In an Instant, It All Will Change- LB Post 5

How preparing for the birth of a child with a disability (Down Syndrome) has been different for these parents. This is the 5th post in LB's Journey. Such an inspiring story. www.abitofsimplicity.com

 

The time has come and her arrival is quickly approaching (9 days as I write this, but merely a few hours by the time this is actually posted)! I sit here in so much pain typing this.

Literally, I. Am. In. Pain.

LB has been nothing but continuous in her attempts to make this my most memorable pregnancy yet.

However, as I sit here typing in between contractions (no, she’s not coming- my body just enjoys full blown contractions every 4-7 minutes without dilating… yay, me.) I am so thankful for this roller coaster of a ride we have been on.

I watch as my belly distorts into alien-like shapes in amazement. In a few short days, our third little blessing will make her way into the world. No longer will my body ache this pregnancy, no longer will I feel her stretch to her limits inside my stomach, no longer will I wonder what her sweet face looks like. But I know I will miss all of these things.

Every pregnancy I tell myself I will not rush it to be over, because it comes and goes so quickly. But you get to your final month and you feel completely miserable (& ready to meet your little miracle). You quickly wish the days away – count down the days, hours, and minutes until their arrival. You pack your bags, their bags, and any other bags to distract you from the clock that is slowly ticking away.

I know I am going to wish for these moments back. I’ll wish for the days when she was safely secure inside me. I will miss feeling her constant stretches and flips and hiccups. My swollen feet and pulled hip will be a easy sacrifice to make if it means I could have her back this way again.

I know this because I wished it with my other two children. All the pain that comes with pregnancy and childbirth, you gladly take on and eventually miss.

Even with all of this that I know, this time is different.

I can’t wait to meet her, to see her. I am longing to hear her cry and to know she is really here. For the longest time, I have thought of her as a wish that could quickly slip away. I still find myself thinking this even now. I worry for many reasons. That is why I am anxious for her birth. Because in those first few moments, I will know she is real. She is here. She IS mine.

I envision a sigh of relief with her birth…

and then I don’t.

Because I also know that when she is born reality will set in.

They will confirm her Down Syndrome.

They will check her heart.

She could be sick.

She could be taken away from me immediately and it’ll be hours until I would even get to see her.

This child that I have carried, loved, and worried over for 9 months – who has never been apart from me – could be taken away just like that. And that terrifies me.

I did not even know this was a “worse case scenario” situation for us, until our last doctor visit.

I have been looking forward to her birth for so long, so that I could finally stare into her eyes and tell her how much I love her. How proud I am of her. And how grateful we are to have her.

And to know that all could be shattered in an instant, terrifies me.

I know it could be worse, and I am thankful it is not – but it doesn’t make that situation any easier to come to terms with.

My husband thinks I am overreacting, and maybe I am. J is okay with them taking her and examining her for 6 hours to make sure everything is okay (and I understand the reasoning behind it), but it’s not that easy for me. He will be able to leave the room to see her; I wont.

Plus…

He has not been constantly attached to her for 9 months. He will not know the emptiness I will feel without her in my belly or in my arms. He does not realize how much I will hurt without her, even for a “short” period of time.

My body will ache for her. My eyes will search for her. My ears will long to hear her cries.

And I guarantee you, these slow last few days of pregnancy will not even compare to the length of those hours we will spend apart.

I pray that this is not even a hurdle we have to face. 

And even as I type that I see the irony in the whole situation.

If having her away from me for the first 6 hours of her life is the worst thing we have to be put through, I should be thankful. And I know I will be if that is going to be the worst thing we will face.

But, I don’t know that – this could easily be the smallest hurdle we ever have to overcome.

And then that scares me…

During my other pregnancies, the only thing I worried about those last few days was how awful the epidural was going to hurt. Or how quickly I would lose the weight. But any nerves were quickly dismissed by my anxiousness for their arrival.

Yet, those trivial things are not even on my radar this time… (except for the epidural now that I have thought of it, definitely not looking forward to that).

I just want her here – safely, healthy, and with me.

And this time, as anxious as I am to have her, I am equally as nervous – nervous for all the unknown.

It’s funny how you don’t really worry about the unknown when your babies are healthy. The unknown is just as scary for any child, any baby, but it’s not really something you worry about. In those moments, life seems perfect.

I guess when you are given a child with special needs, the unknown seems like a fog that you are fighting to get through. You know there is clarity beyond it, there is sunshine and happiness and joy – but you have to fight through all your worries to get there first.

And just like fog, it never goes away. One morning, when you least expect it, there it is. Clouding up your vision, taking over your sense of security. Then again, you are finding yourself slowly rounding every corner waiting for it to lift, searching for the light.

Thankfully, I know the light is always there. I know there are days when the unknown may feel like it is consuming me, but I also know that I am not alone.

God has led us to this journey and he will lead us through it.

Any hurdle, any fog, that comes across our path we do not have to fight alone. He has put them there to make us stronger and to teach us how to trust in him.

LB has already changed our family. She has shown us how to rely on God. Her life has taught us that God is in control; He makes no mistakes.

She has transformed our lives so much already – and she hasn’t even been born yet.

What a miracle she is!

 As I sit here and prepare for our sweet LB, I acknowledge all my worries but I try not to let them consume me. Instead, I will focus on all our blessings.

In 9 days, we will welcome her into the world.

She will be in our arms.

She will be loved beyond belief.

She will be ours.

3 comments

  1. Susan Swearengin says:

    Ashley,
    Your strength, compassion, and faith in God is a beacon of light in an otherwise dark world. I truly believe God chose you and J as LB’s parents because he didn’t trust his angel in anyone else’s hands. I pray he continues to bless you in this new chapter he has written for you.
    Susan

    • Ashley says:

      Thank you! I honestly feel HONORED that God gave LB to us. And I don’t think it was so we can show her how to live, but so she can show us. She’s such a blessing!

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