If I never met you.

Dear Gabriel.

I've written to you since long before you were born. I wrote to you about how much I loved you- how much I hoped for you, I dreamed for you.

Today, I read that the testing available for early pregnancies to determine whether or not babies have downs syndrome through their mother's blood- it could eliminate downs syndrome. As in, parents would abort their babies before they ever breathe the air. Their tiny, beautiful, perfect babies.


I won't lie to you. You were born with a condition, one that many parents have taken their child home to die when they find out about. HLHS is complex. Scary. It's prognosis- for you- is grim.

Everyone wrote you off, Gabriel. Everyone but Daddy, and I, and your family. We loved you, Gabriel- we loved you before you were as big as a fingernail.

The doctors, they told us your life was not worth it, Gabe.

But yesterday, holding you in the bath, watching you smile and stare at your toes... I sang to you a song just for you.

"You are love for me.
You changed the way I see
The world around me.
If I didn't know you,
who would I be?
You are love for me."

Gabriel, you changed our lives.

Gabriel, when you were born I told your Daddy that I knew that you were too sick to live. That you would die. I lost faith- but still cried out for God to save you. I looked at your swollen eyelids (you were allergic to the antibiotics they put in your eyes)- your poor taped up cheeks, your sad little face, and I couldn't see you getting better.

I was so afraid- afraid to love you.

I knew that if I hoped you would live, that if you died... I would never be the same.

But I should have hoped anyway. When you lived, when you beat the odds, when God healed you, when you came off oxygen... When I realized I was staring at a miracle... Gabriel I love you so much.

I watch you with Judah, and I wonder if Judah will soon be able to tell that you are different. That it takes you a lot longer to do the things that he could do so easily. But all Judah does is love you, his baby. He thinks you are so cute. He smiles at his baby, wants to hold you, kiss you, say hi to you...

Gabriel, one year ago today we found out we were pregnant with you. I was so afraid to be pregnant again. I hadn't recovered fully from having your brother, and you were such a surprise.

But the second that test said 'pregnant', we wanted you.

What if we had never met you, Gabe?

Gabe, if I had never met you... I would never know how much love can endure.
I would never know how much love can fight.
I would never know what it meant to have half a heart and be living.
I would never know what it meant to have a baby with downs syndrome.

I have been taught about what truly matters, from you Gabe. That even though Daddy lost his job and Mommy and Judah and Gabe and Daddy all share a room- that love is what matters.

I would never know that there are people all living in this big house in Seattle, going through extreme situations... Watching their babies and children be as sick as sick can be.

I would never know love like I do now.

Gabriel, some people will think your life is not worth it. Not worth this fight.

But we made the choice to give you the chance to live, to fight.

We made the choice to let you have hope.

Gabriel, I would pick you. Out of all the 'healthy, normal' babies in the world, I would pick you all over again.

Judah would pick you.

Daddy would pick you.

We will never ever stop loving you. Stop fighting for you.
Please don't stop fighting, my sweet boy.



Lili said...

What a beautiful letter Julia. I learned about your journey through the fundraiser at 4Hankins Crochet. I pray for your family every day, pray for baby Gabriel every day. Thank you for sharing your story. <3

Kristin said...

You and Nick are such an inspiration. You are such beautiful people. I pray for Gabe's continued healing. He is such a handsome little guy, and he has an impact on tons of people without even knowing it. I know Judah and Gabe are going to be such nice boys.

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