Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Testing, Testing, 1...2...3

First, I just want to say thank you for all of the supportive comments that we have received about our decision to expand our family! The well wishes have been overwhelming and we cherish them! Thank you!!!

I wanted to answer another question that many people- especially those that have either had a baby recently or are medically inclined- have had for us. And that is...

Will we have testing done on this baby prior to birth?

The short answer: No. This was something we discussed at length. First, anything that would have shown up on the scans would not have caused us to terminate this pregnancy. We sought advice from our OBGYN, from our geneticist and genetics counselor, from other special needs parents who have been in this situation. In the end, the opinions were really split down the middle, and we had to do what was best for us. And that decision was not to do testing. Had we not done such in depth testing prior to the pregnancy, I might have reconsidered. But we did, and everything looked fine. So we just decided to leave it up to the Lord and whatever baby He blesses us with will be just that- a blessing!

Many people will say that they want to have genetic testing so that they will "be prepared" for a special needs child. I think all special needs parents get a kick out of this idea. I know I do! I understand the sentiment, but having been there, I understand that nothing can prepare you for the life ahead. It is definitely a "learn as you go" thing, just as typical parenting is! And the truth is, short of a very few conditions, anything that needs to have special birthing plans made can be seen on the 20 week ultrasound.

Some have told me they would do it for "peace of mind." There is an extremely high rate of false positives for the screening tests, and I just think that they would make me worry more, not less. And the truth is, I have peace of mind. I know that this baby- typical, special, or otherwise!- is a gift from God and a perfect gift for our family. I know that He won't give me anything I cannot handle with His grace, and I think that is one of the biggest PERSONAL blessings that has come from having a special needs child first. The knowledge that regardless of this baby's health, I can handle it, and I am going to love this baby as much as I love Ava, which is an unspeakable amount!

I have also heard a lot of "as long as he or she is healthy." I understand why this is said. My goodness- I said it COUNTLESS times when I was pregnant with Ava! But I haven't said it once this time. Of course, I *want* more than anything for my baby to be healthy and typical. But I am blessed with knowing the reality of life (yes, I said blessed). And the reality is that not all babies are born healthy. But you don't love them any less, and your desire to care for you baby exists in sickness or health. Do I hope and pray for a healthy and typical child- YES! But even if this baby isn't healthy or isn't typical, I know that I will not love it any less or want it any less. And that is the blessing in knowing the reality.

One a side note, please continue to pray for Kelce and her family. Unless a miracle happens, today will be their last full day with her on this Earth. They will be removing her poor body from life support and allowing her to go be with our Heavenly Father. This is just heartbreaking. But I am so thankful we can rejoice too. My friend Marc, a fellow AS parent, posted this on Facebook this morning, and I had to share. It is so very true and so perfect for Kelce...

A child who could never walk
Will soon run with across the clouds.
A child who could never talk
Will soon sing, pure and loud.

A child who could not say “I am sore”
Will soon forget all pain.
A child who will hear “I love you” no more
Will soon shower their love like rain.

A child who will never grow up to be an astronaut
Will soon spend eternity, soaring amongst the stars.
A child to whom a smile and a hug was all they ever sought
Will soon experience eternal loving touch for which there is no par.

But... It is a child that we will no longer watch grow.
A child we will no longer enjoy.
A child whose future we can no longer sow.
A child: someones little girl or boy.

A child.


Unknown said...

Congrats on Baby #2! I'm so excited for you guys!!! Ava is such a blessing, and it is so wonderful that God will bless you with TWO children to love! YEAH!!!