Forging through shallow waters: Looking for a good place to dive in


When I sit down to think of my life up to this point, and the majority of what and who I am surrounded by on a day to day basis (tv & free time included) I would ultimately consider my “way of life” as just getting by.  I have had a terribly emotionally challenging day today, and as I was winding down my day, I had this image come to me: I was walking through this world only ankle deep in the good news of the Lord, ankle deep in my relationships with others, ankle deep in my personal relationship with god, and ankle deep in my relationship with Paul… I refer to the lyrics of a classic song by John Prine (A song reminiscent of my parent’s musical choice throughout childhood):

“That’s the way the world goes ’round

You’re up one day, the next your down

It’s half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown

That’s the way the world goes ’round”

Today seemed to be just that, another day forging through the shallow waters of this world when all of a sudden my strong and stubborn exterior crumbled before me and I was drowning in, fear, worry and self pity…I refer to the waters as Shallow because, that is really how I view worldly ways that are separate from God’s will and when you are immersed in the him.   You can tell me a million times “everything is going to be okay” but I am consumed at times by my weakness and spiritual immaturity. All in all, this of course ties back into Grady and Down Syndrome, and my sudden feeling of urgency to find ” a swimming hole and dive in” I am anxiously in constant thought of that what is a “swimming hole” … To me it is the picture of a more complete relationship with God, a more complete relationship with others and with all of that I just don’t want to stumble so quickly and feel as if I am “drowning in a half an inch of water” on a daily basis.

My drowning moment came today as we were leaving the Mall. Christmas time and all is jolly right? Paul, like the wonderful husband he is, went to get the car for me so I didn’t have to make the two mile trek to the parking space. While I was waiting,  I noticed a group of people walking past me, they were all pretty severely mentally/physically handicapped (from my standpoint) with very young women aides assisting them out of the mall. I assume they were from a state run group home. The last man, who slowly passed by was about 40 years of age had Down Syndrome.  I don’t know his story, I don’t know his life, but I saw a sweet man with Down’s and right away my heart started to ache, because I wondered “where is his family? Does he have friends? Is he happy? Why isn’t he living with other Down’s people? If something happens to me or paul, where will Grady end up?”  I pretty much wanted to give him a big hug.  The women working with this group of men, didn’t seem overly delighted to be trucking the group around the mall, and I just got the weird vibe from them (the aides). So as Paul pulls up the truck, my eyes are filled with tears and for the first time in a about a month, that heart pounding, dry heaving sobbing began. Ugh.  I was drowning in my own tears & fears.. the unknown future… I was drowning in that half an inch of water.  Paul told me I allowed the devil in, the fear, the doubt…. maybe he is right, I am sure he is. Paul never saw me cry like that, I am sorry he did because it is so deep and personal, I could tell he felt so helpless, but he did the best he could to understand and reassure. 

The only way I can possibly be reassured is by making more time to read the bible, praying for patience and being open to God’s Promise for me and Grady. Diving deep into the Word in preparation for this new chapter in life. Spending more time in prayer  and less time on the computer… more time focused on the present and less on the future, and trying to love deeper. I am affirmed tonight on all that Bible says in reference to God forming my child and how he really cradles our existence way before we are born. God truly handpicked an extra chromosome for Grady to share with the world, No Mistake….

Job 12:9, “Who among all these doesn’t know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?”

Psalm 22:9, “Yet Thou are He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother’s breast. Upon Thee I was cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother’s womb.”

Update: This ever so emotional day is not directly stemming from  reading DS literature this time, but a doctor’s appt. yesterday. Grady continues to surprise us as his overall health is the picture of perfection according to the ultrasound. He is in the 54% overall for an average baby, his head and stomach are measuring together at 30 weeks, and his arms and legs bones are close behind at 28 1/2 weeks. He is in the top percentile for head size and abdomen, and his bone size pulls him down to the 54%.  He weighs 3 pds 14 ounces, and is moving around like an acrobat everyday. Our Ultrasound tech threw us a curve ball when she attached the 3D ultrasound wand on without our knowledge of consent, and in a blink of an eye we went from looking at his profile to seeing our unborn son’s face in plain sight. WOW. Not sure I was ready for that, I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to see my Grady until his birthday. But there he was in all his glory, swimming around, opening his eyes, rubbing his eyes and looking all baby like. It is truly amazing, but most of our time was trying to figure out if he looked like he had Down’s.  The tech said she wouldn’t be able to tell if we didn’t have the confirmed diagnosis. Here is a picture of Grady in 3D, to me I do see Downs… but it really doesn’t matter, I really see a button nose and my baby boy that needs a HUG!

3d Grady! Not as clear as it was on the screen, but truly amazing!

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4 thoughts on “Forging through shallow waters: Looking for a good place to dive in

  1. april narretto says:

    Hi, My name is April and I just found your blog. I am sitting here reading your post as tears roll down my face b/c just 4 years ago I too was pregnant, unsure if my baby had DS…we knew he had a heart defect which would need surgery and the probabitliy of him having DS was 60 percent. We opted not to do an amnio. Anyway, I remember the pain I felt how all of MY dreams were crushed…nothing was going to be the way I planned. Not thinking He is the one in control ALWAYS. Our plans are not always our Father’s. So after months of agonizing pain about this baby and our future, we had the most precious baby boy. He has brought more love and joy into our family than we ever could have imagined and he is the light of our life (as well as his 3 big sisters). It is not always easy but when is life easy?… but we all have a more true understanding of the meaning of life. If you would like to contact me or you just need a shoulder to cry on please feel free to at narrettog@yahoo.com. I would love to follow you blog and “meet” your newest additionvery soon.
    In Christ,
    April

  2. adrienne says:

    You’re husband is right, that’s the devil trying to get you down in any way he can. You truly have to dismiss those thoughts when they enter your head, although I know it’s hard.

    It’s funny because as soon as Bennett was born I wanted to know if he looked like he had Down syndrome and even now I think his features aren’t that obvious. But I took him to a doctor the other day and they did not have in his chart that he had DS so I said “I don’t know if this was in his chart but he has DS” and the doctor said “I know, I can see it”. That’s the first time anyone has said that and I was a little bummed for some reason but then I thought you know what, he has DS, there’s no getting around it, he always will so why try to hide it or think people can’t see it. I notice other people with DS so why do I think others won’t see it in Bennett. I guess it’s just that motherly love that you don’t see it as much.

    Just to give you an idea of what it’s like to have a baby with DS-right now Bennett is swinging right beside me and every time I look at him he just smiles with these adoring eyes. Sure it will get harder and be different as he gets older but I don’t have to deal with that right now, I have today and that’s what I’m focusing on.

  3. Christie Taylor says:

    I love your blogs. Just one word of advice…listen to your husband. Don’t let Satan steal your joy and your thunder. Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself. You are blessed, Grady is blessed, your whole family (and those you don’t know) are and will be blessed because of Grady’s magnificent 47th chromosome. We had no prenatal diagnosis for Joseph but I can say the Lord whispered to my soul from the beginning of my pregnancy and I knew the baby on the right side of my tummy (I have twins) would be born with “something”. I didn’t know his full secret until I laid eyes on him but I have never been sad, I have never needed to grieve. Do I worry from time to time? Sure, but I admit it is wasted energy. In time we will make the necessary arrangements to see that Joseph is cared for once we are gone but other than that, I really need to leave it at my God’s feet. Keep your chin up. Grady has wonderful blessings in store for you.

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