September 10, 2017

Meet Sweet MJ

Three months and three days ago I announced that I was pregnant. Three months and two days ago today I gave birth to a baby girl. Allow me to introduce to you


Miriam Joan
8lbs 6oz
21" long

delivered via planned c-section at 39 weeks. 
She is named for our Blessed Mother, Miriam being a form of the name Mary, and Moses' sister who led the Israelites in songs of praise after crossing the Red Sea. She is also named for St. Joan of Arc and Travis' dear Grandma Joan.


Miriam's life was another unexpected gift from God. I must tell you that as soon as I got the positive pregnancy test I smiled. It was the biggest, dopiest grin. I was a bundle of nerves and wondered what Travis would think and feel but I quickly told the baby, "I love you," and hoped to God that she would be a girl. 

All through that autumn day I would send Travis a text or tell him something and end every sentence in my head with "I'm pregnant." I was afraid he might be worried or upset so I was incredibly nervous to tell him.

"Please pick up some buns on the way home. (I'm pregnant.)"

"How was work today? (I'm pregnant.)"

"Can you have the kids set the table? (I'm pregnant.)"

And finally, after dinner but before bedtime, when the kids were playing outside in the cool evening I said to him, "I'm pregnant." 

He laughed.

I thought he might have thought he heard me say "I'm pregnant" when really he just knew I said something else so I said it again. "I'm pregnant. I took the test this morning and I'm pregnant." I was shaking and laughing from nervousness but he smiled at me from his spot on the sofa and said, "This is good news."

And it really, really was. 

I laughed and cried and felt such relief and joy. And I hoped she'd be a girl.

The first trimester brought bi-weekly progesterone injections. We never bought alcohol wipes but used vodka to sanitize my hip and I watched highlight videos from the Graham Norton Show while Travis did the injections.  It wasn't my favorite thing - okay, I was super nervous because those needles are huge and the whole process takes awhile - but of course I would do it a million times over for my baby.

On Christmas morning we finally told the kids and our families. After morning Mass my grandpa, uncle, and parents came over. We feasted on bacon and cinnamon rolls and then opened gifts. The last present to be opened was Thomas' - a "Little Brother" onesie with 'little' crossed out and "Big" written above it. L was ecstatic. Ben was worried about having another kid to destroy his things. The others were too busy with their toys. But my mom was thrilled and she too laughed. When we saw Travis' family later that day they too were all hugs, smiles, and congratulations.

We never said anything online, though there were many times I wanted to, but we opted from the very beginning to only tell friends and family who would be happy for us. With Tee's pregnancy there was a lot of hurtful things said to us and we didn't want anyone to ruin the pregnancy for us, to steal our joy. In fact, this is the only picture I took of my bump - a super bad selfie in my bedroom mirror just hours before she was born - because I was otherwise trying to hide the pregnancy in photos.


 But I've learned something in the meantime: by not telling people we still let those meanies steal our joy. I'm sad that I wasn't able to share my daughter's life with people from the very beginning. I'm sad that we have been so hurt by comments and opinions that we let those jerks control our lives. Our daughter is a precious gift from God and I am sad that I didn't get to proudly share the good news of our great gift from the very beginning.

Miriam's pregnancy was tough and not necessarily because of the pregnancy but because my life was crazy. Sickness, my grandpa's death, Travis' grandpa's death, hard times with the IEP, and then learning that L had two congenital heart defects and needed open heart surgery - remember? - it was a lot. 

And then just to make things extra fun, the day before the c-section things went a little crazy. L had a follow-up appointment with her cardiologist, first thing in the morning and while I was still in my bedroom the kids were in the kitchen fixing their breakfasts. JF went to take his daily allergy pill but instead of taking his pill he took my pill - the one for my gestational diabetes. L went to the cardiologist and JF went to the emergency room. There we were told he would have to stay overnight. "Okay. Good plan," I said. "One thing: tomorrow morning I'm supposed to have a c-section. How do you think we can work that out?" 

