2.29.2012

Ethical debate

If you have ever been in this position, you can understand exactly the feelings that Nick and I experienced at the moment I am about to describe.

If not, you can imagine, for a moment, that you are faced with this.

Your son, who is about to be born- has been diagnosed with one of the most severe heart defects that exist.

You are in an office, talking to a doctor who tells you that there is nearly no hope- that the heart defect that he has will leave him with half a heart.

They say abortion is an option for your twenty one week baby. All you want to do is get away from these people and their intentions. You have felt this baby kick you for some time now. He is your second son, you already know. You already know his name. You have imagined him for weeks and weeks.

You have felt him stick his foot in the same spot in your ribs as his brother did. You know that when he gets the hiccups he gets extremely irritated. You know that he sleeps through the night and loves the sound of voices.


His Daddy has spent a lot of time talking to him- calling him by name.

And they tell you that his life has no future. How can it be? You have felt him, he is strong, he has a little personality... He is alive.


But you are given this option.

And then the next option is to have him, for him to be born and to watch him go through surgery that might not help him, that would leave him with half a heart. Watch him go through pain.

For the next 19 weeks of pregnancy, you get to wonder and ponder this choice. The choice to take your son home to die.

I can't say that I didn't consider it. We knew he would have at least 48 hours of life we could spend just cherishing him if we chose to do that. Before he died.

Nick and I love Gabriel. We have loved him since before he was born. Since he was a speck, we have loved him.

Every single time they strapped his heart up to a monitor (once a week or twice a week towards the end of pregnancy), I heard his heart galloping and I thought... How can we not let him fight?

But then he was born.




And you see this sweet baby. And you see his face, and you know almost immediately that he has Downs Syndrome. And then you know, the decision is there.

And you could take him away from all the pain, and all the needles, and the surgeries, and the judgement.

And everyone would understand.

But you look at him- your son. And there is not an option. You WANT him.
You want him to live.


And the only way for him to live is for those hands, reaching for him, waiting for him, for you to give him to them.

The hardest moment, the most difficult moment you could imagine is handing your son to someone to take him away- not knowing when and if you would see him so pink and so perfect ever again.

And then in the days that followed, they beg you to take him home to die. They say it is the best option. That surgery was pain. Pain he didn't need to go through.

How could a Mom argue with that? Never, for a moment, do you want to see your child hurt.

But I knew that taking him home was not an option. It was this, this surgery or die.

And some said "He has DOWNS SYNDROME. It isn't worth it."

Well to all of you people who think it would have been an ethical choice to take him home to die:




I can't say that the decision was easy.

I mean- the abortion one was. He was going to live as long as I could provide for him. That was easy.

But the surgery path, being told that he would get the first two surgeries, but would likely not survive the third... We decided to go for it- and that wasn't easy.

But look where we are now!

Gabe is going to Boston to receive a BI-VENTRICULAR repair. A WHOLE HEART. Can you imagine!? The goodness of God, the people who contacted us.. The HOPE.

If it were any more possible to be proud of the choice we made, I think it would be boasting.

Here's to the miracles that led us to Boston.

Here's to the fight.

Here's to the journey that God put us on.

2.28.2012

Happy Six Month birthday sweet boy!

Gabriel, today is your six month birthday.


I remember when you were born clearly, it was the second happiest moment of my life.



Who knew that in such a short period of time, things would change so drastically for us, my love?


Day 2 of your life, was the day I consider the most hopeless I have ever felt. But it was also the day the biggest miracle started happening.


Sometimes, I look at you, how healthy and beautiful you are, and I think... How could you have ever been that little boy that no one had hope for?


Sometimes I wonder if we should have named you Gabriel Hope McAllister (but Hope is rather girly, now isn't it?)


But Gabriel, you are my treasure. I knew you before you were born. I felt like I knew you, knew your sweet spirit, knew you had downs syndrome... Because I just knew you were my special son.


You look so much like your brother, Judah. But you also look like your other Downs Syndrome relatives throughout the world. You have such a unique family all your own, people who will understand you better than I ever will.


If you live for one year, or fifty years... I will love you for every moment of it. I feel so lucky that I get you. You are beautiful, inside, outside, all around side. God made you so unique, so perfectly yourself that it's hard to believe that some people can only see your imperfections... We need to pray for those people.


Gabriel, someday you will have a little sibling with Downs Syndrome. We have saved a very big spot in our heart for them. They will be adopted, and I think it will be a girl.


Because of you, sweet boy, I see the precious reality of life. The fragility, but also the beauty... It's all new to me now, all raw and fresh again.


The truth is, Daddy and I are lucky.































Well Gabriel,
I suppose the jist of this is that we are glad we have you around.
We are blessed to have you around for one half of a year.
It has flown by in many ways, and gone slowly on the bad days.
We have enjoyed having you in our arms for the past 6 months, and out of the hospital for the past three months.
You are strong, tough, beautiful, handsome.

And you have a big brother who loves you intensely and immensely.

We love you dearly, sweet boy.

<3

Mommy

2.26.2012

Battle of the mouth

Today was spent on a few different activities.


Well, technically this was last night. Judah doing the 'march of the ducks' as we like to call it. The word for bathtime is almost being changed to "Get your ducks!" because, of course, a bath cannot be complete without them.


And this morning, Judah was testing out Gabe's gear for him again. He's such a helper!


And here we are working on our sitting and grabbing skills, both which we excel at around here!


More working on grabbing skills

Of course, a little help from brother is nice :)

Just being cute with our sitting and grabbing adventures


And a cute boy to boot :)

Grabbing down, now if only he would consider chewing on it! :)

Choices... oh sweet Choices.


Sweet Boy again :)

Whew, what a day



And that was our early morning/afternoon. Working with the boys on the skills of life.

Judah has been wanting to be rocked to sleep in my arms for the past two nights. I can't complain, since he hasn't let me do that since he was much much younger.. But he is a bit heavier now.

Gabe, however, is content to play with his toys and grab Mommy's hair. He had ANOTHER hair trim today (had to remove another mullet in progress)- boy these boys grow hair. Judah is due for a haircut, but I want him to keep his ears so I have been reluctant to try.

:)

As for me, I'm just trying to keep my emotions balanced with all the changes coming up. And praying for peace and a path that is directed- ordered even. :)
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