“Malformed Babies” and Dust | A Mother’s Journey, part 3

November 6, 1987

Yesterday I was thinking about how the word “malformed” makes a mother feel; “malformed ears,” “malformed heart” — sick to my stomach.

That’s how Laura was described.

Today I went to my first parent-teacher conference for Jonathan. She used words to describe Jonathan such as “well-adjusted, “self-motivated,” “hard worker.” These make a parent feel so good. And yet I take no credit or blame for either description. With both babies I did everything within my power to ensure good health (good nutrition, rest, vitamins, exercise, excellent prenatal care) and yet the outcome was out of my hands. One was formed perfectly, one “malformed.”

As we drove by the cemetery the kids started talking about Laura’s bones — that’s all that’s left, they imagine.

I told them even the bones would turn to dust eventually.

I couldn’t help but think that almost a year ago I was so concerned about that little physical body that my physical body was nourishing. My body, not knowing that her physical body was doomed from the start, did everything within its power to build a healthy body for her. It’s good to be reminded, I guess, that only God is in control. We can do the best with what we’ve been given but it’s God who has control of the situation.

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Of Tulips and Death, part 1

When Your Baby Dies, part 2

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