Most expectant mothers look forward to the "big" ultrasound that is typically done during the fifth month of pregnancy. I used to be one of them. Unfortunately, with each passing pregnancy and excessively long ultrasounds, the joy had faded. These feelings have been especially strong during this pregnancy.
I know all the percentages and have done mountains of research on each of my children's various diagnoses. Yet, as my fifth "big" ultrasound was approaching, I must admit I was a ball of nerves. I wouldn't exchange any part of our life. It's far from perfect and certainly complicated and challenging, yet it's the deck of cards I was dealt and I've embraced it. No, I don't always enjoy every card I'm given and how they play on one another, but with each hand I'm dealt from this deck, my relationship with Christ grows in ways I never imagined.
Since becoming a mother of a special needs child, I have met a wide variety of people. I have been exposed to forms of disability and heartbreak that are unthinkable to most around me. My family as a whole has also been exposed to many of these same individuals. I often find myself thinking, "What do I have to complain about? What these other folks are dealing with is so much more complicated than the diagnosis my children carry with them."
Meeting these amazing families along my journey as a special needs mama has turned my world upside down in the most amazing way. Yet, as my ultrasound approached, they were also the individuals that consumed my thoughts. I thought of the diagnosis they had been given, the years of turmoil they had faced and so much more. The bottom line is that I realized just how much I knew about birth defects and everything that went along with each one. Some of the things I've seen are scary - not the individual with the disability - but the complications that can arise as a result of the disability, both medically and developmentally.
With the exception of Rob, explaining these feelings to those around is nearly impossible. Just as there are aspects of other people's lives I will never be able to relate to, it is the same with the life I lead. As I got closer and closer to my "big" ultrasound, I was a train wreck. There is no doubt the Lord was testing my faith during this time. When I sat down at the computer, it took everything in me to not research various special needs. I knew this was Satan at work. I was scared, there was no doubt about that, but I held the power of how much I was going to let him in. I'm human and have fears - but only I can decide who I'm going to depend on during these moments.
It was difficult to walk away from the computer in those days just prior to the ultrasound. When I found myself wanting to research this or that, I forced myself to grab my children and hug them. I would look into their eyes, especially those of Dylan, and remind myself that they were each created by Him, in His image. Each and every child that I bore was being born for a purpose - to be a vessel of the Lord - and as His vessel, regardless of their genetic strand, was His definition of perfection in the moment He allowed their heart to beat.