Per Merriam-Webster’s third definition of “monument” we find: “a lasting evidence, reminder, or example of someone or something notable or great”
And this week I found exactly that evidence, those words that stayed with me. Today I am 35 weeks, 1 day pregnant with my third child. At that exact same stage with the Quail in-utero, we received the first hint of the magic hiding deep inside her and of a transformation of our lives to come.
At the time, it did not feel like the revealing of a magical surprise. It felt scary. I had not had any inkling that anything might be amiss and so I had gone to the appointment alone. I remember sitting in my car afterwards and calling Lovey and my mom in tears. I came home and slowly started letting people know what our latest pregnancy update suggested.
There were words from a friend that stuck in my mind and heart of all the responses I received to our news. Unknowingly kind words. These words are my monument. Most people do not know how to respond to the news of a potential flaw in your pregnancy, your child, your heart. Inevitably, but without malice, people end up saying things that are hurtful. Words can sting when people don’t know what to say and haven’t had cause to think of their impact before. As a parent to a child with special needs you eventually get to a place where you stop judging people’s words and look at the intent behind them. If they did not mean them unkindly, you do not take them unkindly. Really, what’s the point? Why hold on to things people didn’t mean to harm you with? They would have done better if they could.
For the last 3 years, I have gone back periodically to my email and tried to locate this response from my friend whose kind words stuck in my mind and heart. The words that were intended to show confidence in us as parents and beauty in every child. I have not been able to find it until this past week. Finding that letter again is a real gift. I guess parts of the process of a new life-long diagnosis never really go away. You do move on. You see past it eventually. You see your actual child first again; as you envisioned before the diagnosis tried to take that vision away.
I am glad what I am left with three years later as that little girl starts public preschool is the kindness of those around me. A monumental kindness…a lasting evidence that everything is all right.
Thank you dear friend for saying these words that helped us to see through our tears and into the heart of our home.
“Just let me know when you need me to be a driver, a cook, a babysitter, grocery shopper….whatever you need. I hope that everything goes as smooth as silk for you and your baby girl. Whoever your daughter is, she is coming into a very nurturing and loving family. She and Zuzu have good taste in parents.”
Those words meant the world to me when she sent them. When I found and read them again this week Sugarplum gave a little thump. You see today I go in again for an ultrasound and ironically, today Sugarplum is 35 weeks 1 day. The difference that today holds from our today of three years ago is I go in stronger, wiser, armed with Lovey by my side and hope born out of our familial history to show me that things will be ok no matter what they try to tell us. That our future, no matter how uncertain will be filled with happy little ordinary afters, whoever our newest little daughter is…
Corner view is a weekly Wednesday date hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or poetic in form from around the world: Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine
What a post! It nearly brought me to tears. I don’t know if I had that strength, but in fact we all don’t know until we’re in a situation to prove it. There’s nothing better than having friends and family around that keep up and give a helping hand NO MATTER what happens. Sadly, I sometimes met the other opposite which is hard to deal with, especially when you’re in despair. So I was moved by the words of your friend and I’m glad it turned out like this for you. Wish all the best for you and the new life that’s coming!
Blessings on your pregnancy.
Beautiful words! Wishing you all the best with your pregnancy and growing family.
Beautiful post Cole. One of the most precious gifts a parent gives his/her child is the assurance that they can be loved for what they are.
In your mind, you’ve been able to turn that “life-long diagnosis” into the “whoever your daughter is” – and judging from the potty training post, she’s a delightful little lady.
I think you’re a very lucky woman, in that you’ve been able to go with the flow, and in that you have this cutiepie by your side.
I can totally relate. When our son was diagnosed in utero with a congenital heart disease and not knowing if there were any other genetic componants many people said things that were unkind. I don’t think they meant to be, but not everyone I have realized can be a stong as I . One person told us to abort our son because it would not be fair to our other two children to have a special needs child in our home. They rationalized this action by saying we had two healthy children and should be greatful. So glad we didn’t listen. He is a beautiful, sweet, and magical child. The gifts he brings to our family have been amazing. Congratulations on your newest addition. I will be praying for an easy delivery for you.
yes, these feelings you describe are monumental, and the decisions you have made are, and who you have finally become. such courage, such love!
You never reported back after this, I imagine everything went well, and that you’re now into your last month of pregnancy – we’ll soon get to “meet” her! 🙂
Oh my!!!! Thanks Francesca- I have a whole set of Sugarplum posts I need to make! But yes, all appears to be well, and she is measuring 6 lbs 10 oz. They are going to check her weekly and around the first of April if she is measuring over 9 lbs they will schedule a c-section for the following week and if she is measuring under 9 lbs then they will schedule an induction for the following week! Thanks for checking friend! Not long now!