A week with our babe and how she got here

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Exactly one week ago (almost to the minute) Brian and I were in the hospital, awaiting the arrival of our sweet baby girl. 

Sometimes having a baby doesn't seem real until they come screaming into the world. And my oh my did this one come screaming. She immediately let us know that she was officially here. Her lungs were pretty impressive from the very moment she was born. Lucy Elizabeth was here. 

And since that moment, we have been forever changed. It's not because we have four kiddos now. We've had 4 kiddos before. It's more because she's ours, and she'll forever be a part of our messy, beautiful life. 

In the past year, our lives have changed more than we could have imagined. A year ago in August, my sister and I decided to follow through with genetic testing for BRCA 1 and 2. My mom is a carrier of both genetic mutations. On August 28, 2014, I received a phone call with my results. Just like my momma, I too have both mutations, BRCA 1 and 2. I'll never forget the way I felt in that moment. It wasn't scared. It was more like relief. Like I finally knew the truth about what I had always expected. That may sound morbid or weird, but it's how I felt. I knew it wasn't a mistake, and I knew that I was "fearfully and wonderfully made." None of it was an accident. 

That knowledge and the stark reality that came with the discovery is really the reason that our girl is here now. 

Our genetic counselor and my doctors laid out our options. As a BRCA 1 and 2 carrier, the statistics basically say you're going to get breast or ovarian cancer. So our counselors and doctors are encouraging a full hysterectomy and double mastectomy by the time I'm 35. 

That's a lot of information to process. Of course, we don't have to take that route and there are other options including high risk screening, which I've been a part of for the past year, but it was the knowledge of my mutation that really opened up the conversation of us having another baby now. 

We knew we wanted four, and a month after we found out about BRCA 1 and 2, we welcomed baby A into our home as our 3rd foster baby. He was 5 months old, and we fell in love. 

We were able to build a relationship with his mom and with the foster family who had his brother. With foster care, you never really know the end game. Will bio mom get the boys back? Will the boys go up for adoption? We weren't sure, but we were hopeful that bio mom would be able to get the boys back. 

In November, Brian surprised me a little get away weekend. It was that weekend when I asked the question, "We could have 6 right?" I wasn't serious but I was. What if baby A and his brother didn't go back to bio mom? Could we have one more of our own and take both the boys? 

I felt like I needed to know that we could do that if we needed to. I wasn't betting on it. We were for his momma, doing our best to be the bridge back to his mom. But I needed to know. 

And that night, we decided we were crazy enough to have 6 if that's what it came to. 

And now, here she is. It may not be the most romantic entry into the world, but we had this desire for another little girl. I'd dreamt about it. This sort of felt like our last chance at leveling the playing field at the Dalke house. 

 A week later, we don't have six babes in our house (I promise to update about baby A soon) but we have four. 2 boys. 2 girls. And one beautiful mess to come over the next 20 years. 

Baby Lucy, it's been one beautiful week. 

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