Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Born of My Heart (Part 2)
If you are just joining me for this story you can check out Part 1 here.
I finished my Part 1 of this story by telling you about my crazy, awful car accident. One of these days I am going to write that book. And in this book I will give you a few pieces of advice. One of those pieces of advice will be to never have a crazy, awful car accident.
Not that I could have avoided mine. I think about it occasionally. Could I have avoided it?
I just have to trust that God knows the beginning from the end. And He knows the number of my days. And that he loves me and has a plan for me.
I've had to use that same attitude when it comes to infertility.
But more on that a minute.
I will say that the first few months after my car accident I didn't even think about having a baby. There is something about the combination of morphine (and other narcotics) combined with trauma and the near loss of life that clouds up the brain. It was months later that I had the thought that it was fortunate I hadn't been pregnant when I had the accident.
Eventually, when the subject was brought up with my doctor. He explained that I still had to contend with the PCOS, but also the injuries to my hip and pelvis were going to make carrying and delivering a baby a bit more complicated. It was going to be one of those 'wait and see' events. Frankly, I was okay with the 'wait and see' approach.
I was so happy just to be alive, but I also went through a period of depression and started having panic attacks. I wanted so much to have a normal life (whatever that might be). My body was broken. Things had shifted. My brain knew how to walk, but my legs and hips didn't seem to remember. I didn't have that freedom of motion. I was unsure of the future and sometimes that left me paralyzed.
Post traumatic Stress Disorder is a very real and debilitating condition. I couldn't consciously remember my car accident (still can't), but my sub conscience seemed to remember every minute. The things I did remember...the painful x-ray sessions, waking up during a surgery, having traction pins put into my bones with only a local anesthetic....those things were hard to forget.
Eventually, I found a new normal. A year later found me back at the same college campus. This time I had a cane. I was cautioned to again take trying to get pregnant very slowly. I needed to recover from all of those internal things that had happened to my body.
Just after my car accident, my little brother and his wife had twins. A boy and a girl. I can't even describe what I felt. You might be surprised. I was never jealous. I was ecstatic. They were my first niece and nephew on my side of the family. My brother and wife were so generous with me. I snuggled those babies like they were mine. There is healing with that kind of generosity. I felt a connection to those babies that I didn't expect. They were also close. When twins were about 3 months old, my brother moved his little family south. I could pop over, snuggle, drool over and even take one home with me! It was like having a real live baby doll!
I need to say something. It is really, really hard when you struggle with infertility to be entirely happy for those who seem to eternally fertile. This is to be expected. It is human nature to compare our lives to the lives of others. A woman is who is infertile measures herself against expectations, instinctive desires and the deep need to nurture. She finds herself coming up short every time.
What I want to express to you is how dangerous this attitude is. You cannot live there. I think that one of the reasons I didn't have the kind of jealous struggle when my brother's babies were born was that I was in a unique head space. Keep in mind that I had just fought for my life. I was extremely appreciative of every new day. I didn't take for granted those quiet moments with a cup of tea or gazing at a Mississippi Delta Sunset. I knew that I had survived. And I knew that God MUST have a purpose for my life. I think when we understand that God has our days in HIS hands....the rest of it seems to fall in line.
I am not saying this was my mind set in years to come. I still had battles coming my way. However, I think it's best to keep our focus on God's plan...not our own.
Something happened 3 years after the car accident that put any future pregnancies in jeopardy once again. I went into Congestive Heart Failure. I'm telling ya! I am so not the candidate for all of this drama. I am probably one of most low key, undramafied (is that even a word?) gal you will ever meet.
Anyhoo. When all was said and done the verdict was that I had cardiomyopathy due to unknown reasons. The heart contusion from the wreck? My newly diagnosis of diabetes? A virus? All could have contributed to my condition.
I was thrilled when my cardiologist assured me that while it wasn't optimal there wasn't any reason I couldn't expect to be able to carry a baby in the future. That made my heart sing! (No pun intended).
It was a time of great healing in my life. I started teaching school at a small Christian school. I continued a full load of college courses. I started losing a little bit of weight.
And then it happened. I got pregnant.
Have you ever had that brief moment in life when everything seems to make sense? I thought that this was my time. We had been married for 9 years. Conceiving wasn't supposed to be this easy for me. I had survived a car accident, heart failure and Memphis traffic.
I just knew that this was my miracle. That God was showing up in a big way.
Friends and acquaintances rejoiced with me. Many of them had been with me through my long journey of healing. To have a little Teague take up residence in the nursery after the trials I had faced seem like the perfect gift from above.
To me it almost seemed like God was saying, "Here you go. I'm sorry about all the rest. Thanks for being faithful."
I am only admitting this particular thought pattern because I think our modern day Christian culture perpetuates the idea that our relationship with God comes down to a little quid pro quo. You act like this. You dress like this. You do all the right things and you are going to be blessed off your socks.
Grace. That's all I'm talking about. I was going to learn about HIS grace soon enough.
Next time I want to talk about pain. And heartbreak. And a miracle.