I’ll never forget how the girls fell in love with the song, Mary Did You Know, when I was pregnant with Ryan. They wanted to listen to it over and over that Christmas season and it seemed to play on every radio station my dial was set to.

All I could think of when the song was playing was, “did you know that your baby boy was going to die before you?”

Did you know, because I KNOW my unborn son is going to die before me and it’s all I can do to continue breathing without hyperventilating and melting the steering wheel between my pressed-white knuckles.

The months leading up to Ryan’s birth felt very much like the months leading up to the end of someone’s terminal illness… not exciting at all, full of dread buffered by a desperate hope that God would intervene.

I bonded with Mary when I was pregnant with Natalie… felt a kinship with her as I felt the intensity of a mother’s love for the first time and realized she felt this for her first child too and watched him go to the cross.

By the time I was expecting my third child, my BFF status with Mary was long-gone. I was nearly four years into this motherhood thing and feeling pretty confident. Our friendship was renewed that Christmas in 2008 when I realized we both carried boys whose fates hung in the balance.

There’s pain in the knowing.

Fast forward six holiday seasons and one of my favorite Christmas songs remains “Mary Did You Know.”  I watch my son, the one who fought so hard to live, sing along with his sisters… watch his eye brows raise and the corners of his mouth turn up as he belts out the high notes along with the low. As I watch him I’m reminded that sometimes we need the low notes of life to truly appreciate the high ones.

I’m working on an ebook for parents facing prenatal diagnoses. If you know someone living this nightmare, please let them know it’s coming. It will be free. I can’t imagine charging for something like this. It will be available to anyone – parents or anyone walking along side them. I hope to have it ready soon. You can subscribe to my blog to be sure not to miss it. Otherwise, I’ll be posting about it when it’s ready.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Comments (4)

  • Debbie / December 19, 2014 / Reply

    Wow, Leighann! Great blog post! We did not know before our son’s birth about his heart defect. BUT I know the social worker at Johns Hopkins does A LOT with their prenatal program. I would encourage you to offer this to the various pediatric cardiology programs as well as family support organizations such as Little Hearts, Inc. or Mended Little Hearts, etc. Good for you!!!!

    Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family!

  • Lindy / December 19, 2014 / Reply

    Hi Leighann. I so love reading about your boy, and smile at the fact that he is here. And that he’s so smiley. 🙂 I love this post. And I love that God’s grace is still so present in your heart when you think about your boy, and what could have been. Merry Christmas to all of you!

  • Heidi / December 19, 2014 / Reply

    What a powerful post that brought me to tears!

  • Linda / January 5, 2015 / Reply

    I never saw this post. I didn’t know you were writing an E-book….but I think it is a wonderful idea and it will help those who are facing that situation. Proud of you Leighann!
    Love, Linda

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