The fear


I dream for them.

In these days, before they can dream for themselves, I dream for them.

I don’t dream in specifics. That’s for them to do on a someday down the road.

But I dream dreams of boundless possibility. A blank canvas eagerly awaiting their marks.

finger painting

I dream dreams of the beauty that only they can create. I dream dreams of that moment when they find the thing they were meant to do and they smile so brilliantly that the world stops to stare in awe.

I dream dreams that are easily shattered into pieces at my feet in the ultrasound exam room.

Not normal. Heart defect. Downs syndrome.

Each syllable a damaging blow.

She didn’t mean to concern us. It was her responsibility to tell us what she saw. A small spot on the heart. A bone here and another one there, measuring a bit too small. Try not to worry too much. It could be nothing.

Or it could be everything.

And for weeks, we worried about everything. We waited and worried. We tried to prepare ourselves. We put our dreams aside and turned our hearts towards prayers and preparation. Preparation for a life that may not be the life of my dreams but will still be our life. Preparation for everything.

And in the end, it was nothing.

We exhaled long breaths as they assured us, she was fine. No signs. No concerns.

Bit-by-bit, I started dreaming again. Day-by-day the bounds of possibility stretch further and further. With each mark she makes on her own blank canvas, I see my dreams for her coming true. I see smiles so brilliant. I know the world will notice.

little girl at the park

My dreams were not shattered. Not that time.

But now I know how fragile those dreams can be. Now I know the fear.


linking up with Yeah Write #64. loving the summer series and the prompts.

read to be read at


  1. I’m pretty sure I held my breath beginning at the word “ultrasound” all the way through the end. Really great post. I dream those fragile dreams too.
    Carinn @welcometothemotherhood recently posted..Taking FlightMy Profile

  2. And that fear is so brutal but also a strange gift, isn’t it? It makes everything a little clearer, and little sharper. It makes the moments pure.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Carrie recently posted..Three Days.My Profile

    • It most definitely is a strange gift. For days after her birth I just felt so blessed that she was ok. I try to recall that whenever I’m feeling down.

  3. And you grew from the fear and passed through to the other side. I often imagine the journey of those parents who must pick up the pieces and choose different dreams.
    Jester Queen recently posted..WinningMy Profile

  4. I have chills running up and down my entire body. Wow, what a strong and moving post. As a mother myself, I can relate to your feelings so much. I am so sorry you had to spend that time worrying, and so glad that all is OK.
    Melisa @ just begin from here. recently posted..caution: insects in mouth are grosser than they appear.My Profile

  5. I cannot even imagine – but through your writing I see, at least a little, how it was for you. And that’s a sign of great writing – bring us into your world. Great job!

    (And so happy everything was ok!)
    Sara recently posted..Summer RainMy Profile

  6. Being a mom is certainly scary…. but totally worth it…. It is even painful to have such big dreams of happiness for our little ones and fear something could happen and turn it all into a nightmare… Let’s continue to pray and trust…. let’s continue to smile and dream… to live each day….. 🙂
    Paloma recently posted..Tuesday of Quotes and a "Brand" New Collaboration!My Profile

  7. You had me holding my breath! You crafted such a nice rhythm to this story. Ellen
    Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms recently posted..Psycho in Italian is Desk ClerkMy Profile

  8. Ultrasounds are always scary. Even if there’s no reason to worry, it’s hard not to. I will say that you would still dream big dreams for your daughter if things were not “normal.” I have 4 “normals” and an Aspie, and my dreams are big for all of them, though each dream is different. Great post.
    Erin @Momfog recently posted..These MomentsMy Profile

  9. I was so nervous about things like this during my first pregnancy, even without any scares. It put anxiety into a whole other context for me. Beautifully put. Love the pictures!
    Jane recently posted..UnderfootMy Profile

  10. I am very good friends with someone whose dream was shattered. I tell him all the time that it’s not the end of the world but the beginning of a very different set of possibilities.
    You made my heart stop a little at the beginning of this post. I’m so relieved that nothing is wrong.
    Have a happy 4th!
    Tara Denny recently posted..Dog Days 2 1/2- AshMy Profile

    • Thank you, Tara. And I do believe it really is just a different set of possibilities but I can’t imagine how hard that is to accept.

  11. I miscarried my first pregnancy and spent the next two terrified something would go wrong — thankfully nothing did. Then I miscarried my fourth pregnancy and conceived twins. We had ultrasounds every appointment and I panicked at each one. And still everything is fine.

    So far.
    IASoupMama recently posted..Just for OnceMy Profile

  12. We went throughout that fire drill with our last child, and like you, we had an happy outcome. Relief.
    Joe (from Kellie’s World) recently posted..DownhillMy Profile

  13. Excellent post and what a beautiful photo at the end with that arc of red like a rainbow telling us the storm of worry has passed. So glad your little one is healthy.
    Louise Ducote recently posted..Let Go of My HairMy Profile

  14. You’ve had a bunch of people holding their breath today – including me! A beautiful ode to the wonders and pains of pregnancy. Even though I know everything is working out fine in your story and mine, I’m waiting for the exhale.
    Mary @ A Teachable Mom recently posted..Anger Looks Good On MeMy Profile

  15. A lovely ode to your little one. How impossible not to worry when you’re told something like that. I enjoyed the cadence of your story – I dream dreams… Nice.
    stephanie recently posted..Guidance, It’s the Right Thing to Do!My Profile

  16. So well done!!
    The way you set your story up was brilliant. Of course it made me think of my own children and all of the possibilities we see for their future, so when you said heart defects it literally took my breath away.
    What a terrifying wait that must have been!
    I am so glad that everything worked out well for you and your family!
    Dawn Beronilla recently posted..Back In Time Post: Friends Are ForeverMy Profile

  17. I was never a worrier before my son. No one ever prepared me for the fear and worry that would come with such amazing love for a child. You captured it.
    Michelle Longo recently posted..The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes.My Profile

  18. I am so happy to hear that your daughter is okay. I have a friend who has a terminally ill child. It is so scary and all her dreams are shattered. It is awful to watch. When she was pregnant, she was hoping to receive the same miracle you did. We were all so worried. Next to receiving the confirmation of illness, the waiting was the worst. You illustrated that so well in this post.

    • Thank you, Emma. I can’t imagine getting the confirmation but yes, the worrying and waiting is so awful. We just felt so helpless.

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