Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. The spirit in the air, the smell of pine trees, the lights, presents & jingle songs that tries put to words the feeling that is love, family & friends - to treasure the warmth of relationships.
Through the commercial jingle of getting gifts & spreading joy, let's take a trip down 2000 years ago to a baby born in a manger - the beginning of Christmas.
Perhaps it's a time where I can openly share about how God has given me so much hope and joy as a mother, through challenges of motherhood and raising three boys. It is harder for me not to share about how I could "survive" motherhood.
The most difficult trail of my motherhood journey was in 2019, when I just started A For Apothecary. We found out I was pregnant with our 3rd child. Financially, we didn't know how we could support another child. During my 2nd trimester, our gynaecologist gave us the most devastating news - through blood tests & ultrasound scans, Elkan has extremely high probability of Down, Edwards and Patau Syndrome and unlikely to survive past his first year. We could follow up with an Amniocentesis test with 100% accuracy, but risk a 1 in 300 miscarriage. (based on what our Gynae told us)
In short, our gynae gave us the option to abort as the test results were not optimistic.
My hubs and I cried and prayed about this for 1 month. There were so many questions - what if we went for Amniocentesis, results came back negative but we lost our baby? Can I live with this regret for the rest of my life? If not, does it matter whether our baby is healthy or not? What's my own selfish reasons to want to know? How are we able to cope with a Down syndrome kid? How will it affect our two older boys? Can we handle the pain of losing our baby if he cannot survive the first year?
Throughout this season, God kept reassuring us everything is in His hands.
On the day to meet our Gynae to decide whether to do Amniocentesis or not, or to abort, God send a friend to give me one last word of comfort:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
That's when I decided this little life belongs to God and if He has given us a gift, surely He will provide us the Grace and Strength to raise this boy, no matter what may come.
In addition, I started having abdominal pain and contractions as early as 28 weeks, admitted in hospital bed rest for almost 3 weeks, endless needles to stop contractions and managed to hold Elkan in until 34 weeks.
My boys sitting on the hospital bed with me on their daily visits while I'm on bedrest.
I had an emergency C-sec and couldn't hold Elkan until the 3rd day as he was in a special ward and couldn't room in with me.
When I finally held him for the first time, tears just started welling up.
He was a perfectly healthy baby at 2.1kg, 34 weeks.
Holding Elkan for the first time. My boys seeing their baby brother for the first time
Today, Elkan has brought us so much joy and laughter. Our wallets are thinner, house messier, we indulged in lesser fine stuff but I wouldn't have it any other way.
I will not be able to share this if not for the God of Hope, Love and Joy.
I hope this story can give courage to another mommy who is going through similar struggles. May you find strength in God through any difficult season.