Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

What would I do?

A reader goes back to my February archives and asks the following question: What would I do?

My son has NO chance of survival outside of me, zero, zilch, none. There isno hope that tests will be wrong, we have had two u/s that confirmed.
He has no kidneys, no spleen, no liver, a hole in his heart,
scoliosis, gastroschisis (where his intestines are outside of his
body) and hypoplastic lungs. If I deliver at term, he will die of
respiratory failure within minutes. If I deliver now, he will die of
respiratory failure within minutes. I would love to know what the
difference here is. I don't get to treasure my pregnancy, b/c I will
never feel my child move (another part of this disorder is that I
have NO amniotic fluid. None). In addition, the risk of infection to me increases greatly the longer I carry him due to the fact that I have no amniotic fluid. If he dies in utero (a huge possibility at this point), I also risk infection. I
have been told by my doctor that she will wait a few weeks to see if I
miscarry naturally, but if not, she wants to induce no later than 26
weeks. So, what do you do?

As a mom who has lost a baby at 23 weeks, and as a mom who has 5 healthy children and one on the way, I have had a lot of time and reason to contemplate this type of question as it relates to my role as a Catholic wife and mother within the framework of my Catholic Faith.

To me, it doesn't matter if the life I am given to mother lasts a day in the womb or goes on to live 100 years once out of the womb. A life is a life. It is a child given to me. A child that I will have the opportunity to love always, and perhaps get the chance to raise to adulthood, but perhaps not. Each child is an eternal being of priceless worth. The time on earth is fleeting, the time beyond forever. So to me it does matter whether I get to carry the child for days or months, or if the child is carried to term and dies then. That life is a gift and I would not end it prematurely. My own child I carried inside of me for at least a week when he had already passed. And even carrying his body was a significant gift. I mentioned previously that the word "casket" means the carrier of something precious and I certainly felt that as I carried my child he was still precious and still mine before he was born and I had to submit him for burial. It does make a difference.

Further I would try to treasure that pregnancy, even if the outcome could never be the gift of a living child. The time together NOW can still be very precious and a gift if you are open to that.

Finally from the articles I have since read and blogged on, it appears that there is NOT a standard set of risks to the mother that will absolutely occur with a doomed pregnancy. Interestingly, when my own child had already passed and I stated that I wanted to wait to deliver on my own, none of the doctors I talked to suggested that there was a grave or urgent need to induce labor quickly.

So what I would do is take a watchful waiting approach. I would write letters to this child for his/her baby book, and to place in the casket. I would buy a special rosary to touch to my child when it is born as a secondary relic. I would certainly keep up regular appointments and watch for signs of a problem, but until that time I would just let nature take its course. Because I did those things with my son, I have a very content, in a way even happy memory of that very sad time in my life.

That's what I would do.

Halo scan discussion here.

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