I know I've been quiet for a while, but believe me, my heart has not been. The variability of grief is pretty (insert inadequate adjective here). Today I am writing about something that has been on my heart for some time and today it wanted to be shared.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. It is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. For our family, and many other families, it is so very important that these awareness days happen in the same month, because too often these go hand in hand.
David and I decided at the start of both of my pregnancies that we would not do any of the screening tests for abnormalities. At the time I thought that the only screenings available were the very invasive amniocentesis that has a 1% miscarriage rate. It seemed pointless to consent to such a risky procedure when the results wouldn't change anything - if we had a child with down syndrome or any chromosomal disorder we would love and care for him/her as a child of God. It didn't matter.
What we didn't understand was that it does matter. Not the amount of love we have for the child, but being better prepared. You see, MANY children with Down Syndrome die before they are born. Statistically, only about 50% make it to delivery. Another 20-30% die before their first birthday. Once a child with Down Syndrome makes it to his/her first birthday, life expectancy becomes pretty much the same as any other human. But MOST don't live. Do you get what I'm saying? Violet was a statistical miracle because she was born alive and we got to meet her. When you see people with Down Syndrome they are statistical miracles. (Incidentally, God has placed so many beautiful Down Syndrome babies all over my life now. I'm pretty sure there's a ministry just waiting for me down the road).
Tonight at 7pm, I'm lighting a candle for my little miracle baby and all the other babies in heaven who never cried, never opened their eyes, never got to be held. (My Violet got mommy AND daddy snuggles before she died). I ask you to join me in remember these sweet babes and their families. Beyond today, join me in being light on this earth and loving people with God's love.