What I learned five years ago

Today our daughter Virginia Grace Pelham would have been 5 years old. Grace had a chromosomal disorder named Edwards Syndrome or Trisomy-18 (being chromosome 18 that has the extra.) This was not something we were expecting on that day. Although, having the level of the pessimistic demon that I do, it was not totally a shock. Since this blog is subtitled “Always Learning,” I thought I’d share at least a few things that I learned February 3, 2006 and following.

You don’t always get what you want. Okay, I probably had already learned that one in my 44 years. I just wanted to sing some lyrics of The Rolling Stones. I suppose most girls dream of being a mother one day. I sure did. And there I was at 41 years old pregnant. I so hoped this one was a boy. If I had one child, I wanted it to be a boy. And it was! I got my James. And then a few years later I’m pregnant again. Oh, please be a daughter! I had chosen the name Grace for my daughter when I was a teenager. The ultrasound showed it was a girl! I cried. I couldn’t believe that I had gotten what I wanted both times. But I didn’t get to keep her long. And that’s kinda sad.

I learned some medical terms. I am severely medically/scientifically/mechanically retarded. I don’t understand how things work and I sure can’t explain it to you. But I learned some words and saw how it affected my daughter.

I learned that you can give birth and not nearly die after. James’ delivery — my beautiful 8’7″ boy — nearly killed me. I am grateful that I got to experience an easy delivery just so I could know what that’s like. If I had had to take care of Grace in the condition I was in for weeks after having James…oh my!

I learned that they can’t tell if it’s the mom or dad that gave the extra chromosome. And I learned that I have a wonderful husband who is willing to take the blame 🙂

I learned that it’s quite pricey to have your baby whisked away to a special children’s hospital so they can test and examine her for 3 days. But there are nice people there. And I’m grateful for what they do for all the little babies that may or may not make it.

I learned that family and friends will come from miles and miles away to be there for you.

I learned that there are good people, not even connected by family or church, who understand the financial burden and will collect money to help you out.

I learned that funeral home directors are not all mercenary.

I learned that Jack and I are strong and truly do have a faith in the goodness of our God. The counselor at the children’s hospital was amazed at our responses. We told her our thought process through this whole ordeal. She said maybe we should be counseling her 🙂

And I have learned that nearly 6 years later that daughter can be just as real to you as she was on that day when the little stick read PREGNANT!!!!

I’m glad you were conceived, Virginia Grace Pelham. You were worth it. I’ll bet you’re having a good time wherever you are now. Please keep the lights on for us.

When it was "all of us"

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One Response to What I learned five years ago

  1. Kay Pelham says:

    About the caption under the picture — James found this picture one day about a year ago and said, “Oh, that’s when it was all of us.”

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