Truly, nothing had been able to strike fear in my heart lately than those words. I do not remember being that nervous for Ryan. Could be becasue I've had bad news at an ultrasound; could also be because as I get older, I hear more and more terrible stories. At any rate, prior to mine, I had myself worked up into quite a tizzy, certain that something was going to be wrong with this baby. I was able to calm myslef down a bit, because since that time in 1997 when my world crashed while lying on a table with blue gel all over my stomach, I have learned a few things:
1) A 20 week ultrasound isn't a guarantee. Just because a baby looks good on a scan, or even looks good after birth means nothing. Heck, the CDC just came out with staitistics that 1 in 150 kids will have autism. That's way higher than the rate for Spina Bifida and even higher than my person rate for Down's Syndrome, even with my advanced maternal age, and there is no test in the world that can predict whether or not my child will have autism. It's a very scary prospect, but there are no guarantees. There is no way to know what the future will hold for this child. I know that each of the days ordained for it were written in GOd's book of life before one of them came to be, (Pslam 136) and that gives me some comfort, actually.
2) All of my kids, if they live on this planet and they are human (which they are) will suffer at one point or another. It's simply part of the human experience here on earth. Part of the reason no one wants their child to be born "unhealthy" is that we don't want them to suffer. And, sure most of our parenting is spent, wisely, in keeping them from unneccessary suffering. We tell them not to run with scissors, or play in the street, or touch the hot stove, etc, etc and those things are great. But, as much as we might try to prevent it, they will have pain. And, I am not so sure that it is a bad thing that my children have seen through Jaden's struggles and illnesses that life is not 100% perfect, 100% of the time. Maybe they won't be so shocked when they are adults and something doesn't work out quite as they had planned.
3) There is great value in a child with a disability/illness. Before having a child with a disability, I am not sure I believed this deep down. But, to me, Jaden is a daily word picture if you will of my relationship with God. Afterall, the cross already told me that all of us are diabled. It's just that I can fluff up my hair, put on some lipstick and my not-so-fat pants and hide mine pretty well. Jaden's major disability is unhideable. And, so is mine...in the eyes of God. Sure, caring for Jaden can get tiring. Afterall, there are many things my other 9 year olds can do, that Jaden can not. But, I don't hold his neediness against him, because he is my child and I love him. In the same way, God does not hold my neediness against me, becasue I am His child and He loves me.
4) Our children are really God's first. I get to join Him in the miracle of creation, but really this kiddo was HIs idea before it was mine. (Psalm136). I think of my friends who gave birth to a son with Trisomy 18 in November. He wasn't supposed to live more than 3 days, and he's now 3 months old. About a month ago, it really looked like it might be tht end of his life, so we gathered a group around them, and prayed for them. After we prayed, do you know what my friend did? She passed her son around so we all could hold him. On what could very well ahve been his last minutes on earth, she passed her son around. Now, there is someone who knows that her child is God's before it is her's and it's a really cool thing to watch.
So, after thinking through all of this, I was able to calm down. And, as it turns out we had a good scan. Although our newest daughter was not being very cooperative, it does look, so far, like everything is OK.