Sunday, August 12, 2012

Miracle child

For the sake of modesty, I don't want to go into a great deal of detail, however it is somewhat crucial to know that when I was pregnant with my second child, I wanted - nay - knew I was going to do everything possible to have a vbac.

I will also clarify that I say 'second child' because as with my first, I did not want to know if it was a boy or a girl, so I didn't yet know this baby would one day be my precious and loved-to-the-moon-and-back baby girl.

I knew would equally love a boy or a girl and given the fast-hectic-pace at which life was already speeding along, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible.

(Really - if my fabu sister had not been working at a posh baby store I would not have imbibed in that gorgeous red peg-perego stroller)

Just as mothers of days-gone-by hadn't known if they were to have a boy or girl I liked the idea of finding out when he or she was born.

True - both the 'moms' groups I was in had loads of fun remembering and/or concocting new, old wives tales to make their guesses.

Similarly - I think* it goes without saying I also did not want amniocentesis performed.

No, I don't have a fear of needles. I’m an-every-two-weeks plasma donor, remember. . .

I knew I would treasure and appreciate my child with or without a ‘birth defect’.

*I say I think it goes without saying, because, not everyone knows me.

I've never thought we were all 'perfect' anyway. Created in His image yes, but I've always felt like everyone has some physical limitation or another making us all somewhat if not 'defective', flawed. We will be perfect in the next life, but not here. Our physical bodies have limits and are susceptible to earthly damage, even in the womb.

Of course, it wouldn't be until years later that I'd watch what would become one of my all-time favorite movies "Iron Giant" ( watched with both my terrific children BTW), and form the deep-thinking Saturday afternoon dogma that we all have the equivalent of a dent in the head and like the giant, are better off for it.

But that is years later.

Back to 1991. Dr. Vu, who delivered my son, did not want to comply with my plans for a vbac.

Early on, I was having some difficulty with the pregnancy and though he did not say a vbac might be dangerous for the baby, he just said, a c-sec will be so much easier on you, why would you think of that?

I said I would be going for a second opinion.

I did and changed doctors.

The 'new' doctor, however, changed his mind on my second visit.

He said, no, the problems I was having put him at risk for a lawsuit if the outcome was bad.

Unsure of where to turn, as there was not another OB/GYN in the center and at the time, our city was still small and undeveloped I said I would consider upon it.

Delivery was still some time away.

It was April.

Just as with my first, I had known I was pregnant almost immediately.

I had been in the front yard with my son, who was just a tad past his first birthday. He loved for me to spin him around until we both fell to the grass. We called it airplane.

Whoa, no – I didn’t swing him by his arms.... Nervous nellie, I worried he'd separate at the arm sockets.

I'd hold him in a modified cradle hold, sometimes face up, sometimes face down so that he was straight out in front of me like an airplane.

And as we spun, I'd lift him up and down, giving him the (Disneyland) Dumbo the elephant ride effect.

Anyway, one day, the first week of March I was outside spinning with him and he was having a grand ole time.

All of a sudden I sat down and thought I was going to simultaneously pass out and throw up. The lawn would not stop moving.

I knew I was pregnant.
My spouse was not supportive. Of course, he had no clue as to the amazing girl that would come into this world.

I tried my best to take the best care of myself possible, given the fact it was not as easy a pregnancy as the first, but sure enough, when I went in to the doctor the last Friday in May, the bleeding had not stopped, had in fact worsened.

The doctor examined me and said, so sorry, not anything I can do. You need to go home and plan on a weekend visit to the hospital. He expected that before Monday I would have miscarried. Yes, the doctor did offer to keep me there that Friday – just FYI. Keep me and terminate the pregnancy to make it easier.

My spouse was jubilant. He had been encouraging me to get an abortion.

An abortion.

What the freaking heck.

Encouraging is not even the word, however, I truly dislike remembering those days.

He was an angry, abusive man.

Enjoyed fooling and manipulating people.

Even still. . . an abortion?

For any of you who happen to read my posts regularly, you do already know it's like a well-tossed salad.

It may seem as if you just bit into a tomato and now, wait - whoa, what?

Mushroom? She's skipped over to talking about something else.

I always guarantee, as much as a blog post can guarantee - that it all comes together in the end.

After all, you can't put every bit of a salad in your mouth at once.

