This is the story of our precious baby boy, who was diagnosed prenatally at
17 weeks with a fatal chromosome disorder called Trisomy 13. Although
Jonathan's condition is considered "not compatible with life", we desired to give
him every chance at life. Our prayer is that those who are touched by our story
are drawn to God, who is Life Himself. John 14:6

To start at the beginning of our story, click here.

8.04.2009

preparing for jonathan


on monday we celebrated 23 weeks with jonathan. my pregnancy with him has very much felt like my pregnancy with kate: completely normal. people ask me all the time “so, how are you feeling?” my immediate reaction is always to reply about how i am doing physically: “Great.” it’s true…the morning (all day) sickness is long gone, i am getting decent rest, and i feel the constant reminder of my precious jonathan through his little kicks and punches all day long. i have absolutely nothing to complain about. i treasure this little life inside of me and thank God for him everyday.

because i feel so "normal", every day i shake my head and marvel about how if not for the science of ultrasound, we wouldn’t have a clue something was wrong with him. both greg and i are glad we know. i am thankful for the months we’ve been given to prepare, emotionally and spiritually. but more than that, i’m thankful that we knew before we began preparing our lives for the arrival of our baby boy into this world; before we started decorating the nursery, before we bought the first piece of clothing. i think those things would have made a mockery of us in a way, if we aren’t to bring jonathan home. i have come to know several stories now where the families did not know until after birth and the baby didn’t make it. to me, that circumstance would have been so much more difficult to bear. the Lord has been tender to us by allowing us the foreknowledge. my heart truly goes out to those families who were caught off guard.

so last week i made the expectant moms' customary pilgrimage out to a huge retail baby store. i needed several things for kate, but i also wanted to take the opportunity to look for a couple of things for jonathan. i hadn’t yet bought him anything. i have realized lately that he could arrive at anytime, so i wanted to be at least a little bit prepared with some things we would need at the hospital.

i didn’t really think through how being in that store or shopping for jonathan would make me feel. the moment i walked inside, i felt that awful feeling of sorrow creeping up on me. i purposely avoided the aisles full of all the things i would have needed if jonathan was going to be able to come home with us as a healthy baby. pregnant moms were slowly perusing the aisles, adding items to their gift registries. older ladies walked around with lists, obviously shopping for mom-to-be’s. i was just another pregnant mom in a baby store, except i was probably the only one who was sad about being there.

i wasn’t sure what i needed for jonathan. i knew that i wanted to buy a soft, white blanket to wrap him in for his hospital pictures. i also knew i would need a nice newborn-sized outfit and tiny socks, perhaps for him to be buried in. however, i don’t know how big he will be when he’s born, or what season of the year it will be in. eventually, i found the perfect blanket, as well as a nice fall/winter newborn outfit. i actually hesitated at first when i saw the price. how could such a small outfit cost so much? but then i remembered that it may be the only item of clothing i ever buy for him. it is money well spent.

i was also reminded by the cheerful gift aisle that i need some keepsake items, such as a shadowbox, maybe a shortened-version of a baby book. i may have to find the ones appropriate for my situation online. for instance, they sell birth announcement cards. i will likely need birth and death announcement cards. i won't be finding those in a store anytime soon. however, i did find a baby-sized bible that was covered in a beautiful, embroidered white fabric.

one thing that has become apparent to me during this experience with jonathan and magnified by this particular baby store outing is that in the past i have placed value on things that are no longer important. or actually, that never really were important now that i see a bit more of the bigger picture. it reminds me of the verse: "For now we see through a glass, darkly..." ~1 Corinthians 13:12. being in a pit of despair isn’t much fun at all, but things do become much clearer down here. there are fewer distractions. the things that are truly important remain, but everything else fades away. for instance, it doesn’t matter what brand clothing my child wears or the style of d├ęcor in the nursery. all the material things i thought i "needed" to provide for kate when she was a newborn seem so frivolous now compared to the more substantial things i need to provide for her baby brother. by saying this, i don't mean to discount the great joy expectant moms have when the time comes to register for gifts and to select all the fun items they will need. i just mean that there is a line between need and want. it's the same in life. i'm trying to become content in my circumstance and to be more careful about what i place value on. but most of all, i'm mindful to enjoy and be thankful for every moment i've been given with jonathan.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." ~ Matthew 6:19-21

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through [Christ] who gives me strength." ~ Philippians 4:11-13

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

3 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post today. Since the birth of Noah, many things that Zach and I have "wanted" have just been put to the side. Because that is what they are--wants and not needs. Things have really come into perspective for me and for Zach since Noah arrived. We have realized, too, that it really does not matter where we live or that we still live in a two bed/two bath condo. Noah really doesn't care where he lives as long as he is protected and given what he needs to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. We really have put things in life into more perspective. It's amazing what children and the coming of a child can do to parents. We are really excited for you all. Jonathan will be beautiful whenever he arrives. Cherish this time you get to spend and the time in selecting the perfect outfit and blanket for him. Those are memories and feelings you will never want to leave. Jonathan is a lucky and blessed child. Or is it that we are lucky and blessed to meet him?! Either way, we all benefit! I am excited to see you all Friday!

    Love you!!

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  2. This is really beautiful, Lauren.

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  3. lauren, this is truly humbling and amazing. what God is doing in you & through you in all this is just beautiful to watch. it reminds me of the song..."even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death i won't turn back, i know you are near. and i will fear no evil for my God is with me. and if my God is with me, whom then shall i fear? oh no you never let go, through the calm and through the storm. oh no you never let go in every high and every low. oh no you never let go, Lord, you never let go of me!" it is such a beautiful thing to see God walking you through this experience so graciously and lovingly. thank you for sharing, dear sister. love, lindy

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