Although not for genetic reasons I have come to the realization that my two year old is our last. The posibilty of a third has always been there. I'm certainly not complaining about extra snuggles at bed time any more. It's a sad prospect.
It's amazing what a little perspective can do, eh? Granted, I probably should have had a pretty good one all along given the fact that he's here at all, but sleep deprivation is rough. I'm grateful for the mental reprieve at the moment at least. Enjoy your extra snuggles.
Ali, never say never. Knowledge belongs to God. Our times are in His hands, as you certainly know. Zoe's health is no mistake, and Ethan's CHD and good health is no mistake either. There is a plan..and it's for good. You and Phil are one flesh. Assigning 'credit', for good or bad, is probably not consistent with this oneness. I hope that again, you will believe God for doing exceedingly abundantly in the life of your family, as He is known to do. Much thanks has gone to Him, and glory, for all He has done so far..surely He will continue, and so must we.
In no way do I want to minimize your pain at hearing this news, but I urge you to consider that God may have another child or two or ?.... in store for you via adoption. I know many couples who have walked that path and are grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to parent little ones that would otherwise be orphans or languish in foster care. Adoption need not be second best, but a very loving option for you and Phil and for the wee ones longing for a forever family. With gratitude for your honesty, transparency in your writing and your love for Jesus.
Ali, I think this is my first time to comment, but I've been reading your blog for MANY years, so many that I can't even remember what friend of mine told me about you. It has been a privilege to watch from afar as you have continued to trust God in good times and bad.
Tonight my heart is aching with you and your family. I've been praying for Ethan since before he was born, and I can't imagine what you are feeling right now. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers. God has brought your family so far and know that He will continue to be there each and every step of the way. May you be filled with a sense of His presence, His love, and His peace.
I'm so sorry to hear what you are feeling at the moment. As you say, there is no blame here - but it is so very hard not to feel responsible for what is in your genes when it manifests itself in your beloved child. And I'm also so very sorry for your loss - because the knowledge that there will be no more children truly is a loss, and I hope you know it's ok to grieve for it. That doesn't make your love for Zoe and Ethan any less.
Remember, when you can, that you have given Ethan so much more than that one gene. You built him out of your own body - yes, his blueprint came from both you and HoJ, but the materials came from you, right down to his first, vital, immune system. And since his birth, it has been so obvious that you give him boundless love and commitment, that you have poured your heart and mind and strength into being the mother Ethan needs and being the mother that Zoe needs, too.
I hope none of this comes across as patronising or otherwise obnoxious - I know I don't comment here much, but I've been following your journey here for years, and you and your family have often been in my prayers, as they are now.
Your little boy's beauty (I think you can say that about little boys until they turn into "handsome") is breathtaking. I read your post while nursing my three-month-old daughter and my heart aches with yours. I know that what God ordains is always good, but sometimes it would be so nice to have the curtain peeled back and to see and feel a little more of that goodness in the moment. I pray that God gives you grace to rest in him and to relish your sweet moments with Ethan, as well as the freedom to not feel guilty when you wish for a little more rest.
Sending you hugs. I don't think it's ever easy to realize you've had your last baby before you were ready to get there, but it must be magnified by the complications of Ethan's condition. And yes, we all fail to notice the lasts as they slip by. When was the last time my son nursed? I didn't know it'd be the last. When was the last time we went to a playground? I didn't know it'd be the last. Now my double hearts walk around further from my body for more hours every day and I don't ever feel sure they're coming back. It's a terrifying business. Will it make you feel any better if I say you get used to it and you do the best you can? No, it will not. So instead I send hugs. And my thanks for the reminder not to take anything for granted.
Our daughter is our first and our only, so I both do and don't know how you feel. We had her when I was 36, so having another was already in the "probably not" category and since my husband was the one home with our firstborn, we just knew that adding a newborn to a toddler wasn't the right decision for our family. I do a lot of scrapbooking to pair sweet memories and stories with sweeter pictures -- a way to remember and relive with all the love of a Mama's heart. Your post tore at my heart and I'm sending you hugs and prayers today.
Oh, Ali, my heart aches for you. I know that nothing I can say will make it any better, so let me just send you a hug and assure you that I pray for you and your family often. God is so good, and He has a plan. Isn't it good that He doesn't show us His whole plan from the very beginning? He reveals it in His good timing - and doles out plenty of grace to go along with it. And some day, you'll look back at it all and see how He has used every step of your journey to mold you into His perfect daughter.