13 Pavements

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On Having Babies

Let's talk about this belly right here.

This was yesterday at 23 weeks and some change.  I am reminded constantly by the movements of this little man that my body is not my own.  I'm starting to feel big all over despite my best efforts.  I hate this feeling but at the same time I love it and am so deeply grateful for it. It has been a long and complicated road even getting to this point so there is no way I couldn't be grateful.

Over a year ago, before we decided to start trying for another baby, Olivia's social worker expressed to me her very strong opinion about how The Husband and I shouldn't have any more children because it would "just be too much" with everything else Olivia has going on medically.  I sat there a little stunned that someone who hardly knew me could be so opinionated about something that was, quite frankly, none of her business. 

It wasn't the first time comments like this had been made, and it wouldn't be the last.  It's frustrating, to say the least.  And while the love and enthusiasm for our news has been amazing, I understand the concern.  It makes things a bit more complicated when you have a child with an extremely rare disorder.  I get it.  I, probably more than anyone, had intense fear about having more children.  And let me assure you, this decision was not a light-hearted one.  Prayer after prayer after prayer was said, we talked about it for hours and hours, we prayed some more, we fasted, we had some genetic testing done, we prayed again.  We received the same answer over and over again, it never changed or varied.  The Husband was steady and sure in his answer from the beginning.  It was me who needed time and faith to make me comfortable with what I already knew.

It was about a month after The Husband and I had genetic testing done last winter that we got the news that neither he or I were carriers of the gene mutation.  Our odds of having another child with the same disorder are only very slightly elevated above what they were before (which is only about 1%).  They are odds I am more than comfortable with and strangely I am more relaxed and at ease with this pregnancy than I would have thought.  We are at a point where we know what to expect with Olivia, we know what her treatments and surgeries are like for the foreseeable future, we feel like we have sure footing in life. 

I have a fierce case of PCOS.  So for me, getting and then staying pregnant has been hard this time around.  I found out I was pregnant in July.  Up to that point, there had been a lot of tears shed over fertility issues and the babies that were there and then suddenly weren't anymore.  So I am grateful every single day that this one stuck.  We only found out a few weeks ago that we are expecting a little boy.  Olivia has been saying it was her brother since the beginning.  Of course, she was right.  Of course she was.  We could not be more thrilled.

The truth is Olivia deserves a sibling.  She deserves to be a sister.  There are truths about Olivia's future that I won't talk about with anyone but my husband.  I won't.  And I feel that it is not my place to deny her an experience like this.  Nor is it my place to deny any family member, present or future, the right to know Olivia.  To know Olivia is to know that she is special.  Not just "she's my kid and I love her" special.  She is truly, know it in your bones, will change your life, special.  She has a lot to teach this little brother.

Life, though complicated, is good for us right now.  I can say that and mean it with my whole heart.  It's imperfect and we are trying our best, but we are happy.  We are bringing a baby into a happy and loving home with happy and loving parents.  We are capable of handling the worst of situations.  We don't fear the worst because we already know we can survive the unimaginable.  We are good parents.  We are.  I know this.  And I can think of no better situation to bring a child into than one like this.

1 comment:

  1. A couple of years ago in Sunday school, the teacher gave a lesson very similar to this. Her firstborn has Down's Syndrome and she was strongly advised not to have any more children. But I can tell you first hand, the two children she went on to have are incredibly caring, compassionate, non-judgmental, Christlike people. I know their strength of character was, is, largely defined by their big sister.

    Having my own special brother, I can tell you first hand that there are lessons he has taught me that I cannot put in to words; lessons beyond the mortal sphere. I am so, so happy for you. What a blessing your children will be to each other!