I just found out that one of my husband's old friends recently had a baby boy who has some physical ailments. He had to have major surgery days after birth and they are still not sure what kind of functioning he'll have as he grows.
While I was in Michigan I found out a friend of several friends lost a baby in her third trimester.
I have a book on the shelf that I really want to read (but will probably wait until Jack is a little older) about a family who lost a child due to a birth defect, similar to my middle sister, Carrie. The baby was born, lived for a couple hours (Carrie lived about a half hour) and then passed.
With all of these and many more stories, it makes me so thankful that we have Jack. Our birth experience was pretty perfect and Jack is such a healthy boy. I keep thinking he is 100% healthy and always has been, but he did need a frenectomy so he could eat properly and he does have mysterious rashes that come and go. But those things seem so miniscule comparatively. They barely register on my radar at all. What did we do to deserve such a healthy, happy baby? Absolutely nothing. We have merely been blessed beyond measure.
I used to wonder if I would love a handicapped baby the same way I would a healthy one. I always thought I would have no problem handling a baby with down syndrome but would have difficulty with a baby with autism. Now that I have Jack, lif would certainly be very different if he had a handicap, but I could not love him any differently. There is a bond between mother and child that none can break. The bond forms throughout the pregnancy and creates this quality that would kill if necessary for the child. You know how you should never ever mess with a baby bear (and probably lots of other animals as well)? The same is true of my children. I will go completely bear momma on you.
I am so very thankful that Jack is healthy. He has been such a joy in our lives. His health and happiness is not something I take for granted. Not when there are so many babies who have health issues. Shortly after he was born Matt and I watched the Boy Meets World episode where baby Joshua is born and has to be in the NICU. I cried the whole time. There's a whole new understanding of the pain those parents must go through. I was holding my child as I watched that episode, but those parents most likely are unable to hold their babies. I cannot imagine the pain of having a child, seeing him struggling, and not being able to hold him. That would be such an extreme emptiness.
I am so blessed. I am so thankful for my son. Thank you, Lord, for my perfect little angel.