The featured image is one of my favorites. Brand new baby Blake in Daddy’s arms.
I’ve been taking even more pictures than I used to. The other night I started going through them. I had just ordered hundreds more to add to the stacks of pictures I still have to sort through. I was really good about putting pictures of Kenley in an album. The album stayed current, at least until Blake was born. I had big plans and the best of intentions when I ordered the prints. They would come in the mail; now, instead of going into an album, they become more stacks.
When I finally started to sort through them, the first thing I pulled out was an envelope. It wasn’t labeled and I didn’t know what was inside. I opened it up and saw my first ultrasound pictures of Blake. I was quickly taken back to a time of excitement. It’s amazing, how a picture can take you right back to the feeling at that moment. I remember that first ultrasound so vividly. Jeff and Kenley were with me. Kenley was so little, she was drinking a bottle. She was wearing the cutest pair of pants; they were lavender, with thin little stripes and a bird on the buns. All three of us looked at the screen in awe. Obviously, Kenley’s awe was different than ours! Blake was bouncing around in there, looking like a little gummy bear.
That was the first time I heard someone call Kenley a big sister. I remember thinking how silly that sounded, since she was still a baby herself. Jeff was so excited to see the heartbeat. His face was the same with every ultrasound we had with both of our girls; smiling, ear to ear, the entire time. Really, it was just the best day.
Sometimes- well, most times- it’s a struggle to remember life before SMA. Even before Blake wasn’t officially diagnosed, I always felt something wasn’t right. From the day she was born, there really wasn’t a time when I wasn’t worried about her. Those ultrasound pictures take me back the very beginning of my pregnancy. My thoughts were focused on things like napping in the car during my lunch break, or what life would be like as a family of four; which crib to pick out and how to create another nursery in our house.
Now I have to think about hard and awful things. I wish – so hard – I could go back to when I didn’t know what SMA was; back to a time when I was consumed with choosing another baby name. Those memories are pure joy. They aren’t tainted with, “Will this be the last time?” or “I wish…”
I hope the memories we’re making now won’t feel tainted in the future. I’m going to keep capturing them because I try to tell myself that later on the joy will shine through the pain.
I’m glad a picture can take me back to before all the hurt. Right now, I need that.