Anson and I have received the last of the results from all the tests that are available to help us.  As much information as we’ve received, nothing has helped me as much as the people around me, and the ones far away from me, who continue to rain down love.  The comments I’ve gotten online over these past few weeks, and the emails I’ve received privately have given me more assistance than any lab results or medical advice. 


We’ve decided that we cannot bring this child to full term.  We are heartbroken, to be sure, and haven’t quite figured out how to talk to Roan about it.  But I’d like to share a glimpse of the shelter I have been given daily, via email.  No one’s identity is revealed here – I hope these words are ok to share:


“Really thinking of you and with you right now and always…”


“Life sends us exactly what will strengthen our spirits.”


“I understand you may be having some issues with your impending baby, and that makes me sad. I wish there was something I could do, and if there is just let me know.”


“My 3 healthy children come courtesy of 5 confirmed pregnancies.  While none of this helps when you are in the midst of the pain, I can assure you that the joy of our family is greater for the depths we’ve endured in the past.  Sweet isn’t sweet unless you’ve known sour.”


“I have no experience or really words to offer, but have always loved seeing your happy/friendly face in the neighborhood, so just wanted you to know my heart goes out to you. No one wants to be faced with any of what you’re going through, but whatever happens it’ll be the right choice for you and your gorgeous family.”


“I learned that many more pregnancies than I ever realized have complications and many more people that I had thought had to make similar decisions.  What was especially hard was to be so far along (I think it was 18 weeks– the details that were once so immediate are a blur now) and to have imagined so many tomorrows…”


“Trust what’s in your gut and know that the path you choose will be the right path for your family, and you’ll find the strength to move forward with love and grace because that’s just how you roll. “


“If you want to talk, have a coffee, want a hug or all three, please know that I am here.  I know you have many friends but know that you have me too.”


“I’m sure a full frontal lobotomy sounds like a four-star resort right about now. “


“You guys are loved and whatever decision you make, whatever journey you go on over the next few days and months and years, you are loved. Always.”


“…It was the single worst day in my life when we found out about his heart.  I remember standing there in the office alone (my husband was at work) feeling so close to my son and so far away from everyone else on earth.  I withdrew directly after the delivery and then slowly I made it back to my life.”


“My heart is breaking for you.  But here’s what I know:  you will, you absolutely will, make the right decision.  There’s no wrong decision, but there is a right one.  And you’ll make it.  And you’ll live with it, and you’ll find a way to be stronger because of it and it will rock you to your core but you will be ok. “


“Of course, I have no answers for you. All I have is my own experience. And you are right. When it comes right down to it, the doctors can only tell you so much. They are just humans working with the best technology they have today. But they don’t have to live your life. And so you and Anson are left with this incredible load to carry – this decision that seems like no person should ever have to make. Technology has made things both more wonderful and more terrifying at the same time.”


“My greatest challenge and deepest pain has become my reigning strength and joy.”


And also, this picture was emailed to me from a friend who worked lunch at Roan’s school.  She sent it at a time when I was a teary mess, and it brought me my first smile of that day.  Funny how remembering what you DO have trumps everything. 

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