Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another.
Dear Little One,
I’m sure this is not news to you as you read this, but it’s brand new to us: you’re a boy! First of all, I’m sorry for calling you Sarah and convincing other people to do the same. That ends now (although your grandpa still seems to need some convincing). Second, and perhaps more importantly, take this as your first lesson that most of the time, your dad is right. You may not use this to undermine my authority, even when it seems fair.
I was nervous going into the ultrasound we had last week, as I have been with every doctor’s visit to check you out. I also don’t think it will be news to you that you have an older brother, Ethan, whom we lost in miscarriage before we got to properly meet him. We pray for his intercession every day, that since he is close to God he can ask in a special way that we receive the grace, faith, and courage we need to do God’s will. You are a very lucky boy to have someone in Heaven paying such close attention to you.
You are also lucky to have Jacob as your other big brother. Though I’m concerned that initially he will be jealous of you, you’ll quickly see that he is easygoing, funny, kind, very sweet, and that he loves to help.
I admit I thought you were a girl, but I am nothing but thrilled that you are a boy. (Thanks for giving us a clear and certain shot, but let’s not do that again, okay?) I can’t wait to watch you and Jacob interact with one another. I think the bond between brothers is a beautiful thing: just look at your dad and his brothers, your uncles. There and elsewhere you have prime examples of what a good, strong man is. We will do our best to teach you to be the same.
Baby boy, you are coming into a world that is troubled. I suppose everyone comes into a world that is troubled, but there is something in particular that’s been on my mind, at least, while I’ve been pregnant with you.
We’ve had three ultrasounds thus far, and at two of them, it’s been suggested that your dad and I invest time and money in additional testing to determine the possibility of certain physical abnormalities in you. The first time, it was a matter of procedure. This last time, it was because there is a one percent chance that something the doctor saw on the ultrasound is a symptom of a scary condition. (Later, our doctor said the fact that your hand was open pretty much ruled that condition out.) The doctor who read our scans was not at all confident that that’s what it was, but he was required to suggest that we make an appointment with a genetic counselor. This counselor would have reviewed certain test results, had we opted to proceed with them. Because we didn’t, he would likely recommend an amniocentesis to give us more information about your chromosomes.
The doctor—who was kind, understanding, and unassuming; I really appreciated the way he spoke with us—assumed that we would make that appointment. We asked him, apart from the knowledge we’d gain, what would the course of treatment would be if the condition were present, considering we would keep you either way. He said there was nothing that could be done.
I understand that some people are interested in that knowledge. He had a point that knowing that one percent possibility was less than likely (I’m not sure the amnio would have been definitive) might ease any emotional tension we had over this news. We thanked him for explaining things as he did, but did not make the appointment. An intrusive procedure for a one percent chance that something is present that we can’t do anything about seems a waste of time, money, and energy (as our doctor later confirmed). Plus, if anything is present, we’d see more of it at the next ultrasound. Again, I understand needing to know if everything’s all right, but the cost this time was much too high.
Here’s my concern, baby boy. It is, of course, that at two of the three ultrasounds we had, the idea of aborting you if something wasn’t perfect was clear but implicit, as if no one wanted to say it out loud, but everyone was thinking it. I almost wish the doctors would have owned up to what they were suggesting—what they were required to suggest—because any mistake or oversight in their profession can be devastating. I get that, but it’s a shame. We live in a world where we are always watching our backs, so no one can put the blame on us. We live in a world where people are often not willing to take responsibility for their actions, or, more frighteningly, need someone else to take responsibility for things that are nobody’s fault.
I hope we can teach you to see the world as it is, but through the eyes of faith. I hope that you learn to trust, to hope, to love, and to give completely of yourself for God’s greater glory. I hope you become a man of integrity, one who always offers his best, but can own up to mistakes with dignity. No one is perfect, but with God’s grace, we strive to be. Your dad and I will strive to be the best parents we can for you. We love you so very much already.
Baby boy, we were lucky enough to see your face on the ultrasound, and to take home a printout of the image. Your face is one of the most beautiful things I have ever, ever seen. You look like Jacob, and I can’t wait to see what you have in common and what you don’t. You are your own person already, I know (you’re breach, too, which is something we should talk about another day), and I know I love you already.
I worried that if I was wrong in guessing your gender, I’d forever wonder if I was wrong about Ethan’s (Ethana’s)? Seeing your face made me realize that doesn’t matter. My life and our family feel more complete because you are part of it.
As I’m sure I will often tell you, “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” And I really mean that last part. Every day, every minute, you are important to me, to God, and to this world.
And to show you that, I’m going to go get us a cookie brownie. I know, you love me already, too, right?
With all my heart,