A prayer never goes unanswered. God’s answers are usually “yes”, “no” or “wait”. Ive been fortunate most of my prayer life. Ive always been told “yes” or “wait”. Never no. I guess most of the time my heart was aligned with Gods will for my life. But not this time. I’ve grown up in the church so I know a lot of people, but I don’t allow people to know me. I stick to my self and my family. I have a handful of close friends who I share my life with and know me to the core. God has given me the ability to feel EVERYTHING deeply. When I love its an all consuming love. And when I’m angry, it spreads like a cancer and consumes my well being. Though I also have this strange ability to feel nothing. I guess you could say its my coping mechanism. When trials hit I usually ignore them and deny their existence until Im forced to face reality. And facing reality usually comes during a storm of trials and emotions. Like a thunder storm. When the air becomes unstable that it overturns violently. And then reality sets in. Sometimes the storm goes on for days and floods my life causing mass destruction. And other times there is a beautiful rainbow at the end of the storm. With green rolling hills, crisp fresh air, and the warmth of the radiant sun drying out the clouds. Some of you who know me are probably reading this thinking “what trials is she talking about? Her life has been pretty easy.” Thankfully that is true. But when you have a hormone imbalance, it doesn’t mater how small the trial, you can’t control the emotions. Especially being pregnant. These extra hormones are like a drug that hijacks your body and causes every pebble in your way to seem like a mountain you can’t move. This pregnancy has been nothing short of difficult. If you’ve read my previous post then you know what I’m talking about. When the doctors told me on September 30th, that I was high risk for down syndrome there was an initial shocked cry. But after so many people convincing me that the test must have been a false positive, and sharing stories of women being told their baby had DS and was born healthy, I convinced my self that the doctors were wrong and I didn’t need to face this as my reality. Little did I know 2.5 months later I would be confronted with this truth. On December 15th while I was still in bed, came the phone call that I had been dreading. “Dr. Kassar would like to schedule an appointment to discuss some findings in your Amnio.” Those words stung. Like my air supply had been shut off. “But USC was supposed to call to give me my results.” I could hardly muster out the words. “Your doctor requested that he meet with you to tell you the findings. USC can’t share this information with you over the phone”. Blackness. Eyes pinched closed so tightly, as if they were a dam keeping out my tears. The doctor at USC told be he would call to tell me the DS results. So this can only mean one thing, right? There was something else wrong?! Days before the results came in i stumbled across a mother on Facebook who had lost her newborn son to Acrania. As I read her posts and weeped for her, I told God if that happened to me I couldn’t live after that. That he would need to take me home to Him, or keep me in a mental hospital. Instantly I began researching what other findings an Amnio can give. “Sickle Cell, Acrania, Cancer”. I stopped there. My child could not have any of these. I pleaded with God all morning that it would be me who was sick. “Give me cancer, Take my life at delivery. Spare my child.” I was willing to die for this person that I haven’t even met. I held my stomach a little tighter that day. Taking in every kick, every movement she made. I didn’t want to miss out on a life with her, but if it was me or her then it HAD to be me. She would have a wonderful loving family in my place. My prayer journal became filled with prayers to give my family peace and understanding with my passing. My letters to Brian were all about instruction on how to raise our daughter. To love again and find a wife who could be the mother to my child one day. If I could pray it enough then it would happen right? God had always answered my prayers. As the day went on and turned into night I didn’t sleep much. The anxiety of meeting with my doctor the next day drove me mad. Counting down each hour, each minute, waiting for the sun to come up. All night I had convinced my self they found Cancer in me. Maybe cervical cancer. And if this was the case I would postpone treatment and delivery before taking care of my self. I read article after article about cervical cancer. The risks during pregnancy, how delivery would look. The stages of cervical cancer. My mom joked that I diagnosed myself with Cervical Cancer in one night. And she was right. I was in fact convinced. The sun finally rose and I was ready for these results. I had a serene sense of peace that passes all understanding. If the worse was to happen, then I was prepared. Now, a lot of people would tell me to stay off the internet cause all it does is damage and make me more freaked out. This is true for most people. But not for me. If I was to go into this appointment with no idea what the worse outcome could be, and only expecting DS results, just to be blind sided by the fatality of me or my child I can promise you that storm I was talking about before would have been a hurricane. Hurricane Hannah. Damaging anything in my path. I had my time of mourning, in one day, and I was ready for the truth. The car ride there seemed pretty normal, at least to me. My mom might have a different opinion. She did seem to ask me more than normal what I was thinking, and I remember thinking about nothing most of the drive. I remember waiting to get nervous as we pulled into the parking lot. But nerves never came. I did get a little antsy waiting to see my doctor. But the nerves never came. He’s escorted us to his office and closed the door (something he never does). As he sat down and pulled up my file, the words started coming out. “So, I know you don’t plan to terminate the pregnancy, however your Child is Down Syndrome…” I sat there in silence. I felt nothing. It seemed like he was just starring at me waiting for me to respond. But I just waited. He looked frazzled. He began rambling on about how he has a Down Syndrome relative and how much of a blessing he is. But I said nothing. I didn’t feel angry, I didn’t feel sad.I felt nothing. I said nothing. He starred some more and I starred back. Finally i asked “So thats it? Thats all the results say? She has Down Syndrome? Nothing else”. He looked at me like I was crazy. As it all sank in I began to ask some questions. More about her heart and what we had found on the ultrasound. He replied we would know more about that after my appointments next week at Childrens Hospital in LA. And that about summed up our visit. I remember walking back to the car thinking what a waste of time. He made it seem like such a big deal. Why couldn’t someone tell me this over the phone. In this moment I didn’t realize it, but God was preparing me the entire night before. I was ready to be told my child was sick and I would loose her at delivery. Or that I was sick and needed treatments. Instead, I get a beautiful baby girl with an extra chromosome. I don’t know if the reality of Down Syndrome hasn’t hit me yet, or if by mourning the [thought of] death of my self or my child made me realize how lucky I actually have it. Now, I know God technically answered my prayers with a “No”. I wanted to be the sick one. I wanted Adeline to be perfectly healthy. But I tell you, that whole night I think God allowed me to think he had answered my prayers with a “yes” so that when I was finally able to hear the answer “No”, the storm wouldn’t come. (Apparently he knows that I don’t take the word No very well.) Now I’m sure the flood gates will open sometime and I will have to mourn the idea of my Pinterest baby board not coming to life, and deal with the reality that comes with mothering a Down Syndrome Child. But I’m ready to embrace that storm, because I know I will be praising HIM through this storm. Praising Him for a beautiful life and for this perfect child I have prayed for since I was a little girl. Adaline Grace Seadschlag. “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:13 & 14