On September 14, 2003 I gave birth to my first child; a daughter named Jenessa Michelle Shumway. She weighed one pound, two ounces. I was 23 weeks along. The doctors at Utah Valley Medical Center explained to us that babies are not considered viable outside the womb until 26 weeks. I have seen some miracle babies that have survived, but Jenessa only lived and breathed for one hour and then her tiny lungs gave out and she passed away.
Today, exactly ten years later, I am 23 weeks pregnant with Jenessa's little brother, David. I can't help but reflect on such a strange coincidence.
Almost nothing about my pregnancy with David has been the same as with Jenessa: I live in a different state, I'm not juggling a pregnancy, a job and school at the same time, I feel super healthy as opposed to super sick, I am surrounded by family and I feel prepared for what pregnancy/labor/motherhood is all about. I am a new woman with a whole new outlook than when I was 23 years old.
I forgive myself for what I didn't know and couldn't understand at 23.
I believe everything that happens in our life happens in a divine right order. There are lessons we as individuals need to learn and they can be learned in no other way. I believe a kind and loving Father in Heaven sends us what we need exactly when we need it.
Baby David is doing great. Because I have "high-risk pregnancies" I have an ultrasound every two weeks. Every two weeks my doctors tell me some variation of the same thing, "Everything looks great, see you in two weeks." I'm grateful for their expert attention, which brings me peace and comfort, especially during this twenty-third week. Perhaps there is a little guardian angel watching over me and David as well.