I had to digress though so you’d grasp the sickening concept of him being pleased with the news when I came home from the doctor. I truly regretted telling my husband what the doctor had said, however, if the doctor proved to be right, I was hoping to keep my spouse home that weekend, in case I needed transportation to the hospital.

He was rarely home, and especially not on weekends.

I figured I knew, if not specifically where he was, or specifically who he was with, that he was having much too good a time to stay home for any normal old reason, like marriage, family, commitments ....

A few years prior I'd experienced what I am fairly sure was the passing of a kidney stone. He would not take me to the hospital and in fact more or less locked me in the bathroom so I wouldn't 'bother' him. It was more painful than labor.

We had a one-year-old. My son who loved airplane! I had to ensure my spouse would be there to take care of him, even if I did have to get myself to the doctor or hospital. I had no idea what could happen, or what I’d feel like.

I admit, I took advantage of the fact that he did stay home. Even though I had turned down the doctor’s offer to make things easier, my husband only heard the words he wanted to hear. And to him that meant stay home this weekend and the abortion will take care of itself.

I left for a few hours and turned to the one place I had not yet thought of.

I turned to Heavenly Father.

and fervent prayer.

…surrounded by many other people who, though not praying for me, knew, like me, that there is strength in joining in prayer.

There were no bright lights or booming voices. No one's sight, hearing or ability to walk was spontaneously restored in front of a crowd. No promise of anything beyond faith in the things we knew - know to be true - that Heavenly Father sent his only begotten son, our elder brother, to redeem mankind. That our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, died, was buried, and rose after three days to ascend into heaven.

I was born into a Catholic family,

This is a prayer I learned in elementary school:

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae, et in Iesum Christum, Filium Eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum…

In English:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit…

That is most of the prayer. I no longer 'believe' in the Catholic Church, (which is what would be the next line in the prayer) that is, I no longer believe it to still be the true church as descended from St. Peter.
Important to this story - because Heavenly Father - He has not changed.
Many, many of the things I grew up and learned, I still know to be correct.
But upon praying and reading and more praying, I have discovered some ... doctrine? ... to have come for convenience.
I can’t rely on a quick check convenient line to return home to Heavenly Father, so I decided to join the LDS church a few years ago. Five years ago this month.
Back in 1991 however, I was in St. Christopher's church, praying to our only Heavenly Father, and praying intensely. With the burning emotion of a woman who was already a mom and could not for one millisecond imagine life without her child.
How, possibly would I manage losing this one?
Nothing spectacular in the sense of visually dramatic occurred at all. The way one might imagine after TV movies and popular drama. What did occur is on overall feeling of incredible warmth and peace.

And if I dare use the word revival . . . when it does seem as if I am describing an old fashion sanctification meeting . . . I experienced a revival of the words to yet another prayer I'd learned even before the creed.

OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

- The Lord's Prayer.

Thy will be done.

So my prayer changed.

And I asked – fervently –still that I be strong enough to take care of any child He chooses to send me. Strong enough to take care of the one I already had. Strong enough to provide a home for them and keep them safe and give them – a better life here on earth so that they could grow to be wise, strong, loving people and they themselves be one day worthy to return home to him.

What changed, or I should say, what I added on -- was that if His will was this baby return home to Him before I get the chance to know him or her that He guide me to know what to do next.

As I drove home, tears flowing, yet calm and at peace I knew we would be alright.

I was more than willing to care for him or her even with both doctors tossing vague threats at me. I would find a way, even, if – as I suspected was in my future – I raised my children alone.

Prayer became my constant, mostly silent companion.

When my husband was angry, I prayed. When I was frightened, alone, or sad, I prayed.

That weekend, something happened. My baby got stronger.

When I went in to the doctor on Monday he was baffled. The bleeding had stopped, the heartbeat was good – and I looked good. I too had gotten stronger.

I left his office and found another doctor. He was much, much further away, but offered a safe, caring place for my baby to be born as well as support of my wishes as he dispensed his expert medical care.

Fast forward to November – and Heavenly Father blessed me with the most precious, most adorable baby daughter.

When I see advocates post statements like “Your mom chose life” I desperately want to shout – ME TOO!
I could have made life easier. But without my amazing daughter – who I certainly do know was a miracle – my life would not have been better. I chose her and life has been better for it.

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