In my mother’s womb

There are so many studies out there about what causes autism and new findings are popping up almost daily. I tend to take them with a grain of salt. It seems the majority of them are linked to mothers and what we did or didn’t do. Emily Willingham of Forbes put it this way:

“Having children close together, having them in a certain order, being a certain age, having antibodies, having children in summer, having wombs and gestating embryonic and fetal humans in them, using Clomid, IVF, terbutaline, or labor induction, being pregnant near freeways, donating bad mitochondria to offspring, partnering with older fathers, passing genes to our children, eating, treating depression, getting an infection during pregnancy, including the flu, not getting an infection, being depressed, or behaving like refrigerators.”

A study (I did take seriously) came out a week before Rhema’s 10th birthday that suggests autism starts in the womb. The brain tissue reveals “patches of disorganization in the cortex” of children with autism. ‘Organization of the cortex begins in the second trimester of pregnancy. “So something must have gone wrong at or before that time…”

24 weeks pregnant with Rhema

24 weeks pregnant with Rhema

And I don’t understand it all or even know what I think and feel about it all, but there is this:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day. ~Psalm 139:13-16


And in the victorious, precious, beautiful times and in the most bitter, trying, heartbreaking times of our lives with autism, God’s good purpose remains. All of these days ordained for me to be their mother and for them to be my girls… yes, God is good.

I don’t always see the good. I’d rewind the clock in a heartbeat, do whatever I could to make my baby an ‘organized cortex.’

But my vision has always been limited.


As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in his life.”  ~John 9:1-3

Everything about her is a miracle.


11 thoughts on “In my mother’s womb

  1. Yes. Sending up an early morning prayer for you and your family. I believe our precious ones have a special relationship with Him.

  2. Amen Sister! You and your family are a living example of trust in God’s goodness, eternal hope, and courage through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Have a blessed Mother’s Day dear lady!!

  3. I love this! Rhema is a wonderful gift from God – a true miracle. And I love the first from Thesalonians. I know I’ve read it before but it really spoke to me this morning. It made me think of Rebecca.

  4. 1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him (Eliab). The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

    Your girls are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Mine are too. I struggle sometimes seeing them this way, especially after IEP meetings. Just had an IEP meeting yesterday, so your post is speaking to my heart. Thank you for the reminder!

    All days are good, some are just better. Praying that today is a “better” day for both of us.

  5. Your thoughts were beautifully captured by that psalm. Like most everyone else, I don’t know what “caused” my son’s autism. I prefer to see it as part of the gift/blessing from God that he is to me. Some days I struggle with him having this gift but I would never want it taken away (managed yes but not taken away). It is part who he is. God has great plans for him like He does for all of us. God bless you and your family. Thanks for sharing your lives with us.

  6. Amazing. So humbled by this post. Words of love and grace wrapped in the most beautiful almost blinding faith. A light to our path. I love you Hope and Rhema. You have changed me forever.

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