Monday, September 14, 2009

How Do You Decide?

When we were fresh from losing Nicholas & Olivia, we had genetic counselling. We wanted to know if there was any way to conceive a child free of SMA. A complicated, expensive option told to us at the time was the possibility of creating fertilized embryos, and pre-testing them to determine which ones were "healthy" and which ones were "sick".

The question I couldn't answer was, what do we do with the "sick" ones? Each of them would be the beginning of a child that we created. Destroy them? Leave them in storage indefinitely? We could not go ahead with a procedure that created such a dilemma. [For those readers who have contemplated or gone through with this procedure, please read no judgment into our thought process. This is our personal journey and each couple in this situation faces their own unique way of making this decision.]

Time passed and the decision to try again lay dormant, resurrected from time to time by each of us in turn (usually when the other wasn't ready). What finally started to turn things for me was taking part in the Children's Hospital radiothon earlier this year. None of those parents would have chosen the path that they had been put on, but once on those paths, they would not have traded the experiences they had with their exceptional children for anything. I began to wonder what "healthy" and "sick" really meant, and whether we as a society have the right perspective in seeking perfection when it comes to our children.

I came to the realization that just as we could not make the choice between our "healthy" embryos and our "sick" embryos (they were all our children to us), we could no longer hold back a choice between conceiving a "healthy" child and a "sick" child. We had to lay down our fear and put aside the condition that we would only try again if we knew the outcome would be what we wanted. If we were able to predict the outcome that we wanted each time, would we have chosen to conceive Nicholas and Olivia? It's a scary thought.

Do you ever wonder what you may have missed out on because you were too afraid to try? I don't want to live like that. Because of God's amazing grace, I know He will lead us with infinite wisdom and extravagant love. He has promised good things for our family.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's OK to Ask

Could it happen again?

Yes. It could.

Will you know ahead of time?

Probably not. We have decided that testing for SMA ahead of time is too risky to the pregnancy and will not change anything anyway. The decision to welcome another child into our family took the risk of SMA into consideration. We actually have a 75% chance of having a healthy child. We will test our baby at birth so that if SMA is an issue we can ensure the best quality of life that we can.

Wow, you're brave.

It is actually pretty exciting to toss caution aside and follow your heart. But I think that anyone who decides to welcome a child into their family is brave. You never know what can happen.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Well, if you haven't noticed by now, I've changed my username from mom_of_3 to mom_of_4. Yes, we are expecting another child to join our family, around the end of March.

We are very excited and hopeful and continue to believe that God has good things in store for our family. It is quite exhilarating to take this step of faith and open our hearts to get to know another beautiful new life!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Beautiful Story

This clip is about a family whose son was diagnosed with Trisomy 13 in utero, which meant that he would not live long after birth. It is a beautiful story to watch, but not for the faint of heart...

I still find it amazing that such hard things can be so beautiful.
I know. I lived it.