That is basically where we are at right now. Lots and lots of appointments. I was putting them off, I admit, because that meant time away from the girls and really, I wasn't ready for that yet. I know that will be a big part of our life from here on out...but it is honestly a part I dread.
Funny how it's the little things that can get to you. I've always been that way though. I can handle the "big things" pretty easily. Maybe because I know only God can handle them, but it's the little things that I struggle with. It's the day-to-day stuff that makes me feel like I am lacking and that I am somehow failing. And letting the girls down is now a looming fear that creeps in way too often.
Many of you know that Emma was with us the night that we found out about Brookyln's Spina Bifida. Not the best situation, but in many ways, it helped relieve us of the decision as to what to tell her, when to tell her, etc. She knew from the start, whether we liked it or not.
Well, on the way home that night, I was trying my hardest to figure out the right thing to say to my little girl as I was still trying to comprehend it all myself. I told her that Brooklyn might have "sick legs." I told her that even though she might not be able to do all the things we can do, she is going to be a perfect addition to our family. She will teach us about God in ways we never imagined. She will be special, and she will be a very important part of our family.
After my pep talk, I was feeling pretty good about my words and the fact that I was doing a good job of hiding my breaking heart, when from the backseat came the smallest little voice...
"Mom, does that mean Brooklyn will be more important than me and Kendall?"
My worst fear...spoken by a 4 year old that had more wisdom and understanding than I ever imagined. My worst fear...before I even knew it myself.
As I desperately tried to backtrack -- telling Emma we are all made special by God in different ways and all play an important part in our family -- I felt a horrible sense of failure.
Even as I become more informed about all of the challenges we have ahead of us, it is still my biggest fear: Taking care of all three of my children in a way that makes them all feel loved, special, and important. Making Emma and Kendall feel loved even though Brooklyn will be getting lots of attention. Making Brooklyn feel loved even though she can't do all the things Emma and Kendall will be able to do. Making them understand that they will each make me proud in different ways. And that I love them all equally.
I know this is a struggle every mother with more than one child has. But somehow it has now been magnified...by like 100. Maybe it shouldn't be and maybe I'm the one magnifying it, but I would be lying if I didn't say it literally makes my heart ache.
The comfort I have is believing that God will also use this experience to make Emma and Kendall the people He intended them to be... compassionate, caring, accepting. We want more for our children, and I think this does give my girls an opportunity to experience life in a more challenging, but more fulfilling way. I just pray God will help me guide them in this direction. That the stress won't take over and that the moments we are together make up for the time lost. For the confusion.
So the decisions are being made. Assuming all goes as planned at all of our appointments next week, we will deliver at Northwestern, and Brooklyn will get her surgeries at Children's Memorial. I will have to have a C-section, which means there will be a few days when I sit in a hospital room by myself while Jeff waits in another hospital for our baby to come out of surgery and my other babies are at home being cared for by someone other than their Mommy.
These are days I have to choose not to think about. Because the thought of those days tear. me. to. p i e c e s.
I know this will not be easy. But God never said it would be easy.
As my bible study lesson so perfectly revealed to me this week...
"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake..." (Phillipians 1:29)
If my God can die on a cross for me so that I can spend a perfect eternity with my children, the least I can do is use our short period of worldly suffering for His Glory.
And I pray with all of my heart that all three of my girls learn to do the same.