For those of you who don't know, I am part of an online community for parents of children with SB. These women, whom I've never met, have become some of my closest friends. They have become Brenden's loudest cheerleaders and my strongest support system. These moms know the shoes I walk in. They know the challenges of raising a child with spina bifida. But so much more than that, they understand just how blessed I feel to have Brenden as my son. They know what an amazing gift God has given me...has given us.
For the past three days, my mind has been racing a thousand miles a minute. My heart has been breaking. My eyes have shed tears. Thursday night I logged in to this online community, when I came across a post from a mom of 2, with a 3rd on the way, who has recently learned that her unborn child has SB. She linked to her blog, where she was conducting an online poll. A poll to determine if she should terminate her baby. She feels like a child with SB would burden her family. It would cramp her style. She and her husband don't have time for a child "like this." She is leaving the fate of her baby in the hands of strangers. So many of my SB mom friends have reached out to her. We have shared with her our blogs so she can get a glimpse of these amazing children we all have been blessed with. But she still feels like her baby would be a burden...to her, her husband, her children, and the community. She states that she's in a no win situation. She feels that God has been giving her signs that point towards termination. Hasn't God given her a sign that she is meant to have this baby...I mean she is pregnant and life is a gift from God, right?
I have not responded to this woman. Because I know I couldn't be nice. Who is she to say that Brenden, my son, shouldn't be alive because he has a disability? I have never really been in her shoes as most of the other moms have. We didn't know about the diagnosis prenatally. Brenden was 5 hours old before we knew he had SB. So I guess I was never given the option to delete spina bifida from our lives. But had I had the choice, there would have been no choosing. Each person is designed by God and Brenden is who he is for a reason. He has purpose. His life has meaning. He is God's child. And he will forever be my child.
Did I ever think I could become this person that I am today? Absolutely not!! If you told me two and a half years ago that I would know the meaning of AFO or VCUG or VP shunt I would have laughed in your face. Had someone told me that I would act as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and nurse just to help my child reach his potential, I would have thought you were crazy. Not me. No way could I, ME, ever do those things. But I do. Every day. With no regrets. With no remorse. With no bitterness.
I wish I could just reach through the computer and shake this woman back to reality. Terminate your baby, seriously?!?! It's JUST spina bifida. Is it easy, heck no! But will your life be changed...immensely!
I don't know a single person who would say that Brenden shouldn't be alive. Never once has it ever crossed my mind that he is a burden to my family. If anything, our family, friends, and even strangers have learned many lessons from Brenden. Strength. Perseverance. Courage. Patience (though I still need work on that one!).
Mommy actually let me play in the germ infested gym inside the mall?!?!?!
Ready for the parade
Train ride at Skyline Caverns