Life Is Beautiful, Part 1: One Mother’s Raw, Heartfelt Testimony of Raising a Special Needs Daughter

Last week, Faithwire shared the heartbreaking story of 1 British couple who aborted their daughter at 22 weeks after studying she would doubtless be born with Spina Bifida, a severe delivery defect that may make life “challenging” for his or her household. In interviews with a number of U.Ok. information retailers, the couple confused that their determination was considered one of love and compassion for his or her daughter, stemming from their want to spare her nice struggling.

After publishing the piece, we have been overwhelmed by the responses we acquired from readers who courageously bucked societal norms and “expert” opinions and trusted in God’s plan for his or her kids. These faith-filled testimonies impressed the thought for our “Life Is Beautiful” sequence, a set of non-public accounts highlighting the last word blessing of selecting life.

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Below is an element considered one of our sequence, an affidavit from reader and mom, Carissa Beard Corson.

I need to preface this by saying that this isn’t only a pro-life story, however a live-life-abundantly-no-matter-what-God-gives-you story.

In January of 2011, my husband and I discovered ourselves pregnant with our second youngster. It was a typical being pregnant from all outward appearances. At our 20-week ultrasound, we came upon that it was a woman! It was at this ultrasound that questions additionally began to come up … she was notably small — in truth, her measurements have been lagging two weeks behind my estimated due date.

“OK, so she’ll be petite, no big deal,” we instructed ourselves. Well, our OB needed us to have one other ultrasound at our subsequent month’s appointment simply to inspect her progress. Another month rolled round and at this ultrasound, our little lady’s progress lagged three weeks delayed and he or she had a two-vessel umbilical wire (regular umbilical cords have three vessels: 2 arteries, 1 vein), which is a marker for additional abnormalities. We have been referred to a high-risk being pregnant physician. It was closely urged that we’ve got an amniocentesis to verify all her chromosomes have been in place.

Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome

As we waited for the outcomes to come back again, we stayed pretty assured that there was nothing significantly incorrect with our child. I prayed regularly for the well being of my child. At one time, the Lord actually pressed upon me that all the pieces could be “OK,” which gave me peace. Two weeks later, our amniocentesis outcomes have been revealed. There was a deletion on our little lady’s fourth chromosome, a analysis of Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, a rarity occurring in 1 in 50,000 pregnancies.

Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome has many traits, however a number of the commonest are extraordinarily small stature and measurement, psychological and bodily delays, seizures, GI points, irregular facial options, immune deficiency, and organ anomalies. Statically, 33 p.c of youngsters with this syndrome won’t attain their second birthday. We have been in whole shock! And this didn’t really feel “OK,” just like the Lord had reassured me earlier. Selfishly I assumed, “Things like this don’t happen to us; maybe other people, but not us.”

Surprisingly, the medical professionals have been very supportive of us maintaining the newborn and didn’t point out abortion. This was not the case in our private lives, as rumors reached our ears that a number of people thought we shouldn’t put ourselves via the being pregnant and lift a baby with such wants. This would have an effect on our lives ceaselessly.

The grief was overwhelming at instances, however we held on to our deep-rooted religion, understanding that God had a plan for this youngster and our household, so we continued on with the being pregnant.

In September of that very same 12 months, our daughter, Ava, was born full-term at 5 kilos, 2 ounces, though docs have been sure she wouldn’t be over four kilos at delivery. She spent 9 days within the NICU. She had a small coronary heart defect. She had issue consuming adequate quantities of meals, and subsequently, weight achieve was a problem. Severe reflux developed shortly after delivery inflicting her to throw up practically all the pieces she took in. And at 7 months previous, she had her first seizure, which lasted four grueling hours.

Although we knew that elevating a medically fragile particular wants youngster could be annoying in some ways — emotionally, bodily, financially — till you truly reside it, it’s inconceivable to completely perceive. The first couple of months have been notably troublesome for me emotionally and spiritually. People typically say all infants do is “eat, sleep and soil their diapers.” But with Ava, she did little or no of any of this stuff, which worries a mom to dying, stresses her out to the max and makes her really feel just like the worst form of failure. Just maintaining her alive and properly was a 24/7 job.

On prime of that, the grief was overwhelming. Even although Ava was nonetheless alive, many components of a “normal” life have been lifeless: the prospect of her rising into a lady who would be capable of drive a automobile and reside independently, get married, have kids of her personal and probably even stroll and speak have been gone.

“Goodbye to the “Normal” All-American Family”

We needed to say goodbye to the “normal” all-American household. Accepting the truth that we had an unhealthy youngster and our lives could be ceaselessly modified was a tough actuality we needed to face, and embracing it was probably the most troublesome issues I’ve needed to do in my life.

It was through the first couple of months of Ava’s life that I grew to become offended with God and questioned Him: “Why?! Why did this have to happen to me?!? Are You even real?!? And if You are real, You surely can’t be loving to allow this to happen.”

These have been only a few of the issues I mentioned in my thoughts. My husband, Jeremy, started to fret about me. He known as our pastor and his spouse over to our residence to speak, minister to me and encourage me. They had lately misplaced their solely youngster, and though the circumstances have been totally different, they have been ready to make use of their damage to consolation me. Knowing I wasn’t alone in my grief, and remembering all the pieces I knew to be true about God up till this level helped to elevate me from my despair.

I keep in mind one night specifically: as I held Ava, feeding her final bottle of the day, I prayed, and the Lord mentioned to me, “I love her more than you ever could. I gave her life and I can take it away. I gave you Ava so that her situation would glorify Me.”

Instantly, the stress and grief started to soften. The actuality that it wasn’t up me to maintain her life, however she, identical to my different kids, was utterly and completely in His fingers, was the best consolation. Knowing I wasn’t in management and didn’t should be in management, and that God may deal with something and all the pieces that was thrown at us, was the reduction I wanted.

“What’s Next?”

Many particular wants dad and mom (and even common dad and mom) I do know expertise concern and anxiousness over their kids, residing in a world of “What’s next? What tragedy is waiting for my child around the corner?” I’m right here to inform you, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). He needs to be the one to reduce our fears, to offer us peace. He needs to ship others into your life to perform this as properly. I’m really humbled and grateful for household, buddies and fellow church members that God has used and nonetheless makes use of to assist us stand agency and assist proclaim the message we’ve got via Ava.

As for Ava, at the moment she is doing very properly! I might even go so far as to say she’s higher than “OK,” because the Lord had promised to me. The gap in her coronary heart closed by itself with out medical intervention. After struggling for 2 years to try to feed her orally, we lastly bought her a G-tube, a small port related on to her abdomen. Since then, her well being and skill to battle off diseases have improved considerably and her energy to carry out bodily duties has additionally improved. Seizures have been a tougher wrestle over time and have positioned her within the hospital greater than some other subject, however her day by day medicines appear to work for probably the most half in maintaining her seizure-free.

Ava will be very social — her coy, flirty smile wins over the hearts of many and he or she loves holding fingers with anybody keen.  She has probably the most light spirit; she’s loving and he or she’s virtually all the time content material. She is a first-grader, enrolled in a faculty the place she has bodily, occupational and speech remedy a number of instances per week. She has loving, supportive household and buddies that cheer her on to perform new milestones and attain the inconceivable.

I can’t inform you what number of non secular classes I’ve discovered due to Ava, however what I can inform you is that God is prepared and keen to take any and each impediment you could have and switch it right into a blessing. You simply need to give up to Him and permit Him to do His work.

God bless the Corson household for his or her devoted reliance on Him and their openness to His plans for his or her kids. Stay tuned for extra inspiring tales in our “Life Is Beautiful” sequence!

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