We had been married for 4 whirlwind months when we found out that we were going to have a baby. It was wonderful news! As excited new parents, we both went to my appointments and started making plans for our nursery. And then the doctors called to tell me that we needed to come to the office to meet with a genetic specialist because my test results showed that we very likely were expecting a child with Down Syndrome.
I was sitting at my desk at school where I was a high school teacher when the call came-that call no pregnant woman wants to receive, and it stunned me.
The idea of having a child with life-long medical challenges never entered into my mind before. My husband and I met with the specialist who told us that our baby had a 1 in 32 chance of having an extra chromosome resulting in Down Syndrome-and that was a pretty high likelihood.
They wanted to do more tests.
This life was meant to be, and we were going to do our best with God’s help to raise him in a loving and nurturing way, no matter what. Despite the grave, disapproving looks from medical staff, we resisted the pressure to consider medical procedures that could harm our baby, or take his life.
We believed Psalm 139:13-18:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
Do you want to know how I know God is, in fact, who He says He is?
Times like these prove it to me. We were filled with total peace about the future and about the health of our baby.
My husband had spent many days volunteering at a horse camp for special needs kids and had a soft heart towards them, so in my mind, it made sense that we would be chosen to raise a child with a physical handicap. For a brief time, initially, I was fearful, but I knew that this situation was totally in God’s hands and that He knew what was best for us and for our precious child. We would rejoice in who God was and His ability to provide for all our needs.
I was not going to let Satan rob me of the joy of having a child miraculously growing inside my womb. We cherished every stage of the pregnancy, not knowing whether or not our child was going to be born with physical impairments or not, and yet, I rarely thought about him as anything but perfect. When I look back on that time, I realize how good God was to protect my mind from fear or anxiety. He truly answered our prayers for peace and joy in the midst of the trial. That was His grace in action.
A week after my due date, my water broke and we rushed to the hospital. After 39 hours of labor, the doctors took me in to have an emergency C-Section.
Oliver was born!
Wouldn’t you know it? He didn’t have any health issues whatsoever. We are thankful that the Lord allowed Oliver to be born free of medical problems, but even if he had been born with complications, we know that God would have given grace for each moment. It was a good lesson for me to remember that when life does not turn out the way we expect it to, when we become faced with news that is not what we want to hear, that God is able to give us the right attitude and strength for every circumstance. And beyond just “making it through” He can provide joy in the sorrow when we put our hope in Him.
Will you trust Him today?
YOUR TURN! Share with us a time when the unknown circumstances you faced allowed you to experience God's grace and peace. What was your pregnancy experience? I love to hear from you!
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