When I was younger I had this grand idea of how my life was going to go. I think most of us do. We make plans and set goals. We pursue our dreams. Along the way our goals can change. We change our plans and other times our plans are changed for us. Sometimes we can see the good in the change of plans and other times we are left wondering why things are so different than what we had wanted.
When we were first married we thought it would be a good idea to wait to start our family for a few years. We wanted to be able to “afford” kids. We were undecided on how many kids we wanted. I come from a family of six kids and my husband has ten siblings but basically grew up as an only child because of the age difference between them. He said two or three kids, I wanted three or four, or maybe more!
Well little did we know that we didn’t have much control over that outcome, even though we thought we did. Within just a few months of being married we were pregnant, and so excited! We welcomed our first son into our home and were so blissfully happy we couldn’t imagine life being any better.
When Plans Change
Fast forward a couple of years and we were excited to find out that we were expecting again. Life was good. We had a beautiful healthy toddler keeping us on our toes and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second child. (No ultrasound to determine the sex! It still wasn’t that common to find out, geez I’m old!) Things were different from my first pregnancy, but I thought maybe I was having a girl. At a routine appointment starting my eighth month our baby no longer had a heartbeat… How could this happen?
Our little boy Justin was born on February 10th of that year. The doctor recommended some genetic testing to see if we could find any answers. The weeks drug by and I was sure that somehow it was my fault that we had lost him. I remember the day the doctor called like it was yesterday. He asked how I was and I thought that was such a dumb question. How do you think I am??? He said he was calling with the results of our sons autopsy. They found that he had a rare chromosomal abnormality called Triploidy. The doctor briefly explained that our son had a whole extra set of chromosomes and that babies with this particular abnormality usually miscarry in the first trimester of pregnancy and that they consider them incompatible with life. (meaning if they are born alive they will not live for very long.) It was a miracle that I had carried him so long.
I began to take it all in. Losing him wasn’t my fault! I had given him the best chance I could- that anyone could have for life. I also started to realize that even though this was so heartbreaking I was also blessed to have the time with him that I did. When I think of all the testing that is out there we could have had a much different scenario. We could have been told early during pregnancy that our baby had something wrong, we could have had test after test to figure out what it might be, and so many sleepless nights of worrying, we could have had to decide to terminate the pregnancy based on those findings. Instead we enjoyed the possibility of another child. We were excited to welcome another baby in to our home. I’ve always been grateful that we had a peaceful pregnancy.