The R family and I met about 2 years ago when their son E and big G were in swim lessons back to back. In the years since our first playdate, we have watched babies grow, new babies be born, gone through potty training, sleep deprivation, shared turkey sandwiches, hugs, tears, and nurturing a love of Thomas the Tank engine (that would be the boys).
In S, I have found a friend who'll never judge me, even when I dare to share some of the secrets of mommyhood I think would surely win me mother of the year in opposite world (thanks Lightning McQueen for that).
Our boys can vanish into a bedroom for hours and play while we chat and laugh about the kids, their dads (sorry dads), and our equal need for coffe with a LOT of sugar.
When S told me this past winter that they were expecting baby number three, I was thrilled to welcome a new little person into our friendship. This new baby, not to be forgotten or one-upped in any way, made life pretty hard on her mama for the first 4 months or so through constant morning sickness. And anyone who's had that knows that it should really be called all day worshipping the porcelain god sickness.
As she neared the 20 week scan, S was so happy to be feeling a bit better every day, and we joked on the phone that maybe there were two of them in there. I told her if I hadn't heard from her by 6 pm that day, I would assume the worst. That it was triplets and they were still picking her up off the floor. If only.
So when I heard her teary voice on the line later that afternoon, my heart sunk. Something was wrong, and she'd call back later to fill me in.
Baby A was diagnosed with a large tumor on her little neck. A few weeks later they discovered it was pressing on her heart. First they hoped to get her to 24 weeks, then 26, and 28. Lo and behold baby A has baffled them all! She continues to grow and thrive as if she has no idea that we're all out here so so worried for her and praying constantly that she stay strong. Her doctor told S that it's "like she has no idea, and we're not going to tell her!"
S is just past the 30 week mark now, and still baby A is holding her own. She's going to have a long road ahead of her, so if you're the praying kind, say a prayer for her tonight. At the least she'll face surgeries, and an extended stay in the NICU. But I know that when she's 12 and being sent to her room for mouthing off (because I know she will, remember the all-day sickness). S and J will be able to look back at the time she scared the pants off them, and shake their heads and think "that was only the beginning!"
Stay strong A. You've got a big brother and sister and a couple boys down the road who can't wait for you to join in their games!