At 44, with four ridiculously healthy children ranging from 24 to 3 under my belt (so to speak), I never expected to receive the news that my current baby-in-progress was anything other than perfectly healthy. The doctors and genetic counselor have been very clear on my Gracie Anne's diagnosis, even at her early 15 weeks: she has trisomy 18 and it is brutal. Most babies will not make it full term. Those who do are likely born still. Over 50% of those able to survive the trauma of birth will pass on in their first week of life and 95% will not make it to their first birthday.
There are over 130 different health and intellectual challenges Gracie could be facing. We are not sure which will be affecting our baby and to what degree. Because of the grim prognosis, many parents decide to interrupt their pregnancies. I have a deep respect for whatever direction prospective Moms and Dads-to-be decide in this situation. You don't know until you are HERE. You can't. The intricasies of the emotions involved are unimaginable. We decided to continue. We decided to cherish each moment with which Our Lord has blessed us.
You see, I'd already put ribbons in Gracie's hair. I'd already picked out a hundred tutus and frilly, delicate dresses for her. Her nursery was complete in my mind. I'd held her hand while we walked to the bus stop. She'd shared a thousand butterfly kisses with her hero, Daddy. I can let go of those dreams, but I can't and won't let go of her sweet and beautiful heart. It has been living in mine and, though I know I will have to give her care to My Savior, who will, no doubt, love her even better than I can, I just want her with me for a little while longer.
Momma loves you, Gracie Anne. Happy birthday, warrior princess!
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