Sunday, August 31, 2008

Would you trade?

I never watch the news. So why did I turn it on three nights ago? I don't know. But, I think I was supposed to. This is what I saw.

If you clicked on that link, you saw a perfectly normal and healthy 4 year old girl who should have had cerebral palsy. When she was born at the UofU Hospital, her Mother was part of an experimental study. Because she was at risk for pre-term labor (on average at least 11 weeks early) she was given magnesium sulfate. The little girl was born with signs of cerebral palsy, but none ever developed.

(That is my dramatic pause.)
I was at the UofU Hospital 4 years ago, pregnant with M.K.. I am a Mother at high risk for pre-term labor. My Angel was 16 weeks early, and A. was 14 weeks early. I did not get magnesium sulfate 4 years ago, and my little girl does have cerebral palsy.

When I first heard all this, I was flooded with a million different thoughts and emotions all at once. It's hard to concentrate on just one or two, and even harder to explain them in writing. I watched a perfect little girl, who could have been like my little M.K.. I was in the same place at the same time. The right place at the right time to prevent the disorder she struggles with every day. So close, and yet we missed the magic entirely. I wondered, why wasn't I in the study? How could we have been so close and missed it? I felt jipped. I watched the perfect girl. I saw her mother push her on a swing, and for a brief second, I felt like their smiling faces were mocking me through the TV screen. I thought about my M.K. My sweet, sweet M.K. What might have been. What could have been. What should have been?

Was it really what should have been?
I know it. I feel deep within my heart.

If I could go back, if I could prevent her from having cerebral palsy, what would it do? What would the purpose be? Would she still be who she is? Have the same personality? Or would I just be trading these particular struggles for different ones? And would those new, different struggles be any better or worse for her than what she has now? Would they take the twinkle out of her eye? And the music out of her laugh?

I certainly would not have ever chosen to have a special needs child. But now that I have one, I wouldn't trade her for the world. She is perfect just the way she is.

In a way, I'm grateful --grateful that I've been blessed with the ability not to understand it, but to see it's beauty and be grateful for it anyway.

I have come to appreciate Holland.
Holland is Home.
Holland is beautiful.

would you trade?


Happy in Holland said...

I totally agree with you. I wouldn't trade it either. I think we learn certain things through the life experiences that are given us that we wouldn't learn any other way. I know I've learned A LOT from Mason. Would I like to give him a normal life that would make him blend in with all the normal kids? Yes, because I worry for the day he (and the kids around him) notice the difference. I worry how they'll treat him, and I worry how he'll feel. But....I feel like I don't want to take away the autism because I don't want to take away any part of who he is. I love everything about him, and I, too, worry that he might somehow not have the same cute little personality that I have come to thrive on. I think about that and think, "Wow--that kindof sounds selfish on my part. It sounds like I'd rather have my child be disabled then risk losing what I enjoy so much." It's not how it sounds. It just means that, we CAN'T go back and change things, so why do the WHAT IF's? I am completely happy with things the way they are, and Mason is happy with life. That is what matters to me. He is happy, and I hope he continues to be happy as he grows older.

Happy in Holland said...
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