I have a friend, Allie, who is married to Ryan and has 2 beautiful kiddos. Allie is one of the nicest people I have ever met and I had the luxury of playing volleyball with her in high school and sitting next to her in Spanish class. Allie is pregnant with baby number 3, Juliet or Jules to be exact. Jules has been prenatally diagnosed with Trisomy 18.
|That's Allie, and yes she is pregnant in this pic....and beautiful|
Trisomy 18 does not occur because the parents have done anything wrong. As with Down syndrome, I can't stress this enough. Allie and Ryan were chosen to be Jules parents just as Andy and I were chosen to be Harper's and you the parents to your children. We (Allie, Ryan, Andy, and myself) are no "better" than anyone else. We were picked by a higher power and not because we are extra patient or kind. Our kids need us and Jules especially needs her family.
|Allie, Tate, Ryan, and Kynlee|
More than a year ago, I was in Allie's position. We were told that Harper would have Down syndrome, AV Canal defect, and an 80% chance of being stillborn. The possibility that I wouldn't meet my baby alive shook me to my core. I couldn't be pregnant for 9 months and not meet my little girl alive. Allie and Ryan are facing that same possibility today..... half of babies born with Trisomy 18 do not survive past one week. Jules has medical issues that Allie and Ryan are already aware of and Allie has shared them on her blog that you can find here. I don't speak for Allie and I want you to read her story in her own words.
After a long night tonight, I rocked Harper to sleep and Jules popped into my head. Jules deserves a chance for her mama to rock her to sleep. As I rocked H, she smiled. Like smiled with her entire body. My heart melted. I know she was smiling at me and because of me. I want Allie to feel that again. I want her kids to experience making Jules smile. Tonight more than ever, I realized that I am beyond blessed that Harper is healthy and that she is my daughter. This last year has been a rocky road. We have finally hit a smooth and straight roadway and I plan on cruising for awhile. It's stories like Jules' that make you realize how great your own life, despite it not being perfect. My daughter had Down syndrome but she is my daughter and I get to rock her to sleep, make her laugh, and comfort her cries. I hope for the day that Allie can say that Jules is her daughter, who is alive, fighting and kicking the dickens out of Trisomy 18.
After the incredible amount of love, prayers, and support that we received after sharing Harper's birth story and after her OHS, I promised to pay it forward. Today is the day. Please take a minute and visit Allie's blog. Leave her a comment or send her an email. Let her know that I sent you and that you have added her to your prayer list. If you don't pray then cross your fingers in honor of the Lundeen family. Do what you believe in but please think of this family often. This is a chance to pay it forward to a family that needs us. Do it for Jules. Do it for Harper. Just do it.
I remember that with each kick in my belly I knew I was one kick closer to meeting my baby. Let's hope Allie gets the same opportunity.