What did carrying Riley to term give me?

After speaking to Patti on the phone I started thinking about what carrying Riley to term gave to us.

Three years latter it is easier to see that the time with Riley was a blessing beyond compare. I wanted to share my thoughts with you to use as the Lord leads you.

What did carrying Riley to term give me?
It gave me time to feel the pain. I felt it deeply. I embraced the pain as part of the experience. It gave me time to explore and understand the pain. It gave me time to see how intertwined the pain is with the joy of life. Now when something reminds me of Riley I am comfortable feeling the pain again because I know there is joy on the other side of the pain.

It gave me time to start processing. It gave me time to read and find out how others handle similar situations. It gave me time to learn about Trisomy 18 and to realize that we are not alone.

It gave me time for lessons. My major lesson was about worry. I learned not to waste time in worry about what is to come. Each day can bring either joy or disaster. I am now trying not to block out the joy by worrying about possible disasters.

It gave us time to plan the most meaningful funeral arrangements and internment options.

It gave us the ability to share Riley with our daughter, our extended family, our friends and our church.

It gave us time for pictures and memories.

It gave me the blessing of seeing our church act in the loving, caring way that God wants us to act all the time.

It gave me the comfort of knowing that no choice of mine contributed to his death. I would have felt responsible for the timing of his death if we induced labor before term. We did it in God’s time.

It gave Riley time to do his ministry. Riley ministered to many people. I’m sure his live touched more people than I realize. I will have a surprise in heaven of finding out exactly what God did with Riley’s life because Steve and I decided not to terminate the pregnancy early.

It gave me time to pray.

Wanda – Riley’s mother