Wednesday, October 12, 2011

As Long As He's Healthy

I ran into someone at the grocery store the other day.

It was an acquaintance of mine with whom I've not had a lot of interaction with since Joshua's death.

It was good to see this person even though the conversation was typical of the type of conversation between two people who don't know what to say to each other after so much time and heartache has passed.

During our conversation, they asked when I was due and if I knew what I was having.

I told this person that we are expecting Luke sometime in November. I also told this person that from everything we have seen, he seems to be perfectly healthy and we don't expect to have any problems after he is born.

This person was extremely excited to hear that all was well and that Luke is so close to arriving.

However, something at the end of the conversation struck me. One of the final words that were exchanged was "Well, as long as he's healthy, that's all that matters."

As I thought about that statement as well as our experience with an extremely unhealthy baby, I couldn't help but think how untrue that statement is.

Don't get me wrong. I want more than anything for my baby, or any baby for that matter, to be perfectly healthy, but does their healthiness determine our excitement, anticipation, and love for him?

Joshua was born with a half of a heart. Caleb and Hannah were born completely healthy. My love for all 3 of my children, I would consider, was the same. If anything, I loved Joshua with a fierceness and intensity that I had not yet experienced because we truly didn't know how much time we would have with him. (and that fierceness and intensity has since overflowed to Caleb, Hannah, and Luke since in reality, we never know how long we have with our children- healthy or not!)

Yes, I was devastated to hear that Joshua was sick and that his chances of survival were so slim. Yet, it didn't matter. He was my child. He was created in love, put together perfectly in my womb by a God who knew the number of days ordained for him. It didn't matter if he was healthy or not. I loved him and he was mine.

This statement didn't offend or hurt me in any way, but it caused me to think. What does matter when it comes to a mother's love for her child?

My answer? Nothing.

Nothing matters. Our children are a gift. We love them despite themselves. We love them no matter what or who they become. We love them despite imperfections. We love them deeply and fully. Of course we want the best for them, but no matter what, they are ours and they have our love.

And that, my friends, is just a small taste of God's love for us. A love that run deep for us, no matter what!


Lis said...

I so agree! We were told our daughter would most likely never walk or talk but it didn't slow us down from loving her like crazy! I'm thankful everyday that God chose to heal her, but either way she is loved. Coming from a difficult background caused me to love with fierceness and I believe you and I are raising some pretty spectacular children!

The Cox Family said...

I say that sometimes at work (etc.) and such to help alliveate some of the stress and (sometimes unrealistic) expectations regarding labor and delivery. Also, to maybe help put things into perspective when I have a parent who is super focused on the little things that I feel they can't see the big picture. My phrase is, "In the end what matters is healthy baby, healthy mommy." I am in a unique place though I guess. I see some people loose it because they end up with a c-section or whatever. I can totally understand that too! Things aren't going as they had planned. Their dreams and being crushed. Sometimes I try to have them step back and remember what the ultimate goal is. :)

The Cox Family said...

I also believe that my goal of "healthy baby, healthy mommy" changes depending on the situation. Sometimes my view of healthy depends on the baby. (If that makes sense) I try to celebrate the good and the things going well. Sometimes one breast/bottle feeding is super exciting because of how far they (mom and baby both) have come. Once you have seen so much "healthy" is a relative word. I could see a baby who others would see as completely disabled and still view it as healthy because we are progressing and free from infection, etc. Anyway - I'll stop rambling on now! :)

Joe said...

Amazing post Jill, thank you. It is so true.

noah and alyssa said...

We're nearing time to try for baby #2 and every now and again I want to pray for a 'healthy baby,' but I always stop myself. I feel like I'm slighting my first born because he wasn't technically 'healthy' (perfect and just as he should be to me). And for all intents and purposes, he IS healthy now, and was never really sick pre-OHS. And I also feel unappreciative asking for a healthy baby when I have been so blessed by my first. I mean healthy is important and ideal, but I agree, sick or not, there is love, and that's what really matters.

Anonymous said...

I see what you mean, but when I was pregnant, my insurance dropped me. They refused to cover the baby after birth as well, and we did not qualify for medicaid. So for her to be born unhealthy would have meant that she would not be my daughter today, because I would not have been able to give her whatever she needed.

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