Counting our love

There have been so many numbers involved in this entire process and we have literally been counting and measuring everything from the most literal to abstract ways.  Mary Grace was almost 31 weeks when she passed. I think it was 9 weeks total of this heartbreaking journey or 61 days.  She lived for 18 minutes.  She was 6 lbs, 4 ounces when she was born on a very special day, the 24th of April.  Her day is so significant to me because it is the same day of the month as my birthday September 24 and her sister is also the 24th…of August.   The boys in the family are 28’s- Tyler’s birthday is September 28 and William is December 28.  Mary Grace’s due date was June 28th, and she was going to be a planned c-section as my third, so it really made it less possible to keep her on the 24th, because we likely would have ended up delivering her before then.  
   Everything happened so fast this week or weekend (not sure how many days it’s been- lost count),  and it was very much about numbers.  We went from counting and measuring symptoms, labs, amounts of fluids- physical signs, not exactly knowing or expecting what might happen next.  The numbers that were being counted and measured suddenly began to spiral to scary levels and we found ourselves going from “hurry up and wait” status to just plain hurry.  I was rushed to surgery Friday night.  
   We never knew if we would get to meet Mary Grace, but we did.  They were some of the most amazing 18 minutes of our lives.  A common thing new parents think when they find out they are expecting a baby is along the lines of “oh my gosh, I will be in charge of another human being for the next 18 years!”   Then you realize it’s not just eighteen years that you have a child, it’s forever!   So eighteen minutes or eighteen years…whatever the difference, she is our forever daughter.
   Our whole family, who we have been counting on in every way for these past nine weeks, were here with us at the hospital.   Numbers continued to dominate this weekend, as Saturday I was taken to the ICU for 24 hours.  We are still at the hospital and have completely exhausted ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, but as a family we have definitely counted on each other and we will just take it one day at a time to regain some strength and healing.  Thank you to all of of you who are out there thinking of us and caring for our family. 

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