Welcome to Georgia's Journey

Georgia Lily Lucas was born at home on October 6th, 2008 4:15am, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was diagnosed with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) on April 1, 2009.

On April 3rd Georgia was taken home, to be near her sisters and the rest of her family and friends. Nearly three weeks later, on April 21, 2009, she died peacefully -- in the loving arms of her mother and in the same room in which she was born.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Mother's Job

From the moment a woman knows that she is pregnant (at least under positive circumstances) her body does this amazing job of keeping that baby alive. The baby receives all of the nutrients it needs to grow bigger and stronger from day to day and it remains protected until it is ready to enter the world. If a mother hasn't already figured it out she very quickly realizes that her main job is to keep this amazing little being alive.

In the early days life revolves around making sure that the baby is fed, comfortable and gaining weight. As time goes on we struggle to make sure our little ones are stimulated... that they learn about the world, that they become independent and that with any luck they take with them some of the morals that we've tried to instill. While all of these things are important, the minute that we are hit with a crisis a mother, or a father for that matter realizes that their most important job as a parent is to keep that child safe, in other words to keep that child alive.

So this has been a hard week for me. Georgia not being here to celebrate her first birthday is a reminder that I as her mother have failed. Don't get me wrong I think that I did a lot of things right by her and know that I couldn't stop myself from failing but essentially that is exactly what has happened. I have failed to keep my child alive through no fault of my own. This is something that is very hard to wrap your head around. I'm sure that most of you reading this are thinking about how you are going to write to me and tell me about how I didn't fail. Nobody likes to fail and we all like to think that if we didn't have any control over it then we couldn't have failed. I disagree.

While none of us like the idea of failure, it can often set us down a path that we had never considered. It may save us from even bigger mistakes that we could make down the line. It could change our lives in such a profound way that it could be described as nothing but a gift.

I may have failed to keep my baby alive but I am now following a path that will make me a more compassionate human being. I now have goals that will allow me to say that I will never fail my daughter again. While I would take Georgie back in an instant, it is her arrival and even more so her departure that has been my gift. What happened this past Saturday was only the beginning. It was the laying down of a foundation to building something that will be great and beyond what many of us can imagine. I can now tell you that the final total will be even greater than what I previously estimated! : ) In honoring Georgia's birthday, I have not failed.

"Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. it's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." Barack Obama

Thank you to all of you that sent messages. Thank you to all of you for respecting our need for privacy and quiet as we have gone through this most difficult week. The journey that we are travelling is difficult but we remain grateful to all of you.

Love to you all,

Kristen

4 comments:

  1. Kristen what beautiful words, I love your post today. Unfortunately we as mothers find failures in our jobs as mothers so easily but you have turned into action and are making such a positive statement in all of this. Way to go.

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  2. You have done it again Kristen. Your beautiful words have touched my soul so deeply that I can only write through tears. Your perspective is so painfully honest and I appreciate how you continue to put your heart out there for us all to read and share.

    I am so proud of the amazing work you have done this week -- an unimaginably, beyond words, tough week. And your posts about Georgia's arrival were so beautiful.

    Happy Birthday sweet Georgia.

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  3. Ok I cannot let this pass..of course I was thinking of how I can write you to tell you how you DID NOT FAIL. Come on! I do find deep respect and empathy for your honest blog. I find that your blog made me reflect on how subjective perceptions can be. I certainly agree that initially perceptions of motherhood were to keep my childeren alive and safe but I think Georgia has expanded my everyday responsibilities to now encompass a new perspective of "life". Such that Life is not simply "alive" in a breathing touchable form. You "The Lucas family" and especially Georgia have taught me that the responsibilites of parenthood are to teach my children to cope and understand something greater than material or hugable life. I never perceived your journey to begin with failure. You have succeeded in keeping her alive in our hearts and to encourage her presence in our lives and this growth of Georgia keeps her safe. Failure is how you allow yourself to perceive it. I am glad that you reflect on "failure" and it strengthens your actions and commitments to live a meaningful life, dedicated to GEORGIA'S JOURNEY OF HOPE. As your friend i would feel dreadful if I allowed my self for one second to let you think you have failed in anyway. Failure sounds so hopeless...even though what you say is very true. Your always quite inspiring and have a very positive outlook so you managed to place a very positive spin on failure. However, I still have to say...I don't think you failed Georgia. You are an extrordinary woman and mother.
    With loving appreciation
    Nat

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  4. Kristen,I have been writing and rewriting this post since you wrote yours as I don't in any way want you to think I am minimizing your feelings, I appreciate them and your honesty.....but, I just had to say something! I'm sure you know my feelings when it comes to looking at Georgia's passing as failure on your part in any way....even one that was inevitable-I don't see it that way at all. I see it as an inevitable tragedy that there was, in no way, a possibility of 'failure' in the outcome, as the outcome was preset. For some reason we can't and don't understand it was going to happen, 'meant' to happen....what I did see the entire time was you doing everything positive that you could, never failing Georgia on the journey she had to take, being her voice, being by her side and making every decision from day one in her best interest. I know as a mother taking care of our kids is our number one priority and we all see our failures, so I do understand what you are saying and as I said I don't want you to think in any way I am minimizing your feelings. I can see in some ways why you can use the word 'failure' to describe the situation, but I am so glad you are a positive enough person to turn that "failure" into something else. I do think what you have done this past week, and last Saturday in particular, in Georgia's honor was incredible and such a testament as to why you were chosen to be her mom and family. Not only did you honor her every breath, you continue to do so not only in words but in actions....even in your darkest hour-incredible.
    I am glad that you see the positive things you have done, and continue doing...don't ever forget those things. It amazes me that someone who was already one of the most compassionate people I had ever met is on this journey and acknowledging you can still learn-that is something we can all personally learn from.
    I can't imagine how tough this last week has been but hope you have felt the love from all who are thinking of you, and especially from Georgia as I know she would have showered you in it, just as you always do her.
    Hugs, Em

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