Yesterday was Evan’s birthday. He turned ten years old…ten. How did this happen?
I’m not ready to be the mother of a ten year old. I mean, after all, I still look like I am 25… Ahem…
Every year on his birthday, I reflect on the fact that he truly is a miracle. His father and I were married in 2000 and started trying to conceive in 2002. We had a very early miscarriage six months after trying. After that, came two years of tears and negative pregnancy tests. Unless you have experienced this for yourself, you really cannot imagine the pain and frustration that comes with not being able to get pregnant. It seems like such a natural thing for everyone else. You hear the comments like:
“All I have to do is look at my husband and I get pregnant.”
“Honey, you just need to relax and it will happen.”
“Once you quit trying it will happen.”
“My friends decided to adopt and during the process she found out she was pregnant.”
There’s the baby shower invitations, the pregnant women everywhere you look, and newborn babies tucked all cute in their car seats on top of the grocery carts as a reminder of what you can’t have. Let’s not forget the yearly checkups at the Ob/Gyn office that are full of pregnant women. Sigh. Some days I will admit that my attitude was terrible. And, if I’m being truthful, even today I struggle with it.
I have been known to say things to God like, “Really, Lord? Haven’t I had enough drama in my life? Can’t this one thing go easy for me?” or “You know Lord, this isn’t fair. Look at some of these mothers and how they treat their children! Why am I not allowed to have anymore?”
In March of 2004, I went on a trip to Florida with my little sister. We had such a good time down there and when I got back I noticed I didn’t have much of an appetite. One morning, I went into work with a chocolate milk and a jar of pickles for breakfast. My coworker looked at me and said, “You’re pregnant.” To which I replied “Ha! Not likely!” She convinced me to go next door to the doctor’s office that morning to have them run a test. Can you believe, in all the years of trying, this was the first time that I had not taken a test at home? In fact, when I got home from Florida, I told Glen that I had come to conclusion while on vacation that if we never had children I would be okay with that. Honest to goodness this is what I told him. Alright, back to the doctor’s office story… I took the test and it was positive. I was in shock. Truly in shock. I misdialed my own home phone number three times trying to call Glen. I cried – a lot. I also went and bought a pregnancy test after work just so I could pee on it and finally have a positive after two years of negative tests.
I would love to say that it was an easy pregnancy, but that would be a lie. At 29 weeks I was 50% effaced and put on bed rest. I was not a very good bed rest patient and my mother in law kept a good eye on me during that time. At 35 weeks, on a Wednesday, when I was supposed to be resting, I was out shopping at Target getting last minute supplies for junior. I ended up having to go to triage from Target to have my contractions stopped and be monitored. The doctor was pretty irritated with me at this point. See, I knew that if I made it to 35 weeks they would deliver the baby at the local hospital, but if I went into labor before that I would be shipped to a hospital that had a NICU. When I hit 35 weeks I kind of took myself off bed rest….
Fast forward from Wednesday to Friday when I had my weekly checkup with another doctor at the practice. She checked me and said I was starting to dilate and she expected to see me that weekend, and that she would not stop my labor if I came in. When I left, I told her I would see her that weekend!
Late Friday night, I started having some pretty painful contractions. I was concerned it wasn’t the real thing and I didn’t want to wake Glen up to take me in unless I had to. We ran a pheasant hunting business at the time and I knew he was booked solid with hunts all day Saturday. I think I woke him up about 3:00 a.m. and said I needed to go to the hospital. They checked me when we got there and said I was only dilated to 3. I was told if I wanted to walk the halls for an hour they would check me again, and if I had progressed they would admit me. I progressed to 4 and was admitted. After that came the hard part! I gave birth to our son around 1:30 on Saturday afternoon. I was not able to hold him because after being observed by his nurses he had to be taken to the nursery and monitored for breathing problems. I felt pretty rotten about this and that somehow it was my fault because I was not a very good bed rest patient. I was finally able to hold him on Sunday and his issue with his lungs resolved overnight. We came home the following Monday and began the transition into being the parents of a newborn.
It wasn’t until 3.5 years later that I would learn just how much of a miracle this child was. I began to have some hormonal issues and was found to have a grapefruit sized cyst on my left ovary that had to be surgically removed. When the doctor opened me up, she found a complete and total mess. Stage 4 endometriosis with basically my intestines, bladder, bowels, ovaries, and uterus all glued together in one big ball. Apparently, she worked quite awhile to get everything apart and remove the left ovary and tube. Unfortunately, after this surgery, my body kind of shut down on me and I went into premature menopause to which I have never came back out of it. I can promise that having secondary infertility is painful too. The doctor told me after the surgery that she had no idea how I was able to get pregnant with that mess.
But, I did! He is a miracle and I try to remember that when I want to beat him. Just kidding! Totally kidding! He really has brought his father and I more joy than we could have ever imagined. I cannot picture a life without my little guy. He is sensitive, loving, caring, and he loves to snuggle. I am so thankful that I was able to experience pregnancy and birth, and even though I would love to do it again, I will not take my one and only for granted.