One of the things that being a mother has taught me is that somehow, children force Truth on your own heart. I have given birth 7 times, six of these have been wonderful alive babies and one was a dead baby that I could hold in my shaking hands. I have learned from each one of my babies how to understand my own limitations and expectations of being a mother. Most of the time, my life as a mom has been a very simple, ordinary one. But there have been times when reality becomes my worst enemy or my best friend. One of those times is when my daughter Lottie was born.
The reality of her syndrome hit me like a thousand stabbings in the heart as I listened to the doctor’s words and predictions about how her little self would be “unable to thrive” and how her body would inevitably be reduced by illness and weakness because of the chromosome deletion in her genes. Life can’t get more real than this. The prospect of life, that would be short-lived or otherwise filled with hardship, pain, hospital visits, and silence were all that was offered to me on that cold March afternoon, as I tried to keep my tears from falling in front of so many unknown people.
As I wheeled my way back to the NICU ( Newborn Intensive Care Unit), after an emergency c-section and I passed by the different rooms on the maternity ward, I felt a thousand knives in my heart digging deeper each and every time, because there is nothing to make a pain so intense than to see others live without it. I looked at the rooms, filled with relatives, friends, flower arrangements and stuffed animals and kept my eyes on the Rosary I held in my hands because I was going to the room where my baby was fighting her most important battle: her battle to live.
Reality can be hard but it also brings us to terms with who we really are. Was I going to let a doctor determine the length and the worth of my daughter’s life? Was I going to wait for her little body to wither and die just because that’s what the statistics said? Or was I going to ask for a breastfeeding pump, and give her as much life as I possibly could, and ask the God that is the Way, the Truth and the Life to come to our rescue and allow her to live for as long as He willed?
Almost fifteen years from that day have passed, and today, my dearest daughter Lottie, is alive and although she still struggles, we both have learned that Life to be lived to the fullest must be absolutely real and transparent and that even if it hurts and seems unlivable at times, it is that invisible power of Truth the force that keeps it going against all predictions and statistics. Only the Truth remains.