Friday, December 14, 2012

The Beginning: One Year Later

I’m a celebrationist. I love celebrating minor events with big excitement. Green milk and Lucky Charms on St. Patrick’s Day, a fabulous tea party for the Royal Wedding (big thanks to Aunt Katie/Nia for hosting that one) and don’t even get me started on the Olympics. Being a celebrationist also means reflecting on events from the past. It puts a smile on my face when I remember the Christmas season while living in the Gamma Phi house or seeing Nate walk into the party on the first night I met him.  With each year every date takes on a new meaning. 

On September 27, 2007 we closed on our first home. 

On August 11, 2011 Connor took his first step. 

On December 15, 2011 were told by doctors “we noticed a few abnormalities” at our 20-week ultrasound. 

Heading to our 20 week ultrasound (Apologies for this picture as I look horrible - no pregnancy glow here)

Each year every date takes on new meaning  . . . for better or worse.

As we wrote in the original introduction email to all our friends and family December 15, 2011 is a day we will never forget. On that day, we were pushed down a very long, dark, scary road with no direction just blind faith. Little by little that road became a tiny bit brighter and slightly less scary. I purposely did not reread our original post because I wanted my thoughts and feelings for 12/15/11 to be pure.

From what I remember Nate and I were scared. Extremely scared. That first day was such a shock we did not know where we would go from there. It did not seem real. I kept hoping everything would be fine. We had nothing to worry about. But deep down I felt it starting to bubble and I knew from those few words “noticed a few abnormalities” our lives were forever changed.

After attending Nate’s holiday party this past Thursday night it is still hard to believe we picked ourselves up to attend his party last year on the same day we received the news. In the hopes of not sounding annoying I am very proud of us. Some of our best friends were at the party with us that evening of December 15th and yet they had no idea we had spent hours that afternoon crying. Earlier in the day my friend, who was also pregnant, had genetic testing with the doctor we would soon get to know very well. “The doctor said everything was fine and we have nothing to worry about.” As she spoke those words I just kept thinking “will we hear those same words from the same doctor when we meet with him next week?”

Above all, the hardest part of the day was being around Connor. My thoughts kept drifting back to him and wondering how this would change his future. I cried thinking I might not be able to provide the life he deserved. Looking back now I realize how silly my thoughts were but it was understandable. On the 15th we knew there were potential challenges ahead but everything else remained a soon-to-be-uncovered mystery. It was quite overwhelming and scary.

I will never regret my feelings of sadness I felt on that first day (or any day after) because that is how people grow. Without those feelings I would never have known the glorious emotions I have experienced since seeing JD for the first time. As a celebrationist, these next few months will be very ceremonial as we remember where we were this time last year. (Yes, I will be writing blog posts about these special dates – sorry it’s what a celebrationist does). I don’t want to spoil the ending but I can say with 100% honesty if I had a chance to change anything or take away JD’s syndrome I would say “No, Thank You.” JD has added more experiences, joys, and love to our family than we would have ever predicted. On December 15, 2011, I could never imagine I would be blessed with the life I have now. That very long, dark, scary road is no longer dark or scary. It’s still very long but it is much brighter with unexplored opportunities ahead.

Sidenote: My friends think it is hilarious (and slightly ridiculous) that I am a self-proclaimed celebrationist. However, I think I have inspired a few more celebrationist in the group so it can’t be all bad.


  1. Hi Jenn! Just doing a little blog hopping this morning and came across yours. I would consider myself a celebrationist as well! I also have a toddler boy (turns 2 in a few weeks) and both of yours are precious. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  2. Glad you're back on the posting! Love you all!

  3. Rachel Lewandowski (friend of Jenna Daugherty)January 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    So happy to see an updated photo of JD! He looks fabulous and as always, your posts are thoughtful and inspiring. Happy New Year!