Our sweet baby boy is expected to arrive in FOUR weeks from today. I fully expected this pregnancy to fly by faster than when I was pregnant with Roslynne. What I wasn't expecting was the news we found out on April 2nd. After being referred to the University of Iowa after an ultra sound showed his limbs were behind in growth, we were told that day that he is expected to be born with Achondroplasia or better known as dwarfism. As you can imagine, we have gone through a roller coaster of emotions. To be quite honest, it was devastating. We went through days of highs and lows and felt we were alone in the diagnosis. Through the University we have been connected with a few families with children that also have Achondroplasia and have learned quite a bit. After meeting one family in person last weekend, we have really realized we're still incredibly lucky to have this little ("little" takes on a whole new meaning now ;) ) guy in our lives. Besides, God doesn't let you make those types of choices - he will be loved by us regardless. Granted, no one knows what will happen until D-Day but we are certainly ready for him!
Through this experience I have been able to focus on the bigger things in life and that the paint color on his wall doesn't matter. At all. You know what else I have learned? That I married the best man in the WHOLE world. He made sure to lift my spirits when I was down and always knows how to reassure me when I'm feeling lost. We've told family, friends and co-workers our news and everyone has been very supportive. I realize we will have situations I won't handle well down the road, but I'll get better at it and explaining it will start to come naturally.
A friend with a disabled child, sent me this poem (hang on, it's a long one!)
Welcome to Holland
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this…
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
The pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.
Written by Emily Perl Kingsley
Anyways, that's our news and I can't wait to report back about this special boy about to join our family. In the meantime, here's my little chicken! You might not be able to see it, but she's overjoyed about a pebble she found!