Grace On Rainbow

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One Day can Change a Life Forever

There are those days in our lives when we look back and they define where our lives go from there.  I have had many of those days in my life.  Sometimes, I feel too many.  However I would not change or remove any of those times because I would not be where I am and who I am today if it were not for each one of them.  

May 16, 2012 was one of those days.  I remember sitting in the hospital room waiting for Bobby to get back from taking our "little guys" to school.  It was just me and Will - one of those rare moments I knew I would not get many of.  It was hard to believe that less than 24 hours ago, he had been turning and kicking inside my tummy.  I was already missing that part, but I was also excited to see what God had in-store for this little guy.  

As I sat there, I remember looking down at him as he was lying next to me on the hospital bed and for a split second I thought, "He looks like he has Downs".  It was his neck.. . it looked so "thick" and then something with his eyes. A moment of fear gripped my heart, but then I realized how foolish it was - he looked just like Avery did . . . narrow face, almost bald, and skinny long arms.  When Bobby came in a few hours later, he was holding Will and I noticed it again.  I said, "Don't take this wrong, but I think he looks like a Downs baby."  "No, he looks just like Avery"  he said.  Nothing more was said . . . not another thought was given. 

A few hours later Will was taken off to do his "procedure".  A luxury little girls do not have to endure :-)  Bobby's mom and dad had gotten to the hospital with Noah and were waiting for him to be brought back to the room.  The doctor came wheeling him in and he was sound asleep . . . our amazing miracle . . . our answer to a 9 year prayer.  Then the doctor said that she would like to discuss some things with us and asked if we wanted Bob's parents in the room.  Not giving it much thought, we nodded, after all we have had a little boy before and knew what to expect.  She first began telling us that everything went well with the "procedure" and that they had given him some Tylenol so he would be pretty sleeping.  Then she did something unexpected.  She reached over and laid her hand on top of mine which was resting on Will's bassinet.  My heart sank.  There was something wrong. 

"I want to talk to you about some things that I noticed during his examination" she began.  She proceeded to tell us of all these signs . . .  a straight crease across one of his hands, the slight almond shape of his eyes, the top of one of his ears that was bent over, the pinky that curved in, the low muscle tone.  "These are all indications of Down Syndrome.  Did you suspect anything during your pregnancy?"  I shook my head. 

I don't know if you have ever been at a place in your life when it seems time truly stands still and you are faced with a horrible unknown darkness.  This moment was one of those moments.  I looked up at Bobby whose face was stoic and unchanging.  I knew he was trying to take it all in just as I was.  I told her about what I had mentioned to Bobby earlier that morning and I began to feel the tears coming.  I didn't want to cry.  I wouldn't cry.  I remember seeing my mother-in-law out of the corner of my eye and was wondering what they were thinking.  Down Syndrome. . . how could God give us a child with Down Syndrome?  

The doctor finished by letting us know that they could not be sure unless they did a chromosome analysis - so blood work was done and sent off and the waiting began.  

Test after test . .. hearing test, EKG, echo cardiogram, another hearing test, oxygen level test, temperature after temperature, another hearing test.  Through it all he was such a content little guy who hardly made a noise.  

I remember sitting in the hospital room crying every time I would look at him.  Maybe they were wrong . . . he did look like Avery and she doesn't have Down Syndrome.  My hopes would rise because I didn't always see it.  Maybe they were mistake.  Nurses came in and talked to us, sharing information about Down Syndrome . . . about organizations that we could talk to . . . about First Steps and early intervention . . . and I felt myself getting angry.  Why is everyone treating him like he has Downs.  We haven't even gotten the test results back.  I remember wanting to scream "There is still a possibility that they are wrong and he doesn't have it and I'm not giving up that hope." 

Bobby wrote Romans 12:2 on the white board in my room. . . 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I was and am so thankful for God's word because when you are in the midst of a trial it is sometimes, often times, the only truth that you can cling to.  Will was not ours, but God's and God's will for our life is perfect . . . just as Will is perfect.  Yet, it was still difficult to remember that at times.      

We went home with lots of information, appointments, and contacts.  

