Greer- alert, watchful.
Greer was a top choice for a name. Josh’s favorite singer songwriter is Gregory Alan Isakov and Greer is the female version on the name Gregory. If you have never heard the song “Time Will Tell”, you should listen. So good. I was leaning towards that name the whole time I was pregnant, but we didn’t name her until the day we said goodbye to her.
We had been trying to get pregnant for 3 months. We knew as soon as we got engaged that expanding our family needed to happen sooner rather than later. Stella had been begging for a baby and as much as Josh and Stella are incredibly bonded, the greatest gift I wanted to give him in this lifetime was a baby of his own.
I had a feeling at work one day I was pregnant, so I rushed home to take the test. I went upstairs and got the +sign. I shared the test with Josh and we cried in the kitchen hugging each other. The last couple years of each of us struggling to find our way to each other all made sense. This is what we came together for. Creating life.
Anyone that knows me, knows I am a planner. And that I do everything by the book. I have always been healthy. I danced my whole life. I was eating my greens, taking my prenatal vitamins..I have never tried a drug. I make sure I get enough sleep. I have probably read every article on having a healthy pregnancy. I opted for every test being pregnant, saying YES to every screening available to me. I was very well versed in the reality of things that can go wrong due to the nature of the profession I was in. I saw the heart break every day in families who were caring for adults with severe disabilities. I had awareness. Every time my doctor told me things were “perfect” I celebrated and breathed a sigh of relief.
The day had finally arrived for our 20 week scan. While we were in the waiting room, my mom and Josh both were placing bets on the gender, talking about how this is like Christmas morning. I quickly said “The main point of this is to take a hard look at the baby and make sure everything is good, so we need to remember that.” I felt like a downer, but again, I was being realistic. Or maybe it was instinct. Stella wasn’t with us, but I wanted to share the gender with her as soon as I could. The first thing the tech told us was “It’s a girl!”. Sisters. A dream come true. From having my own sister, who is my best friend, I started imagining all the things they would do together. I looked at Josh and jokingly said “There’s daddy’s little princess!” I called Stella. We both cried. It was one of the highest highs. We all started texting people elatedly. The tech proceeded with the rest of the scan, never giving a sign that anything was wrong. She flicked the lights on, asked me to sit up and then told me there were some “concerns”: She wasn’t able to see the left arm or hand and that we would have to wait 3 hours to see the high risk doctor.
I immediately knew I was going to lose her. I tried to stay hopeful. I tried to play if off to Josh and my mom that maybe she was just laying on her arm, but I knew. We saw the high risk doctor and he confirmed her arm wasn’t there.
Amniotic Band Syndrome. The equivalent to getting struck by lightening, getting hit by a car, or your plane crashing. This is not genetic, this isn’t’ something I could have prevented. And it wasn’t JUST her arm. I will save the horrific details of what this means for a baby, but Greer’s outcome for life (if she didn’t die soon after that appointment) was not something I was willing to set her up for. This also wasn’t a miscarriage. Josh and I had to make a decision about our daughter’s life. Keep in mind I grew up Catholic and pray each night. Josh started his PHD at Princeton in Theology and for most of his adult life was on track to be a pastor. This decision had us questioning ourselves and God. WHY.
We now have a beautiful angel near. She is alert and watchful. She is our daughter, Greer. And our WHY is to help others. It is our mission.