Happiness is a Journey, not a destination.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Strongly Impressed

My husband was bugging me last night about updating my blog more often.  Part of it is he's out of town, and the few minutes we get to spend on the phone catching up isn't enough.  I woke this morning with the idea of trying to be especially vigilant the next few days about taking pictures to let him know what's going on around here.  However, I had an overwhelming feeling while taking pics of Talia this morning that I needed to share a particular story.  This blog has become a family record, and although I have shared this story before, I have never written it down.  It is a very, very personal and spiritual story to me, but I can't shake the feeling that it needs to be written, Today. 

8 years ago in July, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  He was 3 1/2 weeks early.  My pregnancy had been difficult, I was in preterm labor off and on from 25 weeks.  The day he was born was a little scary.  They were finally getting me ready for an emergency c-section when Alec turned his head and decided to be born.  I think Cole thought he was going to lose one or both of us.  Alec's cord was wrapped around his neck tightly twice, and through my experience I have come to realize that if he had not been born that day, he might not have lived.  I never think of that without feeling the incredible blessing that my Heavenly Father gifted me with that day. 

Alec was a difficult baby and a difficult toddler.  It was a struggle to get him to eat.  (still is, but that's another story).  He was never happy in the same spot for more than a few minutes.  It was like he wanted to see the world, and no one could keep up.  A few months after he was born, I was DONE having kids.  I knew he would take so much time and attention, that he would need so much from me that I couldn't even think about having more kids.  Cole agreed, he didn't think he could deal with another scary, difficult pregnancy and birth.  He hates hospitals anyway. 

However, the Lord had other plans for us.   In June of 2003, we were in the temple attending the endowment session of Cole's younger brother and his wife, in preparation for their sealing.  I was considering making a doctors appointment to discuss getting my tubes tied.  I was sitting there, in that most sacred place, and my daughter was there.  I didn't see her, exactly, but I could feel her presence, and she very specifically told me that our family was not yet complete.  That she needed to come to our family.  I heard her, though no one else did.  I also knew it was a daughter. 

I told Cole.  He wasn't sure what to think, he hadn't received the same witness I had.  Alec was not even 1 yet, and I knew by now that I was a better mommy when my children were spaced further apart.  There was no hurry, now that I knew I had another child waiting for me, I also had faith that the Lord would reveal the best time for us to have her. 

Alec had a few minor medical problems.  He has a hyperactive gag, which made it difficult to keep weight on him. When he was 2, he dropped off the weight charts (his height and head were still fine).  His pediatrician told me feed him more.  I almost laughed and cried...How do you get a child to eat when he throws up 50% of what you feed him because he doesn't like it?  He literally lived on Peanut butter, white bread, and milk for 4 years.  He had fluid in his ears from the time he was 3 months old.  He had tubes placed at 5 months, 10 months, and then, sometime between his 2 year well child and when he was 2 1/2, his tubes fell out and the fluid reaccumulated.  He couldn't hear correctly because of it.  He had always babbled, but he wasn't talking right because he couldn't hear correctly.  We tried a few strategies before we decided he needed yet another set of tubes. 

Right before he was evaluated by the ENT, I noticed he was getting a lot more bruises than normal, and he had a few bloody noses that we couldn't explain.  I mentioned it to his ENT, and they ran some bloodwork.  The results were alarming, and they referred me to Primary Children's hematology clinic for a consult.  Having medical knowledge, as well as a whole host of doctors and nurses at my disposal, I knew their top concern was that my child might have leukemia. 

I had never been so scared in my life. 

I was a wreck for 2 weeks until our appointment.  We met with the hematologist.  They drew bloodwork.  I have never been so relieved when they told me that Alec must have had some kind of virus that attacked his clotting mechanisms...his repeat bloodwork was returning to normal.  Many thankful prayers were said that day. 

Alec caught up quickly once he could actually hear.  He became a much easier child, although he still processes information very differently than most kids.  When he was 3 1/2, Cole and I both had the feeling that it was the right time for our daughter to come to our family. 

I found out I was expecting Talia in August of 2006.  My heart never, never doubted that it was a girl, the spirit I had met clear back in 2003.  My pregancy was relatively easy this time...I was scared every day from 23 weeks to 30 weeks, every time I spotted, every time I cramped...working in the NICU will do that to you.  When you see everything bad that happens, even though you know it's the exception, not the rule, it's hard to separate.  When they told us she was a girl, my naturally skeptical brain knew what my heart knew all along...she was meant to come to our family.  It was finally the right time. 

Talia came into our lives on April Fools 2007.  She teased me with contractions for 3 weeks, but the joke was on me!  When she delivered, I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace.  When they placed her in my arms, I knew, without a doubt, that our family was now complete.  Everyone was here.  I was tired, I'd been awake for almost 24 hours when she was born.  I sent Cole home to get some sleep, and though I could barely keep my eyes open, I sat there with my daughter in my arms...I could hardly believe she was mine, she was here, and  I didn't want to let her go, even to send her to the nursery so I could get some sleep. 

Knowing she was my last baby, I set out to enjoy every, single moment with her.  She made it so easy...she put herself on a schedule from the moment she was born, was a good eater, a good sleeper.  The only time she was ever fussy was when she got constipated at about 3 weeks old...and prune juice took care of that pretty quickly.  I could not believe how easy of a baby she was...perhaps my reward for my faith? 

This morning, when she woke up, I crawled into bed with her for a minute(I keep trying to get her to come in and cuddle in my bed, but she still won't leave her room until someone comes and lets her out, even though she's been able to open doors for forever).  She cuddled me, then told me a few stories that started out "Once Upon a Time..." It struck me that she's now 3 1/2, and my solo time with her is fleeting. 

I still enjoy almost every moment with her...
From October 2010

From October 2010

Lazy mornings coloring....

I really do love my life. 

I'm not sure why I felt so compelled to share all this today...but now that I have I have this overwhelming feeling of peace.  I hope it helps whoever it's meant to...even if it's just me. 


Rachael said...

Thanks for sharing. I've only ever heard your story in pieces.

Your story is helping me today. When I know we have the children we are supposed to have, but I'm doubting myself because of my son.

Judith said...

Thanks for sharing this. I know that there is something I need to share on my blog too, but I can't get the words right yet. Once I start writing I get that peaceful feeling, but then my emotions take over and I just can't anymore. I'm not a born writer.

This also reminds me of moments surrounding Joelle, Tim, Liam, and Daniel. Each and all, I needed to experience.

Heidi said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing :)