Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So What Exactly Did I mean by That

Anyone who read my last post regarding my Beautiful Blogger Award knows I had to list seven interesting things about myself. Number seven was," I always knew I would have a baby with Ds".
What does that mean? Beats me. I've had this post floating around in my head for a long time, but never really knew how to write it. And maybe I was waiting long enough to strengthen our
"Bloggers Bond" so you all wouldn't think I was certifiable. Whatever the reason I can't shake the feeling to write about it, so I guess I'll just wing it. And who knows, maybe you all had the same feeling too.

Since I was very young. Even before I was married, I had a feeling that "something" was up.
but I couldn't put my finger on it. I always wanted a big family and I always wanted to adopt. Of course I always wanted to give birth to children too. A lot of wants, I know.

I was overwhelmed as a child to take care of the "unwanted". Be it animals, strays were always crossing my path, children, I needed to make unhappy children smile. I couldn't stand seeing someone alone at recess. Even adults as I got older, people in need seemed to gravitate towards me.

When I was younger and would see a child or even an adult , anyone really with a disability or in a wheelchair I would immediately ask God to cure them. I remember thinking if I had one wish it would be that they could walk, or talk or have no pain.
I was drawn to them. I could never figure out why. And I could never figure out why I was always the one who felt the urge to be the "nice guy". Sometimes I just didn't want to find another kitten or baby bird or sacrifice being made fun of because I was talking to the kid no one else would.

As I got older and married and we decided it was time to start a family I didn't feel any real anxiety about having a baby. Only the normal excitement. I held my breath at my u/s appointment thinking" Please God I can't handle anything but a healthy baby". But we all say that.

I had a text book pregnancy and went on with life. Then along came Sophia and Bella and Andrew, all healthy , all easy pregnancies. The thought that something was "up" kind of took a back seat. I got a little bit cocky I guess. Baby after baby being born with the greatest of ease. I even got pregnant exactly when I wanted to. No waiting , no stressing.

We had finally gotten the boy and I thought as did Peter that we were done. I shook off that "feeling" as just a vivid imagination. I mean nothing happened, my kids were all fine.So, I waited for that "done" feeling that my friends all had. The feeling you get when you know you don't want anymore kids, when holding someone else's baby is good enough, when you couldn't imagine dealing with feedings and diapers all over again. I waited and waited but it never came.

What came was that old "feeling" again. The urge for another baby and the feeling that something would be "wrong" were overwhelming. What do I do? What is God telling me? At first I thought He was telling me to be happy with the healthy kids I had. But why did I still have an aching for another one? Well we forged ahead and decided to try for another, and I kept these crazy feelings to myself. Seriously who would believe me if I said I think God wants me to have another baby and I also think there is going to be something wrong with him/ her! Wacko!!!

Well we tried for a year and a half. That's a long time! I was about to give up. I just couldn't take the roller coaster ride anymore. I battled back and forth with the decision. Maybe I misunderstood God. Maybe he didn't want me to have another baby. I was driving myself nuts.
Meanwhile I had come to the conclusion that if I had this baby he/ she would most definitely have Ds, that I was sure of ,and I didn't want a baby with Ds. I can't explain how I knew that except that God told me, and I didn't particularly want to hear that.
And all I could think was that He had been training me for this my whole life. Everything kind of fell into place, and I was terrified. Why me? But even knowing all this I still wanted another baby. The logical part of me way saying " just dismiss those crazy thoughts, you can easily have another healthy baby. Down syndrome won't happen to you. I tried very hard to listen to that part of my brain.
I convinced myself I was over reacting.

January of 2008 I told God now or never. I want this baby no matter what but I'm not going to try anymore after this month. January 2008, I was pregnant with Emilia.

The second I found out I just knew our lives were in for a drastic change. I didn't tell anyone,except for Peter of course that I was pregnant for almost four months. I just knew something was wrong. When I couldn't hide my pregnancy any longer we told the kids and gave them the thumbs up to spread the word. Just a few days later I went for my level two u/s. I was an absolute wreck that morning. I just knew what was coming. I knew it like I know my own name.

The technician came in and did her thing, then in came the doctor followed by you know who... the "wonderful" genetic counselor. No words needed but he said them anyway. echogenic bowel...soft marker... Down syndrome.


I don't even know how I made it through that stupid talk with the counselor or the ride home . I just remember frantically trying to figure out how to turn back time. I'm not even kidding. For a few completely insane moments I distinctly remember thinking there must be a way to go back.

But go back to what? If this is Gods will then I could go back to the garden of Eden, and still end up right where I am now.

Knowing all this did not in any way help me to accept my situation. I was mad. And scared, and filled with despair.
It wasn't until Emilia's birth that I finally accepted Gods will and felt at peace. If you're new to my blog you can read about that here.

Of course hind sight is twenty- twenty, and I could have saved myself a lot of grief is I just accepted Gods will and had faith. But I think... no, I know things happened the way they did because that's how I needed them to happen. My faith is 100 times stronger now.

God does have a flair for the dramatic and I've learned to just follow His lead.


Denise said...

Wow!! What a story. I mean the part about you knowing well before you even had kids. But the part about knowing while you were pregnant, I totally get. I didn't specifically think Ds but I KNEW something was up. I could never shake that feeling. But, just like you...I wouldn't change her for the world!!! Have I mentioned lately how much I love your raw, open emotion????

Kele@ said...