In a complicated scheme Travis stayed the night with JF and I woke up bright and early to drive myself to the hospital. In the meantime, my mom was at our house with Ben, Jofis, and Tee and Resa and L were at our friend Katie's home. As I got my IV Katie and the girls arrived to hang out with JF on the Peds floor while Travis came across the hospital to be with me. Once MJ and I were comfortably in our room Trav left us to bring the already discharged JF, Katie, and the girls to meet their baby sister. After their visit Katie and the girls went back to her house and our dear friend Joel came to the hospital to take JF home for us. People, it takes a village!

In the three months that she's been here things have been so good. It feels like we are finally out the thick of things, our life has calmed down and we are happy. She is the sweetest babe - a girl!!! and with red hair to boot!!! I love that I have a little ginger baby and I hope her hair stays its sweet strawberry blonde coloring and her eyes remain their pretty shade of blue. 


I'll write her birth story later - she's just woken from a nap - but here's the birth announcement three months late. Miriam Joan, whom we call MJ, was born. Thanks be to God from Whom all blessings flow.

19 comments:

  1. What a sweet, sweet babe. I'm so glad we can celebrate her with you! Also, it was the most epic "I'm pregnant...sort of...I WAS pregnant" announcement on the internet...ever.

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  2. Ok, I'm glad you explained this because I looove your blog and when you announced her birth, I could not figure out how I missed the news, lol! She is absolutely lovely! And I'm so glad all of you are doing well. Hugs to you and your family :)

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    1. Same! I felt so silly that I didn't know, and then looked back through everything and realized you didn't want us to know! She's a doll and I'm glad you are all feeling in a good family rhythm. I admit that I've often felt like not telling anyone about a pregnancy until the baby is born (just to avoid all the comments) but I seriously start showing as soon as the test is positive...soooo....no hiding it!

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  3. Congratulations! She is beautiful and I was so surprised, but happy, to learn of her birth. I hope you can just not let any of the comments bother you but also not be upset about your decision to keep quiet. All that matters is that she is here and healthy and you all adore her and having her in your family is a great blessing!

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  4. Such a pretty baby!! Love redheads!!

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  5. She is beautiful and pracious and wonderful.

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  6. Such wonderful news and I'm sorry the joy of sharing your pregnancy was taken away from you by ridiculous people. You have so many supporters who will celebrate each baby you are given. She is a beautiful baby!

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  7. She is beautiful. Congratulations. And while I'm so sorry for your reasons for keeping this on the dl, I am pretty stoked to read this surprise this morning.

    I had a ginger baby once too. Still ginger, but he's almost four. I like to tell him "you'll always be my baby, even if you're a big boy." Which is actually super confusing to him but I don't care, I mean it with all my heart. I LOVE having a red haired child. He looks just like himself.

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  8. She's got such big, blue eyes! I am happy to hold and snuggle her at Nell's house ;)
    What a lil beauty!

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  9. She is so sweet and beautiful and delicious. I had been wondering if you might be from a picture you posted on Instagram awhile back. Turns out you were! :) But she's here and she's precious and healthy and congrats again!

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  10. I don't know what people could have possibly said to you because I think you and your family are amazing but ces la vie. Don't let them get to you, they suck. And congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!

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  11. Congratulations! What a beautiful little girl, may God richly bless her and your whole family.

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  12. MJ is so gorgeous, Bonnie! I am just a random follower, but have really been struck by the delight you take in your children over on IG. I am so sorry for the past rude people, and am so happy MJ has such a wonderful family to grow up in. A delayed congratulations on her birth!

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  13. She has the sweetest, little face! She's such a blessing, Bonnie!

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  14. Congratulations again! She's perfect! I think I have told you before how happy I am with every pregnancy announcement (of yours or anyone's). I just love new life coming into this world! We should get our baby girls together someday, I haven't seen you in too long!

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  15. Welcome, MJ! You are so, so wanted!

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