Like I spoke about in a previous post, I actually knew a good bit about Trisomy from reading blogs in the past. I don't know how I came to find them, but I followed Copeland's life first. I remember being up in the wee hours, during Bella's night time feedings, rocking and reading. I was amazed by her faith and strength. To be honest, more than anything, I was sad and didn't understand how one got through this. And I would just rock Bella and be so thankful for a healthy baby and family. And I'd cry (Chris did not understand why, on top of my baby hormones, I would read these blogs! haha!)
A couple of years later, I read about Hogan too. His dad wrote the blog and it was so cool how he did it. It really celebrated Hogan's short life. Pretty cool to read a dad's prespective. It was through these two blogs that I learned about Trisomy 18. (Similar but a little different than Trisomy 13.) That was pretty huge for me, because when I was told of the possible diganosis, I knew right away that I could carry this baby (even if it was a really hard journey) I knew of and had read of many that went through the same thing.
Over the last couple of years, I also followed more sad and heart wrenching stories. I also had a high school / blog friend loose a child. That of course was a lot harder as it was someone I knew. Watching her faith and strength was amazing, though. Amazing.
With all of these stories, I said the same thing. "Their strength is so inspiring. They are so strong!"
Another reason I was drawn to the blogs of the people I didn't know was to learn. My biggest, darkest fear has always been to loose someone close to me. I've spoken about this with small groups, close friends and my husband. But I've had a pretty easy life. I haven't gone through any big trials. So I've always been afraid of how I would react, how my faith would really play out if I were to have to go through something big.
I am not strong. God is holding me up. Your prayers are holding us up. And I realize now that those stories are not stories of people with incredible strength. They are real people who looked at their situation, knew they couldn't do it alone - and shared their story through a lens of faith. Without faith in something bigger than ourselves, without faith in a God who truly loves me, I may be able to "survive" because I have two other kids to take care of. But I certainly would have no hope, no joy, and this would be much much harder. I promise you this, my faith is no stronger than yours. It's just that mine has been put out for everyone to watch and see how we will react.
Thankfully I knew right where to turn when we first found out. Chris and I of course we devastated, but we thought, "If we are going to go through this, we're giving it our all."
I am learning that being strong and having faith doesn't mean I can't cry. God is quick to listen to my every plea, he doesn't turn away when I'm super short with my husband, he doesn't get angry when I get angry at my kids, he's patient when I don't understand. And I think he understands when I can cry at a blink of a dime. I'm not perfect and He doesn't expect us to be, especially when going through the ugliness of grief.
It's not fair that I have to go to regular appts and have people ask, "Oh, you're having a Christmas baby!" Agggggg, Christmas is my favorite time of year. I am just sad about this. We have no idea what this year will be like. It's cruel that my situation is never far from my mind, clouding so many things and making them seem less enjoyable. I hate thinking about possible funerals when I should be thinking about showers and diapers and decorating another room.
But after dark periods (some shorter than others - although I feel like all of last week was a long dark time), I wake up and realize - I have HOPE. I will meet Hallie one day, face to face, whether that is here on earth or in heaven. And she'll be perfect either way. I can have joy and sorrow through all of this and no one would expect anything different. They go hand in hand:
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
This kinda seems long & rambly... but my point is... I'm not strong alone. I'm still standing because I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and shows me true JOY & gives me HOPE in the midst of unspeakable pain & sorrow.