I just love you girl! I love your honesty, your need to share this and everything in between. I am glad you wrote this down, you needed journal this, I think it is amazing.... just like Em!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this Stephanie. It brought back some old memories.....that unexplainable feeling. But, I get it, as I am sure most of your readers will/do. This is why I am here, blogging, to share these experiences with a community that truly understands and celebrates every moment of it! You are such an amazing mommy!

Tausha said...

What a great post, thanks for sharing. I on the other hand was clueless but probably because I wasn't listening to the promptings. You are an amazing person and so in tune with yourself and life.

Heather said...

Love,love,love this post.I related to so much of it.God was sending me subtle signs long before I was pregnant with Zoey.Sometimes He spoke with a booming resounding voice and other moments it was just a whisper but nonetheless present for most of my adult life.

Thank you for my award.I promise to get to it after the party on Sunday.Promise.As for the things you shared:... candy hider myself and usually when the kids candy is getting low at Halloween time,I'm usually responsible for it.If I wasn't such a sweet junkie,specifically chocolate,I might be back to my fighting weight!the one that brought tears to my eyes was the one about your Grandmother.I too have the most vivid memories of gardening with my grandmother.In fact,the garden is where I picture her everytime she pops into my mind.

thanks for the award.. I'll be thinking of my 7!

Wish you could be here Sunday.:(

mandd3 said...

Ok several things:
1. You and Em are the perfect example of what glory, honor, and magnificance can come from saying "Yes" to Jesus (read your bith post).
2. God takes us parents of special kids and gives us a chance few others get. We get to love and serve the Lord by caring for a person who is intimately bound to us.
3. How sweet it must feel to know that God had this plan for you from the beginning. I'll have to post sometime about why this verse is special to me but it also applies to you "My yoke is easy and my burden is light".
4. On a lighter not, how, oh how, do I get the blog award button on my post??? I've tried copying and pasting but that does not work. I have figured out how to link to you and everyone I want to nominate but I can't get THAT BUTTON!

mandd3 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

LOVE this post and LOVE you! You are so amazing!

Hope said...

I really love this post. Thank you for sharing this. You are an incredible Mommy.

To Love Endlessly said...

whew...tear jerker! I think you are amazing mom and am so glad to have "met" you. I was completely unprepared for Marissa having DS. I was only 28 when I had her. but looking back to when I 1st had her & all the emotions I went through, mainly being upset & confused with God's plan. My faith is that much stronger today then it was then. Marissa envelopes God's spirit and I couldn't imagine a day without the joy that she brings.

Chris said...

Beautiful, honest post. I can relate to so much of what you said. I didn't always feel like I would have a child with Ds, but I remember waiting for that "we're done" feeling that never came. When I got pregnant, I was not afraid of Ds. From the minute that baby was conceived, I felt blessed. When we lost him they way we did, I was terrified to become pregnant again. I just knew that the baby would have Ds. I think part of me felt God was going to punish me. I had became pregnant with the baby boy I had longed for, I had an amnio to give my husband piece of mind, and I lost my baby. I knew the next time around something was going to go wrong. God, this time around, was not going to give me the baby I wanted. The feeling that the baby would have Ds, like yours, was so strong, but I pushed it back. The minute I became pregnant, I knew. I knew that something was going to go wrong. As it turns out, I think that God sent me the child he felt I needed to have, or maybe the child my family needed to have. I look back at all the painful events that got us to this point, and I see how each needed to happen in order to get us to this point. Where are we now? We are blessed with a little boy who bonds our family in a way no other can. A little boy who because he wasn't what we thought we wanted reminds us to appreciate all of the things that we have. Is it always easy? No, but even in the difficult times, it is always beautiful and I am more keenly aware that God's grace can often show itself in the least likely of ways. I am so thankful that our children's extra chromosome bonds us. You are an inspiration.

Four Wonders Mommy said...

Amen! Bingo! I just "knew" that I had a child with DS. I can soooo relate to this post! I love it! Why is it that some of us are so intuitive and some are just totally shicked? It is still a mystery to me.

Anyway, I have been "on my own" for the longest time and I appreciate all you have done for ME. Just ME. You are an amazing woman, a great blogging friend, and I look forward to reading your blog everyday.

Tina said...

I think I might have mentioned before what an uncanny resemblance my story has to yours starting from the fact that after trying to conceive for nearly a year the month that I did eventually conceive Saira was the last month I had givem myself, I was frustrated and wasn't going to try anymore, putting it down to it isn't meant to be.
When I was pregnant with Saira my heart told me that my baby was going to have DS, I did every test possible (except for the amnio because I refused to take that risk) and funnily every test came back normal even then I knew something wasn't right. Everyone around me thought I was just a crazy paranoid expectant mother and told me to relax...
Today I wonder how things happen he way they do, is it our 6th sense that tells us something, or do we believe something so much that it does actually happen. Whatever the reason, I am so thankful for the way things have turned out and am grateful for my little girl, couldn't wish for anything to be different.

Anonymous said...

When I come to your blog, and I see your beautiful Emelia smiling at me, it is as if she was always to be here.

I still question my spirituality and I question the whole idea of Gabriel or a higher power choosing my husband and me to be parents to a child with Down syndrome. But there is one sure, steady thing I do know...and that there is no other Gabriel for me but the son we do have!

I do believe in our abilities "to know"...Your story is so inspirational!♥ And you sure do make BEAUTIFUL BABES!