Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Faith

Today is blog hop day - and quite frankly it couldn't come at a better time, since I've been feeling a bit "light" on inspiration lately. Today's topic is, "Faith and Disability", in other words, how has having (or not having) faith helped you to view "disability". Perfect - something I can certainly talk about, but first I have to take you back to those first few days with Abby.

As some of you know she came early, very unexpectedly early. I'd been having no trouble and all the tests had come back normal, in essence we'd been chugging along and were about to head into the last month of my pregnancy. Her birth was traumatic enough, but without a solid grounding in faith, what came next would have been nearly unbearable.

Let's begin with how we found out that Abby "may" have Down syndrome. I was out for the count, so it was up to Jason to handle things at this point. Abby started out just fine, but suddenly took a turn for the worse and began to have trouble breathing. The pediatrician on call took Jason aside to talk through what was happening. Jason told me later that these were the doctor's words to him, "I'm sure she has major heart defects, and with the Down syndrome.....I don't know what religion you are, but you might want to think about what measures you want to take."

What!?!

Looking back I am still blown away that a doctor would suggest that because Abby had Down syndrome taking every measure necessary wouldn't be a given. I have to hand it to Jason, he didn't haul off and hit the guy, but he was probably reeling from the emotional blows he'd just been handed.

Soon enough Abby was transferred to a better hospital where she would get exceptional care - no matter how many chromosomes she had. Those wonderful doctors first attended to Abby's immediate health needs, and they were great - Abby was a very sick little girl. They also told us that it would take up to a week for a karyotype analysis to be done, which would confirm Abby's extra chromosome. During those waiting days in the hospital I did a lot of praying, actually "crying out" may be a better way of putting it. I bargained and I pleaded, not only for Abby's life, but for a "typical" life for her.

That week lasted forever, but when the day came when I got an affirmative answer to my question about whether or not the results were in, I wasn't sure if I wanted the answer. I think my heart knew, there were times when I could see it in Abby's face, but having no results meant that there might be a negative answer. The truth was that Abby did have Down syndrome and you know what? When two other families in our ward lost their babies, Abby's diagnosis didn't seem quite so dim. She was alive and thriving, and I'd never felt so blessed.

I have always had a strong certainty that God has greater plans than I could ever had imagined, and Abby's birth and diagnoses were no different. I'm not saying we didn't mourn the loss of the life we'd planned for our little girl, but she was alive, she was beautiful, and God had a plan - and what a plan that has been.

I've come to realize that parenting is hard. Period. And no matter what "abilities" or "disabilities" any child of mine would have I wouldn't want to travel the path of parenthood without a firm grounding in God, and His love and care for me and mine.

Happy Independence Day



5 comments:

  1. What a rude Dr! I love your perspective gained though - she looks adorable!

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  2. I could not agree more with your last statements. All of our children have abilities and disabilities and parenting them through is hard work.

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  3. Excellent post! I agree completely, 'I wouldn't want to travel the path of parenthood without a firm grounding in God.' Amen to that!

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  4. Beautiful post...and a beautiful little girl. All the best to you.

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