This summer is full of lots of fun and exciting events for us. Last month we went on a two week road trip to San Antonio, Texas to see my sister and her family. She has 4 children whom she homeschools and we got to spend every day but one with them. We spent that day with a friend of mine from elementary school and her family, it was nice to see her after all these years. This coming up weekend my little sister, Ana, is getting married and my girls and I are in the wedding. Next month is my own wedding, my sister and I have had fun planning our weddings together. Both are simple and small. August will bring our yearly trip to Seabreeze with the girls' Papa and his family for his birthday and September brings Nadia into her first year of homeschooling and a new baby! Even though it seems this pregnancy is by far the most long awaited and most exciting for all of us, we have refrained from making a public announcement to our friends and public. Unlike with Ella, I did not announce this pregnancy at my MOPS group this year, but as my belly grew I could see the wondering eyes. Even though my intentions were never to leave anyone out or hurt feelings, I am sure that some of my friends were left puzzled why I wouldn't announce. I guess the one thing I was hoping to avoid is the one thing that I never received from my group of friends. After Ella passed I started a group on facebook for my close friends, mostly close family and mommy friends from MOPS, and I titled the group "MOPS" even though they were not all MOPS friends. I used this group for myself and them to post things about Ella, put up poems, pictures, grieve and keep Ella fresh in mine and their minds without posting on my main stream page. Some time after I changed the group name from MOPS to ELLA. I do not know why I didn't start with that name, probably because just saying her name was difficult at that time in my life, but my reasoning for reaching out to my MOPS friends was because even though we have different opinions in life, I think we all agree that every life has purpose and meaning no matter what. It was after our hospital experience where I was severely damaged and heart broken that my own child was treated so harshly, like her life was not important, that I never wanted to hear those words or open that wound. I never heard anything but kindness and reminders that Ella is awaiting me in heaven and when I see her again we will never part. Upon everyone's discovery of my fourth pregnancy, I have been pleasantly surprised that I have not seen any of them look at me with pity and sorrow, only great excitement and encouragement. I do not consider myself "high-risk" even though some may, especially in the medical field, and I think the most annoying and ignorant question I am trying to avoid is "are you going to get tests done?" That question tells me three things 1- that whoever asks this does not know myself or Drew, not at all. I never got "the tests" done before, why would I get them now? 2- that the person knows very little, if anything, about Trisomy 18. Fact: Trisomy 18 is something that happens at conception, when the 23 chromosomes from the mother combine with the 23 chromosomes from the father, there is an extra 18th chromosome. Nothing before or during pregnancy is done to cause this to happen, it is referred to as a genetic mistake. IT IS NOT HEREDITARY! and 3- this question tells me that the person also does not know how inaccurate those tests are, another sad fact. Since Ella, I have had dozens, literally dozens, of people come to me and tell me they had the tests tell them they were carrying a baby with a "genetic problem" and were all asked to schedule abortions and ALL gave birth to a perfectly normal baby. The amniocentesis tests, which carries a risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications, is more accurate, but I do have a friend who had this done and it came up negative when there really was a problem. I guess the most important thing anyone should know about myself and Drew is that our child will be loved regardless of what society says or thinks. Love in our home is more than skin deep and all of our children are loved exactly the same. This time we are refraining from all sonograms, poking, and prodding and birthing our own child in the presence of love and intimacy, just the way God planned it to be.