There are so many people who get pregnant and when asked if they hope it's a boy or girl, they reply "I don't care, as long as he/she is healthy". I know most of these people don't actually mean they won't love their child if they're not healthy, but this is just a very poor choice of words.
When I got pregnant, I told my Nanny that no matter what, I loved my baby, even if he/she wasn't healthy. I told her I was willing to take on the challenge of a special needs child. Now that I look back, I have no idea why I even said that, because we had no idea anything was wrong with Wendy until 22 weeks. Maybe God was already preparing me for the difficult journey I was going to undertake.
As most of you know, I had an amniocentesis done at 22 weeks pregnant. So many people say, "I would never do that!" "I am keeping my baby no matte what!" and "Why test if it's not going to change your opinion of your child and if you're not going to get rid of it?". My explanation is simple. I was already deeply in love with Wendy Lee when we first saw the cysts in her brain and the fluid around her heart in my 21 week ultrasound. I wanted to know what was wrong and what measures we could take to make sure she had the very best care possible when she was born. I wanted a neonatologist present when I delivered, I wanted a level 3 NICU in the hospital I delivered, and I wanted to be close to a children's hospital who had professionals that could handle any problem that could possibly arise from her abnormalities. And that's exactly what I got. I had an amazing team of obstetricians at Maternal Fetal Group in Nashville. I received excellent care from the staff at Centennial Women's Hospital during the 5 weeks I was there. And Wendy was transferred to Vanderbilt Children's Hosoital a few hours after she was born and I was less than 5 miles away from her that first night and was able to sign myself out 18 hours after giving birth to go be with her. With all that being said, I fully stand by my decisions of being tested and my decision of keeping my very special baby. Genetic testing may not be the right decision for every family, because as with many procedures, it comes with its own set of risks. Every family has to decide for themselves and for their unborn child.
And as for the people who say they don't want to raise a special child, you don't deserve a special child! Special children can be the most amazing blessings and the most loving children. Yes, it can be difficult. And no, it's not easy. But parenting a special child has more rewards than you can imagine. There are days when I am so exhausted and wish that Wendy was "normal". Then I look back and feel guilty for feeling that way because I shouldn't be jealous of parents with healthy kids. It's parents of healthy kids that should be jealous of me. You may think that sounds absurd, but it's true. Of course, no parent wants to see their baby in the hospital, no parent wants to give their baby medication daily, no parent wants to see their kids have surgery, and no parent wants to spend the majority of their week at a doctors appointment, on the phone fighting with insurance companies, or ordering home health supplies. But in reality, it's bigger than all of that. I see that God has blessed me with this miracle child. And I have been able to witness all of it from conception to birth to now 8 months old. If Wendy was your child, you would completely understand.