones are the normal length.  Yay!  On and on this went.   Each question we had was answered with good news!  Praise God.
Although the pregnancy with Maggie was long and difficult, we were fortunate enough to see her every couple of weeks on the screen, wiggling inside and practicing her breathing.  Monday we observed hiccoughs and lots and lots of movement.  But, she is camera shy!  No good pictures were to be had so we will wait another 20 weeks to see her little face!
I cannot tell you how good it felt to have my doctor come into our exam room actually jumping up and down on the floor with excitement for us! She jumped until we hugged.  All smiles in the room!  She announced that from hear on out we are a “normal” pregnancy!  No red flags, no risk for preterm labor.  Normal. 
Normal?  I prayed for normal.
When we got home I started on a DIY project for this girls nursery.  Yeah, I changed it up.  I had thought that after Maggie died, it wouldn’t be a big deal to keep her room the same for the next child.  At first it was painful, covering her up.  I mean covering the walls up.  With the first stroke of paint I felt a tiny piece of panic go through me.  Then it was just a project.  Now that it’s done, I feel like this girl has a shot at being separate from Maggie.  They blend together somehow most days.  So I started my rug painting Monday listening to my Maggie music.  I cried. I miss her. I wanted her to be next to me making talking sounds and keeping me company in a bouncing seat like she might have been.
But I am so excited to meet this new mystery girl!

I have another story to tell that will require prayers from you all for the next several months.  I need you guys.  As I have been working to redo “Maggie’s room”, I posted her bedding set on Craigslist.  A grandmother-to-be contacted me from Louisiana wanting just one piece of it.  She sent me money, I sent her some wall art, and added an extra blanket to the box.  I was told that the little blanket I included was the last missing piece to make the whole set complete.  This lady’s daughter was put in the hospital at 24 weeks pregnant hoping to last as long as possible without delivery and received the blanket during the stay.  Grandmother and mother have read Maggie’s story and of all dates, this baby shares the same due date as Maggie did, May 21st.  I learned this morning that Baby was born Sunday, just shy of 25 weeks.  Baby is alive and just a pound.  This family has a long road ahead and I am begging all readers to pray for this baby and family as you do for mine. 

Do you readers have questions for me that you haven’t asked me?  What do you want to know about grieving, healing, burying a baby, being pregnant again, how to help a friend going through similar circumstances?  I want to know your questions.  I want to help you help others.
2/9/2012 01:04:12 am

I am so happy to read your good news! I don't even remember who led me to the story of your sweet Maggie but I have been deeply touched by your story, your journey, and your sharing. Thanks for taking the time to write about your unfolding life. Blessings to you and the new life in you!

2/9/2012 06:05:42 am

I share the same comment as Elizabeth -- I was lead to your site by a friend asking us to pray for your family on a facebook post - and I to have been touched by your story, my heart goes out to your family - I will keep praying for this new baby girl to be heathly

Dana Green
2/9/2012 06:08:25 am

The room looks fantastic! I'm so happy for you and glad you have so many loved ones, prayers, faith, etc., to help you through the transition too.

Christy Davis
2/9/2012 06:16:59 am

Thank you for these beautiful updates. So happy for toy guys, testimony and healing demonstrates the grace of God so completely. Stay well!

Sara Crenshaw
2/9/2012 06:33:44 am

Joy! I am sooo thrilled to hear your wonderful news!! Your room is precious too. Will keep your sweet friend and her baby in my prayers. <3 to you guys.

2/9/2012 06:34:19 am

Joy, I am crying tears that are a mixture of joy for your new baby and for the happy news and sadness at you missing Maggie and crying as you redid the nursery. You are an honest, gifted writer. Thank you for sharing your heart as you share your journey.

The nursery is beautiful. I love the curtains and the colors.

Still praying for you and Stephen and baby. Will also pray for the family who received Maggie's things. Lots of love from Venezuela.

