The Biggest Question I've Ever Asked Myself

Because my body decided to be weird, I had reason to take a pregnancy test recently. I'm not, so just stop that already. I never thought I was, really, but nine weeks is a very long time with no unwelcome visitor, and being of childbearing age what else was I to think? Things have become normal again, which either means that the holiday stress was way more than I figured it for, or I'm older than I realized.

But all that gave me reason to think about things that I'd never had reason to think about before. Things like having another baby, and how it would impact our lives, and what Micah would think of a younger sibling, and where on earth we'd put another kid, and how we'd feed it. (You read that with rising panic, right? Because that's how the thoughts came tumbling out of my head.)

And then a thought whispered itself into the chaos, arresting all panic with it's weight. What if we had another child with a disability?

When Micah was born, the shock of his diagnosis rocked our world. I call it the Snow Globe Effect. Our lives were turned upside down, shaken, and set upright again, and we were expected to pretend that nothing was amiss, although pieces of what was previously our normal life were falling around our feet.

In the past six years we have found a new normal for our family. It looks more like a spontaneous and random bowing to fate, but we've adjusted. And we're loving our new life, with Micah at the center. If you would have told me, six years ago, that one of our children would call the shots on a daily basis in both big things and small, I would have scoffed. We're the parents; our children don't rule us. Yet, here we are, following Micah to therapies and specialists and meetings. We sit through IEPs and have become experts at navigating the hospital's surgical wing, and we're still using diapers and sippy cups even though our youngest is closer 7 than 6.

Life will never be normal again. I've never wondered what it would be like if it were, because that wouldn't change things. I simply go on, taking one day at a time, and wondering, instead, what may be rather than what could have been.

So when my head asked the well-founded question, no doubt motivated from that fear of what might be, "what would you do if you had another child with a disability?" my heart was quick to answer, "love it." From the depths of my being, peace overwhelmed me. I would welcome the possibility of another someone to disrupt our lives. We would find a new normal. Again.

The only thought that still lingers is one that baffles me. Why was I taken aback by my complete acceptance? Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

15 comments:

Monica said...

That's exactly how it's supposed to work. Isn't it nice to be surprised by that? Beautiful post.

Krista said...

Karen, that was expressed so beautifully. I was really touched. Beautiful picture, too.

Viv said...

Well, if the outcome had been different, you would have 5 awesome kids instead of 4, and you would spend many more than 14 years changing diapers.

the planet of janet said...

beautifully said, my friend. beautifully said.

chasingalittlelion said...

Wonderful post. I'm at a loss for words so I'll just softly *applaud.*

Roger said...

Having been shocked with the words "I'm pregnant" twice after thinking we were done, I guarantee that you would totally accept whatever you were faced with.

Besides, it will fill out your header. :)

Great post!

Trisha said...

Your post really speaks volumes for the love of mothers. Of course you would love another "special needs" child. That is what mothers do.

Melissa said...

You know Karen, you a truly a beautiful woman inside and out. As a child who grew up different due to a disability it really is awesome to hear someone say something like this.

You and Micah are so lucky to have one another!

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

You are just awesome in so many ways!

mommaof4wife2r said...

you are so honest and so real...and love that! i have b's IEP next week...hard, but i think i'm adjusting to our normal here too. you rock my stinking face off, btw.

Tara said...

Wow. I could have written this post (although, not as beautifully as you). I, too, had a pregnancy "scare" that didn't really scare me, but caused me pause. And then I wondered, "what if?" What if we had another one with Ds? And, amazingly, I found myself excited about that possibility! No baby here, either, though. :)

Michelle said...

Yep, that is absolutely how it is supposed to work... and you'd be a great mother again. Just ummm be glad that you're not? ;)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Beautiful, Karen.

SunflowerMom said...

So beautifully written! I read it after you posted and have just been thinking about it since. I'll tell you this, Sean is a fabulous big brother and has the BEST relationship with his sister BECAUSE he has Ds. He shares her interests, keeps up with her enthusasim. He speaks her language. A typical 5 yr old would not have that connection with a 1 yr old.

CC said...

wonderful post