02 May 2010

The Love of a Mother

It's gotta be tough being a mom.  I don't know from experience, but it just seems to me that you have so many things to deal with: diapers, extra cleaning, extra laundry, special foods, getting them up and dressed in the morning, daycare... the list goes on and on.

I admire the ability to do all those things!

But there is a set of moms that I've come to notice over the past few years.

And admire.

They're the moms who don't get to do all those things.  The moms who would give their right leg to have to change diapers and do 3 am feedings.  Or those who get to do those, but not in a 'normal' way, always hoping, wondering, and praying for their child's future, which the doctors have insisted is very glum.

To those moms, I have no idea how you do it!  Not even the slightest clue!

And some of these moms step out.  Step out of their comfort zone and share their stories.

I love these moms.  Some of them know me, some don't.  But I'm going to share their stories.

And there are also some moms who don't step out to share their story.  I can't blame them.  It's a tough, tough thing to talk about.  And if you're reading this, send up a prayer for them.  For strength.  Because believe me, just because they don't talk or blog or create a foundation for it, that doesn't mean that they don't think about it daily, and worry, and grieve, and hope.

As I said, I'm going to share some of these stories.

Meet Sheyenne (and her hubby Sean).  Oh wait.  Let me take a minute to say that everything these moms are going though, the dads are going through, too.  They're not exempt from the feelings, pain, fear, etc.  So although I won't mention them, know that they are strong, too!

Okay so for real now, meet Sheyenne.  Right around Thanksgiving of 2009, about halfway through her pregnancy, she found out two things: it's a girl (yay!) but there is something very wrong.  That something turned out to be Triploidy, a chromosome abnormality.  And she soon learned that Whitney Jill, her daughter, would likely never take a breath of fresh air, and if she did, she wouldn't take many.

Sheyenne and I have been blogging and reading each others blogs since they were called 'internet diaries' years ago.  Reading her posts through these times were difficult.  Her pain immeasurable.  But oh so beautiful because it was the love of a mother.  A mother who is so passionate about children and life.  A mother who has so desperately wanted a child for years and was well on her way through the adoption process when she found out she was pregnant.

I cannot even begin to imagine the pain.

But you know what?  Her blogging made a difference.  A huge difference. Because I lost a niece last year.  The situation was different and I'm not sure what all the technical terms were, but she didn't come home from the hospital, and neither did Whitney.  And through her blogging, Sheyenne taught me that it was okay to have mixed-up and confused feelings about it.  That it's okay to miss someone who I never even got the chance to meet. 

And I'm just one person that lives on the opposite coast from her.

This picture above was taken mid-January.  I'm guessing around 27 weeks (that's a guess).  She was so little.  She wanted to be big as a barn.  She wanted to have swollen feet and be hot all the time.  She wanted every uncomfortable pregnancy quirk to happen to her.  At least it would have meant a healthy Whitney!

On February 11, 2010, "Whitney was born into heaven."  Those are Sheyenne's words.  Isn't that a beautiful picture?

Do me a favor.  If you ever see the words 'Whitney' or 'Jill' will you take a picture and send it to Sheyenne?  Or if you send it to me, I'll make sure it gets to her.  It's a small reminder to her of Whitney.

You can visit her site at www.whitneyjill.com.


Next up is Angie Smith.  I read her blog last year after the loss of my niece.  I cried as I read through her posts.  So if you've got a few hours days and lots of hot chocolate and tissues, read through them!

Angie had 3 little girls, two are twins, before she became pregnant with Audrey Caroline.  Halfway through her pregnancy she was told there was no hope for a life for Audrey, and that she should probably just go ahead and terminate the pregnancy (for the record, that's what Sheyenne was told, too). But that wasn't possible for Angie.  Instead, she said, "I think that my Jesus is the same as He was before I walked into this room."


Not sure I could be that strong in the face of... all of that.

They did fun things with Audrey while she was still alive (in Angie's tummy) to create memories (Sheyenne did the same, too!).  They even took her to Disney.  I love that each person grieves in their own way.  There's not right or wrong way.

You may know Angie's husband, too.  Ever heard of Selah?

They're now expecting their fifth kiddo.  Pray for her.  That's got to be so scary.
And on a different note, let's talk about Ginny for a moment.  Ginny doesn't know me, but her sister does.  And her sister likes to blog and take pictures (Blue Frame Photography-- I've mentioned her before on here).

Christmas day 2009, Ginny, her husband, and their 3 year old son, John, were driving to celebrate Christmas with family when they hit a puddle of standing water. That puddle changed their lives.  Although all were buckled in and proper safety was in check, the car spun around and hit the concrete median.  John's side took the brunt of the impact.

Witnesses rushed to help and saved John's life.

John's life, however, is different than it was before.  He's relearning a lot of things.  And undergoing numerous surgeries.  And physical therapy.

They had to remove part of his skull because of swelling.  They also removed part of his brain.


His recovery is slow, but Ginny met a point where she decided that she wasn't going to share what the doctors were saying he would or would not be able to do.  It's because she believes that he's going to far exceed those expectations.

Wow.  Strong.

So will you do me a favor and pray for these three mamas?  Their journey continues every day.

And if you have kids, go find them and hug them.

And when you see an exasperated mom screaming at her kids in the store, pray for her, too.

Kiddos aren't easy.  Just remember to be thankful, no matter what place you are in life.

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