Our baby boy turns 3 months old today!!
As if that isn't enough excitement for an entire day, I was sitting on the couch this morning and for some reason I just decided to start writing my book. I'm not sure how you begin the process of writing a book so I just did what I do every time I write a paper, blog post, or speech. I just opened a word document and started typing, not knowing what would come out. Sometimes I feel like just giving it up because it makes me feel so vulnerable pouring out my heart in words, knowing that others are going to read them. I am, in a sense, giving others, even complete strangers, access to my heart and my deepest emotions. I never fail to be drawn back to it though. My heart feels alive when I give words to what it is feeling, what it is believing, what is making it break, what it is most passionate about. Blogging has become a great outlet for me. I think God knew that journaling just wouldn't be enough during our experiences with Landon. I couldn't isolate my heart in a mere journal, it would of killed it. I couldn't share what I was going through with others in person, the words just wouldn't come, but put me in front of my laptop and for some reason I was able to speak. Giving words to the fear somehow made it have less control over me. Even though I couldn't share my heart in person, I could share it through this blog and your comments of encouragement were proof to me that I was not alone.
Writing a book has always been something I wanted to do before I die. It was up there with run a marathon. I thought it would be a great accomplishment, but didn't really ever think I would cross it off my bucket list someday. I still don't know if I will ever hold our story in my hands beautifully bound in a hardcover, but I do know that it no longer is just something that I "want" to do, it's something I feel I "need" to do.
According to the Children's Heart Foundation,
- CHDs (congenital heart defects) are Americas and every country's #1 birth defect
- 1 in 100 babies are born with a CHD
- CHDs are the leading cause of all infant deaths in the United States
- Each year approximately 40,000 babies are born in the United States with a CHD. Thousands of them will not reach their 1st birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood.
- In the United States, twice as many children die from CHDs each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHDs
To say that we need to raise awareness of CHDs in a gross understatement. To say our future and the future of our children depends on it is getting closer to the truth. That is one of the reasons why I feel I need to tell our story.
Now some facts of my own,
- There is no way of getting around the inevitable truth that 1 in 100 pregnant women and new mothers will receive news that will shake their world and break their heart.
- Many of them will choose abortion
- The braver ones will put their child up for adoption
- The really brave ones will find themselves living in a world they never knew existed.
- The majority will place their babies heart and life in the hands of a surgeon at least once
- 100% of them will feel alone
One of the first things I did after we received the news about Landon's heart was search for books written by other parents of a child with a CHD. Apart from one book our social worker gave us that had mostly medical information, but a couple small segments of other heart parents stories, I found nothing. Nothing written by a parent who had walked the road we were headed down, who could tell us that we could make it. That's probably the biggest reason I feel a need to write a book. I want other heart moms to have a resource. Not just something that gives them the medical facts, but something that gives their heart a safe place to break. They need a place where they can feel normal, they need someone they can relate to. They need someone to cheer them on. There are some great blogs and groups on the internet, but they are few and hard to find.
Another reason is, even if your not a parent of a heart child, I guarantee you will meet one in your lifetime and I would love it if God would use our story to give someone a better understanding of what it is like to live in this scary world so that they can better encourage those they love.
Above all those reasons though, my hope is that someday someone will read our story and meet Jesus in the pages.
I tell you all of this because I'm asking for accountability and encouragement. This is going to be a LONG process. Life is only going to get more hectic as Landon gets older. Adding school into the mix in a couple months will make finding time for writing close to impossible, but this is something I believe God has placed on my heart and I believe that when God starts something in someone He is going to see them through to completion.