The beautiful Brett Castro and her daughter Blanca (8.5 months). Brett is also 16 weeks pregnant with baby number two. Brett had a roller coaster first pregnancy. Before she knew she was pregnant she found herself in the ER with severe cramping and they did a pregnancy test that came back negative. They followed up with a blood test that confirmed pregnancy but a very low HCG levels. She had to have her levels tested every two days and when she was 6-7 weeks pregnant she got a call from a nurse saying that her level was not doubling correctly and she was going to miscarry. Brett and her husband had been trying to get pregnant and the women in her family have a difficult time conceiving so it was heartbreaking to her. No one in her family had ever miscarried so she didn't know where to go for support. Luckily, her doctor did another HCG level check a week later and found that her numbers were looking really good. She felt like she went into all of her prenatal appointments and ultrasounds with held breath that something was going to go wrong but Blanca continued to look good. At 26 weeks, Brett was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Thankfully, they were able to get everything under control. At 31 weeks, she went in for a check up and her blood pressure was through the roof and she was put on bed rest due to signs of preeclampsia. A week and a half later she was hospitalized on bed rest and a few days later her liver started attacking her body and Blanca was delivered via emergency cesarean, at 33 weeks 2 days. Thankfully, she was given steroid injections the week prior to speed the development of Blanca's lungs and she was born healthy and crying. They were initially told Blanca would be in the NICU for at least 30 days but she was able to come home after just 12. She has GERD but is otherwise healthy. Brett was unable to breastfeed due to her milk never fully coming in and her struggle with postpartum depression. She chose to be on medication so that she could be mentally healthy to care for her daughter. Brett's current pregnancy was a huge surprise and wonderful blessing for her family. There is some concern that the baby has marginal cord insertion but she won't know with certainty until they have an ultrasound next week. Because they were given such dismal prognosis with Blanca's pregnancy and everything worked out wonderfully, they are optimistic that this baby will be strong and healthy as well.
**Recently, Brett mentioned to her husband that Blanca's is always happy. He responded, "Don't you see that she's always happy, because WE are happy?!". I feel that sentiment shines so strongly in this image.