Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For Fig

Dear Fig,

Since freshmen year of high school, your mother and I have been through a lot together. Like really bad bangs.

...and ugly knee socks (don't let this photo fool you -- I wasn't the only one!).

Your mother and I did everything together: volleyball, cheer, dance, lunch, lockers, slumber parties. We had entirely different backgrounds, dreams, fears and personalities. We fought sometimes. We would go a few days without speaking. Yet we fit. I'd vent, she'd listen. I'd play a new song on the piano, she'd praise. She'd cry about your grandparents' divorce, I'd rail against the world and swear to protect her.

Apparently no one could protect us from the horror that is "Cross-Dressing Day."

When Nick and I got engaged, I knew instantly that Jessica had to be my maid of honor.
Almost 5 years later, when Jessica married your daddy, I repaid the favor.
Fig, I talked about you in my toast at your mommy and daddy's wedding reception.

I talked about how much your mommy meant to me, about how happy I was when she asked Jesus into her life our freshman year of college. I spoke of how marriage is the greatest gift possible. I teased about you coming. I advised that as millitary wives (Ryan's in the Army), we especially have to cherish each other, because we never know what tomorrow holds. I said we have to tell each other exactly what's in our hearts.

 Just as I was thrilled with the news that your mommy began a relationship with Jesus, I was so excited when she told me about you. I promptly dubbed you Fig. I highly doubt Jessica approves of this name, but she's too nice to tell me to quit.

I've always known whichever little soul God picked to be Jessica's child would be lucky. But something has gone wrong, Fig. Just a few weeks ago, when your mommy and daddy went to find out whether you were a Figaro or Figette, they received life-changing news.

The doctors say you have Multicystic Kidney Disease (MCKD) and "aren't compatible with life." You've been given extrememly slim odds of being born alive, and even slimmer odds of making it to your 1st birthday.

I've been through this before, Fig, with my good friends Debra and Melody. Another best friend (Mel) lost her baby just a few hours after he was born. I've asked God why a million times. I've wondered why I can get pregnant so easily and have healthy children. I've pondered, prayed, fasted, worried and hoped over my friends' babies. I've cried after hearing about yet another miscarriage, an unexpected disease or syndrome, and sobbed after hearing that they went to be with Jesus.

I haven't gotten any better at this.

I still don't have the answers, Fig. I still don't even know whether you are a boy or a girl. Yet I know God works miracles in the face of the impossible. Melody, for instance, is still mothering a growing, thriving Leah, despite her also-growing heart tumor. Debra, just a little over a year after burying Samuel, gave birth to Noah, despite the doctors telling her another pregnancy wasn't likely. Mel delivered Gracie into this world almost a year to the day after saying goodbye to Josiah. You aren't replaceable, Fig. That's why we fight and pray so hard on your behalf.

I'm praying you beat the odds. I'm praying this is just the first chapter in an amazing, God-breathed life.

Because I can't save you. I would love to be your superhero, to plan a daring rescue, to zap those cysts off your precious kidneys and save the day. But I can't. Ironic, really, when I'm in the midst of organizing a 5k/10k race to save preborn babies' lives, just like you.

I can't save you. Neither can the fierce love of your parents. Yet we can pray, and please know I am. Every time I see this picture -- my favorite of your mommy and me.

I'm so proud of your mommy. Here's what she wrote to me:We trust in God and know that he has a purpose for this and have been praying for peace over the situation. At the same time we also know that as God's children we can sway his will through prayer. We can ask him what we want and to perform a miracle to glorify him and he can because of his love for us. It's been hard to put ourselves out there like that, to be that vulnerable. I would love nothing more than for this baby to be a miracle and to prove everyone wrong but at the same time I don't want to have false hope.

The doctors say you're not compatible with life. I say your life is already compatible with the love of your parents, and so many around you. Your life is already worth it, and already touching and changing people.

Rest, grow and live, sweet child. Whether it's in your mommy's arms or in heaven, I look forward to kissing your sweet cheeks someday. You are loved and perfect.