Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On my mind

Today was a pretty uneventful day in Finn's life, although he did experience his very first earthquake! He slept through the entire thing, though, while the other kids were freaking out and I was herding them all under the dining room table.


I realized today that I don't feel angry anymore. When Finn was admitted to the hospital and had to have surgery, and especially when he was officially diagnosed with Down syndrome, I felt incredibly angry. Michael asked me who I was angry at. There was no person whom I was angry at, I was just angry at the situation, at the unfairness of it all - unfair to me as a mother to have this baby I wasn't prepared for and felt ill-equipped to deal with, and in all honesty for being cheated out of having the "perfect" baby I had expected, unfair to our family for all the ways this would all affect everyone over time, and most of all, unfair to Finn himself for not being given a healthy body and a "normal" life. Yes, I was angry - furious.

I don't think I feel angry anymore, though. Sad? Yes. Scared? Yes. But I've fallen completely in love with my baby boy, and the anger is gone. I love his sweetness. I love how he smells and how soft and warm he feels. I love how he molds perfectly to me when I am nursing him. I love his fuzzy head, and how he has a tuft that perpetually sticks up on top, reminding me of a rooster. I love how he furrows his little brow and looks like a grumpy old man. I love how he loves to be wrapped up tight like a burrito. I love his eyes that are the most beautiful shade of blue. I love how he lets me kiss him all over.

It's getting harder to even remember life before Finn.


Not a day goes by that someone doesn't tell me "Special babies are given to special parents . . ." or "Everything happens for a reason . . ." or "God doesn't given anyone more than they can handle . . ." With all due respect, none of that makes any sense to me. Every baby is special, and "special" babies are sometimes given to crappy parents, too. And what possible reason could there be for our family to be given a child with special needs? To teach us compassion, or gratitude? I imagine whatever "reason" people think there might be, it has to do with some lesson we're supposed to get out of it. But where does that leave Finn? Is he just a sacrificial lamb in this scheme? And as far as people not being given more than they can handle, well, come on, folks, what about all the people that go postal? They've obviously been given more than they can handle. I believe that I and my family can and will handle this, as I believe that most people find strength under challenging circumstances that they didn't realize they had. We're not special. We're just an average family with ups and downs, with virtues and faults, just like most other families.

I say all this without bitterness, and it's not my intent to debate whether there is a god or not. Everyone believes what makes them feel able to get through this life. Me? I believe it's all purely random. Sometimes good things happen to bad people, and sometimes bad things happen to good people. I don't believe that Finn was "given" to us for any reason. I do believe that there will be lots of lessons that we'll learn by virtue of his being our son, but I think that's just an incidental result of a random thing that happened in our family. If I believed in God, and if I believed he was responsible for this, then I think I would have more reason to be angry.


My friends continue to rally around us, and I still have been unable to find the words to express the depth of my gratitude. We are still being brought meals. I thought it was just through the end of July - and that would have been more than enough. But I was informed a couple days ago that my MOMS Club, as well as some friends who aren't even a part of MOMS Club, have worked out a schedule to continue bringing us meals through August. I feel uncomfortable with all this generosity, but extremely grateful. Last night my friend, Robin, stopped by with a basket of fruit and homemade bread as well as a bag full of breakfast stuff and a beautiful blanket for Finn embroidered with his name and birth stats. My friend Jen came over today with her girls and brought lunch and while she was here and I sat nursing the baby, she put together my new stroller. Judy brought us homemade chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight.

My friends lift me up. I don't know what I'd do without them.


Jodi said...

It sounds like you've fallen head over heels in love with the little guy. Nothing like a heart full of love to ease the anger. I was nursing my son last night and he grabbed my finger with his whole hand and looked up at me and all I could think was, "Is there anything better than this?"

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa! You are absolutely and completely right in saying that all babies are special. But maybe you we're blessed with Finnian because maybe you do need to learn some lessons in compassion and gratitude.

Unfortunately, all of us are given some sort of trial that we have to learn to over come in some way. Whenever we're given trials it is natural to get angry and ask ourselves "why me? what did I do to deserve this? or how will I overcome this?". We will never figure out why things happen to us. You just have to try to do the best that you can and deal with the cards that you've been dealt with a lot of love, patience, compassion and gratitude.

I'm speaking as someone that has had to learn how to over come the unexpected. I can honestly say that I am truly thankful for my trials because without them I wouldn't be the person that I am today. The only source that I know is to blame if I were looking for a source to blame is God. He's the man!

I really like and love myself now. He didn't give me my illness because I'm a bad person. I feel that He gave me my illness because He knew that I wouldn't be alone in my trials. He knows what will happen in my life as each day goes by and who I'll meet along the way. Every thing in life does happen for a reason and that is never a bad thing to think or say. As a matter of fact I'm very thankful for my illness because without it I wouldn't have been as thankful about everyone that is in my life beginning with my family. I am truly blessed!

Finnian is truly blessed also. I was so happy to read that he has gained weight and that you can't see your life without him in it. He sounds so adorable! Who knows? Maybe he's the answer to any kinds of questions that you may have had about there even being a God. You know the old say - "God works in mysterious ways."

Before we are born into this world our parents are already chosen for us. We really don't know why we are placed with our parents, but we are. Life is an experience for all of us and it's never easy for anyone. Yes, it is harder for some people but somehow the people that have less than us get by. Whether it be through prayer or just having faith in the whole situation. If we don't have faith the situation may seem helpless, but that's never true.

We have to try and think positively when things aren't working out the way that we think things should work out.

When I was born my parents didn't think that I would be labeled with a life changing illness. It was tough for myself and my family to except but we also reminded ourselves that having multiple sclerosis was a message from the man upstairs. I feel that He wanted me to see all the love and support that I have in my life, and I really wasn't seeing that before my diagnosis. I am so grateful that I see it now.

I will continue to pray for you and Finnian's progress. I'm sure that God wants him to grow up and make a difference in this world. We are all put here for a reason. Maybe you'll write a book dedicated to Finnian about your trials with your angelic son that has Down Syndrome and how you learned to embrace what comes with being a parents with a child that has Down Syndrome. We are always looking for knowledge about those types of things. Embrace it because God does in fact love you and Finnian. He loves all of us because who's every really perfect?

God bless Finnian and the rest of your family!! Keep writing and spreading the love of Finnian!!

Melony said...

Hi Lisa! Do you remember me? I have 6 girls, my youngest are twins that are just younger than yours...You were so helpful to me when I was trying to nurse them..anyway..I found your blog and wanted to say hello! Congratulations on your new little boy! Also..can you invite me to your other blog?? melony@expresstechsystems.com

Crystal said...

Finn has DS by random chance, not because "it was for a reason" or to help you learn something. I'm sure that you will learn things, but you have learned things will all of your children and through all of life's experiences.
This is just as random as stubbing your toe on a rock. Why did it happen? Who knows. It just happened and you go on.

Everytime I see someone in a wheelchair, etc. I tell myself "There but for the grace of God go I." However, that too is just a saying. It is but for the grace of random chance that I was not hit by a car or born with a debilitating illness. We want to think that we have more control over our destiny, but a lot of it is random. What is not random, however, is how we choose to deal with what life gives us.
Stay strong.