A week from today is Braxton's colon surgery. It's a pretty big deal. The diseased part of his colon is going to be removed, and the good parts will be sewn together. His colostomy will be reversed. The actual surgery is expected to take about five hours. Then, as Braxton begins to heal, his colon will begin working, and we will eventually end up with poopy diapers. I will never be so happy to see a poopy diaper.
But oh, how I am dreading next Tuesday. I have had the experience of having children in surgery before, and I don't think it gets any easier the more you do it. Honestly I think this time might be the worst as I have had the longest time to think about it. It's also the most major surgery any of my kids have ever had.
On Sunday we will have the privilege of dedicating Braxton at church. We will go up on stage and our pastor will pray a blessing over Braxton and we will publicly declare our commitment to raise Braxton up for the Lord.
I am a Mom, so I know what it means to have your heart live outside your chest. Yet there is something even more profound, more indescribable, about the love in my heart I have for Braxton. At the same time, that love overflows to my other children as well. And I think that my love for my other children trickles down and puddles up around Braxton. Honestly the more children I have, the more love I have for my children. I've heard people who worry that they won't have enough love for a second baby, because they've already given the love they have to their first child. I say that being a Mom equips you to have that extra love for another child. The more experience you've had loving a child gives you that much more love for the next one. It kind of makes me want to have a few more children just to see.
As I struggle to find the words to explain my love, my mind is also thinking about Down syndrome and trying to make sense of how I feel about that.
This might surprise some of you. But I have actually fallen in love with Down syndrome. How could I not? It is a part of Braxton, and part of what makes him who he is. I couldn't love Braxton without also loving his extra 21st chromosome, just like I love his hazel eyes and his ball chin. I am not a fan of some of the negative things that sometimes come along with Down syndrome...but all of my kids have things about them that I'm not a fan of.
Did you know that around 90% of babies who have Down syndrome are aborted and never given the chance to fill their home with the same kind of love Braxton has filled our home with? I'm not talking about a love that feels sorry for a person, or a love of sympathy or lack. I'm talking about a love so deep you never knew you could love like that.