One of the first thoughts that went through my mind after I learned that our baby has T18 was, “My poor kids!! They can’t go through this!!??” Gavin and Greta, and Sophie too, were so excited at the prospect of a baby sister or brother. We talked about names, and all the fun ways things were going to be different with a baby around. Gavin had his heart set on a little brother, and Greta refused to imagine the baby was anything but a little sister. They talked about all the ways they might be able to help with the new baby and even practiced “bounce-walking” with our kitten Patches. Gavin would put his hands on my belly and say, “Hello? Hello! WHO. ARE. YOU??” and then stand there as if he were actually expecting a response. These once treasured moments burned and stung so bad as I recalled them and then realized we’d have to tell our kids that it wasn’t to be. I had no idea how they were going to respond to the news. Are Gavin and Greta old enough to understand the rawness of this situation? And then there is sweet Sophie. This precious girl has so recently come back into my life and now here she is unintentionally thrust into this tragedy with us. “This was supposed to be the icing on the cake for us!!!!!” I yell at God.
Upon being told the grave news after school last week, Gavin and Greta were quiet and sympathetic to an extent, but they are still protected by their childhood innocence. They really have no idea. I wish the same were true for the rest of us!!! Even though each of my kids are all processing this differently, I’ve encouraged them to be open with me about their feelings, and not to be afraid about hurting mine. I’ve also informed their teachers about what is going on here at home. They have each been incredibly supportive and have promised to keep an eye on my sweet kids while they’re away from me.
My hope is that through this journey, each of my children will see the value I have placed on their own lives. I have unconditional love for who ever it is that happens to “show up in my uterus” whether I planned on them being there or not, and whether they have the correct amount of chromosomes or not. Each of the 4 individuals that began their lives through me are a blessed gift from God, and I refuse to see it otherwise.