2/9/2012 07:14:43 am

Joy, that is so exciting! We will pray for the other family that you mentioned! We are still praying for you and your baby! I LOVE the new nursery.

Ann Hanchette
2/9/2012 08:56:26 am

I rejoice for you Joy as you and I have been down the same road. Losing my full-term baby Whitney and being able to hold her for only a short while and then having to let her go was the most difficult. I was pregnant with Dana just three months later even though my doctor told me I should not have anymore children until we went through genetic testing. I put my faith in God that our next baby would be okay and sure enough came my precious daughter Dana kicking and breaking my water. Someone once told me that God needs little angels for heaven and that is what Whitney and Maggie are, little angels, can you picture it? So beautiful. Again, congrats I cannot be more happy for you guys!

2/9/2012 09:11:22 am

Hallelujah for normal! The room is fabulous! You look beautiful! Prayers will be lifted up for the newborn! Prayers also continue for you, Stephen and your baby girl! Love you all!

2/9/2012 12:03:23 pm

God is good! Normal is such a wonderful answer to all our prayers! I am so happy for you Joy!

Praying for the family you mentioned.
Love you guys!!

Becky Faske
2/9/2012 12:54:40 pm

Joy, you may remember last year I told you my sister had a friend that was going through the same type of pregnancy you were having with Maggie. Their daughter, Quinn, was born about 5 months ago. She passed away last week. My sister wants to know the best way for her to love them through this situation. She is really unsure of what to say or do. Thank you for being open to questions, sweet Joy. James and I are thrilled about your new little one!

Becky Faske
2/9/2012 02:43:47 pm

Guess I should leave a comment and include my email in the bar eh?

2/10/2012 11:39:15 am

What great news! I'll be keeping you in my prayers.

Cheri Grant
2/10/2012 11:50:45 am

Joy, you never seem to stop amazing me! I am honored to pray for this sweet couple and there new baby. I also have continued to pray for you and I think about little Maggie often. How I would have loved to hug on her at church. I miss that for you. Please continue to write your blog entries, you are helping us all with every key stroke.

Love you sweet friend!

Caroline Mattson
2/10/2012 10:56:57 pm

Joy, I have been praying right with you and Stephen that this will be a normal, healthy pregnancy, and thank you God! What an answer to prayer, that's so awesome, the best news of yesterday. Will continue to pray for you and for this other family. I'm a peds OT and know some of the challenges that may be ahead.

2/12/2012 11:00:38 am

What wonderful news from your ultrasound...Normal is exciting! I've kept this pregnancy, you and Stephen in my prayers. I'll be so thrilled to meet this new baby girl in another 19 or 20 weeks.

With Love

2/12/2012 02:15:39 pm

This is so wonderful!! Thank you, God. Happy tears :-)

Tess Roach
2/14/2012 03:59:07 am

Joy, I am crying tears of joy!! I was a member at Westover when you and Stephen had and lost Maggie, and I never could come up with the right words to say to you when I saw you; any that I found got stuck in my throat. But I feel like your story is helping me gain perspective on what my mom went through when my little brother died at 10 days old. I was only 7, so my understanding was superficial, but I have a new appreciation for her because I can at least understand now that she was devastated, but she didn't give up because she still needed to be Mom to my older brother and me. So I guess all I want to say is thank you--for being so open with your emotions and thoughts. This sweet little baby you'll have is tremendously fortunate to have a mom who will appreciate her from day one, even when you're sleep deprived and not thinking straight. I wish you all the best.

2/18/2012 10:38:52 am

Today was so hard for me, theyve done all these new things to sophie.....i saw her try so hard to cry but couldnt bc of the tube down her throat. You spent your vday at the grave and i spent mine in the nicu while my girl had heart surgery. Its not fair. As i laid here crying missing,my tiny baby , something told me.to look at your blog....more tears came, ones of relief that someones.praying and understands. Thank u joy...for everything....you deserve the happiest life has to offer........,love me, mom, and sophie

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