Bear with me, this one has been swirling around in my heart and mind for weeks. It may be hard to follow and jump all over the place, but I’ve got to type it out. Good luck.
For those of you that don’t know yet, Chuck and I are expecting our 5th baby. We are SO excited, but when we learned that we were pregnant again, I felt conflicted about it at first. In the back of my mind, I was thinking we have only a 3% chance of having another child with Type 1, but what if?
When people learn the news that we’re pregnant, and after they have asked us if we own a TV, or if we know what causes that, their next question is almost always, “So, what are you hoping for? A boy or a girl?”
Right now we have 2 of each and they have come boy, girl, boy, girl – so, naturally it’s time for a boy. :) Plus, in my experience thus far, boys are SO much easier. My boys are hilarious and laid back and mellow, and my girls are hilarious and, well, NOT laid back and mellow. Truly, we are thankful to be blessed with another baby and it makes no difference to us whether it’s a girl or a boy, so my go-to response to the above question is usually, “Doesn’t matter to me, as long as they’re healthy.”
I don’t think I’ll ever respond that way again.
Recently, I was talking with a dear friend about the tragic death of a young person that we both knew. (Truthfully, I didn’t know this young man personally, but know some of his friends and the family he’d married into.) My dear friend was telling me about how this person’s family had known more than their share of heartache and tragedy, as many in their family (over several generations) had passed away at a young age – many caused by the same health issue as this young man. She then made the comment that she would not have had children if she’d been a part of this family. She didn’t elaborate on this statement at all, and I don’t presume to know exactly how she meant it, but her comment has stuck with me.
By all accounts, this young man that passed away was a wonderful person, and I have heard countless people testify to the impact he had on their lives. God truly revealed Himself through this man’s weakness. His legacy is incredible and he will not soon be forgotten. He may have been taken early, but I know many (too many) people who have lived to ripe old ages who never made as big a difference with their lives, or pointed as many people to Christ as this young man did. Would it have been better if his mother had chosen not to have children? Is a life only worth living if it is long? Or pain free? (Is there such a thing?)
I thought so much about what my friend had said. I love her dearly, and I’m sure she has no idea how her comment affected me, but I’ve dwelt on it a (ridiculous) lot. I kept thinking that the mindset that you should only have children if you are reasonably sure that they will be “perfect” (whatever that means) or have an easy life, shows such a lack of trust and faith in the One who creates those children. I couldn’t really figure out why this one off-hand comment was bothering me so much, it wasn’t at all said in a hateful way, it wasn’t the main theme of the conversation – it was really just a little statement that this person might not even mean if I truly questioned her about it. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that it really hit me why those words had affected me so.
I was in my girls’ room tucking them in and praying with them. I was praying about this and that, whatever was on the girls’ heart that night, when I began praying for the baby that I am carrying. I don’t remember what all I said, until I heard “and please let this baby be healthy” come out of my mouth. I’m not saying that praying for the health of your baby is necessarily a bad thing, but the moment these words left my lips I began to weep and felt so convicted. I immediately felt guilty for saying that in front of Faith (not that she’s old enough to truly understand what I was saying) and knew right away why my friend’s comment had bothered me so. Was the condition of my heart that much different from one who would choose not to have children for fear of possible health problems? Wasn’t I saying, “Thank you God for this child, BUT” as if I know better than He what this child should be?
Would I not want my child if they turned out to be something other than “perfectly healthy”?
If given the chance to go back, knowing what I know now, would I choose not to have Faith?
Absolutely not. I don’t have 3 perfect children and Faith. I have four beautiful, precious, gifts from God.
Would I take Type 1 from her if that were an option? In. A. Heartbeat. But, would I go back and do things differently? Not hardly. Do I think she would want me to? While she’s not old enough to answer that question for me yet, I believe I already know the answer. I often think back to a post written by Meri, that really touched me. She has 3 boys with Type 1, and two of them came after the first diagnosis was made.
Faith is a precious, beautiful child, and God is using her life in such a mighty way that I know He has a purpose in all this. Who am I to say, “No thanks, we’d rather you just do it our way this time?”
It’s maybe not the easiest answer, but I think I’ll just choose to trust that whatever He has planned for this baby will be perfect as well.