I found out on a beautiful spring day that I was pregnant with Shterna. I had my three little children in the car with me, and we were on our way home from grocery shopping. In my grocery bag, along with produce, was a pregnancy test. As IIn my grocery bag was a pregnancy test was driving with the window open for the first time in months, I saw a sign that I had seen many times before. It said “Scenic Byway.”

A quick glance at the back seat reassured me that the children were happily spaced out, enjoying their music, so I decided to take the detour.

I meandered through the beautiful backroads of Boyds, Maryland, feeling grateful that we had finally settled in the area we’d loved to call home, and that it was such a beautiful place.

There is nothing that makes me look forward to the future more than the thought of a new life, and I was full of optimism as I imagined what the next few years would be like with our new baby.

As the months went by, and the weather got hotter and stickier, we received news about our baby. Ultrasounds showed that our little baby had a blockage in her stomach and holes in her heart, and likely had Down syndrome.

My husband and I alternated between feelings of grief, numbness and anger. We packed up our lives to move away from this place that had held so much promise for our growing family, not knowing if or when we’d be back. The months that followed our daughter’s birth were full of doctor’s visits, ambulance rides, hospital stays, and a lot of stress and worry. We operated in crisis mode, and didn’t have much time to think.

This week the weather has been beautiful again. Walking home with my children, Shterna snuggled up in the Moby Wrap and breathing peacefully against my chest and the bigger children holding hands and skipping happily ahead, I noticed that I was feeling the sunshine inside my heart as well. My eyes welled up with tears of joy as I realized that I am once again looking forward to the future. We alternated between feelings of grief, numbness and anger

Little did I know, on that day last year when I took the scenic route, that it would turn into a metaphor for the rest of my life. Our sweet Shterna is taking us on the scenic route through life. Although there have been a few unexpected twists and turns on the way, the scenery leaves me breathless. Each smile, giggle and hug is noticed, and often photographed, and I hope to always be able to slow down and savor everything that G‑d brings our way.