Those first few days were so difficult.  I wanted to find out everything I could about Down Syndrome, what was his life going to be like "if he had it"?  What were we suppose to do next? There were just too many unanswered questions.  Yet here is were information can be costly.  Sometimes we look for answers in the pages of the internet instead of the pages of God's word.  Down Syndrome, like so many other things, has such a wide scope.  No two cases are exactly the same.  Yet, we begin to obsess over information until we find the answers and sometimes those answers are not what we want to hear.  I began to grieve for Will and the life he wouldn't have as I read all the "statistics".  He would never father children, he will have a shorter life expectancy, he may become deaf . . . on and on I searched.  Until I realized that by grieving for what Will wouldn't have I never could rejoice for what he does and will have.  God created him perfectly and in His image to say that Will was less than that was to say that God was mistaken in His plan for Will.  

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right.
Psalm 139:14

A few days later our pediatrician called to let us know about some other lab work that had been drawn and was hopeful that we should receive the results from the chromosome analysis in a week or so.  However, once again God had another plan. Bob walked into our bedroom where I was sitting feeding Will and I knew there was something, another one of those moments.  I sat there saying a praying, "Dear God, let me accept whatever he is going to tell me.  I know that you are in charge of our lives.  God give me the strength that I need to hear these words."  

"The doctor called me.  She got the results from Will's test and he does have Downs".  Tears just flowed.  I couldn't stop them.  I knew in my heart that he did.  I knew from the first moment I thought it, but now it was my reality.  It was a reality that I didn't want to truly face.   He continued on, "He has the most common  Downs, Trisomy 21."  Tears continued to flow.  "This is  your Will God . . . he is yours."  I said over and over in my mind.  I don't know if I was trying to convince myself of this or if I just needed to keep saying it to remind myself of its truth.  Bobby and I prayed together . . . I found we would do this a lot over the next few months.  Now we had to tell the kids. . .

Monday, March 5, 2012

Slowing Down (A Bit) . . .

Well today God reminded me yet again that each day is accomplished according to His plan and not my own. There is so much "stuff" that I think I need to check off on my to-do-lists . . .

1) Taking care of the kiddos
2) Homeschooling
3) Packing our life in brown boxes
4) Painting
5) House projects
6) Trying to get ready for new house
7) Music Lessons
8) Visitation Appointments

On and on my list goes . . . much like yours I'm sure. Yet the truth of the matter is, we are no more in control of our daily lives and to-do-lists then we are of the planet's rotation or the stars in the heavens. So often I forget that I need to trust God even with planning out my daily to-do's and trust that even if they are not my plans, they are far greater because they are His plans.

This evening my dear and loving husband spent the evening holding my hand and encouraging me as we laid in a hospital bed listening to the precious sound of our son's heartbeat and the not so precious sound of him kicking the monitors and my tummy :-) For the past few weeks, I have been having contractions (not such a good thing at only 28 weeks). After talking with the nurse and since this is the second time they have been like this, we decided that it would be best to go in and have them monitor everything. Well a few hours later and a few, not so fun, tests - I am happy to be in my own bed, with my own warm quilts, and a pillow that doesn't feel like a piece of paper. The good news is that I have not begun to dilate yet - the not so good news . . . still having contractions, but at the hospital they were every 2 to 3 minutes apart and now they are about 5 to 6 minutes. I have to rest tonight and then if I am still having contractions tomorrow will go in to see my regular doctor to see what we need to do next. Definitely not my plan for this week, but who am I but a servant of God to use in His perfect plan the way that He deems fit.

I am thankful that God reminds us of His sovereignty, and yet still shows His great mercy and love. We are blessed beyond words to once again be honored with the privileged of being parents, and I praise God for His timing and His to-do lists. I am also very thankful for friends who are willing to step up on a moments notice and take care of 5 wacky and crazy kids along with their own. God has truly blessed us with some very special and loving people in our lives.

May each of us look at our daily to-do-lists and remember that no matter what we have planned, we need to trust God for what He has planned.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Thursday, January 26, 2012

22 Weeks and Counting!

This is more for the "grandmas" but here is our belly shot at 22 weeks. I am still so amazed and blessed by God giving us another child. I really did not know how Noah and Avery would react when we told them, but they have been "WAY" excited since day one. Avery loves to rub my belly and give the baby lots of kisses. She always tells him, "I love you . . . even if you are a boy." (cracks me up) Bobby has officially names him "Thumper" as he is quite the little active guy. I thought Avery was bad, but I do believe that this little guy has out done even her.