The Bonds of Family

husband caressing his pregnant wife's belly
ElenaNichizhenova/iStock/Thinkstock

This journey is also reshaping our family. Our hearts' cry is that this “new” family will be more refined than ever before. Our other three children are incredible. They seem to know when we need a hug and when we just need some downtime.

As I sit with our 6-year-old son and talk about Pearl, he wants to know what she will look like. I think about it for a moment and realize that only the truth will suffice for this curious mind. I tell him about her facial malformations and about our fears for her.

I ask him how he feels about the problem with her eyes and nose. He looks at me with those beautiful green eyes and says, “It's OK, Mom. I'm not afraid. She is my baby sister and I love her. I want to see her.”

I hold him as I weep. We should all have that same kind of unconditional love for those around us who are different.

A few weeks later, he tells me that he wishes there were two of him: “I wish there could be one of me in heaven so I could be with my baby sister, and one of me here so I could be with my family.”

How is he able to articulate so well exactly what I am thinking?

Our other two are equally as loving. The 4-year-old rubs my belly, talking to “Baby Pearl.” He wants to know when she is moving and to make sure she knows he loves her. Our 2-year-old daughter comes to me when I'm crying – which seems to be a lot lately – and asks, “You want Daddy?”

“Daddy” makes me feel better, too. In fact, words cannot describe what a rock my husband is for me. He holds me when I need it and does not waver in our decision to take hold of the time we have been given with Pearl, even though he knows it is painful to walk this path. He assures me he is not afraid; that he knows God walks with us. That is where his strength comes from and I am drawing from that when I am feeling weak.

I love the way he talks to his “princess” and so lovingly caresses my growing belly. He assures me I am beautiful even when I am feeling the opposite.

Without this brave man at my side I would not be able to walk this journey. He loves me so well, and I can only hope I am loving him well, too.

Laura Huene is a labor and delivery nurse, and founder of a perinatal hospice program created to provide a nurturing and safe place for families facing a fatal prenatal diagnosis. Learn more at StringOfPearlsOnline.org.
© 2008 by Laura Huene. Used with permission.

Next in this Series: Preparing to Meet Pearl