Friday, August 25, 2006

For Whom Am I Crying?

I've been choking back tears a lot today.

Keryn is halfway through her pregnancy with our third child. We had our ultrasound this morning and discovered that our baby boy has spina bifida. This is a physical problem with the formation of the spine that can cause paralysis in extreme cases. Usually there is some form of nerve damage that will affect the lower body in some way.

Keryn and I have tried to keep on our brave faces, but breaking the news to our family and friends today has been challenging. I work with a lot of university students. Three of them were in my office for various reasons shortly after I got back to work. One of them cheerfully asked me how the ultrasound had gone. I wasn't able to keep my composure. (Awkward for him!)

Throughout the day I've wondered for whom I am crying. Am I really so godly that I sorrow for the pains of my child yet unborn? Or do I cry for more selfish reasons? Do I feel I've been robbed of the "normal" future I might have had with my third child? Am I crying for the pain my wife is feeling and for the great struggles that lay ahead of her?

Probably a bit of everything.

I hope my son won't be ashamed. I know there are deaf people who cringe at the label "disabled" and don't want to be pitied. It sounds like spina bifida is a condition something akin to being blind or deaf. Part of your body doesn't work normally but your brain is intact. I'm crying for my son today, but I hold out a hope in my heart for his bright future.


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  • I'm sorry for the pain you are in. There are so many things to grieve.

    By Blogger Stephen, at 8/26/2006 3:28 PM  

  • With parents like he will have....

    His future will be glorious.

    By Blogger Eric Nielson, at 8/26/2006 4:07 PM  

  • I'm so sorry.
    Don't be afraid to cry...for all those reasons.

    I read a postcard on PostSecrets that really touched me last week. The card said: "I don't tell anyone he has Tourette's and OCD. I am ashamed that I passed it on. I am sorry, Buddy." Someone wrote a comment to this person saying, "My mother passed Tourette's on to me. She also passed on to me the courage to deal with it."

    Sending much love out into the universe to your sweet family.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/26/2006 6:21 PM  

  • Wow, that's tough news.

    It won't change my life one bit, but I'm here crying with you.

    I'm with you in holding out hope for his bright future, and we'll be sending our prayers your direction. We love you guys.

    By Blogger JandS Morgan, at 8/27/2006 7:38 PM  

  • I cried for myself and for my wife when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but my pity party lasted only a few days, and then I started getting on with dealing with the situation.

    What I didn't realize at the time was how hard it was on my parents. They shed a lot more tears than I did. Despite their understanding of the eternal nature of life, they still mourned for -- I don't know what -- for a loss of normalcy perhaps. I still wonder, more than 17 years later, exactly what I mourned about.

    Yes, I've read lots of literature about grief, and it all makes sense. It seems to be a necessary element of our natures that human logic is powerless to overcome.

    So go ahead and mourn, knowing that the Savior is there with you, understanding your every emotion, even if you do not. And when the mourning is over, move ahead with the process of dealing with the situation. I have discovered that there are some surprising and even pleasurable treasures hidden in the challenges.

    By Blogger Scott Hinrichs, at 8/28/2006 12:25 PM  

  • Everything happens for a reason. You have been given a rare gift of being a parent to a special needs child. You have been given the oportunity to raise a child that didn't need to be born into a perfect body. I have known two child (now adults) born with spina bifida and with one of the accompaning disabilities. Having spina bifida never slowed them down and having them in my life was a blessing. I learned to think of their needs first beyond my own.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/05/2006 6:36 PM  

  • I hardly know what to say to so many kind comments. Please know that Keryn and I read them all and that we've been deeply touched and comforted by your words.

    By Blogger Bradley Ross, at 9/05/2006 8:46 PM  

  • Our families are the best part of us. Be proud of your little one. He'll make the world a little better, just by being in it.

    By Blogger Grégoire, at 9/08/2006 7:29 PM  

  • God bless you and your family that you may be strengthened to face the challenges that may come and that His love will permeate your home and hearts.

    By Blogger m_and_m, at 9/10/2006 12:13 AM  

  • i'm reading this late, i know. i saw a comment of keryn's on another board and had to come read. we're expecting our third babe and have spina bifida in the family (mom's cousin and mom's aunt). we'll be getting an ultrasound in a couple of weeks to check things out. we only get ultrasounds each child to check for the sb and it's nerve-wracking waiting for that day to come.

    there is much to grieve, but more to celebrate. may you feel encircled with love.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/06/2006 10:19 AM  

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