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Pregnancy, And What Really Matters

Today I’m upending my self-imposed maternity leave with a piece over at Her.Meneutics about my pregnancy with Ace.

Throughout my pregnancy I thought a lot about the things people say to pregnant women. Things that aren’t a big deal unless there’s reason to be worried. (“How’s the pregnancy going?” isn’t always so easy to answer.)

I was less worried about health issues, though there were some, and more afraid in general: of the future, of what would asked of us, of who my baby would be. And the questions of strangers were a constant lesson in reevaluating those fears, of receiving the good gift God was giving me.

And when I say “good gift” I mean it. Look at this face!

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Here’s a little bit from the post:

And the strangers at the playground and the library, the acquaintances at my son’s school, asked the same questions people have asked for ages. “How’s the pregnancy going?” they asked. “Is everything healthy?”

They asked the questions I’d asked pregnant women in my life so many times before. They asked the questions I was asked in my other pregnancies, questions I never thought twice about answering.

“How’s the pregnancy going?” I didn’t want to lie, and I didn’t want to tell the truth either. I didn’t have words for the strangers and acquaintances. What could I tell them except that I was afraid?

Our child would have Down syndrome, and I was trying to make peace with what that meant for me, for my family. I was still reminding myself that it wasn’t a dream each morning when I woke and my body was full of a child I didn’t yet know and wasn’t sure how to plan for.

Join me over at Her.Meneutics today?

 



  • Andrew Marsh

    Congratulations to you, Boyett family! Thank you, Micha, for the picture of your wonderfully made little boy! He is gorgeous!
    And special. I have met several children with Downs syndrome and they were so very loving, so loving indeed. I remember one young man, I’d say he was 12 or 13. He was sitting directly in front of me and my wife. He turned right round, it could have been in the sharing of the peace, could have been before or even after worship, and he beckoned me to him and gave me a big, happy, smiley faced kiss. Such trust in his eyes. I am moved to tears just now, recalling the memory. Such innocence was new to me. I had no children then. I was in my mid twenties and thought I knew everything and realised years later how little I did know. But that’s beside the point.
    A little story. A true life story, related to me by my mum, around 27 years or so ago. She was born in 1911 and had an older sister, Hilda, who was born disabled but was then known, quite innocently, as a Spastic. She was born a few years before my mum and, when the matron saw her, she had her put in a small cupboard, to die. Just to be left. No care. No love. Pure abandonment. Impossible to believe today, with our ultra high levels of care and professionalism. Btw, I’m getting to the point of this tale.
    My Grandfather, Ernest John Burrows, had other ideas. He was a short, stocky, athletic man, who ran what they called ‘foot races’ to win a little money to supplement his wages, as a foundryman. He decided he’d go to this cupboard, whenever he could visit and he moistened Hilda’s baby lips with Brandy! Imagine! You’d be locked up now! But he did this. And Hilda survived and after 3 days, yes, 3 days, he told the Matron, who looked at Hilda and declared “this baby’s not going to die so she better be looked after!”.
    So, and I’m almost there, my mum had a disabled sister, who could only express herself to the family, no

    • Andrew Marsh

      Continued from my earlier comment:
      could only express herself to the family, no one else. But she could only lie on a spinal board, a primitive stretcher on wheels, all day, every day. The only other option for her was to be “put away”, probably to an asylum, where she wouldn’t have survived for very long. But my grandparents being the stoical people they were, had no truck with that and for the next 43 or so years did nothing but care for Hilda. She didn’t know the holy pleasure of running outside, or inside for that matter. She didn’t go to school. She didn’t choose her clothes. She couldn’t even go to the bathroom alone. She couldn’t ever know what it would be to be loved by a man and bear children.
      Now, here’s the point of this little tale and Boyett family, please don’t be offended. I offer this snippet from my wise mum, whose first baby was so temporarily disfigured by a forceps delivery, that she wasn’t allowed to see him for 48 hours and I imagine in those long hours, when all a new mum wants is her baby, she thought back to the story about her big sister. Did she think history was repeating itself? I imagine so. The baby, my 74 year old brother, was fine and my parents went on to have 3 more boys, of whom I’m the baby at 64!
      I must have been complaining that my boys, only very young, kept playing up and she said, “Andrew, you’ve got to be grateful your children can misbehave”. You see, she knew what it was like not to be able to be naughty with her sister.
      So, Micha, pray that your new baby boy can get up to so much mischief that you will indeed be grateful he can be naughty!
      Thank you for letting me tell you this story about my Aunty Hilda, who died in 1953 and, am sure, has been having a ball with the angels in heaven, where she’s probably being a right royal pain!! Go Hilda!!

  • Ann Ehlert

    Micha, I am so excited to read about your journey with Ace along with your other littles. I have three children with my youngest having DS and all you say has resonated including your reviews on memoirs. 🙂 I’ve appreciated your writings for awhile and value the way your process what you are experiencing. Thanks for writing when you can!