Today is Jocelyn's third birthday. I thank God that he put Jocelyn in my life, that he chose me to be her mother. Now that I have three years distance from her arrival, I want to share the story of how Jocelyn came into my life. This story is why Jocelyn's middle name is Faith.
The summer of 2010 was great! I was in the best shape I'd been in since I was a teen, I was enjoying all kinds of activities with my kids and just loving life! I decided to start cleaning my house of all the baby gear, since my youngest child was almost two. I had pretty much decided we were done having kids and had been on birth control until I decided how to make that permanent. I had a huge garage sale with a friend and sold all that baby stuff. It was liberating. That night I had a strange thought creep into my head, "You're pregnant!" At first I tried to just blow that thought off, I mean, how could I be pregnant? I was on the pill and it had been very difficult for us to have our other kids...it was just a stupid thought. I couldn't sleep, so I finally got up and ran to the drug store and bought a test. I remember kicking myself for wasting the money because I was being paranoid. I went home and took the test. I set it on the counter to wait, but immediately I could see 2 lines. Shit! What!! I couldn't stop swearing. After a few minutes I ran upstairs and woke Jason up. I was hysterical. I was crying and shouting. I handed the test to him, he looked down at it and just started smiling. I could've killed him. I was so angry.
This is pretty much how the first few months of my pregnancy went. I was so angry! I didn't want this baby. I hated the fact that I was having another baby. Deep inside I hated myself for feeling that way. I knew I would love this child but I just couldn't move past the anger. Then the anger turned into a deep depression with frequent shifts between anger and guilt for not wanting this baby.
About four months into the pregnancy I went to the doctor for a regular visit and they drew blood for some tests for genetic problems with the baby. A week or so later I got a call from the doctor saying I needed to come back in. When I got there she told me the tests had not gone well. I needed to go see a specialist.
When I arrived at the specialist they had already run more tests and they decided to do an ultrasound, my baby was another little girl. After the test 2 doctors came back in the room. I felt my blood go cold. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to keep it together.
The doctors said that they thought the baby had a genetic problem that would possibly kill her. They said it could be Downs Syndrome or possibly Trisomy 18, which would be a death sentence for her. They also said it looked like her heart had a major defect. After giving me all that news I was numb.
The doctors started talking about what to do next. The very first suggestion was that I was at a good place to terminate the pregnancy, it would still be simple. I needed to decide quickly, though because in a few weeks it would be a lot more complicated. I couldn't believe what they were saying to me. I had never imagined I could be in a situation like this. I did know exactly how I felt about it. I was almost mad that they would suggest killing her. I told them that even if I knew that she was definitely going to die, I would never abort her. It was not an option even if it would kill me. Thankfully no one ever mentioned it to me again.
The next option was for more tests. These tests would be more invasive and could threaten the pregnancy. I decided not to have them. I didn't want to do anything that could possibly put her in a worse situation than she was already in.
As my pregnancy progressed they did frequent ultrasounds and tests. It seemed like every month the prognosis wasn't quite as bad.
They ran more tests on her heart with a special ultrasound type test. During that test they couldn't find any problems. The doctor couldn't understand the changes from the original ultrasounds, there were clear problems on those but somehow they seemed to go away.
During all this time I was seriously depressed. I was depressed almost to the point of being suicidal. I couldn't stop thinking that if I only had wanted her she would be healthy. Because I had hated her, God was going to take her from me. I was having 2 ultrasounds per week making sure she was OK. It was so draining. I was exhausted.
The last few weeks of the pregnancy is when it got really bad. I couldn't stop thinking about just stabbing myself. I wanted her out so badly. I would pace around the house late at night when everyone else was asleep thinking about stabbing right in my belly.
I finally told Jason and he brought me in to the OB right away the next morning. She wanted to put me in the hospital. I just cried. I begged Jason not to let them put me there. An agreement with the doctor was made, Jason would take leave from work and stay with me.
The next couple weeks went much better and then Jocelyn was ready to come meet us. I was so scared of what we were going to find when she came out. Would she be OK? Would her heart be pumping correctly? Would she have Downs Syndrome or anything else? There were so many things that could go wrong. But then she arrived.
She was breathing.
She looked normal.
She sounded normal.
All those apgar tests were good. Her heart sounded perfect. I remember them handing me that baby. I just felt this sense of peace wash over me. She was OK. We had made it. Jocelyn and I had just been through a battle and we had won.
She was absolutely perfect. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.
This was my "Lion King" moment...holding my little "Simba" up.
I can't imagine not having her in my life.
During my pregnancy and even the first year or two of her life I hadn't fully reflected on how very differently this could have ended.
God chose me to be Jocelyn Mom for so many reasons. He knew the outlook for Joci was going to look bleak. He gave her to me because he knew I would not ever consider giving up on her. He knew that I had the faith that I would trust him even if I was angry and depressed, even when I really didn't want to. God also knew how he was going to step in and redeem this situation. He knew that even though all the tests were bad, he was going to make her whole and healthy! In this situation I gave birth to a lot more than a healthy baby girl. My faith and trust in God grew so much. He is so very faithful, no matter what the situation.
So many babies are killed every year based on those early pregnancy screenings. It really breaks my heart. I am so thankful that this one was mine. Even if things had gone exactly as the doctors had said, I know that God would have just brought a different way to redeem the situation. In Jocelyn's life I want to just glorify God. He gave me every bit of hope I had in those dark days, he's the one who had built the faith and trust in me to be able to walk through it. I am so excited to see the plans he has for this awesome little girl. He has done so many things to pave the way for her to be where she is right now, I know he has awesome things for her! Happy Birthday little Jocelyn Faith!