15 June 2010

The Hardest News to Break

12th January 2010 - 15 weeks
Three weeks after our initial ultrasound we returned to our obstetrician to have a second scan. It was wonderful to hear that our baby was still with us. We had decided to wait until after this ultrasound to tell our children about the pregnancy. We hadn't told them earlier as we needed time to process the situation and get a handle on our own grief.
I joined the T18 Foundation website where I read about how other parents had broken the news of their T18 babies to their older children. It was very helpful.
13th January 2010
We sat our children on our bed and I drew a picture of a dress pattern. I explained how a dressmaker uses  patterns to make clothes and how they would end up looking a certain way depending on the pattern they had chosen. I went on to explain that we have a pattern (DNA) too, given to us by God, which works in a similar way to a dress pattern. The pattern God gives us determines what we will look like and be like.
Our children were listening carefully. It was now time to break the first part of our news....
"Mummy is having a baby." "Uh." They were so surprised they spent the first minute trying to work out if it was a joke. After a little bit of convincing there was great excitement. Mikayla commented that she would really like a sister while Ethan began talking about the baby's 1st birthday and what toys he could give them from his toy collection. Time for the second part....
After reminding them about our God-given patterns, I went on to explain that our baby had something wrong with their pattern - that it was a bit mixed up and this meant that they were sick. I told them that because the baby was sick, we were unsure if the baby would be able to come home from hospital with us. The pieces of the puzzle were falling into place for Mikayla as now she understood why Mummy had been staying in bed and crying. She said to me,"Mummy I thought you would die from crying so much."
We decided not to mention the possibility of our baby dying at this early stage. One step at a time. Over time more of the story would naturally unfold. We wanted to be truthful but gentle.
The kids were still upbeat over the news that I was having a baby. We were concerned that they hadn't understood what we had said, but they were able to retell us everything almost word for word. It was a beautiful example of child-like acceptance. We decided together that we would pray for our baby's healing.

"Having other children keeps you going. You can't hide away if you are caring for other children."
Grief and Grace - A Axelby


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