Tuesday, October 26, 2010

God's Gift of Sisterhood

Have you ever been hit with emotion like a ton of bricks? I am especially sensitive when I hear about the loss of a baby. After having three miscarriages and a Trisomy 18 scare, my heart is already mended with loose threads. If you yank on one loose string, it could unravel a whole ball of emotion. It started to unravel again when a dear friend lost her baby last week at 17 weeks. It breaks my heart to know that she, or anyone else, would ever have to deal with that. The worse part is that she is my third friend to have lost a baby during the 17th week. That little blurp of a unsuspecting week...number 17. Ironically that is also the same week that I got news that our baby might have Trisomy 18...

I knew when the nurse called that it was bad news. They never call to say your test results are good. It devastated me when she said "1 in 4 chance". I quickly Googled the statistics and threw myself into a black hole of despair. Oh my God, why me? Every thing I read online about false positives were much higher numbers like, "1 in 100" or "1 in 244".  For 10 days I had to live the possibility that my life could change forever. The uncertainty and fear was lifted when my amnio and level II ultrasound reveled that my sweet baby Ryan was 100% healthy. I vowed to never take for granted anything that God gives me. However, that will never discount the feelings that I experienced, nor the pain I feel for anyone who must deal with the reality of Trisomy 18.

That would be the end of my story, but God was sending me a thousand messages this week. Today, during a conversation with a friend, she revealed to me that she lost a baby at 17 weeks to Trisomy 18. (Again with the 17th week! I don't understand why it surrounding me lately or if I'm just more in tune.) The tears burned the corners of my eyes when I heard her tell her story. It started just like mine. The emotions, the questions, the unknown....except our outcomes turned out differently. Both of us completely uneducated about that mystery word, Trisomy 18, and feeling like the only ones who ever had to look it up. I recall the same emotions after having my first miscarriage. I'd wonder why, how and that no one else could possibly relate. It's not until we open that door and talk about it that we realize we are surrounded by supportive sisters in Christ dealing with parallel experiences. Regardless of if you lost a baby at any time or had a scare that tested our faith, we are not alone. No one will ever truly know the path of anyone else until you hear their story.

Now, I'm writing from the heart with what I can take away from all this. In fact, I don't know why I'm writing like a manic about this topic. It just seems to be hitting close to home lately. Or maybe that fact that I'm an crazed, hormonal post-partum mom who has pulled these regressed feelings to the surface.

It doesn't seem fair that it takes a tragedy or a moment of uncertainty to strengthen our faith, but I get it. God's love is strongest when our own strength is weakest. But also the camaraderie that is formed between women is a positive bond that heals and uplifts us. Although it may take something unpleasant to bring us together, the friendship that stems from it is amazing gift.

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25.

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