I feel Catherine every day now. Since she is not as big as her gestational age suggests, it has taken longer for me to feel her more regularly. She pushes against my stomach with her feet or her head or her back for long stretches of time. These little daily jabs, kicks, and head butts are absolutely wonderful feelings to experience. They are little love taps from our baby. It makes me feel even more connected to her than we already are. I find myself talking to Catherine more. I noticed I engage Madeline in conversations about her little sister more regularly. Madeline started kissing my belly and saying, “Hi Baby,” which is music to our ears. Wayne is able to feel and see Catherine’s movements. Our family of four is bonding and connecting on a new level like we would with a typical pregnancy and it feels really great.

One day it hit me, “I finally get it!”

Karen, our Fetal Care Team nurse coordinator, has been saying from the beginning of this journey that she wants us to enjoy this pregnancy. I have been privately frustrated by these remarks. Why would she say that when she knows what the end of this pregnancy means?

But I FINALLY understand what Karen has been saying to us. Now that I can feel Catherine’s movements more regularly I AM enjoying this pregnancy. As a family, we are celebrating and bonding with Catherine. We have no idea how long Catherine will be with us. We have to cherish every little moment with her. And we are. She is not a diagnosis. She is our daughter. She is Madeline’s little sister. We are a family of four.

Thank you, Karen, for encouraging us to enjoy this time with Catherine. It feels good to find the joy in this time together for we do not know how long it will last.