Tuesday morning, October 14th, I sat through my weekly ultrasound to check my fluid and check the baby's movements. I watched the technician try over and over to find some pockets of fluid to measure. When she couldn't, I knew it wasn't good.
A few minutes later, my doctor brought me into a room, and didn't want to check my blood pressure or dilation, she just wanted to talk. My fluid had dropped quite a bit since the last week and she felt that it was time for us to meet our baby girl. There was too much risk for a stillborn birth for us to wait any longer, so she wanted me to head to the hospital. Now.
Even though I was full-term at thirty-eight and a half weeks, the news still threw me for a loop. Most likely, it was the urgency in the doctors voice and the words, "we don't want her to be stillborn," ringing in my ears.
I convinced the doctor to let me go home, gather my things (aka "actually pack my hospital bag"), and be able to kiss the boys before we headed to the hospital. In tears, I called Brian, to let him know it was go-time.
We were on the way to the hospital an hour later. In relatively quick fashion, our daughter entered the world eight hours later after making her mama push for four hours.
We'd love to introduce you to Carson Elizabeth Word.
As with all of our children, her middle name is what holds the most meaning. Carson was a name that I have just loved and felt would fit well with our last name. Her middle name holds a sweet reminder of God's hand on her story.
If you have followed our story for any length of time, you know that adoption was always going to be a part of the way we formed our family. So much so, that after our first anniversary, we decided to start growing our family through adoption and biologically at the same time. Probably not the best plan, in hindsight, but it ended up that God intended for two little boys to join our family through international adoption and foster care first.
Over those three years of the adoption journey, we continued to try adding to our family biologically, but it just didn't happen. Initial tests didn't indicate any large concerns as to why pregnancy wasn't occurring and we had made the very personal decision early on in our marriage that we would not pursue in-depth fertility measures to help us get pregnant.
Yet, there were still moments when the tears and the questions came. As we watched our friends add one child and then another to their families, we were struggling in the wait. Brian and I were sitting in the deep unknown of the foster process, in a holding pattern with our international adoption, and reminded month after month that we could not conceive.
And then, in the spring of 2013, just after bringing Tyson home from the DRC, something happened that has not occurred in my life before. It was so crazy and abnormal that I didn't share it with anyone at that point, even Brian.
For one of the few times in my life, I heard very clearly from God. Not in a booming, fireworks in the sky kind of way, but in a whisper.
And it was that we would have another child when I was thirty-seven. This time it would be through pregnancy.
Like I said, weird beyond weird.
As I've shared before, I'm a natural cynic and a skeptic, but this was so clear and spoken so intimately to me that I didn't question it. I just held it close and clung to it tightly.
In the summer of 2013, a few months after all this happened, Brian and I sat on our couch and he asked when and if we should start the adoption process again. (Clearly, we were sleep deprived to be discussing this topic, with two under two boys at that point.) At that moment, through my tears, I shared with him the promise that the Lord had given to me. He listened and thankfully didn't question it, but I don't necessarily know that he quite believed it either.
Fast forward to this past February, when I walked out into our living room, wide-eyed and holding a positive pregnancy test.
We had just moved to a new state, into our new house that weekend, and were in the midst of one of the craziest times in our lives. And we were pregnant.
On October 14th, 2014, Carson Elizabeth Word was born. Her mama turned thirty-seven this past June.
Elizabeth means "God's promise," and we felt there was no better fitting middle name for our precious gift.
I'm continually in awe of the way God has woven the story of our family. Most days are hard and loud and chaotic, but they are so obviously orchestrated by the One who knows what we need.
Humbled and grateful for these three gifts.