Back in the day when we were “with child”, we could not know with certainty what gender our baby was going to be when the child was born.
These days, Gender Reveal parties are all the rage.
Early this week, we had the joy of participating in our daughter’s and son-in-love’s gender reveal party for their baby girl due in March! It was quite fun.
The pregnancies with our first two children went off without a hitch. However, at 26 weeks with our third – our son – Julie was put on bed rest because of leaking amniotic fluid which could have brought on early labor and a premature birth. Fortunately, our son went to term.
With our Amy, our fourth and final baby, the pregnancy went well until one month before she was due. She decided she couldn’t wait another month and was ready to meet her siblings and parents. It wasn’t until she was born that we knew there were any concerns with her health.
Without going into a lot of detail here, those first few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of Amy’s life were harrowing to say the least. Several times we thought we were going to lose our girl. But, by God’s grace, she has developed mentally and physically way beyond anyone’s predictions.
The question we want to ask here, though, is this: “what if the child you are carrying or the one you birth is not healthy?” What then?
This is a deeply personal question to ponder and one that is very important to consider. We don’t want to frighten anyone who is pregnant with undue worries or concerns about your baby.
We do, however, want to recognize those of you who have had a baby, either biologically or by adoption, who was born less than healthy.
How do you wrap your brain and your actions around that?
Having gone down that road, we have boat loads of love to give you and reams of information we could pass on to you. We’ll save that for our webinars, seminars, workshops, booklets, and the book we are currently writing.
For now, we want to share with you three basic tips that could make a world of difference for you.
- Unique and Precious Child First: First thing to realize that no matter what anomalies, syndrome, symptoms, concerns that you are dealing with, this child is first and foremost yours to love and care for. Put aside the “abnormals” and see your child as the precious baby, toddler, child with a unique personality that he or she is. This child is more normal than not.
- Take IN all the information being thrown at you but don’t be taken DOWN by it. One thing that we struggled with after Amy was born was the overwhelming idea that we were responsible for every breath she took and how she took it, every developmental step and how she took it, every emotion she felt and how she felt it, every medical decision and how it would affect her down the road. Because of our lack of experience with all Amy’s needs, we felt certain we were going to ruin her for life. This is our advice for you: Take in the information. Seek the opinions of professionals you trust. Look for mentors who can shed some light. But in the end – TRUST YOUR GUT. Make decisions and be at peace with them. That doesn’t mean you cannot change your mind if you find out the thing you decided doesn’t seem to be working well or if you find another route that might be more fitting. Don’t second guess yourself to the point of becoming paralyzed. You are this child’s parent. You have been given a special sense of what is needed. It won’t be perfect. Sometimes, it might not be pretty. But, in the end, as you raise your child in love, it will be okay.
- Accept help. This one was a hard one for us as well. We are very independent folks and to realize that we needed help was a tough pill to swallow to be honest. However, your family, your child, his or her siblings, and the folks offering to help will be missing out on blessings if you keep all the joy to yourself. We do encourage you to be discerning and careful about your helpers. You need them to actually be a help and not a drain on you and your family. But, take a look around. Make note of those who offer to help and what help they are offering. Open your mind to the possibility of what they can bring to the table. Perhaps you can give a small task and see how that goes and then a little more and then a little more if it works out well step by step.
Dear one, you are precious to us and we want you to know that you are not alone. Your baby (biological or adopted) is struggling and that means you are too. We all have access to the God who created us. Pray without ceasing. He is able to give us strength for today and hope for tomorrow.
If you would like to know how we can help you in your journey, let us know by emailing us at MarchForthFamily@gmail.com.
Tom and Julie Meekins
Image Credit: Stuart Miles - freedigitalphotos. net