Monday, October 25, 2010

Quality of Life

Dearest Lily,

A year ago this month I was up late many nights, contemplating your future. The month of October was spent waiting for a second level II ultrasound to see if there was a change in your heart. The doctors had told us they were 90% certain that you had an AV canal defect.


In hindsight, that heart condition- or the prospect of it- was a blessing in disguise. It kept me focused on what was really important...

...your life.

I hear and read so much talk about "the quality of life." Babies are aborted every year- millions of babies- because their parents don't believe their quality of life merits keeping them.

What is quality of life? Is it based on how intelligent we are? How able to relate to other people we are, whether we can read, write, drive a car? Who determines...the quality of life...

All those nights I spent awake, a year ago.. when I sat under our big picture window, while your brothers and sisters and daddy lay sleeping in other rooms...what I was thinking about, crying about, praying about, was not- quality of life.

I was just thinking
I wanted so much to know you were going to be okay.

The Down syndrome- if in fact it was going to be an issue- we could handle.

It was your heart I prayed so hard about. I was so fearful we were going to lose you, Lily.

I prayed and prayed and asked God to take care of my baby girl. I told myself we would cross the special needs bridge- if and when we came to it.
And we are.

I lost count of how many nights I spent staring out at the stars in the sky, those stars that are without number. I stared at the moon, told myself- if God created all the heavens and the moon and the stars and this world- He could take care of us.

This universe didn't just happen. It was carefully designed, and looking out at the vastness of the night, the brilliance and beauty of those stars just reassured me- God was in control.

When my world seemed to be spinning out of control, when my heart felt like it couldn't hold any more scary news, God was there. He was carrying me through.

And somewhere along the way....your heart was fixed.
Was it a miracle?

Or were the doctors wrong?

There are other babies- many babies- who we've come to know along the way. Babies who faced heart surgeries, sometimes more than one. Would God choose to heal my baby's heart and not theirs? I don't think so. I don't think God plays favorites. But... it's also hard for me to deny that a miracle took place.
Because ultrasound after ultrasound showed no AV surgery needed...And when you were born and had your first echocardiagram outside my tummy- the doctors could find no defect.
So was it a miracle? Or just chance?

We won't know until Heaven, dearest Lily.

But I know that the waiting made me so very aware that your life was in God's hands, not mine.

And some might say that your quality of life is less than others.

But your daddy and I would disagree. Your brothers and sisters, your grandparents, your cousins and aunts and uncles, and even strangers who have come to see your sweet face here...
..have all seen a life that is beautiful and ordained and lovely and full of grace..and full of quality.

And it's late tonight, Lily. The rain is beating on my window as I type, and you are fast asleep in our bed beside me. And the moon is shining brightly behind those dark, rain filled clouds, and when I contemplate your future, I know...
Photobucket is good.

Loving you always,

Mama oxox


Ashley said...

She is so sweet. It almost makes me cry. I love that little girl <3
Laura says thank you for the happy birthday wishes :)

Stephanie said...

A miracle no doubt. Maybe there never was a heart defect. Like you said , maybe the thought of a heart defect kept you focused on what was important. Maybe the healing was for you and not Lily, or maybe God did mend her heart before birth. Whichever, like you said, won't be determined until you're in Heaven, but how wonderful that Gods hand was there, on both of you.
This was a beautiful post. Thank you!!

patsy said...

oh have me crying, again! you write so beautifully and your love just oozes for miss lily. just like you i do not know what miss maggie's future holds, but i do know she has already improved everyone who surrounds her and our quality of life. she has reminded us of what is truly inportant. i get so much more out of just looking into my girls sweet eyes than i would ever get out of anything else that life could bring....pure love.

Elissa said...

Patty, I agree with Patsy. You are so beautiful in the way your express yourself and your feelings and love for your children. Isn't it amazing how miracles happen?

Keri Jo said...

The black and white pictures make her hair look so cute as it's wisping past her ears in length :) I think it's cute she finds comfort in that 2 finger sucking - none of my kids did anything like that! And she's sitting up on her own so well - such a big girl!

Race Bannon said...

Exactly! Josiah has "quality of life" - and he can't drive a car...well.

Rose said...

Today I'm finding it impossible NOT to comment. Those three words "quality of life" make my heart wrench. All I can say is that, for those of us that traveled a much different road with our little ones *life* is a little sweeter. Squeeze your Lily a little tighter today. So thankful with you, and I must say my quality of life has certainly improved! :)

Mrs. K said...

I, too, love those black n white pictures (cookies too ;>)) as they show off Lils whispy growing hair. Love those smiles.

Sarah said...


JC said...

Beautiful words...Beautiful pictures...Beautiful post...Thank you for sharing :)