My “Due Date”

On the eve of my actual 40-wk due date (11/22), Avery has the same wonderful nurse, Melissa, taking care of her who she had the night of her admittance on 7/26, 17 long weeks ago.   Our babies were ‘supposed‘ to be coming into the world somewhere between 36 and 40 weeks, and instead we all were thrust into this unwelcome reality on week 23.  Melissa has been a special part of our journey and on more than one occasion has shared sentiments and perspective with me that I will never forget.   With courage, talent, and a lot of delicate love, she kept Avery alive on that first long, terrifying night when her skin was thinner than paper.  With a lump in my throat as I write, there really are no words for how much she means to us.  Nurses are heroes in scrubs.

Tomorrow, I will share a writing from a memory book they gave me at the hospital that will surely make you cry.  Instead of being a happy journal to capture of the joys of becoming a mother, it instead is intended to help mother’s cope with their pregnancy being taken away too early.  Both Quin and I sobbed upon reading it, as it truly captures the sorrow of a ‘surprise’ labor.  (this is your fair warning not to “tune in” tomorrow unless you want to be deeply moved)

Avery has had a good weekend and I spent much of the weekend just sitting with her, holding her, singing to her, feeding her, and simply watching her sleep and pondering the miracle that she is.  I am honored every time I feed her and hold her.

Avery sporting her polka dots and butterfly hat on Saturday...

Her left eye looks good following last week’s surgery and her shunt surgery is tentatively scheduled for this coming Friday.  As I rocked her and told her that, “God loves her,” she smiled wide.  As I told her all the multitude of different names that we call her “big brother” Riley (our golden retriever), she smiled again.   Smiles!  Avery is smiling!     I tried so hard to capture it on my camera, but missed it enough times that I finally decided to surrender.  I put down the camera and instead soaked up the private moments of joy.   I sort of captured one of her precious smiles after she enjoyed her pacifier and then drifted off to sleep on Friday night…

Don't you want to just kiss her?


"but Moooom, I'm getting too tired for pictures..."

Pure sweetness. Smiling as she sleeps...

On my due date, Avery is 17 weeks old, weighs 5 lb 5oz, has defied every odd, has been through more than most can fathom, including 4 major surgeries with one more to go.   And yet….she’s smiling!  (you’ll just have to trust me on this one!)

Beautiful Avery on the eve of my due date - now 17 weeks old. Wiped out from a weekend of snuggling.

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7 Responses to My “Due Date”

  1. Nicole Malachowski says:

    What a milestone today is, what a gift today is. Happy Birthday sweet Avery! She is absolutely beautiful. I wish I could snuggle her 🙂

  2. Erin and Steven Shillingburg says:

    Happy due date sweet Avery! those first smiles are so tricky! so hard to capture with a camera.

  3. Happy Due Date – I know it is bittersweet. Avery looks great, and strong, and we pray she’ll be coming home soon. Can’t wait to see a smile in person!

  4. Rebecca (Hill) McKown says:

    What precious pictures! She looks like a perfect little newborn. Will pray for the upcoming surgery. Hopefully that will be her last big hurdle. I’m still praying for her eyes, also.

  5. angel says:

    She has done well. We are missing one but, lord knows she has Avery hand and fighting with her. People please contuie to for my nieces (ALL) Even though Sienna is not with us she lives through her sister in every way possible. I also say pray for Maddie as she is so young and she needs to deal with her loss on her own. Please pray for my brother Quintin and sister in law Robin as the coniitue to Marxh with pride down a road of so many battles and yet they still make that hill. Please pray for my family as we ca offer only love and support but can not take the sting away. We love you

  6. Katie and Clint Wagner says:

    Those pictures are ridiculously cute! Give her many kisses from us!

  7. Susan McMurray says:

    Love that smile! She is precious.

    Hugs to you all from CA.

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