Wednesday, April 27, 2016

She's Perfect

Dear Doctor,

A friend recently told me of when her prenatal specialist would see her child during her sonograms. He would check over her baby and comment, “He’s perfect.” Once her son was born with Down syndrome, she visited that same doctor. He looked at her little boy and said,
“I told you. He’s perfect.”

Her story tore me apart. While I was so grateful for my friend’s experience, it filled me with such sorrow because of what I should have had. I wish you would have been that doctor.

I came to you at the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious, and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we abort our child. I told you her name and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy. From that first visit, we dreaded our appointments. The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth.

My child was perfect.

I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m really just sad. I’m sad that the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad that the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears, don’t always give you pause. I’m sad that you were so very wrong to say that a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken that you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad that you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter. Emersyn.

Because, you see, Emersyn has not only added to our quality of life, she’s touched the hearts of thousands. She’s given us a purpose and a joy that is impossible to express. She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter, and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love.

So my prayer is that no other mommy will ever have to go through what I did. My prayer is that you, too, will now see true beauty and pure love with every life displayed on every sonogram. And my prayer is when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me, then tell her the truth…

“Your child is absolutely perfect.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I Still Need You

“I still need you, Mama. I’m not a woman yet.”

Ah, life lessons from my sweet, fiery, impulsive, loving, recently-turned-middle child.
It’s so simple to let go and take a breath when our children hit a certain age. They’re easy, independent, know so much, and exhibit great amounts of common sense (usually). 

But they still need us.

They still need us, as parents, to pray for them - to pray With them. They still need us to talk to, to cry on, and to share their dreams as we sit in their rooms at night before bed. I so often find myself letting my older kids to their own solitude because I need mine, but every once in a while I’m reminded that the pats on the back and words of encouragement are not only appreciated, they're necessary.

So, thank you, my Evynn, for teaching me to stop what I’m doing and look you in the eye, and hear what you’re saying. 

And I can teach you - one conversation at a time - that even when you become a woman, you’ll always need your Mama.