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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tyler's Baptism

"The older you get the more you realize that it isn't about the material things, or pride, or ego. It's about our hearts and who they beat for." -R.A.

Nothing could have prepared me for that moment 8 incredibly short years ago. You read about it, you see it in movies, your mother tells you it's the most amazing thing in the world...but the reality of the miracle you're apart of can't possibly be understood until you experience it yourself for the first time.

Dr. Berry grabbed, what looked like a ketchup dispenser, off the medical table to his left and squirted cold, gooey, gel on my butterfly filled stomach. He gabbed on and on about the next marathon he was training for as he nonchalantly placed the heartbeat monitor right on top of the globby mess, squishing the ultrasound gel around my entire abdomen. At just 8 weeks pregnant I could barely breathe with anticipation and kept my eyes locked on his as he ran the hand monitor back and forth, around and around in what seemed to be pointless circles. I added an "uh-huh" and a meaningless head nod every few seconds as he rambled on, hoping my eyes weren't betraying me; giving away the fears I had tried to lock away discreetly in my heart. In a sudden moment I saw his eyes shift down, his brows furrowed together, and the description of his morning run in the mountains came to an awkward halt. I strained my ears listening for whatever it was that had caused this change in behavior and heard...nothing.

He moved the monitor a few more times without a word and looked off into the corner of the heavy room avoiding my pleading gaze. Every fear I had taken time to lock away so securely came roaring to the surface taking over every emotion in my body leaving me a vulnerable pile of heartbreak, the key dangling from the doctors hand. My heart was beating so where was the beat of the heart whom my heart would spend the rest of its life beating for? Was my life not enough to give life to another? He left the room explaining that this was "totally normal"... "don't worry"... and he'd "be right back". That was the first moment I ever worried about you Tyler. The first time I REALLY understood that life is precious and not to be taken for granted. The first time I knew that it wasn't about material things, but about my heart and about your heart. About the healthy, overflowing, cared for heartbeats of ALL those we love.

Dr. Berry, thankfully, turned out to be right. I had been SO sick for several weeks so we had gone in for our first doctor's visit earlier than the 12 week appt they typically want you to come in at. Because I wasn't very far along the doctor couldn't pick up your heartbeat on his small hand-held monitor. He brought in a bigger ultrasound machine, got me all hooked up in a few minutes, and sure enough there you were right there on the screen. A tiny little squiggle that resembled a peanut more than a human but it was the most beautiful image I had ever seen in my life. Although at that appt I couldn't HEAR your heartbeat, they could monitor it on the screen and they said it was perfect. You were perfect. Tears poured down my cheeks as I watched the little heart symbol on the screen beat over and over and over. Rhythmically, steadily, fast, and constant it continued to beat, and I remember sitting there watching you on the screen in awe at how much I could already love you.

As I sat next to you this afternoon at your baptism, an 8 year old goofball that loves to read, write, create science experiments, study snakes and volcanoes and dinosaurs, spend quality one on one time with people you love, hang out with your friends and play on the wii, I sat in awe again at how much I love you. As I held your hand and listened to grandma give her talk on baptism, you glanced up at me with a little nervousness in your eyes and smiled. I squeezed your hand and as you squeezed back I could feel your little heart beating in your fingertips and was reminded of this experience I had, wanting so badly to hear your heart beat for the first time not so long ago. I'm so proud of the choice you made to get baptized today and am thankful for your example to me of kindness, love, compassion, and not taking life too seriously!

Years from now when you look back on your baptism day you probably won't remember everything that was said, who all was in attendance, or the gifts you received, but I hope you will remember the spirit that you felt. The light and happiness that surrounded you as took that important step. The outpouring of love from family and friends who support you. The feelings that were in your heart. Always, always follow your heart. Pray for guidance over the choices you make and remember that no matter what, there is always a way back. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you. They know you personally and as you take the time to develop a personal relationship with your Savior, you will feel His love surround you and gain that testimony for yourself. We love you so much and are so happy you're in our family!

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