Friday, May 05, 2006

Just can't shake it.

It all started a few weeks ago while watching Extreme Home Makeover I was introduced to the Craft Family. I will never meet them but after hearing their story and about living life with a daugther who has Alobas Holoprosencephaly, a serious brain malformation, I have not been able to shake the feeling that there is something "not right" about this baby I am carrying. I have no reason to think there is something wrong, I have heard a healthy heartbeat, I have gained two pounds, I have felt on and off flutters for the last month, and my apetite is slowly returning. But I just can't shake it.

I watched this family on tv and heard about their constant struggles in everything even bathing their daughter. She cannot hold her head upright or move any of her limbs, she cannot do anything for herself. And she is one of four children. The others are all healthy. This family also suffered losing a baby hours after it was born. To say that their life has been hard would be an understatement.

I was of course crying like I do every week when I watch the show and I saw this handicapped child who was not pleasant to look at, I saw three other children in need of the same amount of love as their sister, I saw a husband who had to shoulder all financial responsibility, share his wife with four other people and I marveled at them. All of the children were quite confident and secure, they all smiled all the time. The mom and dad still acting like teenagers, to hear the difference they somehow found the time to make in the lives of others despite their daily trials. I am in awe of families such as these.

And when I have a quiet moment and this thought plagues my mind I wonder if I could be such a family. I wonder if I could have the strength to get up each day and put my child's life in God's hands in a much more literal sense than I do now, if I would be able to devote as much time and energy to my non-handicapped children, if I would even have a relationship with my husband should such a stress be put in my life. I truly wonder.

I know a lot of people say they could, that you love a child regardless. And I don't doubt that I would love the child, but could I go through the every day of it? I think to say yes would be lip service. I don't feel I have the energy for it. I don't feel I have enough peace within to deal with such a hardship and that makes me sigh.

So I don't know if this feeling I can't shake is just the fear of the unknown, or if it's God preparing me for what we'll see on our ultrasound on Wednesday, or if it's God stirring up questions inside helping me to define me and carve out of life what I want and need to be the person I long to be. I don't know which of these things it is, but I just can't shake this feeling. So don't be surprised if Wednesday's ultrasound update is a bit sad, I have a feeling it might be.


Jen said...

Oh Amanda! I hope the ultrasound has nothing but great news for you guys. Having a disabled child would definitely be trying but I think that it's at these times that God blesses you in other ways, like with patience, love and understanding.

I was so worried about my ultrasound too. I think we all are. I hope these worries are nothing more than the results of a little too much Extreme Makeover. Like when you watch a lot of CSI and start seeing clues everywhere. ;)

Love you!

Anonymous said...

I think it's normal when you are pregnant to worry about the health of your baby. And most often, everything is OK. Whatever happens though, it's amazing how we humans step up to the plate and deal with what life serves us. You are a lot stronger than you realize and only when faced with adversity does this strength really come through. Keep up positive and loving thoughts.

Amanda Franks said...

Thanks for your positive thoughts Jen and whomever you are. I will for sure let the world know what we learn on Wednesday and try to stay sane until then.

Elizabeth said...

I also want to send my love to you. I'm sure that God will strengthen you through whatever you will face. I am praying for you that you feel peace with the ultrasound and the unknown that we see when children are born.
much love, Liz

karen said...

I have wondered the very same things, Amanda.
I remember, too, when I was working at Children's Hospital and all you see is sick kids, wondering just how it was possible that anyone would have a healthy child. But it happens all the time!! I agree with everyone else too, that whatever the situation, you will rise to the occasion whether it be a disabled child or one with a difficult temperament or even an easy baby! There are so many unknowns in life and having children just seems to magnify them. I'll pray that you'll have peace in the outcome of your ultrasound.