Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Longing Fulfilled

For nine years I rejoiced in the blessing that Violet is in our lives. She is our fertility baby who beat all the odds that were stacked against her. From the beginning, Violet fought to live and to come into this world. She fought through low progesterone levels that threatened miscarriage. We closely monitored a band of scar tissue that was dangerously close to her left hand, praying that it wouldn't attach itself to her. So many struggles were experienced during that pregnancy and in some ways it feels like Violet and I went to war for her very existence in this world and we came out victorious.

With everything we went through just to bring this precious child into the world, I felt a little guilty for longing for one more. I couldn't put myself through those complications again and run the risk of an extended hospital stay for a second child when I had a miracle baby at home. Yet, my arms ached for another child.

My heart would rejoice in my friend's and family's announcements of expectancy and break in the same heartbeat, as each one was a painful reminder that my family felt incomplete. It was painful watching my husband hold another person's infant. I would often leave the scene and go somewhere to cry in private. That is how deep this longing for another child ran within me. My heart was so broken during that time that I couldnt even bring myself to hold these precious babes that were in my life. Nursery duty at church and in our homeschool co-op were avoided at all costs. Needless to say, I felt so much guilt during this time period in my life.

In 2012, I was having some issues that required my doctor's attention. He naturally brought up my having a hysterectomy as it would keep me from developing any more ovarian cysts and stop the painful cycles that I was having. My doctor assumed we were done trying since it had been eight years since Violet's birth. He had no way of knowing that that sole question would pull the rug out from under me and bring on a flood of tears that he was not prepared for. And it was at this particular moment that my husband saw how deep this longing ran within me.

My doctor changed his course of action and instead of the mentioned hysterectomy he scheduled a laprascopic procedure to remove the cycsts and clear out any scar tissue that was there and ran a test to see if I had any healthy eggs left within me. That test would determine if I would have a hysterectomy or not. Waiting on those test results was the most excruciating week I've ever experienced. I asked friends to pray for either good test results or a change in my heart. When the results came back good my heart leaped with hope.

My surgery was scheduled the week before Thanksgiving in 2012. I was in a great deal of pain at this point. I was at the end of a rope that I didn't even realize I had. I was ready to be without constant pain and to be able to go on with my life. Crazy enough though, Gregg and I never discussed trying to get pregnant. I think we were too afraid to broach that topic and so it sat there, this thing that needed talking about but never addressed.

Surgery was supposed to be an easy one with an easy recovery but it wasn't. I was incredibly bruised and recovery took nearly twice as long than what was anticipated. I was given Lupron to aid in the healing from my surgery and the side effects were horrible. I experienced hot flashes that were so intense they were nauseating. They were so bad that it took me a while to realize I had experienced a bad case of food poisoning.

Three months after the food poisoning experience I thought I had gotten it again. My family went out to eat to celebrate a family member's sixteenth birthday. Everyone else was fine and so I figured it was the chicken I ate that caused my illness. I went to my family doctor and begged him for help. I was convinced that I must have been dehydrated because I was also very dizzy. I was so convinced that I had food poisoning again that I was completely unprepared for the news that I was actually pregnant! I will never forget my doctor's expression after he told me I was expecting when I asked him, "Expecting what?". He clearly thought I was a dunce, and I clearly felt like one when the reality of what he just told me sunk it. I cried such wonderful tears of joy afterwards!

My husband was so worried about me that he kept texting me, asking if I had seen the doctor and if I was okay. At some point I started ignoring his texts because I immediately called my OB/GYN. No way was I going to allow much time to go by after nearly miscarrying Violet due to low progesterone levels. This was a wise call on my part, which I'll explain at another time. My family doctor gave me to little stick test and gave me a gentle hug as I walked out the door. Hubby was waiting for me, with Violet in the backseat of the car, in the parking lot. As soon as I sat down, I saw the concern in Hubby's eyes. I gingerly handed him the test and he looked at me and said, " I don't know what this means" (we discovered Violet's pregnancy through a blood test, so there were no pee sticks), so I explained "one line means no, two mean yes". And with that, we headed toward home. Hubbybheld my hand so tightly during that short drive home. In some way, I think we both needed to feel anchored in this new reality. We were finally pregnant!

Once home, we set Violet up with a special video for her to watch so that Hubby and I could talk. I was so nervous waiting for him to come to our room. I knew he would be happy but a tiny part in me questioned that. I was so overwhelmed at that moment and fear tried to wiggle its way into my heart. When Hubby finally walked in our room he gave me the biggest, yet gentlest, hug he could give me. And with that one gesture my body relaxed. I could think a little more clearly while he held me in his arms. I don't remember much of what we said other than he asked me if I was okay. It was pretty clear that I was just a little shocked. I was also nervous, scared, excited and totally in love with the tiny baby that was growing inside me. But mostly, I was grateful. Grateful to God that He heard my cries for another child and he granted me the greatest desire of my heart. A baby. Our family would be growing and Violet would have the sibling that she has longed for.

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