(A note from Mina)
A year ago today, I was staring blankly at a second thin pink line on a pregnancy test. Convinced it was a broken test, I took another one. Then another one. I immediately thought they were too faint to be real, so I went to bed, and retested again in the morning. Then a fifth time. That evening, at dinner, I sheepishly told Josh, "Um, I think I'm pregnant? But I'm not sure. Maybe it's just a hormone secreting tumor." My darling husband looked at me like I was somewhat crazy and said "Um, okay..." I was convinced it couldn't possibly be. Who gets pregnant on their first try?
That Saturday I took a sixth test (I know, I'm neurotic). No longer able to deny a big plus sign staring me in the face, I went to work in a bit of shock. My OB saw me, ordered a blood test, and there it was, confirmed. Pregnant. Me being one of "those" people, googled the level of HCG my result showed me. From what I saw online it was very high compared to what the charts said someone at 4 weeks and one day should be. Later that evening, after telling my sisters, Lucy joked that maybe I was having twins.
It's amazing how the events over 4 days one year ago can still seem so clear to me now. At times it feels like forever ago. At other times it's like it just happened. Josh and I have been through more in the past year than most people will see in a lifetime. We had just gotten back from our BIG trip to New Zealand. I finished nursing school, became a nurse. We both started new jobs. We moved to Annapolis. We had two sons. We lost one. We became part of the CHD community, whether we ever wanted to or not. We learned to cherish Noah more than ever, because we've been slammed with the alternative. It has been a rollercoaster with more tears than I care to admit. More heartache than anyone should ever have to know. But more also more joy than I had ever imagined.
I look back on that extra thin pink line and how my life changed instantly, in that moment. I can't say I regret a single part of what has transpired in the past year. Of course, I wish Charlie were still with us. I miss him and I hate that he suffered and fought so hard, and the passed away. But he has taught me so much, and filled me with so much love. And of course, without Charlie, there'd be no Noah.
So of course I am heartbroken. And still feeling like a part of me is missing. (It is.) But I look back on the past year and think, I am a lucky woman to have been blessed with such two amazing little boys, as well as an amazing husband. I'm a completely different person than I was 365 days ago, as is Josh. But everyday I hear throaty giggles or see a gummy grin flashing at me, or hear about how our story has made an impact, I know we are really and truly blessed. A year ago, I would have told you I could never survive what has happened - I would never make it through. But here I am. Still standing.
Indeed, one year does change everything.