Meeting her was surreal. When they laid her on me and I met her for the first time on this side of the ultrasound machine, all I could think was that God knew I needed her and knew the world needed to know of His miracles.
I was worried I wouldn't love her like I do Henry. Not because of her complications but because I didn't know how to love like that times 2. But I do. I hold her hand and stare at her and...love her. I fell in love with Henry in a way I didn't know...the way a mother loves a child. I fell in love with AnnLouise in a new way...in a way I didn't know God loved us. His miracle in her life has given me a new understanding and focus for His absolute love of us.
We got some time with her before she was sent to NICU. We tried to get Henry to be interested in her, but he mostly picked his nose. Finally, he did give her some kisses, but our only picture as a family of 4 was of him screaming. Oh, memories.
Once she headed up to NICU, we knew Henry wouldn't be able to see her again until we went home. Cash and I and our parents have been able to spend time with her as she receives her care. Henry is getting lots of grandparent time. I don't think he will be ready for his vacation to be over!
I wanted to let you all know that our sweet, baby girl is here. She's handling life well so far. Once we know the complete picture of her diagnosis and steps forward, I will update. Right now we are working to get all the specialty teams together. Your prayers for our sweet miracle and our decisions as parents are appreciated. We knew this would be a new stage in this journey once she was here, but nothing prepares you for what you will face. I need strength to speak up, ask questions, and to be her voice. Please pray for that.
Thank you to everyone who has sent messages. We read every single one. Sometimes I read them repeatedly. Thank you to Webb City Baptist Church who sent the most beautiful flowers--you all show God's love so well, and it was felt in Houston, Texas yesterday! Thank you to the Bonner family who has visited and prayed with us this week--what a beautiful orchestration God ordained in giving us long time friends at a time and place where it was desperately needed. Thank you to so many like the group in Hot Springs who held a prayer vigil for her. Thank you to our parents who watch Henry, visit AnnLouise, and keep our heads up when we want to sit and cry. And thank you to our silent prayer warriors. You all have prayed for AL and for us so much. We truly have felt it. Your continued prayers are coveted as we transition into the unknown.