A view into the life of a family who encountered a different future than expected, but has become all the richer for it.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Beginning

My mind was flooded with a million questions and my heart with a million emotions as my baby was born at 7:14pm on March 10, 2008, and thought to have a strange, genetic disorder called Down Syndrome. She was what you also call a "blue baby" when she was born. She had been thought to have heart defects from ultrasounds done by my specialist and also a pediatric cardiologist prior to her birth. These defects were confirmed shortly after her birth. Our lives were to be changed forever.

I could tell immediately after her birth that her cheeks were especially chubby, her neck seemed to be thicker and her fingers even looked different than her sisters did at their birth. I did notice that her eyes seemed to be set further apart, but that could've been an illusion created by her flatter nasal bridge. I wasn't sure if I thought she was a pretty baby or not. She was just different.

You would think that being told of her possible problems before her birth would've prepared me for the event, but I still wasn't. In my whole life I've never sobbed with such despair as when the social worker came into my hospital room two days later to tell me of early intervention programs available to my husband and I for our little baby. She told us of mental and physical problems that our little girl may encounter as she grows. I know she meant to help by giving us this information, but I was not in a place to be able to handle it. I had never imagined myself to be the mother of a special-needs child. Never in a million years had I dreamed this would happen to Mark or me.

We are both intelligent people. Mark graduated first in his high school class and was Valedictorian. He went on to earn a Master's degree from seminary. I was a college graduate in music and was teaching in a college. It just doesn't seem logical that we could have a child that will have trouble learning, speaking, walking, eating, etc. There must be some mistake. Maybe this was meant for another couple. But, all throughout my pregnancy God kept bringing me to a passage in the Bible ... a passage I must cling to so Victoria's life makes sense to me ... "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!" (Psalm 139:13-17)

Victoria was no surprise to God. In fact, He formed her to be just the way she is. He knew and recorded all her days before any of them came to be. He knows the lives she will touch, the laughs and smiles she will bring to people and how she will change her parent's and sister's lives in such a wonderful way. We did not ask to be given her nor did she ask to be given to us. But, God somehow knew that we needed each other. He knew that we would be good for each other and that Mark and I could handle being her parents. Just like He knew I could handle my 2 1/2-year-old and the crazy behavior she is having at times right now or how her 15-month-old sister eats like a cow and swings her right arm so cute when she walks ... He knew I could handle Victoria and her challenges.

No matter what emotions I experience on this journey, I can rest in knowing that God is for me. I wrote a song several years ago called "Your Bottle" and it really hit home with me during my pregnancy and even now when I shed tears about this new life I have. The following verses were the inspiration for my song (Click on the title of this post, "The Beginning", or the link http://www.box.net/shared/ajk3ouask4, to hear the song "Your Bottle"):

Psalm 56:8,9 (Amplified Bible)
"You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle ... are they not in Your book? Then shall my enemies turn back in the day that I cry out; this I know, for God is for me!"

Thank you, God, that you have planned out my days and that You saw fit to bless me with three sweet girls. They are all blessings from You, no matter what the future holds. You are for me!

Heather

1 comment:

Momma M said...

Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter!! She's just a few weeks older than our little bundle. :-)