Words from Friends

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

When I first found out I was pregnant, I immediately began a new tab on our bookmarks bar on our computer. This is the bar at the top of our screen, just under the internet address, where you can "bookmark" frequented websites. I started a new tab called "Baby Stuff." I put websites like Babies R Us, The Bump, April 2010 Birth Club, My Pregnancy Calendar, SafeFetus, Cribsheet Patterns, etc. In my free time, I'd browse various websites and add bookmarks to this new tab. I never imagined that by mid-way through my pregnancy I would be adding bookmarks like this: Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss, Poor Prenantal Diagnosis, Pearl's Story, Audrey Caroline, and Centering Corporation.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I used phrases like:
- On her first birthday
- nursery decor
- late night feedings
- developmental milestones
All normal, warm fuzzy things that every new mom dreams of day in and day out.

I started to make decisions about:
- breastfeeding or bottle feeding
- cloth diapering or not
- cry it out or answer each peep
- natural birth or epidural
Not really life or death issues, but just as important to this first time mom who just wants to do everything right.

When we found out Whitney was sick, our vocabulary phrases quickly changed to phrases like:
- incompatible with life
- chromosomal genetic abnormality
- extreme medical intervention
- autopsy
Words I never dreamed I would associate with my first (and only?) unborn child.

In the weeks since we found out about Whitney's multiple conditions, we've had to make decisions about:
- terminate or not (lucky for us, this was a no-brainer, but none the less a difficult thing to face)
- amniocentesis or not
- carry to term or not
- switch doctors of not
- should we do more tests or not
We've never faced this before, and literally everything is left up to Sean and I to decide. While I am grateful that we have total say in our baby's life, it is difficult to know what to do, being in such uncharted territory. One thing I've learned is that there is not always a simple yes or no to any given situation. There's always a little nuance somewhere that throws a loop into each decision to be made.

Though we are facing such foreign circumstances and often feel like we are just drowning in a sea of the unknown, on thing that God is faithful in doing is bringing people into our paths to lift us up.

I had a meeting at work today with some colleagues I will be partnering with on a major endeavor. Throughout the course of our (long) meeting, I received 5 phone calls from different doctors, hospitals and nurses. Each phone call presented a new direction for my pregnancy care, a new person to talk to and consult with, and a decision that had to be made on one thing or another. Luckily, the women I was meeting with were very gracious and understanding of the interruptions.

Throughout our meeting, they shared with me several different gems of phrases that brought peace and strength to me. The biggest thing I came away with from them is don't limit God. I do believe that God will heal Whitney. I know it may not be in the way I want it to, but he will heal her. And for right now, I am believe that at this very moment he is healing inside of my womb. Whether or not that is really happening I have to wait and see... but either way, God is still God. Its not my job to determine the outcome... its just my job to believe he can do it.

One of the things shared with me was about a Jewish tradition... in Jewish tradition, there is an unspoken principle that whenever a visitor crosses the threshold of a friend's house, they are submitting to the owner of the home-- a respect thing. But in return, the owner of the home is giving his protection to his visitor. The same is true on our journey with God... when God opens a door and we cross that threshold, we are in submission to Him. However, God is promising His protection in return. God has graciously opened the door for Sean and I to become parents. And as He always does, he has promised us protection. Of course I know protection doesn't mean freedom from pain, for we live in a fallen world. Over and over in the Psalms, we are reminded that the Lord is our shield, our rock, our fortress, our deliverer. And I am claiming that for us as we are on this journey.

Finally, my friends and colleagues remidned me that God has purposely entrusted us with the life of Whitney Jill because He knows our (Sean's and myself's) hearts and he knew we would make the right decisions regarding her life... he knew that we would love her with all our might until His mission for her is accomplished. Her name is already written in the Book of life, and therefore, I believe He has a plan for her. I am honored that God is allowing us to parent Whitney and love on her for as long as we can. That is what is going to make the next weeks and months possible for us.

Sean started the tradition of celebrating St. Nick's day last year. Its something he did as a kid. As Sean was getting out the stockings and filling mine with candy and a gift, we were both hurting with the knowledge that our daughter may never have her own stocking, or open a St. Nick's gift. That saddens me, and it hurts. But we've decided to include Whitney in our Christmas traditions this year. It may be the only Christmas we have with her, so we want to make the most of it. I know that all of this is really more for Sean and I, but that's ok.

Alright... enough for now... time for hot chocolate and a little TV catch up. :-)

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