Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I have a scar on my leg from when I took a pretty nasty fall at work while I was pregnant with Emily.

I have a scar on my knee from when I tripped while jump roping in the first grade.  My teacher scooped me up from the ground and carried me to the nurse's office, where they took care of me.

I have a scar on my finger from when I cut myself with a razor blade.

I have a long scar on my foot from when I had surgery several years ago.

I have a scar from a hernia repair.

I have a scar from having a c-section.

I can look at each of the scars I have and remember exactly what happened, and I'm grateful that the wounds have healed.

I'm beginning to wonder if my most painful scars - the scars that no one can see - will ever stop hurting.

I was in the grocery store last week and ran into a woman I haven't seen since Emily was born.
She's one of our long time customers, and I've been to her home a couple of times to help her with plant problems.

She asked about my baby, and I showed her a picture of my not so baby little girl.
She asked, "Is she better now?"
I told her that she was doing really well right now, but that we would most likely find out in June when she would need her next open heart surgery.

The woman had a shocked look on her face and said, "Oh!  She'll need another surgery??"
I couldn't get through telling her that Emily would likely need more than one surgery without crying.
And then it was all I could do to get through the check out line and out to my car without completely losing it.

I cried the entire drive home.
I cried that night.
I cried the next night, and the next.
I cry randomly over the silliest things.
Sometimes it's just a tear or two, and sometimes it's buckets full.

How can a mommy bear the pain of knowing what pain her beautiful little girl has gone through, and will still go through?
I don't think my emotions are cut out for this.

The most common piece of advice I hear from those who are in the market of handing out advice is 'if you have another baby it will heal you.  Having another baby will take away the pain of what you've gone through with your first because your next baby will be normal.'

I wonder if it's really that simple.
Having twelve more babies wouldn't take away what our sweet girl has been through.

In spite of the scars, Emily's and mine, we are blessed.
We are in love with each other, and we have a man in our lives who is in love with both of us.
And that's what will get us through whatever is to come.


Courtney said...

she is SUCH a precious girl and so so SO lucky to have you two as her parents :)

Time heals all things, but there are always reminders of what caused the scars. I think that's God's way of reminding us how far we've come. And you and Emily and your husband? You've come so far and still have so far to go!

Bridget said...

No offense to those well intended people, but I think it is completely crazy to think another child would "heal" everything. It's not as though you would love Emily any less. More children bring more love certainly, but they don't fix problems. That is absurd, in my opinion. In all honesty they only leave your heart bigger and even more open to more pain. But in a beautiful way of course.
You and Emily are both amazing, and both heros! We will continue to keep your cute, sweet baby girl in our prayers!

Carol said...

Emily is so very lucky to have you for her mommy. I think that every time I read one of your posts.

Kristin @ Simply Klassic Home said...

I cannot believe that someone would say that having another baby will heal your pain from Emily's struggles. That's ludicrous, and really kind of pisses me off. It completely discounts that God placed you in each other's lives for reasons beyond our own understanding. Having another child that's "normal?" What does that even mean?? That's like people asking me if I'll have my "own children." I want to smack them. Every person in this world has struggles, and things that make them different from the next person. Some are more difficult and more apparent than others.

Sorry for ranting but that really, obviously, struck a chord. LOL

Thinking of you all the time, and can't wait to see you next month!!!

Lalis said...

Ummm... who said that having another baby would make the pain go away? As if that would make any of Em's reality any less real? I have several thoughts in my head about those people right now, but I'm not typing them because they're not nice at all.

Anyway, I think you've done pretty well all things considered! I think it's OK that you still cry when you think of what Emily has and will have to endure. Just don't let your pain hold you back. Whatever Emily's future might be, remember she has a future regardless. And so do you and Jason :) The important thing is that she exists, that she exists as your daughter, and that she will forever be so.

walden said...

I love that you cry and that big heart of yours. You are perfectly fit to be with little Elimy and I hope you keep that heart-on-your-sleeve-ness. It's so real and authentic and I believe that's how Emily learns bravery and sensitivity...from her amazing mom.

I love you, girl.


John Bradfield said...

No, Noelle.

Another baby will never make this one better. And I hate that word "normal."

Our Little Em is baby number 4. And all of her older sisters who don't have a syndrome, as amazing as each daughter is, cannot (and should never be expected to) take away the pain that we feel for our Little Em.

And that's OK.

All to often we act like pain and grief are bad things. But this pain we feel—this sadness is a reflection of something much better...our love for one precious angel.

And we know that as much as it hurts we'd do it again a thousand times if it means we get those moments we've had together to get to know our sweetheart.

It reminds me of someone else, who we'll celebrate in a few weeks, who loved us all enough to experience some major scars of His own.

Dazee Dreamer said...

she is so beautiful. just like her mom.