The Gift

By Guest Blogger Brooke Menoni

Nearly six months ago, I discovered some news that made my heart very full. I had a permanent grin on my face knowing that what my husband and I had hoped for, had finally come true—we would be extending our family by one more.

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Unfortunately, not long after that, I learned that my perfect plan was not in fact what I had envisioned. My happiness deflated as I faced days of news and decisions that would forever change me, and test my strength.

Before finding out what really lie ahead of us, I came up with what I thought was a fun idea to break the news to everyone. I had our good family friend, Kathleen, help with the photos and artwork for it.

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Very shortly after though, the concept seemed silly given the situation.

I spent nearly three months thinking about how I wanted to share our news with others. I knew that I wanted to stay true to my festive spirit, but also knew it was important to let those close to us know the truth.

I finally came up with an idea how to share our happy news, but also to let those we care about know the challenges that we’d be facing, in a way that felt right for our family.

I mailed our close friends and family a package with a photo and small wrapped box enclosed.

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Inside of the box was a letter with photos:

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Sometimes you receive a gift that you never expected.

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A few weeks ago we received news we weren’t expecting.
With time, it has become the gift we weren’t expecting, but are now anxiously awaiting.

Our baby-to-be has Trisomy 18—he or she was created with an extra special something–and, although this disorder has been defined as “incompatible with life”, we know that God has a plan and a much better definition.

It is a gift we have yet to unwrap and may never see the full intention of God for giving it to us, but we feel truly blessed that He trusted us to carry this special creation.

We ask for your support and prayers and know that by being there for us, you will also be part of a miracle.

We are full of hope and joy waiting in anticipation for what’s to come, because our family has a whole lot of love to give this baby for as long as we can.

Hearts full,
Dave, Brooke, Hunter, Emerson, Cash and baby-to-be Menoni (due December 13th—also Hunter’s birthday!)

“Some bloom for a whole season, some bloom for a day.
But would a gardener even think of pulling out his daylilies
because they last such a short time?”
–Mother Teresa*

My husband and I know that we have many challenges ahead of us and the mountains look steep. No one prepares you for situations like these, and certainly no one prepares you for accepting the loss of a child.

We feel relieved that we’re not hiding anymore and have the support of our family and good friends to help us through our journey.

Amid what we’re facing, we feel blessed. We are so thankful for every phone call, text, card, gift and prayer we have received. This is what keeps us going, because we are determined to climb every mountain and come out the other side stronger people, knowing greater love than we ever have before.

Life is a series of challenges and choices, and it is up to us to determine the road we will take—to let it engulf us or to let it teach us. I have chosen the latter and am daily learning that even in the worst of times, goodness can be found if we keep searching for it.

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About Brooke Menoni

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Brooke Menoni is a family-loving, coffee-drinking, book-reading, fashion-obsessed, crafty girl that’s all heart with a little sass!

You can also read Brooke’s first post on WomenOnTheFence.com titled: Trading a Career for Mommyhood: 5 Power Tips

I would first like to start off by praying for Brooke, her family, and her unborn child. Brooke, you are so very, very, brave. This blog is titled WOMEN ON THE FENCE,  and I don’t think we have seen a more ON THE FENCE topic than today.

I think this post begs the question: “If you discovered you were carrying a child with trisomy 18, would you have the baby?” I am pretty sure many of us would not be as brave as Brooke. I do not believe I would be.

 

Erica3

8 Comments
  1. Brooke thank you for sharing your story so openly. If I am to be honest I don’t think I could be as strong as you and carry the baby. I am sending you prayers.

    1. Hi Shelley.

      Thank you for being so honest. I can definitely understand your viewpoint. After finding out our news I wrote out a list of pros and cons. The sole pro was following what I believed was the right thing to do based on my own personal faith. I kept coming back to all of the cons and how it just made more sense but, my heart kept speaking louder and I couldn’t let the one pro go. I went with my heart and faith and haven’t looked back since I made the decision. I learned a lesson in all of that and I’ve shared it over and over. I learned that I can never say what I’d do or not do in a situation because actually being in it changed everything. It has taught me to not pass judgement on anyone because I haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. You said you felt you wouldn’t be as strong if put in this situation but I have learned that its situations like this that show us how strong we truly are. I hope this only translates as positive and supportive of you and your comment. I appreciate you sharing it and being so honest. Thank you so much for the prayers too–they mean more than you know.
      Brooke

    1. Hi Sandy.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Your words are what help keep me going when I have rough moments and days–and there are many. Amid all of this sadness and initially the questioning as to why God chose this path for us, I have had much more joy. This entire experience has been a lesson to me and I wouldn’t trade it for all that I’ve learned. Thank you again for your support and kind words.

      Brooke

  2. I have to say at first I thought, if it were me, would it be better to let it go? But I’ve had a miscarriage, and it killed, I grieved for months and I never thought a miscarriage would be so hard. Looking back I just wanted to know, to meet the baby, to imagine it as girl/boy. I never got to meet the baby, and I think that if Brooke’s situation was mine, I would need to.

    Thinking about you and your family Brooke, I pray you can feel god’s presence as you go through this difficult time.

    1. Hi Mary.

      Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. I have had many friends reach out to me to share their stories of loss and had I not shared my story, I never would have known theirs. I have a new compassion and heartfelt grief for women who have gone through what you’ve been through. As we’ve traveled this new road and been through so much, I have cried many times and prayed that we’ll just get the opportunity to meet our daughter–if only for five minutes. I can understand your curiosity and I do truly believe that you will one day meet your child and the only thing that separates you now if your time on earth.

      Thank you again for commenting and it means so much to me.
      Brooke

  3. Brooke
    I have thought of you so much since JC told me your news. I am in awe of you and Dave. Of course you made the right decision but the way you have used your “blessing” is so amazing. God is already using this in ways you cannot even imagine. You are mature beyond your years and I’m proud to know you. Much love and prayer.

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